I wouldn’t be much of a writer of urban fantasy if I didn’t like the occasional ghost story or story of the fey.
Halloween. Over-comericialized like every other holiday in America? Yep. Celebration of evil? Anything could be to the wrong person, I suppose.
The two origins given for Halloween are the Celtic Samhain and the Christian All Hallows’ Eve. (Probably the early Christians set their goings on to be on the same day as the pagan one, like Christmas on December 25th.) Samhain (in my limited understanding) was/is about the end of harvest, acknowledgement of the winter to come, and a belief that the spirits of the dead might visit their living relatives on a night when the boundaries between the mundane and spirit world are thin. It might seem weird to think of the spirits of the dearly departed visiting the family home, but ancestor veneration itself is common. The fey (unpredictable, tricky, and sometimes dangerous) were also likely to wander. Jack of the Lanterns might have had some origin in lamps to ward off the spirits or to light the way while asking for wood for the bonfires. I’m not going to jump on my high horse, but none of this seems evil. The early church spent a LOT of effort in Europe stomping out persistent pagan (i.e. competing) beliefs, and vilification of everything non-Christian was common. It takes more of a historian than me to sort through all that.
Anyway, I carved a jack o’lantern: