Halloween in Scotland is a time like no other! On the 31 October, haunted castles, eerie woodland walks, hair-raising ghost tales and spooky activities, along with Scotland's long-held traditions, offers an authentic Halloween experience unlike any other.
What is Halloween called in Scotland?
In Scotland, Halloween has a few different names. The name 'Halloween' comes from a Scottish shortening of 'All-Hallows Eve' and has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhuinn. In Scotland, 'trick or treating' is known as 'guising', which comes from the disguises or costumes worn by the children.
What are the origins of Halloween in Scotland?
Halloween first came to light in the 16th century where folklore, customs, and religious beliefs played a large part in celebrations and traditions. Today's Samhuinn Festival is inspired by these origins and is a great way to get in touch with the history of this popular date.
A bewitching brew of the macabre and the carnivalesque, it'll come as no surprise to learn that Halloween or rather, Hallowe'en, traces its origins way back to the ancient Celtic Samhuinn Festival. Traditionally held on the 1 November, this pagan festival marked the culmination of the harvest season, and many of the Halloween customs we know and love today are in fact remnants of this ancient culture, from trick-or-treating to jack-o'-lanterns. It also takes its name from All Hallows Eve, the night before the Christian festival of All Hallows or All Saints Day, when the dead were thought to return to earth to walk among the living.
Everyone loves a good ghost story, and as one of (if not the most) haunted nations on earth, Scotland is practically awash in spooky tales and unearthly goings-on. Take one of the many ghost tours on offer and see what you can find...
Whether your believe in the afterlife or not, there is a choice of tours to satisfy every amateur ghost-hunter. From candle-lit vaults to haunted houses, from theatrical silliness to genuinely spine-tingling escapades, take your pick from a whole range of events and activities and scare yourself senseless this Halloween.