Carnivals—This popular form of Halloween entertainment may have originally developed as an institutionalized alternative to the destructive PRANKING of the 1920s and 1930s. Halloween carnivals are usually held on school grounds (where they help raise money for the school), and typically include amusement rides, games of chance, FORTUNETELLING, HAUNTED HOUSES, refreshments and live music. In the past, such activities as Halloween court (wherein “criminals” were tried and received five- or ten-minute sentences to “jail,” a small wire-mesh enclosed space) and even homemade rides (similar to soapbox racers) were popular.

Carnivals are also popular in Britain on GUY FAWKES DAY, with some of the largest being celebrated at Lewes, Bridgwater and Hatherleigh; these usually include PARADES and BONFIRES or FIREWORKS.


The Halloween Encyclopedia Second Edition written by Lisa Morton © 2011 Lisa Morton. All rights reserved