Our Halloween trick-or-treat customs actually descended from a belief that the family dead would bring gifts or so called goodies to the children upon their temporary return from the other side. If you stop to think about that, it makes quite a bit of sense. Gifts, food and sweets are still a standard method today when it comes to attracting our children to other holidays such as, Christmas and Easter.
Our celebration of Halloween rituals are relics of the pagan, or what was known as All Hallows Eve, later Christianized as "All Saints." Feast of the Dead was known as the time when the (crack between the worlds) would open up letting the spirits pass through. At this particular time the ghosts of the dead could join their ancestors at the feast. They could communicate with the living, leaving with them premonitions and omens too come.
In Ireland grave mounds were known as (fairy hills) and were said to open up just for the occasion. Most believed it was impossible to keep the fairies underground on Halloween. These so called fairies were simply referred to as pagan spirits. The church insisted they were demons and were abroad on Halloween.
Another term for the ancient pagan priestesses, whose business was to communicate with the dead, were also referred to as witches. Black cats, broomsticks, and bats were all familiar tools commonly associated with the witch.
In most recent times our holiday known as Halloween has become a heated topic in some churches as well as schools. Some feel Halloween is enticing our children to follow a devil worshiping crowd. I must say when I see my grandchildren dressed in those pirate and ninja outfits it frightens me beyond belief! Okay, now I'm just being sarcastic! But, I feel with such disturbing and realistic worries of our world such as war, disease, famine, maybe we should be focusing more on what affect these perils will have on our children, and less on a holiday that has been celebrated for centuries known as Halloween.