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Whether you plan to spend your Halloween 2022 snuggled under a blanket watching horror movies or going out to enjoy everyone’s favorite pastime of trick-or-treating, you’ve come to the right place. From the babysitter murders to the Michael Myers movie timeline, plus the perfect trick-or-treating hours in 2022, you’re covered in this full guide to all things Halloween and trick-or-treating.
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The Halloween franchise began its legacy with the first installment, the Halloween movie from 1978 directed by co-screenwriter John Carpenter. John Carpenter’s Halloween set the tone for slasher films in the one they call “The Boogeyman”. The first installment of Halloween starred Jaime Lee Curtis in her feature debut film, which kickstarted her acting career. The 1978 Halloween movie was a commercial and critical success, having grossed over $47 million at the US box office and a collection of various film awards. This makes Halloween one of the most successful independent movies to date.
The plot for Halloween focuses on Michael Myers, a mental institution patient who stabbed his older sister to death with a kitchen knife when he was just six years old. Judith was just a teenager babysitting her little brother, Michael, and she became his first murder victim. After many years of being incarcerated, he finally escapes on Halloween Day and returns home to wreak havoc in a spree of babysitter murders. On his way to commit the vengeful murders, he murders a mechanic for his navy-blue jumpsuit and steals a mask from a hardware store, becoming the iconic Michael Myers presence from there on out.
Michael spends the movie stalking and killing anyone that dared get in the way of his main objective – to murder his youngest sister, Laurie. He’s a slow and quiet mover, walking intently and looming like a shadow, seemingly popping up exactly where his victims would least expect. When he does exact his sneaking attacks, he uses his classic murder weapon to stab or slit their throats. Just when you think a hero has killed him or stopped him, he’s disappeared, and so renders what seems like a never-ending cat-and-mouse chase for many sequels, prequels, remakes, and renditions to come.
Is Halloween Based on a True Story?
Michael Myers is a fictional character who resides in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. John Carpenter’s Halloween 1978 movie made the likeness of Michael Myers from the director’s experience in a college Psychology class, which he explains in a documentary about Halloween. They went to visit mental patients, and he saw a kid that had “the look”.
This look was one that he used to describe Michael Myers in the movie, having a blank, pale, emotionless face with black eyes like a devil that were “purely and simply evil”. While petrifying for John, this patient became an inspiration and was the first face that came to mind when coming up with Halloween. There were other influences for Michael, including pre-Halloween Celtic traditions that noted evil souls cause chaos among the living and cannot be stopped.
Other than that, the story of Michael Myers has only been comparable to other serial killers’ experiences or haunted house themes. Some fans suggest Halloween’s story shared a striking resemblance to Stanley Stiers, a Halloween murderer who snaped and murdered everyone in his home with a butcher’s knife. While there are some similarities (they even share the same middle name), the two stories are entirely different.
How Many Halloween Movies are There?
What better time to indulge in the Halloween series than during the Halloween season? If you plan on watching the Halloween series, you might want to get a head start. As of 2021, the total screen time for all the combined Halloween movies would be 7 minutes shy of 19 hours. That’s not including bathroom and snack breaks. Altogether, there are 12 existing Halloween movies, with its newest sequel coming out in October 2022. If you want to watch them in order by the year each of them came out, here’s a list of Halloween movies in order. Spoiler alert!
Directed by John Carpenter, the first ever Halloween sets the stage for Michael Myers, the slasher babysitter serial killer.
Halloween II, 1981
Directed by Rick Rosenthal and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the first ever Halloween sequel offers an immediate continuation of where Halloween left off. In a more violently pressing matter, Michael Myers resumes murdering innocent civilians as he wanders through the neighborhood looking for Laurie.
