When Ministry put out “(Every Day is) Halloween” in 1984, they probably had no idea how prophetic that song would prove to be. In the 1980s and prior, celebrating Halloween was limited to one day a year and mostly English-speaking countries, but in 2021 Halloween is both a global culture and a daily lifestyle.
How did an autumn festival based on ancient Celtic beliefs conquer the world? Halloween is now at the center of a gigantic year-round industry (haunted attractions), has provided the basis for everything from Facebook groups to tattoos to sitcoms, and is celebrated in unexpected places like Russia, China, and Mexico. The story of Halloween’s explosive growth is all about canny retailing, uncanny art, and our shared love for what scares us.
Lisa Morton is considered one of the world’s leading experts on Halloween and the supernatural. Her books include Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween, The Halloween Encyclopaedia, Ghosts: A Haunted History, and Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances. She is also an acclaimed writer of horror fiction and a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®. She lives in the Los Angeles area and online at lisamorton.com .