So where did this delightful holiday start?
According to my reading, a very, very long time ago (around 2000 years) the Celts (we'll talk about them more later) celebrated Samhain as the end of their calendar. They believed that the dead walked again on this night as ghosts. They also believed that the presence of ghosts enhanced their fortune telling abilities.
Around 43 A.D. the Roman's overtook the Celts and under their rule, cultures mixed. The Romans were already celebrating a festival for their dead called Feralia There was also one where the goddess of fruit and trees was celebrated called Pomona and her symbol was the apple...See a theme coming together here?
So, the colonists of America never really celebrated Halloween, at least not in the beginning. When other immigrants came over from Europe and all those cultures meshed with the Native Americans, we got a precursor to our Halloween of today. They told ghost stories, celebrated the harvest, and predicted the future...so on and so forth.
Fast forward to the late 1800s and you see the trend of Halloween becoming more about community and neighborhood. By the 20s and 30s, we have what is generally accepted for Halloween today. Candy, costumes and cool stuff!
Wow, that was fast!
Anyways...You can check out more at the following websites!
Halloween Web (A whole site dedicated to Halloween!)
History.com (It's actually my source)