We are all familiar with the modern-day traditions that make Halloween the fun and spooky holiday that it is, but how well do you know the history behind the traditions? Carving pumpkins, canvassing the neighborhood for candy, and fun party games all have deeper roots than you’d think, and we will take a closer look at them in today’s post. As your go-to source for haunted tours in San Antonio, RJA Ghost Tours is here to make Halloween 2018 one you remember for the rest of your life. Book your San Antonio ghost tour today!

Halloween Traditions and Their History


The origin of this tradition is rooted in Irish folklore. Legend has it that Jack, the local town drunk, trapped the devil in a tree. Jack only agreed to let the devil down under the agreement that Satan would never own is soul. Jack thought this gave him permission to lead a horrible, sinful life. When he died, he was not permitted into Heaven, and he wasn’t taken to Hell, either. Rather, he was doomed to live in purgatory, wandering the earth in search of an eternal resting place. To light his way, it is said that he placed a red-hot coal in a turnip to create a makeshift lantern.

Bobbing for Apples

Halloween has deep roots in Celtic mythology, and given that apples are often associated with the Otherworld, it is not surprising that they play an important role in Halloween history. Bobbing for apples used to be a method of divination that was performed by women around Halloween to predict who they would marry. How? They would mark an apple and toss it into a bucket of water. They believed they were destined to marry whoever pulled the apple from the water.


The tradition of going door to door in search of treats is one that is a mixture of many traditions. For example, Medieval Englanders used to trade prayers for rich people’s souls in exchange for sweet, spicy soul cakes, and Celts would don costumes of evil spirits in an effort to confuse demons. While wearing costumes, medieval Europeans would parade through local neighborhoods, singing, dancing, and playing tricks. Trick-or-treating as we know it in America didn’t become popular until the 1920s, and many adults thought it was a mischievous method of extortion until the 1950s.

Book a Haunted Tour in San Antonio!

Looking to add a spooky tradition to your Halloween routine? Why not make a haunted tour around town something that you and your friends or family do each October to get you into the Halloween spirit? The Certified Tourism Ambassadors at RJA Ghost Tours will take you to some of San Antonio’s most famous haunts and provide you with the historical facts behind the folklore and legend. Ready to get started? Get tickets now!