Happy Halloween! Do we even say that? For fun, I though I would give you a list of 25 things you may or may not know about Halloween.
1. The exact origins of Halloween are still a mystery. While it is believed to have Celtic roots, the precise details remain unclear.
2. The word “Halloween” is derived from “All Hallows’ Eve,” which refers to the evening before All Saints’ Day.
3. Jack-o’-lanterns, a popular Halloween decoration, were originally carved from turnips in Ireland. Pumpkins became the preferred choice in America due to their abundance.
4. The tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would dress up to ward off evil spirits.
5. Black cats are often associated with bad luck and Halloween, but did you know they were once believed to be witches’ familiars?
6. The concept of trick-or-treating can be traced back to the medieval practice of “souling,” where the poor would go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food.
7. Candy corn, a divisive Halloween treat, was invented in the late 1800s by George Renninger, an employee of the Wunderle Candy Company.
8. Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday in the United States, with an estimated $9 billion spent annually on costumes, decorations, and candy.
9. The world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown was set in 2016, weighing a whopping 2,624.6 pounds!
10. The Salem Witch Trials, a dark chapter in American history, took place in Salem, Massachusetts, during the late 17th century. The events have since become synonymous with Halloween.
11. The iconic phrase “trick or treat” was popularized in North America in the 1930s, but its exact origin remains unknown.
12. Halloween is celebrated in various countries around the world, including Ireland, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, each with its own unique traditions.
13. The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainophobia, derived from the Celtic festival of Samhain.
14. The largest Halloween parade in the world takes place in New York City, attracting over 50,000 participants and millions of spectators each year.
15. The tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween originated from the Roman festival of Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
16. The famous horror novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker was published in 1897 and has since become synonymous with vampires and Halloween.
17. The first recorded instance of a haunted house attraction dates back to the early 20th century in Kansas, where a family turned their home into a spooky experience for visitors.
18. Halloween is believed to be the time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, allowing spirits to roam freely.
19. The world’s largest Halloween store, located in the United States, spans over 100,000 square feet and offers a wide range of costumes, decorations, and props.
20. The tradition of telling ghost stories on Halloween can be traced back to ancient Celtic and Roman festivals, where it was believed that spirits would visit the living.
21. The Halloween colors of orange and black are said to represent the harvest season and the darkness of death, respectively.
22. The superstition of breaking a mirror bringing seven years of bad luck is believed to have originated from the ancient Celts, who considered mirrors to be portals to the spirit world.
23. The famous magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926, adding an eerie connection between his legacy and the holiday.
24. The world’s largest Halloween party, known as the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, attracts over 500,000 visitors each year.
25. Despite its spooky reputation, Halloween is a time for fun, creativity, and community, bringing people together to celebrate the joy of dressing up and embracing the supernatural.
Until next time, Karyn Murphy
P.S. Happy Halloween! Boo!