[Christine O’Keeffe’s Halloween Customs ]
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American Jack O’Lanterns: Ancient Ones: Large orange gourds called pumpkins are hollowed out and made into lanterns called Jack o’ Lanterns for Halloween. A face is carved onto one side and a lighted candle is placed inside. They scare evil spirits who come out after midnight and light the way for the ancestral spirits who will be returning home at the midnight hour. They are placed on the porch or front steps of the home. Schoolchildren make special field trips to the pumpkin patch to select pumpkins for carving. Special carving contests are held throughout the season.

Halloween Parties: Are frequently given in private homes, schools and hotels. People come dressed in costumes that are bought, rented or made by hand. Costume contests for the most original, scary, beautiful, or spectacular costume are held. Prizes are cash, food, or gifts. Commerical haunted attractions run through October. Tours of haunted houses both real and commercial are attended by hundreds of people on Halloween. The scariest ones are flashlight tours in the dark.

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