Halloween Misconceptions And Myths Worth Noting

Halloween Misconceptions And Myths Worth Noting

Folklorists have detected Halloween to the origins of the Roman feast of Pomona.


American culture has a reputation for reinventing holidays. As Halloween is quickly approaching, there is no denying that there are certain myths of this holiday that must be busted: the carving of jack o'lanterns, and the evolution of Halloween costumes are some of these myths.

Folklorists have detected Halloween to the origins of the Roman feast of Pomona. Pomona is the goddess of fruits and was celebrated around Nov. 1. The tradition started around 41 AD. Historian Nicolas Rogers mentions in his text called "Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night", Halloween has been linked to the Celtic Festival Samhain which is a festival honoring the end of summer. It was a period of supernatural identity. Not all writers agree on what went on during the feast of Samhain, but believe to be the origins of Halloween as it relates to the omens, and the links to the other world.

However, the Christian Evangelist at the time thought Halloween was evil and it was considered Satan's holiday. The question that must be answered is how did Halloween become an American holiday? Irish immigrants brought this holiday to America during the 1840's according to consumer researcher Russell Belk, who provides an answer to how Halloween came to America.The Great Potato Famine led many Irish to move to America and they brought their traditions with them. The holiday stuck around since and now that you know the history, here are some of the myths.

The first myth that will be explored revolves around the thought that Halloween was celebrated by carving turnips and not pumpkins. Folklore scholar Jack Santino mentions in his article called "Halloween in America: Contemporary Customs and Performances," the Irish carved the turnips and placed an ember in them to ward off evil spirits. The reason why people did this was because of stingy Jack. This tale is about how a man referred to as stingy Jack who would always play tricks on his friends and family. He even tricked the devil into climbing a tree and while the devil was climbing the tree, he put up crosses all over the tree and the devil could not touch them.

Afterward, the devil and stingy Jack struck a deal, and Stingy Jack said he will remove the crosses off the tree if the devil would not to take his soul when he died. The devil agreed and climbed down the tree once the crosses were taken off.

Once Jack died he tried to go to heaven, but they rejected him since he was cruel. Then, he went to Hell where he was rejected again because the devil kept his promise of not taking his soul. The devil then gave Jack an ember from the flames of hell in order for him to roam. Jack had a turnip, carved it out and roamed the earth without a resting place which gave him the term Jack O' lantern. Afterward, Irish immigrants came to America and people found out that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.

Next, we have the evolution of costumes. During the celebration of Samhain, people disguised themselves in costumes in order to drive away evil spirits. Now, the holiday has evolved in America with costumes being geared to mass media and what is popular in culture, while the traditional costumes of a ghost and a witch no longer being advertised as much. According to University of Nottingham marketing professors Sally McKechnie and Caroline Tynan from the text "Halloween in a Material World: Trick or Treat, the cultural trend has been growing since the 1980s. Whether the costume is a superhero such as Batman or Spiderman, or Disney marketing a film such as "Frozen" by having a princess costume of Elsa reveals how there are a wide array of costumes available. All in all, as a member in society, in order to celebrate a holiday the correct way one must bust the myths that have evolved in society in order for the holiday's meaning to not be reinvented.

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33 Halloween Costumes Inspired By Broadway Musicals

Including lots for the last-minute trick-or-treater!

In need of a last-minute Halloween costume? Or maybe you've already started planning Purim or next Halloween way in advance? I've got you covered with a long list of awesome costumes inspired by Broadway musicals of all different genres, eras, and locations!

1. Young Frankenstein

Dress up as the monster himself, or get out your lab coat and mad scientist gear to trick-or-treat as his crazy creator, Dr. Frankenstein! Of course, this is also a great movie or musical to rewatch on Halloween.

2. Little Shop of Horrors

Who wouldn't want to be a giant people-eating plant? Or the person who gets eaten by the plant? Well, maybe that's not quite as fun...

3. The Addams Family

There's so many different options for an Addams Family costume.

4. Shrek

There's something for everyone in Shrek--princesses, ogres, donkeys, and even a cat wearing boots!

5. Into the Woods

(This is how you pass off your witch, Cinderella, Rapunzel, or Little Red Riding Hood costume off as indicative of something deeper.)

6. Sister Act

Nun costumes are probably one of the easiest things to find in a Halloween store, and maybe it's a little bit irreverent, but hey, so are most of the nuns in this show!

7. Nunsense

Even better if you can find a nun puppet to carry around with you.

8. Cats

You could actually dress up as a cat...or, you could just dress your cat up.

9. Xanadu

This can basically be accomplished by wearing roller skates or a toga.

