111 Halloween Facts About The Spookiest Night Of The Year
There are many things to love about the fall season. Hot apple pies, fuzzy blankets, scented candles, and the many holidays celebrated in fall. One of the most awaited holidays of the year is undoubtedly Halloween, when one gets to bring all their most esoteric, magical, and spooky ideas to life for just one night. Also, it's the only time when taking candy from a stranger becomes socially acceptable.
Yet, one of the most anticipated holidays also harbors many secrets and treats. Plenty of Halloween traditions still widely practiced today, such as carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and wearing scary costumes, originated from Halloween's rich and spooky history. Yet, very few know where many Halloween customs stem from, and how.
One of the widely known fun facts about Halloween is that people would dress up and cover their faces with masks to scare off ghosts. Yet, one of the little fun Halloween facts is that Americans spend millions of dollars on their Halloween pet costumes. Bet you didn't know that! While some Halloween facts might be common knowledge, there are plenty of Halloween history facts and Halloween trivia facts that not even the most dedicated Halloweeners are aware of. P.S. Hallo-wieners love dressing up their pets as hot dogs!
Below, we've compiled many facts about Halloween, both historical and trivial, that gals and ghouls will surely find interesting! Do you know of any more interesting facts about Halloween? Let us know! Psst, facts on Halloween are great to utilize in a Halloween trivia game. Happy haunting!
It is believed that if a child is born on Halloween, they will be able to talk to the spirits.
Finding a spider on Halloween night is considered good luck.
Pumpkins are classified as a fruit, not a vegetable.
While the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is often associated with Halloween, it shouldn't be. The Mexican holiday dates back more than 3,000 years and is a time to honor deceased loved ones.
The hour between 3am and 4am is called the ‘witching hour’ or the ‘devil’s hour’. It's a peak of supernatural activity.
In 2014, France banned people over the age of 13 from wearing clown costumes and makeup on Halloween.
Halloween is considered the New Year for those who practice Wicca.
"Jack o'Lantern" comes from the Irish legend of Stingy Jack.
Harry Houdini, the famous magician, passed away on Halloween night in 1926.
Some animal shelters forbid the adoption of black cats during the Halloween celebration.
Halloween involves the return of the souls of family and friends. To avoid accidentally hurting invisible ghouls and ghosts, Germans hide all their knives at Halloween.
The origins of Halloween costumes came about so that revellers could blend in with the spirits when attending pagan festivals. This was to frighten demons away when they saw that mere mortals were mocking their appearance.
Michael Myers' mask is actually a William Shatner mask.
The night before Halloween is referred to as "Mischief Night". Mischief Night is an informal holiday that dates back to the 1700s when a school headmaster urged kids to play tricks on each other.
Disney almost made "Hocus Pocus" a completely different movie. The original title, Disney's "Halloween House", had a much darker and scarier script.
Triskaidekaphobia is what you have if you're afflicted with a crippling fear of the number 13.
Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
The word witch comes from the Old English word ‘Wicce’: "Female magician, sorceress," in later use, especially "A woman supposed to have dealings with the evil spirits and to be able to perform supernatural acts."
In Dublin, Georgia, any type of costume that covers the face is illegal. It's intended to protect residents from antisocial behavior.
Canton, Ohio has the scariest haunted house in the world.
In Hong Kong, Halloween is known as the festival of the "Hungry Ghosts".
The most popular children's costumes on Halloween are superheroes and princesses.
A full moon on Halloween night is considered rare. It only appears once every 19 years in a phenomenon called the Metonic cycle.
"It" is the most commercially successful horror film of all time.
Black cats are undeservedly associated with bad luck. Their reputation dates way back to the Middle Ages when people considered them a sign of the devil. Black cats became the object of fear and scorn after being linked to witches and black magic.
Witches used to be honoured and were known as ‘the crone’ amongst the Celts until fear of older women, particularly those who didn’t marry, spread and the kindly figure of the crone morphed in the popular mind into a cackling evil witch.
The name Dracula means ‘Son of the Dragon’ and was taken from a bloodthirsty 16th-century conqueror called Vlad Dracula.
People used to believe owls were witches in disguise.
A Ouija board’s name is derived from a combination of the French and German words for ‘yes’.
Clowns are at the top of most people’s creep lists.
