Halloween has spread around the world, yet its associations with death and the supernatural as well as its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most puzzling holidays. How did it become what it is today? Trick or Treat is the first book ever to both examine the origins and history of Halloween and explore in depth its current global popularity. Lisa Morton reveals how holidays like the Celtic Samhain and Catholic All Souls' Day have blended to produce the modern Halloween, and she shows how the holiday has been reborn in America, where costumes and trick-or-treat rituals are new customs. Morton takes into account the influence of related but independent holidays, especially Mexico's Day of the Dead, as well as the explosion in popularity of haunted attractions and the impact of events such as 9/11 and the global economic recession. Trick or Treat also examines the effect Halloween has had on popular culture through literary works by Washington Irving and Ray Bradbury, films such as John Carpenter's Halloween and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and television series, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons.
Trick or Treat takes us on a journey from the spectacular to the macabre, making it a must for anyone who wants to peep behind the mask to see the real past and present of this ever more popular holiday.