Ghosts and Goblins

ghosts and goblins nigh
roaming neighborhoods at dusk
trick or treat delight


According to the general history noted … The American tradition of “trick-or-treating” probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England.  During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for the returning spirits on Halloween night. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.  When the custom came to America, the children were given candy to prevent the people from being tricked.  It was tradition that if a person did not give the child candy, the child would play a trick on them, such as egging their house.

The tradition of dressing in costumes and masks on Halloween finds its roots in both European and Celtic history.  On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly realm, people thought they would encounter the ghosts if they left their homes. Therefore, to avoid being seen by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.

According to Nielsen Research, approximately $1.9 billion
(or 598 million pounds)
of candy is sold during the Halloween season in the U.S.


© rgb for “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”, 2011


About becca givens

Becca is an artist, poet, and animal communicator. She delights in cooking, nurturing, and sharing a rich spiritual life with others on the Path.
This entry was posted in Haiku/Senryu and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Ghosts and Goblins

  1. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    I am such a Grinch when it comes to Halloween. I put a sign on my door: “No Treats”–and it worked!

    Ghosts of Trees


  2. haunting and cute,
    love the image you picked as well, smiles

    Happy Belated Halloween.


  3. Grace says:

    Nice haiku… and thanks for the info….yes I can believe you on that candies and chocolates….

    happy halloween ~


  4. Yikes! thats alot of Candy!!!!…
    Enjoyed this post too Becca,, Much love on your Halloween Night.. Enjoy xox Sue


  5. Renee Espriu says:

    Thanks Becca. Another interesting fact I was unaware of though it does not surprise me. Commercialism raises its’ ugly head again and I, of course, contribute as I so like to see the little ones dressed up at my door.


  6. davidtennd says:

    Excellent research Becca. Love David


  7. Cute verse. Yes I can’t think why some people are so anti Halloween it seems better than burning a guy and scary fireworks!


  8. dsnake1 says:

    thanks for this informative post, and a good haiku. 🙂
    nearly $2 billion for candy during the season, wow!


  9. Andy Sewina says:

    Well documented!
    Cool backstory too!!


  10. Olive Tree says:

    Hi Becca, I’m back. It’s been so long. It’s nice to see that you’re still around. Hope to see you more in some other memes and thank you for this information about the Halloween tradition. Have a wonderful week 🙂


  11. Nanka says:

    Thank you for the history of the tradition which evolved over the years!! A fun haiku to go with it too!!


  12. zongrik says:

    so you chose not to write about real ghosts but about the kids who dress as ghosts – 🙂


  13. ruchi jain says:

    nice post and ghosts pumpkin…


  14. A fun haiku that makes me think of my childhood trick-or-treat times! I enjoyed learning about the origins of our Halloween traditions, too.


  15. A very interesting post! I did not know the story of soul cakes! Like a re-invented symbol! And a cute, jingly, happy haiku! It dances in celebration!


  16. Great haiku and an informative post, too.


  17. vivinfrance says:

    I bet the dentists are rubbing their hands! Thank you for the history – and the haiku, too.


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