It’s spooky season!  Though not necessarily the holiday for everyone, Halloween has quite an interesting history.  This week we want to have a little fun and discuss some fun facts about the history of Halloween.  So, sit back and enjoy !

  1. Jack O’ Lanterns were inspired by an old, Irish legend following a man named Stingy Jack, a man who played tricks on the devil in order to keep himself out of hell.  Unfortunately, when Jack died God would not allow such a conniving person into heaven, while the devil, true to his word, would not take him to hell.  As such he was left to wander the earth with only a burning coal to light his way.  He ended up placing the coal into a carved-out turnip to use as a lantern.
  • Although some believe Halloween has its roots in the supernatural, it actually is associated with religious festivals, although the exact festival is disputed.  Most argue it was an offshoot of All-Saints Day celebrated on November 1st, a Catholic festival.
  • Costumes were originally used to keep ghosts away.  During medieval times, people would wear masks when walking out at night in order to trick the ghosts into thinking they were fellow spirits.
  • Trick-or-Treating actually has ties back to medieval times, although theories differ.  One theory is that it came from Scotland and Ireland where children would dress up in costumes and ask for food or money in return for poems, songs, and other “tricks”.  Another theory relates to All Souls’ Day when people would ask for food in exchange for prayers for the dead relatives of the household’s members.
  • During the 19th century, many ladies would perform rituals in order to discover their future marriage prospects.  This included bobbing for apples, wherein the winner would be the first to get married, as well as standing in a dark room with a candle in front of a mirror in order to see their future husband’s face.
  • Originally candy corn was called “Chicken Feed”.  Due to the fact that corn was commonly fed to chickens, the candy was called Chicken Feed and had an image of a rooster on the box.
  • Halloween started off as solely an American holiday.  However, due to movies such as E.T., the holiday and the associated “trick or treating” began to become more popular in the United Kingdom during the 1970s.