Symbols of Halloween help keep the season festive with spiders, ghosts, and scarecrows. The creepy vibe of Halloween symbols is common, but there is more to the spooky holiday symbols than that.

Symbols of Halloween

14 Halloween Symbols to Get You in the Spooky Spirit

1. Deathly Hallows Symbol

In the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows books and movies, the Deathly Hallows symbol represents the Master of Death. If three specific objects join together, the person who brought them together would become the Vanquisher of Death. The symbol is actually a masonic symbol that means “destiny,” but it is still common in Halloween celebrations.

2. Blood

Blood is not a traditional symbol of Halloween. It is a symbol that came about after certain movies featuring serial killers and those featuring supernatural powers (as seen in Carrie) became popular.

3. Masks

From Jason Vorhees to Michael Myers, the most famous Halloween villains wear masks. Sometimes the symbol of Halloween masks is to hide identities, and other times to set a spooky mood.

4. Eyeballs

Spaghetti and eyeballs are a common, creepy meal for Halloween. Though all severed body parts are pop culture Halloween symbols, the eyeball is the most popular way to creep out guests.

5. Witch

Witches began to receive condemnation during the Middle Ages. The meaning of witch was largely misconstrued at the time, but it is where the trend of witches began. Today, dressing as a witch is taken lightly and even revered in some cases.

6. Werewolves

The tales of werewolves date back thousands of years. But they didn’t become popular in stories and Halloween tales until the Middle Ages. During that time, they began to receive the romanticism of a handsome king trapped in the body of a beast.

7. Possession

The obsession with possession lingered long before the Middle Ages. However, the belief that spirits and demons roamed more freely during All Hallow’s Eve increased the number of exorcisms attempted in the Middle Ages.

8. Ghost

During The Celtic festival of Samhain, children would dress up to ward off ghosts. Not only is this when the origin of dressing as ghosts began, but it’s when the tradition of dressing up for Halloween began.

9. Vampire

The tale of the vampire is surprisingly modern for a Halloween monster. Vampires date back to 18th-century Europe and Slavic tradition. They were believed to be undead corpses that may or may not be possessed by an evil spirit.

10. Skeleton

Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that falls the day after Halloween. During the festivals, the living and dead are reunited by offerings from the living. The Disney movie Coco brought awareness to the traditions in which people dress up as skeletons to assist in reuniting with lost ones.

11. Trick or Treat

The origins of trick-or-treating date back to Scotland and Ireland in the 16th century. Families would go house to house in costume to do performances and be rewarded with treats. The performances were meant to be blessings that scared away evil spirits.

12. Scarecrow

One of the oldest Halloween traditions is that of scarecrows. The first recorded instances of scarecrows in use were by the Egyptians, who used them to scare away birds along the Nile River.

13. Full Moon

Full moons only happen about once every twenty years on Halloween. But that doesn’t mean rituals don’t take place to celebrate the moon every year. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Celtics all celebrated the full moon.

14. Bonfires

Original bonfires were fueled with bones, which is why they were called bonfires. In ancient times, animal bones were burned to ward off evil spirits in the dark days of autumn.

Plants That Symbolize Halloween

  • Pumpkin – the modern-day jack-o-lantern said to frighten away the soul of Stingy Jack.
  • Gourd – a regional plant for Halloween to replace pumpkins
  • Turnip – the original jack-o-lantern the Irish used in Ireland before pumpkins took over in the U.S.
  • Venus Fly Trap – a carnivorous plant associated with darkness and aggression
  • Living Stones – little plants that look like brains, often used as Halloween decorations
  • Weeping Willow – sometimes associated with endless sadness and despair, with drooping greenery to add to the mood.

Animal Halloween Symbols

  • Bat – associated with Halloween due to Samhain, during which bonfires were lit, attracting bugs and bats
  • Spider – said to be the spirit of a deceased loved one watching over you
  • Cat – during medieval times, black cats were bringers of bad luck and witchcraft.
  • Owl – seen as intimidating predators of the night

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