Have you seen a ghost lately? Or a skeleton or giant spider? With America’s love affair with Halloween, you likely have seen many such decorations on neighborhood houses and businesses in your community.
But why is Halloween so popular when it’s a scary day? And exactly why is Halloween scary? Let’s start with the 2nd question.
Roots of Fear
The traditions of Halloween date back thousands of years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which means “summer’s end,” and the festival marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the new year on November 1st.
The Celts believed that on the eve of the new year, the dead could rise from their graves and dwell among the living. To protect themselves, the frightened Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to fool the spirits.
Over the centuries, Halloween evolved from the Samhain festival with new traditions like trick or treating and costume parties. The frightening side of Halloween with its ghosts and skeletons not only remained but expanded. Horror movies and haunted houses promise to scare you death!
Why do we enjoy being frightened? According to experts, we can tell the difference between real fear and created scares like haunted houses and horror movies – which allow us to enjoy the “recreational fear” associated with Halloween “scares.” It’s not just adults who enjoy being frightened. Babies too enjoy the “recreational fear” with games like Peek-a-Boo!
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A Little Magic
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]