The Halloween History You Don’t Know with Prof. Wendy Fonarow

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Ibolya Horvath
by TheLipTV
published on 14 October 2019

Halloween, the secret history about the holiday’s pagan roots, and the truth about the strange political and social taboos that we have wrapped the holiday up in are discussed with “indie goddess,” Prof. Wendy Fonarow. We look at how costumes have evolved (for pets and people alike) and explore the history of Day of the Dead, Guy Fawkes day, Wicca New Year’s worship, and humanity’s ritualized fascination with death in this historical explanation of Halloween on the Lip News interview, hosted by Mark Sovel.

Wendy Fonarow, PhD, is Professor of Anthropology specializing in ritual and performance. She has studied Halloween and related holidays for more than 20 years starting with her Masters thesis examining the history and meaning of Trick or Treating. Some of the papers she has presented include: “Haunted Houses to Sexy Devils: Trends in Halloween Costuming,” “13 Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween Because You Didn’t Know to Ask,” “Modern Trick or Treating: The Development of the Halloween Hot Spot,” “Day of the Dead and Ancestor Worship,” “Guy Fawkes: The British Halloween or How a Religious Celebration became a Political Holiday,” “The Jack O’Lantern: History, Immigration and Meaning” amongst many others. She also is the author of the book “Empire of Dirt”, Empire of Dirt: The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music (Music Culture).

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00:01 Welcome to The Lip News Interviews.
00:05 Introducing Prof. Wendy Fonarow, Professor of Anthropology.
00:50 The ritual of trick or treating.
01:45 Origins of Halloween and its relation to religion.
03:30 Why halloween falls on October 31st.
04:40 What do costumes have to do with Halloween?
07:00 Are Kirk Cameron’s recent claims about Halloween true?
08:55 Guy Fawkes Day now and then.
10:45 How Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in England.
12:15 How did traditions carry over to the early colonies of the United States?
14:55 The rise of trick or treating in the United States.
16:15 The recent phenomenon of Halloween “hotspots.”
21:25 The history and tradition of Dia de los Muertos.
26:20 Costumes for our pets and children.
28:35 Why are we so fascinated with death?
29:30 Thank you and goodbye.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

TheLipTV, . (2019, October 14). The Halloween History You Don’t Know with Prof. Wendy Fonarow. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

TheLipTV, . "The Halloween History You Don’t Know with Prof. Wendy Fonarow." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 14, 2019.

MLA Style

TheLipTV, . "The Halloween History You Don’t Know with Prof. Wendy Fonarow." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 14 Oct 2019. Web. 28 Mar 2023.