Lisa Morton

Haunted House Trail

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Halloween-themed haunted houses first emerged during the Great Depression as ways to distract young tricksters. Groups of families would deck out their basements with home made scary decorations. Then they would hold “house-to-house” parties, where the children would travel from basement to basement, experiencing different scary scenes.

Trails Of Terror

A 1937 party pamphlet is quoted in Lisa Morton’s book Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween” which describes how parents  designed “trails of terror” to spook the children.

An outside entrance leads to a rendezvous with ghosts and witches in the cellar or attic. Hang old fur, strips of raw liver on walls, where one feels his way to dark steps….Weird moans and howls come from dark corners, damp sponges and hair nets hung from the ceiling touch his face….Doorways are blockaded so that guests must crawl through a long dark tunnel….At the end he hears a plaintive ‘meow’ and sees a black cardboard cat outlined in luminous paint…”
Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween
Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

 

Trick or Treat examines the origins and history of Halloween as well as exploring its current global popularity. The book takes readers 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.

Available from Amazon.

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