Randall Carson on the True Meaning of Halloween

The colorful whiteboard animation series After Skool vividly illustrated an illuminated talk given by geologist, anthropologist, and historian Randall Carlson about the true meaning and ancient origins of Halloween.

Halloween is seen in our modern age as a day lacking in any historical meaning. It has become known for scary movies, candy, costumes and mischief. But there is a deep, universal tradition behind Halloween, also known as the Festival of the Dead, All Souls Day or Feast of the Ancestors. This festival is observed around the world, in the northern and southern hemispheres at the SAME time of year.

According to Carlson, Halloween is a time for the world to remember the dead of cataclysmic events rather than a joyful holiday for which children dress up as their favorite characters.

Deep, ancient traditions that carry sacred knowledge have been trivialized and commercialized. Our observance of Halloween is one such example. Halloween or Festival of the Dead is a time to remember a profound cosmic event that devastated the earth and caused a mass extinction. 

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.