Halloween traditions: everything you wanted to know
In part one of our Halloween special, Professor Owen Davies tackles listener questions on the haunted historical festivities surrounding 31 October
How did a Catholic religious celebration transform into a spooky, supernatural festivity? Why were turnips and swedes replaced by pumpkins? And what happened on ‘mischief night’? Speaking with Ellie Cawthorne, Professor Owen Davies uncovers the historical origins of popular traditions surrounding 31 October – from the malicious and downright dangerous beginnings of trick or treating to the ethereal inspirations for Jack-o’-lanterns.
Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.