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Hallowe'en: Past and present

Staff writers
October 27, 2012 — We're all familiar with trick or treating and bobbing for apples, but how does Halloween today compare to Hallowe'ens of yesteryear?

Hallowe'en has changed quite a bit over the years!
Hallowe'en has changed quite a bit over the years!

We start by going back in time to 1917, at the Benares House in Mississauga, Ontario.

"People decorated their house with crate paper," says museum representative Lindsay Doren.

She says the Edwardians celebrated Hallowe'en as a nostalgic, fun way to see into the future.

"One of the games they liked to play was a game where girls would walk backwards down the cellar steps in the dark, holding a mirror and the idea was that as they were walking backwards they would see the face of their future husband."

The idea of spooking people for Halloween has changed a bit since 1917.

Farah Dhalla visited Screemers, a haunted theme park, in Toronto.

"When you think you’re eating your pizza and no one is after you, when you think you’re in the bathroom you’re safe, we've got people there ready to scare you all the time,” says General Manager Andrew Gidaro.

Nowadays, people flock to haunted theme parks because they like being scared -- but why?

"They like the thrill," Andrew explains. "It’s the same reason people want to go on large roller coasters or go skydiving."

It looks like we’ve come a long way in the Halloween industry.

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