Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Halloween

Once again, it’s that time for ghastly ghosts, ghoulish goblins and glowing jack-o-lanterns so I have put together a list of important stuff everyone should know before they go trick-or-treating:

  • Halloween's origins date back 2,000 years ago to the ancient Celts who celebrated their new year on November 1st.  They believed that on the last night of the old year (October 31st), the dead returned to wreak havoc on earth.
  • The first jack o'lanterns were carved out of turnips in Ireland.  It was Americans who decided that pumpkins worked better.
  • During the eighth century, the Catholic Church designated November 1st All Saints Day and declare the night before All Hallow's Eve
  • Trick-or-treating had its beginnings in ninth-century Europe.  Back then, it was called Souling.  People trudged from place to place begging for soul cakes (square pieces of bread made with currants.  The more soul cakes they collected, the more prayers they promised to say.
  • The name jack o'lantern came from an Irish tale about a mean drunk named, (what else?) Stingy Jack who tricked the devil into climbing a tree. Jack then carved a cross on the tree trunk effectively trapping the devil out on a limb.  When Jack died, neither God nor the devil wanted him, so he was forced to roam the earth carrying a burning ember inside a hollowed out turnip to light his way.
  • To protect your home from evil spirits on Halloween, walk around your house three times backwards in a counterclockwise direction before sunset--after all you can never be too sure.
  • If you happen to see a spider on Halloween, pay close attention.  It could be the spirit of a loved one who is watching you.
  • If the spirit is no one you know, you may scare the spider away by ringing a bell.
  • All the single ladies, if you wish to see an image of your future mate in the mirror, wait until Halloween and then carefully peel an apple in front of it.  If the peel remains unbroken, your intended will appear in the mirror.  Sorry guys--it only works for girls.
  • In ancient times, people disguised themselves after dark on Halloween to confuse the evil spirits.  Nowadays, they just confuse each other.
 So now that you know the important stuff--go out and have a.....


  1. Halloween really is a strange custom, isn't it, when you look at its history. Rather creepy.

    I didn't know the first jack o'lanterns were made of turnips! That would be really tricky to make!

    1. It's always fun to find out how things evolved! You're right--Halloween is kind of creepy, but people love it!