Did you know that Halloween in the United States dates back to 1840’s? The arrival in the country of large numbers of Irish immigrants, following the disastrous potato famine in Ireland, helped establish the feast in America. Their celebrations of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days still preserved many of the ancient rites of Samhain. For example, the carving of pumpkins comes from the Irish legend of Jack, a man so evil that when he died he was rejected by both heaven and hell and was condemned to roam the countryside with nothing but a glowing turnip for a head.
Read more about Halloween in U.S. History in Context.