Samhain was suppose to mark the end of summer and the start of “dark days,” aka winter. It was thought the dead could revisit the earth during this time. Around the 16th century people started impersonating the dead spirits in a tradition called guising.
Dressed-up patrons would ask for food as a symbolic jester of appeasing the spirits. Of course, when you’re dressed up as a dead horse, you might as well play pranks on people– like tipping outhouses.
Meanwhile, All Hallows’ Eve was the night before All Hallows’ Day- a time set aside to honor saints. Today, Halloween is the second most profitable holiday next to Christmas in the US. After all, what’s not to love about ghouls, goblins, and capitalism?