Discover the Birth of Halloween as We Know It – Drunk History

I’m Tess Lynch, and tonight we’re going to learn
about the mother of Halloween. [dark chuckle] Mrs. Elizabeth Krebs. [cackles] [gulps] [continues cackling] Freaking me out. You’re freaking me out.
Wow.In the early decades
of the 20th century,
Halloween was celebrated
in a far different way.
This was 1912 in
Hiawatha, Kansas,
and groups of kids
would gather together,
wear masks and they would
just, like, destroy shit.
And they’re like,
oh, shoot, an outhouse.
What’re we gonna
do to that outhouse?
Tip it the hell over,
yeah, that’s right.
And then they would set it
on fire and then they’d laugh.
And then before you know it,
the entire town is just like,
turned-over outhouses,
beheaded chickens,
babies punched in the head.The kids–
the hooligans are like,
I’m a–I’m a boy with a penis.
I’m peeing in the hole!
Devil’s night, mother [bleep].– That’s scary. – It’s terrible.
It’s just, like… It’s just terrible.So, on the morning of
November 1st, 1912,
day after Halloween,
Elizabeth Krebs, founder
of the Hiawatha Garden Club,
wakes up,
parts the curtains,
and saw her garden
was completely [bleep] up.
And she’s like,
[in accent] this is insane!
The heirloom roses…
The asters…
[whooshes]The, like, gourds…
And she’s like,
what’s wrong with these kids?
What do they need?You know what
I think they need
is a party.Burn off that
demon-ous energy.
Is that a word?– Yeah. – Anyway, listen.October 31st, 1913.
Elizabeth Krebs is like,
I’ma have a–I’m gonna
have a decent-sized party.
Not a big party. Who am I?
The King of Rome? No.
So, she does it. And then the neighborhood
kids come, they’re like,hey, pretty cool party,
Mrs. Krebs!
Bobbing for apples, like,
I’m MVP of bobbing for apples.
And then it just keeps going,
like, ad nauseam on repeat until the end
of–of the evening.So,
Elizabeth Krebs is like,
I have a feeling
this is really gonna work.
I’ve exhausted this youthful
population to the point where
they can’t do shit.
This is awesome.
So, she goes to bed,wakes up the next morning,
November 1st, 1913,
parts the curtains…but everything’s
leveled again.
And Elizabeth Krebs is like,no shit!
Are you kidding me?
And look at that.
A mail truck’s on fire.
Someone’s waiting
for a postcard
that’s never gonna arrive
because that mail truck
got lit the [bleep] on fire.And she’s like,
I had this decent-sized party.
How could these kids
even have it in them
to take a piss
on everything?
But then,
Elizabeth Krebs is like,
you know what?
[snaps fingers]
I got an idea.So, she goes home. And Elizabeth Krebs spends
the entire next yearplanning
for this party.
And she devoted all
of her own time and resources
and money into making
a [bleep] huge rager.
Oh, I spilled. – Happy Halloween. – And now look– for the whole rest of it.
– What happened? – I dribbled, man.
I [bleep] dribbled. – [laughs]
– So…It is October 31st, 1914.
She’s waiting at town square.
And eventually…
poof-poof-poof-poof.What’s that?
Kids in costumes
trickling in
to the town square,
ready to [bleep] rage.And she’s like,
thank God because
I knew this was gonna
be a thing and it was.
So, these kids–
these hooligans
are at this party and band
comes in, starts playing.
♪ Too-too-too-too… ♪That’s–felt weak sauce.[laughs]
Was that weak sauce? – I love that song.
– So, anyway.The hooligans are like,
hey man, I’m pretty shocked
that old Mrs. Krebs
is throwing, like,
the [bleep] coolest party I
ever seen in Hiawatha, Kansas.
And so, everybody
gets marched down
to the Armstrong opera house.
And Elizabeth Krebs is like,
Yo, that’s a long way
and those kids
are gonna be [bleep] tired
by the time they get there.
And they’re actually
really enjoying themselves.
And they’re like,
man, this is my jam.
This is “Danny Boy.”
This is top of the charts.
So, the band keeps
playing, playing, playing until these kids are,
like, zombified.It’s, like, “Thriller.”And Elizabeth Krebs is like,
that’s good. I like that.
I like that.So, she goes home,
she goes to bed,
wakes up next morning,
November 1st, 1914,
What does she see?How’s her garden looking,
Derek? – I’m not sure.
I’m a little worried that it’s gonna
be destroyed. – No.Phoo.She looks out.
And she’s like,
Asters, right there.
Heirloom roses, right there.
[bleep] gourds, boom.It’s like,
all the shit is lined up.
It’s exactly as it should be.People are in awe of her.
They’re like,
nobody destroyed my house.
Nobody broke my windows.Chief of police comes up.Thank you, Elizabeth Krebs.Thank you,
because guess what?
Vandalism reports? [whooshes]
Way down precipitously.
And actually,
nobody was up to anything
other than partying
at your [bleep] rager.
She’s like,
[bleep] damn straight.
And he’s like,we’re gonna keep this
tradition rolling
pretty much forever.She’s like,
sounds good.
So, it changed the way we
celebrate Halloween here and everywhere.That was all because
one woman…
Elizabeth Krebs said,
Halloween is not about
turning over outhouses
to put poo on people’s lawns.
It is about
dressing up really cute,
getting a shit-ton
of candy.
Booyah.Oh, shit.
This is like… Real serious makeup. This is my favorite Halloween,
by the way. ‘Cause I’ve never liked
Halloween. [laughs] – Me too.
I think you’re looking good. I think I’ve pretty much
handled it at this point. [laughs] I think I pretty much
got to the bottom of it. – Is it all gone? – There we go.
– [laughs] – That’s really good.
You looking good, dude. I like it.
I like it a lot.

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