The scariest time of the year is officially here, as all the ghosts, witches, zombies, and spooky creatures appear to celebrate Halloween.

Thousands dress up in their most horrifying costumes, carve pumpkins and get ready to trick or treat. 

Although the day is now marked by people dressing up, having a party, and maybe even taking part in some terrifying activities, the day was once part of an ancient ritual.  

From warning of ghosts to marking the start of the long nights and short days, we thought we'd take a look at the origins of the scariest day of the year, Halloween.

What is Halloween? The origins 

The origins of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain. 

The day marked the end of summer and harvest, with the festival marking the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time that was associated with human death.

The Leader: Did you know the origins of Halloween? Did you know the origins of Halloween? (Image: Canva)

The Celts believed that the night before the dark times, October 31(Halloween), would see the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead become blurred. 

They celebrated Samhain, believing ghosts of the dead would return to earth. 

Along with the supernatural spirits harming crops, the Celts also believed the spooky spirits made it easier for the Druids or Celtic priests to make predictions about the future. 

With the Celts entirely dependent on the natural world, the supernatural prophecies were a key form of comfort during the long dark winters. 

How is Halloween celebrated?

To mark Halloween, Druids would build huge sacred bonfires seeing people gather to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. 

Celts would wear costumes during the celebrations typically of animal heads and skins.

When celebrations were over, they re-lit their hearth fires using the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter. 

Nowadays for Halloween, many still wear costumes but learn more towards the scary and spooky side whilst others carve pumpkins to light the night.