History Behind Most Worn Halloween Masks Of Today
We all wear Halloween masks with our costumes for fun during trick-or-treat, but do you know where these masks originated from, such as the hockey mask or werewolf mask? Do you know the origins of the ever sinful witch mask? Not all originate from paganistic pasts. These are the true origins of popular Halloween masks today: the history behind witch masks, werewolf masks, and hockey masks.
The True History of Witch Masks
Witch masks actually do have a interesting and dark history. Europeans used to believe that witches gathered twice a year during two specific dates — which strangely enough, coincided with Celtic festivals Beltane and Samhain — and cause havoc for innocent citizens. These witches would ride on their wooden broomsticks and celebrate with the Devil, sometimes casting evil spells on unsuspecting citizens. With the rise of Christianity, Christians grew fearful of these evil witches, branding Halloween a holiday of the Devil. Christians also blamed the black plague on witches because they thought they cast spells.
During the first immigration in the early 1700s, European settlers brought those witchy beliefs with them. Native Americans believed in witches too, so that belief never died out. By the 1900s, when Halloween was turned into an acceptable, non-pagan holiday, children wore masks for fun. Little girls wore witch masks in particular, hoping to ghoul up some trick-or-treat fun.
The Hairy History of Werewolf Masks
The earliest history of werewolves is evidenced in Greek mythology. Legend goes that Lycoan and his fifty sons attempted to entertain the god Zeus with a hearty dish of human flesh. Disgusted, they were turned into werewolves. Another verse says than poor Lycaon scarified a child to the mighty Zeus on top of Mount Lycaeus. After the child was sacrificed, he was turned into a werewolf.
Werewolf folk literature was rampant throughout Europe, and when immigrants moved to America, they brought that hairy tale with them. Americans seemingly forgot this hairy history until John Landis produced a movie called An American Werewolf in London. This movie inspired pop star Michael Jackson, who turned into a werewolf zombie in his epic music video Thriller. Millions of fans later, children regularly wore werewolf masks during Halloween, hoping to spook a neighbor or two.
The Blood History of Hockey Masks
When children wear hockey masks for Halloween, it isn’t because they love hockey. It’s thanks to a movie called Friday the 13th.
Released in 1980, Friday the 13th was a classic Halloween horror movie set in a summer camp. After drowning in a lake, Jason Voorhees returns from the dead and decides to ruin summer camp for everyone. No hot chocolate this time!
Friday the 13th continued to have ghoulish sequels where Jason never seems to die (just like his Halloween counterpart Michael Myers), and young, innocent children emulated Mr. Voorhees by wearing ghoulish hockey masks — no machetes involved, of course. Instead of associating it with good ol’ Canadian fun, history associates hockey masks with Mr. Voorhees and fun times with a bloody machete. Happy Halloween!
Despite its evil connotations, however, these Halloween masks aren’t all bad. Although we feared these creatures in years past, it’s all just in the spirit of Halloween fun now. Or so everyone thinks.