The dark history behind Halloween is even more chilling than you realized




• Halloween draws from both Celtic and Christian traditions.

• While it’s always had a morbid, spooky vibe, the festivities have changed quite a lot over the centuries.

Halloween is the spookiest night of the year.

It’s also a boon to the retail industry. In the US, spending on costumes and candy may reach a record high this year, Business Insider reported.

And the Halloween fever isn’t contained to the States, either. In fact, people around the world celebrate the holiday in many different ways.

But where did all these strange practices come from? Turns out, a lot of these customs date back centuries. The holiday has changed over time, transforming from an ancient tradition to the flashy fright-fest we know and love today.

Let’s take a look at the origins of some of our favorite Halloween traditions:

The word ‘Halloween’ was first popularized in a poem

The word 'Halloween' was first popularized in a poem

Scottish poet Robert Burns helped to popularize the word “Halloween” with his 1785 poem of the same name.

So where does the name itself come from? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it’s actually two words smushed together. “Hallow” — or holy person — refers to the saints celebrated on All Saints’ Day, which is November 1. The “een” part of the word is a contraction of “eve” — or evening before.

So basically, Halloween just an old-fashioned way of saying the night before All Saints’ Day — also called Hallowmas or All Hallows’ Day.

This comes from the fact November 1 is All Saints’ Day, a Christian feast dedicated to celebrating the faithful departed, including all the saints. In Christian tradition, people start celebrating major feasts the night before they take place — take Christmas Eve, for instance.

The day’s morbid traditions go back to ancient times

The day's morbid traditions go back to ancient times

Historians have linked Halloween to Samhain, the Celtic festival of the summer’s end celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

According to Celtic mythology, the veil between the Otherworld and our world thins during Samhain, making it easier for spirits and the souls of the dead to return.

People would make offerings of food in order to get on the good side of these spirits and departed ancestors, according to the Mirror.

Allhallowtide, which includes All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and the subsequent All Souls’ Day, was initially celebrated in the spring, during the early years of the Church.

Pope Gregory IV switched it to the current date in 837, according to Britannica. His reasons were unclear, although influence from Celtic factions of the church and the fact that it makes sense to commemorate death during the fall are possibilities.

Bobbing for apples used to be more than just a splashy party game

Bobbing for apples used to be more than just a splashy party game

Halloween has come to be most closely associated with the pumpkin, but apples have played an important role in its history.

After all, apples make numerous appearances in Celtic mythology and are often connected to the Other world.

Bobbing for apples remains a popular party game.

The reason? Well, the practice used to be considered a form of divination performed around Halloween, according to NPR. That’s right — people would dunk their heads in a vat of water and try to bite into floating fruit in a quest to figure out their future spouse.

Ladies would mark an apple and toss it into the tub. The thinking was they’d be destined to whoever pulled it out of the water.

Jack-o’-lanterns symbolize a fateful deal with the Devil

Jack-o'-lanterns symbolize a fateful deal with the Devil

If you ever meet the Devil on a darkened road, don’t try to trick him into climbing a tree.

Otherwise, you might end up like Irish folk figure Jack O’Lantern.

Modern day, intricately-designed pumpkin creations certainly make for impressive decorations. But back in the day, folks in Ireland dubbed their carved, fiery turnips “jack-o’-lanterns” thanks in part to an ominous legend.

One night, a conniving local drunkard named Jack trapped the Prince of Darkness in a tree by hacking a sign of the cross into the bark. In exchange for letting Satan climb down, Jack had him vow to never claim his soul.

Jack proceeded to act like a jerk his whole life. When he died, he sure as heck was not allowed in heaven. So he tried to return to his old pal, the Devil. But Satan upheld his end of the deal, hurling a piece of coal from hell at the dead man, for good measure.

Left without anywhere to go, Jack placed the blazing coal in a turnip to use as a lantern. The dead man then set out, doomed to wander until he can find an eternal resting place.

Trick-or-treating has ancient precedent — but the candy part didn’t come about until much later

Trick-or-treating has ancient precedent — but the candy part didn't come about until much later

Modern day trick-or-treating is a confluence of various traditions.

