30 Oct 2018
Halloween, the holiday that takes place on the 31st of October every year is celebrated worldwide; though not everyone celebrates it the same way. Different cultures have their own rituals to honor those who are no longer walking amongst us.
The most familiar assumption of Halloween’s festivity is the American way of celebrating it – with spooky costumes, going door to door for trick or treats, sweets, and scary stories. While in Mexico, The Day of the Dead (El Dià de Muertos) that honors the deceased is celebrated for 3 days, with particular rituals. Jump to Europe, and you have people who are rather distant to the annual ceremony, often associating it with capitalist and mainstream ideas.
The culture of wearing costumes and masks at night dates back over 2000 years ago, when Celts, a tribe from Europe, celebrated Samhain (the Celtic new year, that symbolized the end of harvest season) in the belief that on this night the ghosts of the deceased return to Earth and walk among us.
The Celts too dressed up for the occasion, but not in cute Halloween costumes that are popular today. They dressed in animal skins and wore animal heads as masks, after which they would gather around a huge bonfire, lighting the bodies of the dead animals and people in a sacrificial ritual for their deities.
Since then, the night of 31stof October has always been associated with mystic events and unexplainable circumstances. As Christianity became more widespread, the night became known as “All Hallows Eve”, now recognized as “Halloween”. Along with the name, a new ritual was born – the common activity of sharing scary stories of ghosts and goblins.
But what happens when the stories turn out to be real?
Here are the three most creepy events that really happened on Halloween night…
In 1974, a young boy named Timothy returned home from trick or treating with a bucket full of candy. One would assume that his day would end with sweet, happy dreams, instead, it ended in a nightmare.
While munching happily on his treats, the 8-year old consumed a rotten candy, which killed him instantly, leaving his family in a state of complete shock.
You may wonder: how could a rotten candy possibly be responsible for a child’s death? Well, the investigation revealed a surprising twist!
Responsible for his immediate death was his father, who had poisoned not only Timothy’s candy, but also the candies of his sisters and 4 other children, in a brutal attempt to benefit from their life insurance. The little boy was the only one who ate it.
Silence can sometimes feel uncomfortable, especially if you are used to the noise around you, as every Amsterdam student likely is. This is how Devon Griffin felt when he returned home from church services on Halloween in 2010. It started out as an ordinary day with Devon playing video games in the living room.
At first, he was happily enjoying playing his games in silence, but as more and more time passed, he found it strange that his parents hadn’t woken up yet. Getting suspicious, he walked up the stairs to his parents’ room to find out why they were still asleep. When he peeked inside their room, he found them still in bed with the blankets over their head. Thinking they were playing a trick on him, he walked over and started playfully poking them and calling out their name. When they didn’t respond, he pulled the blankets away, uncovering a sight one wouldn’t wish on any child…
Under the sheets lay his parents – dead in a huge pool of blood!
The investigation that followed uncovered that the murder was not caused by a ghost, but by his older brother, who had been diagnosed at an early stage with a serious mental disorder!
In 2005, the residents of Delaware were frightened and amazed by Halloween decorations that were displayed in their neighborhood. Between scary skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts, one of the decorations seemed to be particularly innovative: a woman hanging from a tree. People were passing by for hours, not realizing the human shape was not a decoration, but a real body of a woman, who had committed suicide the night before.
Many stories were told, written, and even filmed on behalf of the Halloween theme.
But no matter how many scary incidents are often associated with Halloween, the last day of October should remind us all to laugh at life’s unpredictability and mysterious turns!
What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Share your Halloween photo on Instagram tagging @OurCampus – we will repost and reward the best three with a treat!