The spookiest night of the year is almost here! How well do you know Halloween? Read on for some fun facts you may not have known about All Hallows Eve and the festivity surrounding it.
Everyone knows a bright orange Jack-o-Lantern is the best hallmark of this holiday — but did you know that it’s a festive upgrade of an Irish tradition of placing a candle in a hollowed-out turnip to ward away evil spirts? It began with the ancient pagan holiday of Samhain, which shares many traits with Halloween. The Celtic practice of wearing masks and other disguises on this night to confuse the spirits that might lead them into harm is also where we likely get the tradition of costumes.
The technical term for a fear of Halloween is Samhainopobia.
The party game of bobbing for apples probably has roots (no pun intended) in the ancient Roman harvest festival honoring the goddess of fruit trees.
The reason black cats are considered unlucky omens is that they were once believed to be witches’ familiars: animals who helped channel and protect their wicked powers.
At 3,564 feet in length, and 80 feet below the ground in an abandoned mine shaft, the world’s longest haunted house, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is actually a cave, located in Lewisberg, Ohio.
35 million pounds of candy corn — nearly 9 billion individual pieces — are produced every year to meet the demand for Halloween’s most recognizable treat.
Halloween is second only to Christmas as the most commercial holiday: in 2015, Americans spent just under $7 billion on costumes, decorations, candy, and other forms of festivity — an average of $74.34 per adult.
Those spending figures also account for the 11.5% of people who dress their pets in costumes.