There’s a dark side to the innocent child-centered holiday
The Halloween of today, in which children dress up as ghouls, ghosts, and witches and “treats” from neighbors under threat of a “trick,” has largely been re-imported from the United States, where Irish immigrants introduced the custom in the 19th century. It is thought to stem from the idea that on Halloween all law is suspended. Dressing up in masks and costumes prevents people from being recognized by their own community. Being separated in this way allows the participants to play boisterous and often antisocial tricks.