Here is the thrilling and spook-tacular history of Halloween that you need to know
It's the day we've been waiting a whole year for -- Halloween!
There are all kinds of fun and spooky traditions and events that date back so many years as it relates to Halloween and things have changed over the years to what we know it as today.
For a look at Halloween history here in Ocean County and worldwide, we went to an expert and Sherri Taliercio from the Ocean County Library in Toms River joined us on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk on Sunday morning to tell the scary tales here on all hallows eve.
When did trick-or-treating start on Halloween? How did trick-or-treating come to be what we know it today?
"Many people were actually said to have dressed up as saints and recite songs or verses from door-to-door, and then, children would also go door-to-door asking for soul cakes, which was a treat that was kind of similar to biscuits," Taliercio tells Townsquare Media. "Trick-Or-Treating as we know it today became mainstream in the U.S. probably early to mid 1900s."
There is some rich, cool history when it comes to the annual Toms River Halloween Parade.
If you're a Toms River resident, you can trick-or-treat back-to-back days on October 30 and 31 as the Toms River Halloween Parade takes place on Halloween itself.
Or if you live in another town nearby, you can trick-or-treat both days as well.
The intention is to open up on October 31 for everyone to be able to attend the Toms River Halloween Parade.
"The parade is one of the longest-running and most popular in the world," Taliercio said. "It began in 1919 -- that's significant and it only had about 500 participants when it started, now, it's over 10,000 spectators and thousands of participants. It's really grown a lot. Chairs are lining up days before this event. It's such a tradition and such a great way to have the community come out and do something together."
How did Halloween begin? What are some of the early Halloween traditions that were celebrated?
"The word Halloween itself literally means Hallowed-Evening, it was previously known to early European settlers as All Hallows Eve -- All Hallows Eve, October 31, and All Saints Day, November 1, both paid homage to Saints, which Hallows equal Saints," Taliercio said. "The name was eventually shortened to Halloween, which is what we know it as today. Halloween falls on October 31 because of an ancient Gaelic festival called Samhain (Summer's End). It was considered the earliest known root of Halloween that occurred on this day. It marked the time of year when seasons changed, but, observers also believed the boundary between this world and the next became especially thin at that time enabling them to connect with those who've passed. As immigrants made their way to America, they brought their traditions with them, the very first American colonial Halloween celebrations featured large public parties to commemorate the upcoming harvest, tell ghost stories, sing, and dance, and then over time, it became what it is now."
Taliercio explains though that many of these original traditions are still kept alive today in Halloween celebrations.
"I think it's transitioned into something really, really cool," Taliercio said.
Halloween movies have certainly made their mark on all of us who enjoy them but there will always be a piece of horror movie history in Toms River.
"Interestingly enough, the libraries bishop building, which was actually the original library on Washington Street -- it still exists, it's used now more for meetings and stuff like that -- is not actually the library of today, but, back then in 1979 it was used for a scene in the movie where James Brolin is seen wandering the stacks looking for books about the paranormal," Taliercio said.
You can learn more about the history of Halloween from Sherri Taliercio from the Ocean County Library in Toms River in the full interview conversation on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk, right here.