Ring a bell at Halloween to scare evil spirits away.
The original Halloween masks may have been actual skulls. Also, Celtic peoples wore animal skins and heads, drag getups and mechanical horse heads.
The ghost of Abraham Lincoln is by far the most famous spirit to haunt the White House.
On average, kids who trick or treat will bring home a bag of candies worth 11,000 calories.
If you are over the age of 13 in Bellville, Missouri, you cannot ask for Halloween candy, enforcing the opinion that trick-or-treating is for children only.
Halloween scarecrows symbolize the ancient and agricultural roots of the holiday.
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of the Halloween tradition.
On average, Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween annually.
Before costumes and trick-or-treating, Halloween was a night for pranking. The pranks eventually got out of control and in 1933, vandals caused millions of dollars of damage across the U.S., leading many people to refer to it as “Black Halloween.”
All Saints Day is not All Souls Day. Celebrated on November 1, All Saints Day honors the death of Catholic saints and loved ones. All Souls Day, on November 2, is observed to pray for souls of the faithfully departed that remain trapped in purgatory in hopes they'll be admitted to heaven.
When All Hallows’ Eve was co-opted by Christians, the new tradition became to dress up as the devil in the belief that Satan would flee when he saw people mocking him and attacking his pride.
A pumpkin is just a type of squash that grows orange in time for Halloween. But they aren’t only orange, they also come in white, blue, green, purple and even black.
The first "Halloween" movie was also filmed within 21 days.
The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.
Statistical studies found that 50% of children prefer to receive chocolate on Halloween.
The world record for the fastest pumpkin carving is 16.47 seconds.
Originally, the famous vampire Count Dracula was named Count Wampyr in Bram Stoker’s novel.
In the film "Halloween", the knife sound effects are made by plunging a knife into a watermelon.
According to statistics, children are most likely to get into an accident on Halloween night.
In some American cities, Halloween was originally referred to as Cabbage Night, because some towns used to pile up all the leftover cabbage from the fields and light a bonfire on the night before Halloween.
The holiday of Halloween was also influenced by ancient Roman festivals like Pomona.
The Halloween tradition of dressing up as ghosts comes from ancient Celtic traditions.
China holds Halloween festivals by lighting dragon-shaped lanterns.
Pumpkin-themed foods are popularly eaten during Halloween.
Trick-or-treating was banned during the 1940s due to a shortage of sugar rations.
Many cities hold annual Halloween decorating contests for the best-decorated house.
During the 1800s, women would spend a large amount of time staring into a mirror in a darkened room during Halloween. After some time, the woman would be able to see the face of her future husband in the mirror.
The commercialization of Halloween began after WW2 when sugar rationing came to an end in 1947. Several candy companies began advertising campaigns and the concept of Halloween with help from popular characters such as the Peanuts crew and Disney’s Donald Duck.
Playing with a Ouija board is a popular game during Halloween.
America spends half a billion dollars on Halloween pet costumes each year.
31.5 percent of women planning to carve pumpkins compared to 20.8 percent of men.
There's a reason why black and orange are associated with Halloween. Orange signals the harvest of autumn, while black is a symbol of darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
Trick-or-treating was also inspired by a tradition called "mumming." In the middle ages, people dressed up as ghosts and demons, and went door-to-door performing songs and scenes from plays in exchange for food and drink.
William Shakespeare wrote the "Song of Witches".
The most popular kids' costume is "Spiderman".
The first official Halloween party guide, titled "Halloween: How to Celebrate It," was published in 1897.
The last legal witch hangings in England took place in Bideford, Devon and the last in Scotland took place in Dornoch, Sutherland.
Some people have purchased trucks for the sole purpose of transporting their giant Halloween skeletons.
The pagan Celts believed that after death, all souls went into the crone's cauldron, which symbolized the Earth mother's womb. There, the souls awaited reincarnation, as the goddess' stirring allowed for new souls to enter the cauldron and old souls to be reborn.
The witch's broomstick is another superstition that has its roots in medieval myths. The elderly, introverted women that were accused of witchcraft were often poor and could not afford horses, so they navigated through the woods on foot with the help of walking sticks, which were sometimes substituted by brooms.