Michael’s psychiatrist and a team of officers begin looking for Michael when they realize he’ll be coming for Laurie, who went to a hospital to be treated for the injuries Michael gave her in the previous film.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch, 1982
Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (the director of Fright Night Part 2 and a writer for Amityville II: The Possession), the third installment from the original Halloween series was also produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Instead of starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Dick Warlock or Nick Castle, this movie takes a step back from the classic serial killer slasher subgenre mastered by Michael Myers. Instead, Halloween III focuses on the story of Ellie, the daughter of a shop owner who was murdered under mysterious circumstances.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, 1988
The 4th Halloween movie is the first one that isn’t directed, produced, or written by John Carpenter. Alternatively, Halloween 4 was directed by Dwight H. Little and produced by Paul Freeman. As the title suggests, Michael Myers is again the center of attention. It turns out, since Halloween II, Michael has been unconscious and incarcerated in a sanitarium. When he overhears nurses say Laurie has a daughter now, Michael wakes up, murders them, and escapes an ambulance in search of his new niece, Jaimie.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, 1989
Halloween 5 was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard and produced by Ramsay Thomas. Since the previous year, the psychological damage inflicted by Michael Myers has caused Jamie to become catatonic. Michael continues chasing and killing bystanders to capture and kill Jamie. When he gets the chance, however, there’s a moment of tenderness that we never see in Michael Myers. Well, right before he starts trying to kill people again, anyway.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, 1995
This Halloween movie was directed by Joe Chappelle, who also directed Hellraiser: Bloodline a year later. Donald Pleasence, the star who played Michael’s psychiatrist in the previous films, died eight months before the film was released. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers his last film performance.
This installment of Halloween revisits some old characters, like Tommy Doyle, whom Laurie had babysat in John Carpenter’s Halloween. Speculations arise as Tommy tries to get to the bottom of Michael Myer’s intent to kill, and he runs into distant relatives of Michael Myers.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, 1998
The director of Friday the 13th parts 2 and 3 also directed Halloween H20: 20 Years Later in 1998, and Day of the Dead 10 years later – so Steve Miner has notable experience in horror directing. This movie is the 7th overall Halloween movie that reboots from the first two movies, where Michael is once again creeping after his dear sister, Laurie. We begin seeing a fed-up version of Laurie, who has simply had enough of her brother’s terror.
Halloween: Resurrection, 2002
Halloween: Resurrection was the last Halloween movie to be produced by Paul Freeman, having also produced the last two Halloween movies and Halloween 4. It was directed by Halloween II’s director Rick Rosenthal. The cast in this rendition of Halloween includes some familiar faces, like Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes. Despite the inclusion of some high celebrities, this Halloween is said to be fans’ and critics’ least favorite movie of the franchise.
This is the first Halloween reimagining to have been directed by Rob Zombie, a heavy metal band member, and director of horror movies like The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. Rob Zombie’s Halloween goes back in time to touch a little more on the childhood of Michael Myers, detailing his first victims, his familial relationships, and his time at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium.
Halloween II, 2009
The second and final remake written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie, Halloween II continues from his prequel. This version of Halloween carries on digging into the character’s innermost selves, revealing their visions and desires.
David Gordon Green’s first version of Halloween was produced by Blumhouse, the brilliant award-winning company responsible for the production of horror films and franchises like Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious, and many other terrifying pictures. To date, this Halloween movie is the most financially successful having made $255 million at the box office. Halloween kicks off reminding fans of Michael Myers’ desire to find Laurie on Halloween night after being institutionalized for 40 years.
Halloween Kills, 2021
Also directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Blumhouse, this 12th total installment of Halloween was released in the fall of 2021. Halloween Kills showcases an angry town that is ready to join together to end Michael’s tyranny together on Halloween. They overcome police who try to stop them and form mobs determined to do whatever it takes to stop Michael Myers from killing again.
Halloween Ends, 2022
Finally, Halloween Ends is the 13th edition of Halloween and will be released in October 2022. Halloween Ends is said to be the long-awaited ending to Michael Myers’ 44-year storyline. The trailer for Halloween Ends displays one angry Laurie, ready to take matters into her own hands once and for all and battle her brother to the end in their childhood home.
Shot, stabbed, injected with corrosive chemicals, burned on several occasions, thrown over banisters, ejected from cars, and beaten by angry mobs, will Michael Myers finally meet his match this Halloween?
“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”. Today, and for many years, we’ve known children of all ages to spend Halloween dressed up in funny, scary, or pop culturally relevant costumes. They go house to house in their respective neighborhoods with buckets, bags, and boxes in search of the house with the best candy. Knocking on the doors of the homes with lit jack-o-lanterns and front porch lights shouting “trick-or-treat!”. They innocently have no clue where that saying came from, or why or how trick-or-treating became a Halloween pastime. The history of Halloween and trick-or-treating can be traced back centuries.
How Halloween Started
First, it’s important to know where Halloween came from to understand its traditions. Every culture and civilization in the world has a depiction of Halloween deeply rooted in their history. Today, Mexico celebrates Día de Los Muertos, a holiday in which their Aztec ancestors celebrated the deceased with food offerings and tools to help them find the land of the dead. Similarly, China celebrates Qingming, a holiday where they clean their ancestor’s tombs and gravesites and offer them food and tea.
