Excepts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow, pulished on November 4, 1954 in The Collinsville News.
"Tricks or Treat!" When you hear that demand at your doorstep on Hallow'en, and a troop of small goblins, ghosts, and lively skeletons wait in the misty autumn night, you are listening to a challenge believed to have first been made more than 2,000 years ago.
It originated in good old Ireland, the same country that gave us St. Patrick's day. Not generally known is the fact that Halloween, especially in its prankish and mischief-making ways, was first brought to America by Irish immigrants over a century ago.
A frosty fall night when ghosts are abroad in the land, when strange things happen, when jacko'-lanterns grin down on apple-ducking parties, Hallowe'en dates back to the mysterious primitive
time of the sun-worshiping-Druids.
Long, long ago on the night of October 31, the Druid medicine men lighted great bonfires which reflected in the night sky over mist-covered hills and valleys of Ireland. As Ireland was the last strong
hold of Druid priests, who practiced their ceremonies in the oak forests of the countryside, it was there that the bonfires burned brightest on the Day of the Dead, a festival associated with the dying of the summer season.
Those bonfires served several purposes. They paid tribute to the spirit who, on October 31, sent souls of many of the dead into a Druid heaven. They honored the all powerful Sun-God who was now being thanked for a bountiful autumn harvest, and they also helped to drive off evil spirits that might be abroad. . . . .