The Traditions


Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise, 1833.

Folk Halloween Traditions

Halloween is a uniquely American holiday, having been enriched and enhanced by the experience of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish immigrants to North America and which have gone largely extinct in the British Isles.  These immigrants brought with them traditions originating in the Celtic Samhain, Roman Pomonalia, and Roman Catholic Hallowmas festivals.  Modern cultural survivals are enjoyed in communities across the United States in the practices of trick-or-treating, Jack-O-Lanterns, mask/costume wearing, and apple bobbing.  

Yet, traditions and origins far richer and fascinating are lost to history and memory.  

If you're interested in a little history, the symbolism and iconography of our logo may fascinate you and immerse you in the historical origins of Hallowe'en.

By reacquainting you with these traditions, we can exhume them. It's not people talking at you, and it's not boring in the least.  In fact, you'll lose track of time as you're immersed in Halloweens past.  You're participating in immersive living history as you experience Halloween authentically like your ancestors did.

Early Experience & VIP Experience Traditions 

(included with your ticket purchase for both experiences):

Premium Add-on Traditions 

(available at EARLY (6) & VIP (9) EXPERIENCEs): $10 each 

VIP Experiences 

(included in your $30 premium ticket price for a VIP Experience ticket):

MORE DETAILS (be sure to get a thorough reckoning so you know what you can expect and be sure to read about The Costumes as another vital experience)

I.  The VIP Experience Traditions 

II. Premium Traditions

III.The Core Traditions 

VIP Experiences: Premium Traditions for the Late Show* (included with your $30 VIP Experience [9 PM] ticket)

In addition to the full Candlelight Experience, we offer three entertaining, captivating and interactive theatrical presentations as part of a VIP Ticket only available at the 9 PM late show.  Experience historically authentic demonstrations providing a unique opportunity to explore Victorian-era practices and traditions surrounding the afterlife pertaining to: 

*Candlelight Frights is in no way liable for nocturnal revelations before, during, or after your experiences with us about love or life or future.  Also, just to be clear, after your Dumb Supper, you should not drive home from the venue in reverse (nor should you drive if you've been drinking [please drink responsibly], call an Uber/Lyft/Tipsy Taxi or use a designated driver) unless you'd like to visit with the Natrona County Sheriff's Department, Mills Police Department, or Casper Police Department.   However, when you get home, you should exit your vehicle and enter your home continuing in reverse as you exited the venue, take another bite, wrap the remains and sleep with them under your pillow to dream of your true love.  Some people will repeat the ritual in their homes at midnight on Hallow's Eve proper. 

Premium Add-on Traditions:  

The Path of Mystery & Candlelit Halloween Superstition Walk  

In addition to the full Candlelight Experience, we offer two premium add-on traditional experiences.  These premiums pay homage to a common Halloween Party invitation practice in the heyday of Halloween Parties (1820s-1960s).  
Late in September or early October, after dark, you'd answer a knock at your door to find a candle burning on your doorstep with an invitation to a Halloween Party.  Not only was no one at your door when you answered it,  but who invited you and where the party was were mysteries. 
Inside your invitation, you'd find riddles, puzzles or clues you'd solve that would bring you to a summoning location from which your masked host would greet you in silence swearing you to silence with a finger on thier lips and guide you to the haunted halls of the party in silence by candlelight while they instructed you about special superstitions peculiar to Hallow's Eve.  
Another related tradition was that of a Halloween parade in which the participants at a party would parade around the block or the entire neighborhood of the party in costume by candlelight.   

The Path of Mystery: $10.  

This add-on has you solve escape room style clues to decipher local macabre history (hauntings, urban legends, dark or fabled histories).  If you successfully solve your Path of Mystery (but not if you do not) clue path, you will unveil a FREE ticket to the After Dark Candlelit Halloween Superstitions Walk ($10 value).  Thus, if you successfully complete your tasks, you ALSO get the other add-on premium tradition.

Thus, you get two for one and get both premium add-ons for the price of one when you choose & successfully complete your Path of Mystery (if you're unsuccessful or run out of time, you can still buy an After Dark Candlelit Halloween Superstition Walk for $10 at the venue or in advance online).

After Dark Candlelit Halloween Superstitions Walk: $10.  

