Trick-or-treating is a popular Halloween activity celebrated throughout America, but did you know it had its spooky start in ancient Celtic times to ward away evil spirits?

Halloween's ancient origins date back about 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celtic new year, celebrated on November 1, marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. It was widely believed that the night before the new year was a time when the boundaries between the living and the dead were blurred, and the ghosts of the dead would return to cause trouble. In the Samhain tradition, young men would dress up like the evil spirits by wearing costumes and masks so that the spirits could not recognize them.

Check out the slideshow above to discover more about the rich history behind Halloween and its rise in popularity in America.

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