happy halloween! here’s something really spooky

Via: BoingBoing

I’ve been captivated for several days by this photo essay from BoingBoing showing excerpts of the book Haunted Air by Ossain Brown and with an introduction, appropriately enough, by David Lynch. The book collects old photos of Halloweens past, and the photo essay shows the range the book holds, from strange, to creepy, to downright disturbing.

The photos promoted me to do a little research (and by research, I mean go to Wikipedia) to find out the origins of the American tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween and trick or treating. Basically, the whole thing goes back to the Middle Ages and the Scots/Irish tradition of “guising” in which poor people would go around and perform “tricks,” like singing a song, or doing a dance, in order to earn treats, like, I don’t know, a turnip. The tradition even gets a cameo n Shakespeare’s comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

In North America, the tradition first started popping up in Canada in the early 1910s and reached mainstream popularity in the United States by the 1930s, with the first US use of the term “trick or treat” appearing in 1934. The term didn’t reach a national publication until 1939.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Published by


Hi, I’m davidconell. I’m married, have two kids and live in the world’s greatest planned community. To make money, I serve as the director of digital marketing for Ocean Conservancy. Most recently, I made money as an associate director of digital media for strategic communications at The Nature Conservancy, which is a long way of saying I set the web strategy for a fairly big part of the organization (but not all of it). Before that, I was a web editor for the American Society of Landscape Architects, where I wrote and edited their email newslettercreated their blog, recorded some podcasts with well-known landscape architects, managed their website, took late-night calls about server outages and dealt with pretty much anything having to do with the www dots. ASLA has a cool green roof, which you should really check out. I learned the ways of the force and fell in love with Apple products while working for Advisor Today magazine. In 2001, the magazine needed a website, so I teamed with a designer and a developer to make one. We ran it for a while and won some awards. I made a little money doing this as well. During some of the time I was with Advisor Today, I went to American University, earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction and wrote a short story cycle/novella. No, it has not been published, but someday I’d like to self-publish it for my family and friends. I didn’t make any money doing this. In a former life I was a reporter for some very scary publications – some of which are now defunct. These jobs pretty well sucked, but I met my wife while doing them so it all worked out in the end. I claim Danville, Pennsylvania as my hometown, because it’s where my heart lies. I attended Dickinson College, which is an amazing place that I didn’t appreciate nearly enough while I was there. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, it would be Duck, North Carolina; Chamonix, France; or Caherdaniel, County Kerry. If you’re reading this sentence and just got choked up a little, you know who you are. Enjoy…