Trick-or-treating comes from "souling". In the Late Middle Ages, theologians tried to keep All Saints and All Souls strictly apart. But traditions like souling and the distribution of Soul cakes helped to fuse the feasts.
Halloween folklore is full of fortune-telling and magic.
German model Heidi Klum is famous for her outstanding Halloween costumes.
In Alabama, wearing a nun or priest costume for Halloween is illegal.
There have been laws in New York prohibiting the wearing of masks since the 1800s and in Walnut Creek, California, you can’t wear a Halloween mask in public without a license.
Originally, the film "Halloween" was going to be called "Babysitter Murders".
The world record for the heaviest pumpkin weighed in at 1,226 kg.
The largest Halloween parade in the United States is held annually in New York City.
Halloween has several names, including "All Hallows Eve" or "All Hallows Evening".
In Scotland, girls believed that wet sheets could help them see their future husbands on Halloween night.
Halloween is believed to have originated at around 4000 B.C.
The state of Illinois produced a total of 500 million pounds worth of pumpkins, making it the number one producing state.
Some traditions state that walking backwards with inside-out clothes will let you see a witch on Halloween.
Bonfires are an important part of the Samhain pre-celebrations of Halloween. People would dance around the fires to ward off evil spirits and encourage the sun not to vanish for the winter.
During the Middle Ages, many Halloween traditions involved women finding ways to see their future husbands. A few of these traditions include bobbing for apples.
Studies have been found that younger kids tend to be more chaotic than older children during Halloween. Younger children are more impressionable, which leads them to believe that they are scarier and depicting real monsters on Halloween.
Immigrants helped popularize the holiday in the U.S. When the Irish fled the potato famine in their country in the 1840s, they brought their Halloween traditions with them.
Skittles are the top Halloween candy.
A city in Canada banned teens over 16 from trick-or-treating. Anyone over the age of 16 caught trick-or-treating in Bathurst, Canada, faces up to a $200 fine.
The most popular adult costume is a witch.
Halloween isn't just for kids anymore. According to the NRF, Roughly 55% of households without children planned to celebrate Halloween in 2021 (up from 49% back in 2020).
A useful precaution on Halloween is to hold your breath when walking past a graveyard so you don’t get possessed by an evil spirit.
When you spill salt, pick it up and throw it over your left shoulder to blind the devil.
Candy corn was originally called "Chicken Feed".
The most lit jack o'lanterns on display is 30,581.
The Jack-O-Lantern borrows its name from a stingy man named Jack.
The American capitals of Anoka and Salem are self-proclaimed Halloween Capitals.
Another traditional Halloween color is white. White represents the undead and the loneliness of spirits who can not rest. White is the color of ghosts and spirits seen at night.
Each year, Americans spend around $86.79 for Halloween related goods. That works out to $8.8 billion in total spending.
Reese’s cups rank as one of the highest-selling candies during Halloween.
The Barmbrack bread is a traditionally baked fruit bread from Ireland. This treat is commonly made for the Halloween celebrations in the fall.
Before Halloween’s rep as a holiday focused on spirits, ghouls, and ghosts, the holiday used to be a day for romance.
In Scotland, women would also burn hazelnuts to determine their future spouse.
You can even visit a pumpkin patch in Hawaii.
Rhode Island is home to 6,000 jack-o'-lanterns.
Dressing up in costumes was once a way to hide from ghosts. The tradition originated as a way for the Celtic and other European people to hide from returning spirits. People wore masks when they left home after dark to make the ghosts think they were fellow spirits, and would place bowls of food outside to keep the ghosts happy and out of their homes.
Halloween folklore deems that if you see a bat fly around a house three times or more, someone inside will die.
The number 13 has a history. It is deemed unlucky because of its association with Judas Iscariot, who was the 13th person to sit at the table at the Last Supper.
There are ten sequels/reboots/remakes to the classic horror flick, Halloween, featuring the unstoppable undead murderer, Michael Myers.
Stephen King's horror books are the biggest sellers in the genre, and there have been 48 film adaptations, as well as 30 TV movies, series and miniseries.
English folklore tells that during nighttime ceremonies, witches rubbed a "flying" potion on their bodies, closed their eyes and felt as though they were flying. The hallucinogenic ointment, which caused numbness, rapid heartbeat and confusion, gave them the illusion that they were soaring through the sky.