On October 31, after the harvest, the druids would meet under an oak grove or near large stone circles where they performed sacrifices. Some believe that the Stonehenge in England is one such druid circle. The priests would light great fires and offer sacrifices to Samhain to ensure that the sun returned after the winter.
During the night all fires except the sacrificial one to Samhain were extinguished. The Vigil of Samhain, as it was called, would keep the sacrificial fire on through the night and the next day embers from this fire would be used to light the fire in each household.
Villagers would try to appease goblins and demons with offerings of food and nuts. They would leave little treats that the household had to offer, to satisfy the hunger of these demons. If the demon was satisfied with the treat, it was believed it would not trick the person or cast an evil spell. Therein lies the origin of the present day trick or treat.
Today, Halloween is a festival of fun for kids. An occasion to dress up as little monsters, ghosts or witches. Over time the custom of adults dressing up as demons changed and the children took over. As they went from house to house they would knock at each house and cry “trick or treat”. People would then give the children apples or buns and later candy to keep from being tricked.
However, since the 1960s, various crimes have been committed during Halloween. There have been cases of candy laced with drugs.
Other incidents such as older children attacking younger children to steal their candy, or children finding razor blades or pieces of glass in their treats have also been reported. Increasingly parents and local police and administrative officials issue safety tips for children when they go trick or treating.