So it's October 31, and you're at home when you suddenly hear young voices yelling "Trick or treat!" at your front door. Ever wondered where this tradition came from? Well, I have, so I did some digging and this is what I found out.

Turns out we probably have some of my ancestors to thank for this one - those crazy Scots! Guising — children disguised in costumes going from door to door for food and coins — was recorded in Scotland at Hallowe'en back in 1895. Masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visited homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The tradition also existed in Great Britain and Ireland in the form of souling, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for cakes. The tradition that we now know as Hallowe'en derives from the Christian holy day of All Saints Day and the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, both of which included some component of praying for the dead.

While going from door to door in disguise has remained popular among the Scots and Irish, the North American custom of saying "trick or treat" has recently become common. Though, try saying "Trick" in response to the kids' chorus and you'll probably get a blank look! You'll be much more popular if you just hand over the chocolate.