Halloween was originally a harvest ritual or ceremony in Western Europe, but over the years the day has lost any kind of religious purpose. Today, it’s just a good, healthy excuse to get dressed up, eat some candy, and scare yourself silly.
Every trick-or-treater was suddenly transformed into the costume they were wearing. Thus Willow (Alyson Hannigan) became a ghost, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) beefed up as a soldier, and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) became a Victorian lady, replete with fainting spells.
And finally, in the sixth season, “All the Way” involved Dawn going out on Halloween night…with a vampire.
This story finds Frank (Lance Henriksen) alone on Halloween night, at least for a while, and remembering a disturbing event from his childhood involving a suicidal World War II veteran. In the present meanwhile, he sees demons in every corner, and gets an unexpected visit from a ghost.
This tale involves a vulture capitalist in the Depression, named Hackles (Barnard Hughes) and his sadistic attempt each Halloween to scare the children of his town. He invites them to his haunted house late Halloween night to search for their parents “IOUs.” They usually fail to find them, but on this Halloween, Hackles gets the tables turned by a bevy of Halloween spirits, including a fierce-looking witch.