No longer is Halloween the frivolous children’s holiday that it had become by the mid-20th century. Today it is a commercial juggernaut and an indispensable component of American culture. How did a rural harvest festival become one of America’s top commercial holidays? Until we understand the ways that Halloween’s character and purpose have transformed over time, we will not know how best to navigate this enigmatic holiday. Author and former missionary Timothy Zebell works to unmask America's trickiest holiday.