10. Cinderella

An excuse to wear a ballgown--or just to be Laura Osnes. And that's also okay.

11. The Sound of Music

More nuns! Or wearing curtains--take your pick. I seriously considered dressing up as all the Von Trapp children by myself. So I guess that's an option, too!

12. Matilda

This costume actually portrays Matilda as the movie does, but you can opt for the musical version as well! Miss Trunchbull is also a fantastic costume choice that will probably be even more recognizable than Matilda herself.

13. Annie

There's almost nothing more iconic than the red dress and curly red hair. And it's not just for kids! If you, too, say #INeverGotToBeAnnie, then this is the costume for you!

14. Fiddler on the Roof

Be the fiddler. Or the roof. Or, just put on a headscarf.

15. Chicago

And all that jazz.

16-18. The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz, and Wicked

19. A Chorus Line

If you're feeling ambitious, go for these gold outfits worn by the entire ensemble at the end of the show. But if that's just not happening this year, breaking out the dance class clothing is totally a valid Halloween costume. Totally.

20. Newsies

Most of these costume pieces can be found in your closet or a family member's, plus grabbing a free newspaper on the streets of New York City. Another major perk is that it's usually super-comfortable because it's just normal clothes.

21. Billy Elliot

Break out the tutu and tights and call it your Halloween costume (even though you're a Ballet Girl in real life too)--or borrow your sister's and rock it! #BoysDanceToo

22. The Phantom of the Opera

You don't even have to go this far (especially since the costume got discontinued)--the mask alone will make it clear.

23. Les Misérables

You could be really elegant about it and find some gorgeous Cosette costumes...or you could just turn your baby into a criminal and put him next to some bread.

24. The Pajama Game

As demonstrated by this picture from the actual show, you can literally just trick-or-treat in your pajamas. Sure, you've reached an all-time high for laziness, but you're more comfortable than anyone else!

25. Camelot

No explanation necessary.

26. Hamilton

If Fun Home stars Oscar Williams and Gabriella Pizzolo did it, then it must be cool! (The thousands of dollars people will pay for a ticket are also good indicators.)

27. Mamma Mia

Because who wouldn't want to be Donna and the Dynamos (for one night, and one night only)?

28. Jersey Boys

One of the few costumes that's probably more iconic than Annie, at least in the United States.

29. Cabaret

We can't all be Alan Cumming. But we can try!

30. Grease

31. Fun Home

In my opinion, it's been a lot harder to acquire costume pieces for Small, Medium, or adult Alison Bechdel as seen in Fun Home than it should've been. But this is definitely in the running for my costume for next Halloween!

32. Kinky Boots

Just like the Hamilton costumes--if tiny Annie stars Tyrah Skye Odoms and Brooklyn Shuck liked the idea, there's definitely something there!

33. You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

To end with an oldie/goodie/cutie, Charlie Brown and his friends will always be classic, recognizable, and ever since the first production in 1967, Broadway musical-themed!

All of this being said, I myself decided to go with a more frequently-seen Halloween costume that's not Broadway-inspired this year: Waldo.

Cover Image Credit: The Costumer

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9 Halloween Costumes We Hope To Never See After 2018

C'mon people. Lets get more original here!


C'mon people lets get more original here! It's 2018, and people are still recycling the same costumes with no real creativity.

Here are 9 Halloween costumes that should be retired after this year's spooky season:

1. Army Girl

The oh so basic "you don't wanna fight with me" captions are officially old and camo is SO out!

2. Playboy/Hugh Hefner

We have officially paid our respects long enough, may he rest in peace. And may we invest in a piece of clothing that covers our entire body!

3. Boxers

We've definitely seen enough "you should see the other guy" captions, and it's just a waste of perfectly good drawing bruises around our eyes!

4. Nerds

C'mon. If you really were a nerd, you would not be wearing those suspenders with a crop top, that simply isn't practical!

5. School girls

Sister Mary would never approve of the length of that skirt or the height of those heels!

6. Fire fighters, policemen, nurses.. lets just keep the uniforms to the people that belong in uniforms yikes!

We've seen enough skin tight spandex costumes to last us a life time!!

7. Angels and devils and the corny captions that come with it

"Yes, it hurt when I fell from heaven.""Didn't even dress up this year"...blah blah blah, move on. You look adorable, but can def be more creative c'mon.

8. Cat..or any form of animal with ears

I don't think our beloved household pets would want to be represented in little tiny lingerie!

9. Holes

While always a nice comfortable classing, and I mean c'mon orange IS the new black. This is so painfully over-done now too!

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