Thursday, October 24, 2013

10 Fun and Fascinating Facts About Halloween

Guest Post from Halloween Spirit

Read up on some fun and fascinating Halloween facts to get yourself into the spirit of Halloween.


1 The Halloween tradition

Halloween originated from a Celtic tradition in Ireland where food and treats were put out to appease spirits who had died over the previous year. It was believed that these ghosts walked the earth once again during Samhain (the night of Oct 31st) so the Celts would wear masks and costumes to avoid being recognized by the spooky apparitions.

2 Don’t mess with the lady next door

In 1964 Helen Pfeil from New York took her ‘trick’ a bit too far by giving out some rather unsavory ‘treats’. The homemaker was annoyed about handing out candy to children she thought were too old to be trick or treating. She gave out steel wool pads, dog biscuits and poison ant buttons that she told the children were all edible. The homemaker was charged with endangering children.

3 Halloween has many names

All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Samhain, All Hallowtide, The Night of Witches, Feast of the Dead, All Saints Eve and El Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead.

4 It’s a Jack-o’-Lantern…but not as we know it

The first Jack-o’-Lanterns weren’t pumpkins – they were turnips! The tradition harkens back to the days in Ireland when turnips were hollowed out to look like grizzled heads. The switch to pumpkins only occurred when Irish immigrants in America found that their orange counterparts were much cheaper to carve.

5 Where’s the best place to party?

In the U.S, Salem and New Orleans really draw in the crowds. New Orleans in 2010 holds the current world record for the biggest Halloween party with 17,777 people in costume at a football game between the Saints and the Steelers at Louisiana Superdome.

6 Halloween stories that happen to be true

In the town of Frederica, in Delaware (U.S) in 2005 locals marveled at the creepy and ultra realistic decoration of a lynched woman dangling 15 feet in the air from a tree branch. People living around the area passed it off as a Halloween prank until eventually someone called the police and reported it. Turns out the 42-year-old woman had committed suicide.

7 The Story of Jack and his Lantern

Want to know where the tradition of carving out pumpkins for a Jack-o’-Lantern came from? Well, apparently, it’s based on the Will o the Wisp story from Ireland and Scotland that tells the tale of Stingy Jack who was a clever (but lazy) farmer. When drinking at the pub the Devil comes to town to collect his soul, but crafty Jack tricks the Devil into turning into a coin, which bared the symbol of the cross. Unable to escape Lucifer has to agree that Jack could continue living. Years later Jack dies and goes to Heaven but is refused entry into the pearly gates, vexed he goes to Hell, but is refused entry once again. The Devil had promised Jack that he wouldn’t take his soul, after all. With nowhere else to go Jack asks “But how will I see in the dark?” sneering, Satan hands him a burning ember from Hell which will never extinguish and Jack carves a turnip and drops it inside so he can begin roaming the earth, for a final resting place.

8 Beat that!

The world’s largest Jack-o’-Lantern was carved out of the world’s biggest pumpkin in Pennsylvania (U.S) on Halloween in 2005. The pumpkin was grown by Larry Checkon and weighed in at a staggering 1,469 lb (666.33 kg). Speaking of world records, in 2008 Stephen Clarke from Havertown in the U.S gained the fastest time for carving 1 tonne of pumpkins in 3 hours 33 minutes and 49 seconds.

9 Watch out for razor blades in apples

Aside from those ghosts and goblins out there, do we really have to worry about razor blades in apples? Well no, not really, it’s an urban legend. There is absolutely no evidence to support this story. In fact the greatest danger on Halloween is reportedly alcohol poisoning, so go easy on those Bloody Mary’s.

10 Candy, candy, candy

The first wrapped candy were Tootsie rolls. Today, the most popular wrapped chocolate bar for trick or treaters on Halloween is Snickers.
Want some more halloween fun? Then pop over to for a selection of the best costumes, props, treats, contact lenses, makeup and decorations to make your Halloween an event to remember!

Halloween Spirit is your one-stop shop for everything Halloween, from freaky and fun costumes for adults and kids, through to hats, masks, accessories and oodles of spooky fun.

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