Ancient Celts dressed up as evil spirits in order to confuse demons, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

In medieval England, “soulers” would go around begging rich folk for “soul cakes” on Halloween. Instead of threatening to play tricks, however, they’d pray for peoples’ souls in return for the cake, according to “The Compleat Teacher’s Almanack.”

Throughout medieval Europe, mummering — dressing in disguises and visiting neighborhoods while dancing, playing music, and doing tricks — was popular on major feast days.

TIME reported Irish and Scottish immigrants brought “souling” to the States in the 1800s. But modern day trick-or-treating didn’t catch on in the US till the 1920s.

The practice was pretty controversial into the 1950s, though. According to the American Journal of Play’s “Gangsters, Pranksters, and the Invention of Trick-or-Treating,” many adults raised “stern objections” to trick-or-treating over the decades, as it was often viewed as a form of extortion.

Too $hort Is Out Here Telling People Eazy-E Didn’t Die From AIDS




NEW YORK, NY – Too $hort was on deck at the Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club in New York this week to promote his upcoming project, The Pimp Tape. As he was making the press rounds, he opened up about his relationship with the late Eazy-E.

The Bay Area Hip Hop legend told Page Six he’s still not convinced the gangsta rap pioneer died of AIDS but he wouldn’t dive too deep into the topic. He quickly jumped to a tangent and started talking about Eazy’s legacy.

“I don’t necessarily agree,” he said. “I don’t really want to get into that right now. But that is not how I think it happened. I just like to think of it like this — since you brought up Eazy-E, let’s say if there was no Eazy-E, how does that impact Hip Hop?

“If you had no Eazy-E, you got no N.W.A., no Dr. Dre, no Ice Cube, no Tupac Death Row years . . . no Bone Thugs. No Aftermath, no 50 Cent, no Eminem — the way we know them. The branch that is called Eazy-E on the Hip Hop tree is massive.”

It’s well documented Eazy died of complications stemming from AIDS in 1995. Evidently, $hort doesn’t think so. He also refuses to accept the circumstances surrounding the death of UGK legend Pimp C.

“That’s a lot of these little weird situations with folks getting found in hotel rooms and they always be by themselves in a fucking hotel somewhere in some strange shit and I’m just like, what the hell is going on with celebrities and hotel rooms?”

Baba Oje Of Arrested Development Dies @ 87




Grammy-winning hip-hop collective Arrested Development is mourning the death of Baba Oje, the group’s longtime spiritual elder, who died at age 87 on Friday (Oct. 26) following a long battle with acute leukemia.

“Hip-Hop culture just lost a soldier. #RIPBABAOJE,” group leader Speech wrote in a tribute to Oje on Saturday (Oct. 27). “BABA OJE the elder from the 2x Grammy Award winning group ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT passed this morning at 4am after fighting acute Leukemia, he was 86 years old. Baba was the oldest member of any hip-hop collective and his mere presence in rap spoke volumes for the genre and for a generation looking for symbolic wisdom and answers. He was an activist for the homeless, a military veteran, a world traveler, spiritual advisor to the group, strict vegan, dancer, vocalist and avid roller skater.”

Speech said that Oje’s friends and family are planning a funeral service for him on Friday (Nov. 2). The leader of the sprawling rap crew founded in Atlanta in 1988 as a response to the graphic gangsta rap of the era described meeting Oje when he was a college student. Recalling how Oje would hang “with the young dudes,” Speech said his mentor was “always super cool and always willing to talk to the youth! I gathered up the nerve to ask him to be in my hip hop group, he at first said no. But he later reconsidered when he thought about the fact that a young black man was striving to start a positive rap thing. However, we both found out that this partnership was bigger than we even knew.”

He later discovered that Oje — the non-performing member of AD affectionately known as the “oldest man in hip-hop” — knew his parents and had served as the best man in his parent’s wedding. “That’s the spiritual bond we shared, he was literally like family to me, I will miss him terribly.” The group paid tribute to Oje during a performance of their signature hit “Everyday People” at a show in Toulouse, France, over the weekend, calling the gig the “toughest show we’ve ever had to play emotionally.”



