TR Robertson — Happy Halloween Everyone!
Another Halloween will soon be upon us. A time for fun and festivities around the world, for those countries that celebrate this event. There is a tremendous amount of history surrounding this holiday as well as numerous superstitions and tales of folklore. The trivia alone surrounding this yearly event provides a wealth of “I didn’t know that” statements.
Make sure you check out the list of Halloween related phobias at the end of the article.
Historically, Halloween is celebrated on the last day of the Celtic calendar, October 31st. Initially, it was a pagan holiday honoring the dead, referred to as All Hallows Eve. Some believe the celebrations go back anywhere from 4-6,000 years. The holiday originated in Ireland and villagers would leave food and drink out for the souls of the dead on the day of Halloween. The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on this day. They began to wear masks to avoid being recognized by the ghosts and spirits as being human.
Let’s take a trip into the world of facts, trivia, superstitions and folklore associated with the holiday we call Halloween. You can believe or not believe the ones you want.
*Halloween was brought to North America by European immigrants.
*Trick or treating began in Europe in the 16th century.
*The colors most associated with Halloween are orange – representing the Fall harvest – and Black – representing darkness and death.
*Jack O’Lanterns originated in Ireland. Candles were placed in hollowed-out turnips and beets to keep ghosts and spirits away.
*Pumpkins come in white, yellow, blue and green as well as orange. Pumpkins are a fruit and they originated in Mexico over 9,000 years ago.
*A home with a blue pumpkin displayed will be giving out allergy free treats
*Silly string is banned in Hollywood on Halloween.
*Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday. Christmas is the 1st.
*Halloween candy sales will total over $2.5 billion, Costume sales $1.5 billion.
*Over 90 million pounds of candy will be sold for Halloween
*Snickers is the #1 chocolate candy sold. Tootsie Rolls were the 1st wrapped penny candy ever sold in America.
* M & M’s come in 25 colors.
*It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
*35 million pounds of Candy Corn will be made for Halloween.
*Candy corn traditionally comes in three colors – always in this order – top color white, middle orange and bottom yellow.
*90% of all adults will sneak candy from their kids trick or treat bags.
*In the U.S. the 1st city wide celebration of Halloween was in Anoka, Minn. in 1921.
*San Francisco is the #1 city for most people Trick or Treating.
*Bobbing for apples began as a Roman harvest activity.
*Illinois is the leading state for growing pumpkins.
* 86% of Americans decorate their homes for Halloween
*10% of pet owners dress their pets for Halloween
*Over 28 million Halloween cards will be sent this year
*It was reported that Winston Churchill saw the ghost of Abraham Lincoln in the White House
*Dolly Madison’s ghost is said to walk in the White House Rose Garden.
*In 1962, Dr. Donald A. Reed founded the Count Dracula Society.
*The signs of a werewolf are uni-brows, hairy palms and long middle fingers.
*There are vampire bats – they live in Central and South America and feed on horses, cattle and birds.
*The little brown bat of North America has one of the longest life spans for a small mammal – 32 years.
*Owls are thought to be witches and some cultures consider them evil
*Most animal shelters will not put black cats up for adoption the weeks leading up to Halloween.
*If you see a spider on Halloween it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
*Gargoyles were created by medieval stone carvers and architects to ward off evil spirits on the buildings where they were placed.
*The movie Halloween was made in only 21 days in 1978 and was shot in the Springtime, not Fall.
*19 girls were put to death as witches during the Salem witch trials.
*Harry Houdini died on Halloween Day.
*Trick or treating began in medieval times – originally called Guysing. Children and poor adults wore costumes and begged for food or money in exchange for songs, prayers of dance.
*A person born on Halloween is said to have the ability to see and talk to spirits.
*Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of a fire on Halloween.
*Some girls believed they would see their boyfriends face if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
*If a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween they will see a witch at midnight.
*Girls who place the apple they bobbed for under their pillow are said to dream of future love.
*One way to deter a vampire is to throw seeds (usually mustard) outside a door or place fishing net outside a window. Vampires are compelled to count the seeds or holes in the net, delaying them until the sun comes up.
*Halloween means hallowed evening.
*The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.
*The fear of ghosts is called Phasmopphobia
*The fear of vampires is called Sanguivoriphobia
*The fear of werewolves is called Lupophobia
*The fear of skeletons is called Skelephobia
*The fear of bats is called chiroptophobia
*The fear of monsters is called Teraphobia
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!