The tradition started over two thousand years ago with The Celts, who believed that the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred on October 31st. On that "Hallow's Eve" they built bonfires and wore ghostly costumes to drive the evil spirits away. Some carried a lantern crafted out of potato or turnip to intimidate the demons around them.
The National Alliance For Mental Illness reminds us that not only is it the season for ghosts and goblins, but also stigma. Costumes and seasonal attractions that feature psychos, mental patients, and insane asylums perpetuate stereotypes. Intended as fun, these violent stereotypes serve to perpetuate stigma -- which as reported by the U.S. Surgeon General as an enormous source of prejudice and discrimination for children and adults who live with mental illness.
Tips to Help Reduce Stigma