There is only one day out of the year where it is socially acceptable to dress up in the creepiest and the most over-the-top costume you can find. It’s Halloween, of course, and deciding on a costume is a crucial point of participating in all of the haunting festivities. So, let’s take a trip through the tradition of Halloween costumes, a “must have” when attending your Halloween New York City tour with Ghosts of New York.
Join the oldest ghost walking tour company in NYC for their Halloween Haunting: From Peter Stuyvesant to Edgar Allan Poe: The Ghosts of the East Village on Wednesday, October 31 at 7 and 9 p.m. A thrill for the entire family, the tour will visit some of Peter Stuyvesant’s ghostly friends, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Joe Papp, Samuel Clemens (also known as Mark Twain) Harry Houdini and many others in the East Village.
As you plan for your NYC tour, you are going to need a festive costume to keep those ghosts at bay, but first you may want to know where the tradition of wearing costumes actually came from. Tracing back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Celts believed that the line between this world and the next became thin during the festival period, allowing both malevolent and benevolent spirits to cross into this world. This idea created much fear and anxiety for the people, and caused them to search for ways to ward the bad spirits away.
One of the most common ways to scare away the evil spirits was with apotropaic devices, which are meant to be extremely terrifying. This includes things like gargoyles and scary monsters that sit outside of medieval cathedrals around Europe. In the same respect, costumes were brought into the picture as another form of an apotropaic device to confuse the evil spirits. Starting out as blackened faces, these costumes have evolved throughout the years to include the multitude of costumes you see today. At the same time, these costumes were used for souling in the medieval times, where poor people would go door-to-door asking for food. Today people simple trick or treat!
When choosing a Halloween costume this year, be sure to go for something terrifying enough to scare off those evil spirits! For an extra dose of spooky fun, come to the NYC walking tour with Ghosts of New York on October 31. Tours are 90 minutes long and tickets are $20 online or $25 in person. Please RSVP online and meet in front of the lion sculpture in front of St. Mark’s in the Bowery Church at either 7 or 9 p.m.