We think of Halloween as a time of ghosts and goblins, but where did the tradition really start?
According to History.com , Halloween traditions began 2,000 years ago with the Celts.
They believed that on the night before their new year, November 1, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred.
On the night of October 31 the Celts celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge bonfires where people gathered to burn crops and offer sacrifices to Celtic deities.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes made mostly from animal heads and skins.
Halloween began to lose its religious connotation in the 1800s, becoming a more secular community-based children's holiday.
The holiday made its way to America with European immigrants. With rigid protestant beliefs in New England, Halloween celebrations were very limited.
The first distinctive American celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, and sing and dance.
Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious connotations by the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a community-centered holiday with parades and town-wide parties. During this time vandalism began to be a problem in many communities.
Between 1920 and 1950, the practice of trick-or-treating was revived. Families could theoretically prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats.
The American Halloween tradition was born and continues to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday, according to History.com .
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Lifestyle Headlines
It's considered the Holy Grail of comic books: Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, featuring the debut of Superman. And David Gonzales found one mixed in with old newspapers insulating a wall in a house he was renovating in a small town in Minnesota.
Baltimore County Police and hazardous devices units are investigating a suspicious package near the Towson Library.
Biographical information on Maryland's contestants in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee
A one-year-old child is dead following a shooting in Cherry Hill Friday evening.
The Baltimore City Police Department launched an investigation on their own following a training incident this past Tuesday.