- Holidays and Celebrations
Weird Facts About Halloween
For the upcoming holiday, this month's hubs will be focused on everything Halloween, from cheap ways to decorate house, some of the creepiest horror stories found around the world, and the best Halloween attractions. For the first of many hubs, this article will be focused around the strange facts about the holiday.
This article will include such treats as the origin of Halloween, the different ways that cultures celebrate the holidays, phobias and disorders surrounding Halloween, and the superstitutions that make Halloween what it is. This paper will give an overview also about the monsters that we have grown up with.
Almost every culture has a day that is dedicated to the dead:
- Mexico has Dia de Muertos (oct 31st to Nov 2nd),
- Japan has Obon or the festival of Lanterns,
- Cambodia has The P'chum Ben at the Pagoda (Oct 15th)
Halloween's origin actually goes back to the Celtic culture in Ireland, in which the Celtic culture celebrated the end of the harvesting year. It also was considered their New Years celebration (holidaysinsight 2014). During this day, October 31st, it was said that spirits would be able to raise and roam the Earth. In fear of evil spirits trying to enter their houses, people would leave out treats as well as crave out turnips and rutabages and place embers inside to try to scare off the evil spirits. This would soon be replaced with the pumpkin and candle.
Because of the nature that Halloween is celebrating, for many religious people, November 1st, is a day to celebrate angels and saints. Actually the Roman Church was the first religious organization to make a religious holiday on November 1st but the holiday was never took off widespread like other religious holidays like Christmas and Easter.
There are a lot of superstitions regarding Halloween, some of them are well known and some of them are less known. Some of these superstitions are just for Halloween night and some are spread throughout the year but is still considered to be really scary or more powerful on this night than other days:
- In the Middle Ages, if a person has a uni-brow, people believe they are a werewolf. People also believe that if a person has hair palms, a long middle finger, or tattoos it is a sign of a werewolf. So a lot of people would be considered Werewolves now...
- There are people who still claim to be real vampires and there are even vampire bars that people can go to that are said to be run by vampires for vampires.
- Vampire bats are real but they do not turn into vampires
- Dracula was inspired by Viad the III or Vlaid the impaler. he was a prince who used to impale those who opposed and would dip bread in a bucket full of blood from those he killed. He was one of the most vicious rulers by impaling and burning enemies and even his own citizens. His cruelness inspired the legend the Dracula due to the monstrous acts he committed.
- Many people still believe that gargoyles were made to keep evil spirits away
- Many petstores will not take black kittens during the week of Halloween. They think it is bad luck due to the all the superstitions surrounding black cats
- Jack-o-Lanterns-the story behind this is more sad than anything. A drunken Celtic man named Jack had a run in with the devil and tricked him from sending him to hell. When he died he was both rejected from heaven and hell. The only thing he had was a turnip and coal. He carved the turnip and lit it with the coal and tried to find his way home. Every since then, people light pumpkins to help other lost spirits find their way home
- Bats-in the Middle Ages-if a bat circles three times around a house, somebody within the house is going to die. Now mostly linked to vampire, if somebody sees a bat circling a house it means a vampire is trying to find a way to bit their victims
- Spiders-if a spider falls into a candle a witch is nearby however if on Halloween you spot a spider, than a dead relative is said to be watching over you
- Witch's Broomsticks-in the middle ages, the poor could not afford horses so some women would have to go through the forest with walking sticks. This was the time when people started to fear witches and a rumor started that with a portion these walking sticks would turn into broomsticks. If you see a woman walking in the forest with just a walking stick, than you are looking at a witch
Fun Facts About Halloween
There are many fun facts surrounding the holiday, some are surprising and some are not, some are downright hysterical:
- Witch actually came from the Celtic word of Wicca which actually meant wise woman
- 50% of children prefer chocolate candy. 24% non-chocolate, 16% prefer other, and 10% prefer gum
- Owls were once considered to be witches and every time an owl screamed people believed a witch was about to kill somebody
- In the Middle Ages, the poor would go 'souling' which means they would go door to door on Halloween offering a protective prayer for the family inside
- The first time trick-or-treating appeared in print was in 1927 in Blackie
- Black and Orange are the main colors of Halloween. Orange is said to be strength and black represents death
- Cats are a huge of Halloween, not only attached to witches, but in the older days, cats used to thrown into fire for divination purposes
- Halloween candy sales are over two billion dollars a year in the United States
- Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday, Christmas is the first
- in 2012, people spent over 300 million dollars on pet costumes
- In fact in a pie chart, the sales of Halloween is broken down into:
- 35% costumes
- 31% candy
- 28% decorations
- 5% cards
- Average sales per year on Halloween is over six million dollars which equals 72 dollars per person in the united states
- Only 2/3 of the citizens in the United States plan on celebrating the holiday, with the majority (89%) of eighteen to twenty-four years old and least with those over sixty-five (42%)
- Costume sales are 2.11 million with the average costumes idea for lady gaga, vampires, and ghouls costumes topping the charts
Most of the phobias has to do with fears of the dark, fear of seeing ghosts, fear of doom, but some made just for Halloween include:
Samhainophobia-the fear of Halloween
Masklophobia-The fear of mascots
(can be used for costumes as well)
Most Popular Costumes of 2013
Here are top winners in terms of Halloween costumes bought in 2013. This does not include costumes that were made or costumes that were combined from previous years:
10: Spiderman (1,824,615 )
8. Animal ( 2,819,860)
6. Vampire (3,626,883)
5. Zombie (3,878,741)
4. Action Hero( 4,091,163)
3. Princess ( 4,349,793)
2. Batman Characters ( 5,408,336)
1. Witch (6,717,045)
Information from Sauter,Frohlich, and Hess 2013
Main Monsters of Halloween
Although these monsters have been introduced long before Halloween, there are six main types of monsters that are celebrated the most in Halloween. That is
These four monsters have been a main point of Halloween for years including being part of Halloween inspired movies, music, and even on Halloween cards. These are popular for costumes from everything from really scary to even sexy costumes.
Also murderers are also seen a lot on Halloween mostly in Halloween attractions like Haunted Houses:
- The chainsaw/butcher
- The demented surgeon
- The Inbred family
- The escaped prisoners
Basically these are used to scare people and are more likely to be used by pranksters more than more typical Halloween costumes.
Halloween is a very interesting holiday. Although it celebrities the morbid and the creepy side of life, it is very important for our economy as seen by how much money this holiday brings in. It also has some very interesting superstitions and facts that keep the holiday festive and shows how important history is to our lives now and why it is so important to keep up with these traditions and make sure that generations can enjoy what was started from druid religions that need to be remembered.
Holidayinsights (2014) origin of Halloween Tradition, http://www.holidayinsights.com/halloween/facts.htm
Sauter, Michael B., Frohlich, Thomas C. and Hess, Alexander E.M. (2013) This Year's Most Popular Halloween Costumes, 24/7 Wall, http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/10/29/this-years-most-popular-halloween-costumes/2/