Donate to PCC

Colorful History #72: The History of Halloween

FREE - Suggested Donation: $2-$5

In The History of of Halloween, students will investigate the history of Halloween, one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the U.S., using a short comic and accompanying educational resources.

The unique history of Halloween dates back well over a millennium, originating with the Celtic tradition of Samhain. Over time, Halloween has transformed from a holiday marking the transition from summer harvest to colder winters, to a Christian commemoration of the dead, to a massively commercialized celebration in which children parade from door to door in costume collecting candy.

In The History of Halloween, Naveah and her two brothers learn about this history from two mysterious Jack-o’-lantern-headed figures who claim to have celebrated Halloween for centuries. Through their stories, the siblings learn the origins of many common Halloween traditions in the United States, including trick-or-treating, costumes, and Jack-o’-lanterns.

  • Estimated Lexile Level: 810-1000
  • Projects and discussion questions aligned to Common Core standards for grades 5-7.

Written and Illustrated by Kristina Maldonado Bad Hand
Lettered by R. Alan Brooks


Many secular holidays–including Halloween–have roots in religious practices. Throughout the years, much of Halloween’s mythological and spiritual roots have been co-opted by secular and commercial purposes. While this comic briefly mentions these religious roots, any research into the history of Halloween and its traditions and iconography will reveal origins and folklore that reference Satan, Hell, demons, spirits, etc.

Please use discretion when discussing or researching the history of Halloween with students.