As for Halloween, it originated with the ancient Celtic Samhain festival, where Pagans would celebrate the beginning of winter and the end of harvest. With the death of their crops and the end of a season, they associated this strongly with mortality. So, as they celebrated the coming of winter from October 31st through November 1st, they thought spirits would visit them from a thin separation between the living and the dead. In preparation, they would lay out offerings and wear costumes to scare away any evil spirits that may try to come with the souls of their dead loved ones.
From there, Pope Gregory III dedicated this time to honoring saints instead of doing so on the original date of May 13th, which was known as “All Saint’s Day”. This made the day before henceforth be known as “All Hallows Eve”, which eventually turned into “Halloween”. After some time, All Saint’s Day inherited the same Celtic Samhain traditions, effectively merging the two holidays in what is known today as Halloween.
How Trick-or-Treating Became a Halloween Tradition
We know now that the tradition of dressing up for Halloween comes from the Celtic Pagan practice of warding off evil spirits, but what is the history of trick-or-treating? Well, in medieval Europe, poor children would go through their communes beggaring for food from each of their neighbors during Samhain in exchange for prayers. They would be dressed as angels and demons to keep the bad souls away. As it was thought that collective prayers could save the souls of dearly departed loved ones, this technique was effectively called “souling”.
Over time, children became more creative and offered songs and jokes (or tricks) along with prayers. The food these children were given became known as soul cakes, which symbolized that a soul had been saved thanks to their prayers. In the 19th century when Europeans began immigrating North America in heaps, the cakes evolved into fruits, nuts, and candy, the costumes evolved into rabbits, clowns, and witches, and the jokes turned into more sinister tricks.
These tricks turned into vandalism, egging, and violence in the early 1900s. To turn the mischief around, parents began offering their homes and communities to keep a watchful eye over their children and provide a more effective outlet for trickery. As a result, the annual Halloween Party and “trick or treat” was born. Today, people of all ages join in on the fun. Billions of dollars are spent by Americans every year in preparation for Halloween parties, candy, costumes, and decorations.
Over the years, it seems Halloween’s trick-or-treaters have dwindled. Halloween has become more of a holiday for teens and young adults to dress up and throw parties, while parents take their children to other places to get their candy. COVID-19 halted trick-or-treating for many parents over the last few years for fear of spreading the disease.
Many people simply adapted to social distancing Halloween with the prevalence of church-held trunk-or-treat and community parties that were perceived as safe for children. Nevertheless, at least 12% of parents were still taking their children trick-or-treating in 2020, which is a percentage that is expected to rise this year.
What Time does Trick-or-Treating Start in 2022
Halloween is celebrated all through the day and night in the US. Since this Halloween falls on a Monday, it makes celebrations awkward for hard partiers who spend the entire night basking in spooky festivities. As such, you may not have to worry too much about late blowouts or knocks on your door. So, when are kids trick-or-treating this year?
Young visitors, toddlers, and infants in strollers should start visiting the earliest, probably right after daycare around 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Older visitors may begin about an hour later at 5:30 p.m. and stop around 7 p.m. A rule of thumb is trick-or-treating starts around sunset and ends at 8:30 p.m. at the latest.
Suggested Trick-or-Treating Hours Across the Country 2022
Depending on where you are, sunset times vary, and so do Halloween regulations and suggested trick-or-treating times. Some cities and counties have banned door-to-door trick-or-treating altogether, and some have enforced curfews to monitor trick-or-treating compliance.
Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Upstate New York, and Pittsburgh set their suggested hours to 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and San Francisco simply state they suggest trick-or-treating begin at 6 p.m.
St. Louis has trick-or-treating on Cherokee Street from 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., and the city of Little Rock, Arkansas closes a little later listing its trick-or-treating hours in 2022 as 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Now you can open your favorite streaming service or dust off your DVD collection and watch every Halloween before the release of Halloween Ends this October 2022. Prepare yourself for a slasher series that will leave you turning every corner with caution. Don’t be too scared – remember it’s not real! Afterward, grab the kids and put on your best Michael Myers mask and blue monkey suit to enjoy trick-or-treating this year.
Remember safety precautions this year. Plan your evening and pay attention to the times listed for events and neighborhood watches. Always accompany children to the front doors of houses, and never go to a house with its lights off or unfamiliar houses. Be mindful of the weather. Many states begin getting colder in October, so wear layers under your costumes and comfortable shoes for walking. Monitor the candy before you or your children eat them in case of allergies or other dangers. In the same breath, never eat candy that has been opened or tampered with.