This add-on (free to those who complete the Path of Mystery, but it can be purchased in advance or at the venue) pays homage to that old invitation tradition as well as the tradition of costumed Halloween Parades. A tutelary spirit (spirit guide) will promenade you around the grounds whilst instructing you about superstitions that are peculiar to Hallow's Eve.  It takes place at 8 PM for the Early Experience and 10 PM for the VIP Experience.  

When you buy an After Dark Candlelit Halloween Superstition Walk ticket, you get an LED flicker votive candle in a small amber mason jar (and when you leave, you'll get a beeswax candle to enjoy at home we can't give you do to fire danger until the end). 

The CORE Traditions of the Candlelight Experience

Halloween is Americana.  

Our history is far richer, diverse, and more varied than often understood.

Murder Mystery.  Included with BOTH Early Experience & VIP Experience Tickets! 

Owing largely originally to the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock mysteries), Penny Dreadfuls (Victorian Era predecessors to comic books, dime store horror graphic novels), and dime store mysteries, murder mysteries began to pop up as a feature of Halloween Parties during the heyday of the Halloween Party from the 1840s-1940s.  Of course the works of Edgar Allen Poe are writ large in the American imagination in this respect too, as were the writings of other famous colonial and Victorian Era horror writers.   

As American horror master extraordinaries Vincent Price and Alfred Hitchcock continued in this tradition, Popular Publications' Classic Comics' Dime Mystery, Horror Stories, and Terror Tales and E.C Comics' 1950-1955Tales from the Crypt, Nancy Drew mystery novels, and Rod Sterling's Twilight Zone, and the horror and mystery writings of Agatha Christie capture the imaginations of generations of American children and readers, murder mysteries became a mainstay of American Halloween Parties by the mid-century of the 20th Century (1900s, 1940s-1960s).   

Field and Farm Fertility Traditions.  Most of our most ancient customs around Hallow's Eve most certainly derive from the Celtic Samhain and Roman Pomonalia fall harvest and fertility festivals.  Those traditions involving bonfires, candles, nuts, and apples all come from these fall harvest and fertility festivals.  From the story of Stingy Jack O' the Lantern to the carved turnips that originally represented them to others to predict one's luck in the next year or over one's life, to finding a mate, to determining the suitability of a present romantic interest, most of our traditions were concerned with ensuring bountiful harvest or offspring.   

Victorian Hallow's Eve Spiritualism Traditions.   Life before and during the Industrial Era was surrounded by death. Life was cheap as childbirth, disease, dangerous work, and war casualties meant death was lurking around every corner.  So many of our lost customs and traditions revolved around the idea that Hallow's Eve was the best time to make contact with one's lost loved ones—something very few Americans had qualms over.  Very few then would see them as weird, contrary to their faith traditions, or evil.  

They were normalized through the Christian social and religious movement of the 1840s-1940s dubbed Spiritualism that began with the Second Great Awakening in upstate New York and ghost knocking with the infamous charlatan Fox sisters.  Consequently, most of our forgotten Halloween traditions revolved around the desire to foretell one's future in the next year; how, when, where, or how they might find a mate; or to divine their fates.  They've become extinct likely due to the exposure of several prominent mediums associated with Spiritualism as frauds.  

Yet, it's still a fun and fascinating thing to experience Halloween as they once did and know where both the more familiar customs derived and to reacquaint ourselves with those less familiar customs that were lost as a result. 

Hallowed Eve Party Traditions.   The evolution of the European Roman Catholic practice of souling into trick-or-treating meant that by the Industrial Era, gangs of delinquent youths roamed streets on Mischief Night wreaking vandalism, havoc and mayhem, giving adults the impulse to give them entertaining alternatives through Halloween Parties.  

Thus, a rich tapestry of customs evolved from the Victorian Era (~1820-1900) through the mid-century of the 20th Century (~1960s).  

Most of these traditions were concerned with ascertaining one's future in the next year, finding a mate, flirting with crushes at parties, or discovering one's fate.   

Part of an old U.S. Halloween tradition, blindfolded children attempt to put out a candle in a photograph dated to the 1900s. 


John Masey Wright's illustration to Robert Burns' poem, "Halloween," from Burns' book of poems Kilmarnock, published in 1786, shows Scottish country people enjoying the nut roasting charms of Halloween night (aka Nutcrack Night).