Why Did Black Women Start Perming Their Hair In The First Place


By Marcus Woods


Sista, when did you get your first perm? The perm has been a stable within the black community for about a century. Every black woman and their mama has been (or tempted to be) exposed to “creamy crack.” The natural hair movement is in full swing now but some sistas is still perming their hair despite proof that it damages it long-term. So why did this phenomenon begin in the first place?

The Origin of Black Women Getting a Perm

Before the end of slavery, black hair was deemed unattractive. Instead, the beauty stand was long, silky hair like that of white people. Renown white supremacists such as former president Thomas Jefferson set this precedent.

After slavery, the same ideal remain intact. The coarse, kinky hair of black people was considered unacceptable and unprofessional, especially within the workforce. African American women (and some men) began conforming to the traditional hairstyles of White American women to gain acceptance. They would use hot combs to straighten out their hair. However, most black women discovered that their hair would not cooperate with this method. This led many to use hazardous perms and wave creams that is still being used to this day.

Why Black Women Are Still Getting a Perm Despite Its Damaging Effects????

It’s a mystery to me why some sistas will wear perms after seeing what it has done to other sistas’ hair. They go from looking like Halle Berry to Shaq in an instance! All jokes aside, long-term perm usage can cause:

  • Hair breakage
  • Hair thinning
  • Permanent hair loss
  • Frizzy hair
  • Scalp irritation or burns
  • Split ends
  • Dry, brittle hair
  • Scalp infection
  • Breathing & stomach problems (Yes, perm usage has been shown to cause these issues as well)


As you can see, perming is not only deadly for your looks but your health as well. While the pictures of the beautiful sistas rocking shiny, silky hair on the perm kit box looks enticing, going bald isn’t. The only reason most black women continue to perm their hair is to assimilate with White culture, especially within the workforce. (The same thing they was doing post-slavery) If it wasn’t for that, then more sistas would rock their natural hair.

Abolish Columbus day and abolish a Lie:




Seattle Washington’s City Council made history and did the right thing in doing so, now join me in calling on the City Council of Kansas City Missouri to follow the example and replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day!
Today, 16 states, including Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon, don’t recognize Columbus Day as a public holiday. South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day since 1990.

Talking about calling into question the honesty of history; when it comes to Christopher Columbus, I have to start by saying “I love you Seattle!”

Now with that being said I should begin with Christopher Columbus like the written history we were taught in grade school with our little pilgrim hats on reciting “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred and 92…. stopping there lets begin with Christopher Columbus was not his real name; it was Cristoforo Colombo.

Why the United States celebrates this man as “discovering” America and just putting aside the paradox of “discovering” a land that already had a population I am supposing it still all comes down to ones definition of “America”.

Lets look at his accomplishments for just a minute.. On his 1492 voyage, Chris landed on a number of islands including some in the Bahamas very close to mainland Florida, but as far as I know, no U.S. landfall. On his second voyage, he landed at Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica among others. All great islands; but no mainland U.S. On his third, he named Trinidad and landed in present-day Venezuela. Then, on his fourth, final voyage, he landed at present-day Panama. So, yes, in 1498 and 1502, he did reach the Americas, South and Central America to be exact, but by then he was hardly the first… Even if you discount the fact that people lived in these places all along.

So what exactly are we celebrating? Sure, Columbus was addicted to opium, but a lot of people were at the time. And, sure he was directly responsible for the enslavement, torture, mutilation and murder of thousands of indigenous people in the Caribbean islands during his quest for riches. And he could be credited for marking the establishment of institutionalized slavery in the West Indies, which, of course, led to a demand for more slaves and eventually hundreds of years of African slave trade… but… I suppose that was par for the course with explorers at the time, so I’ll leave labels up to you. (You may want to add this into the equation.) None of this rhymed with “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred and 92…” so of course it was all omitted.