Haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and candy corn are a few things that may come to mind when thinking about Halloween. However, what are some lesser known, yet interesting facts about this spooky holiday?
1.) The first haunted house
The Orton and Spooner Ghost House (1915) was the first recorded haunted attraction. Orton and Spooner were major ride manufacturers during this time period and this house was part of an Edwardian fair. What made this attraction spooky is that the house was completely dark.
2.) I'm going to let you trick-or-treat, but let's pray first
Trick-or-treating closely resembles a medieval practice known as Souling, where poor members of the community would go door-to-door receiving food in exchange for prayers for the dead. Shakespeare actually references Souling/trick-or-treating in his comedy "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" which dates back to 1593. In this comedy, the character Speed accuses his master of whimpering or whining like a beggar on Hallowmas.
3.) And the best selling Halloween candy is...
Chocolate! The yummy, sugary candy has accounted for around 72% of all Halloween candy sales. The number one best selling chocolate has been Reeses (after all, who doesn't love the classic reeses Halloween commercial - See video), followed by M&M's and Snickers.
4.) Let's Carve a Turnip!
The tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Great Britain with the carving of Turnips. People would carve turnips and then place hot coal in them to ward off evil spirits.
4.) Scared of Halloween?
You're not alone! There is actually a coin termed samhainophobia, which is the fear of Halloween. This is no joke either, since this is something that people are actually clinically diagnosed with.
5.) Bone-fire, Anyone?
Bonfires originated with bone-fires, where these fires were used to ward off evil spirits and to honor Celtic gods in order to ensure the sun would return. These were known as bone-fires originally because animal bones were often used in the fires to deter evil.
6.) Cheap "Halloween" Movie
The movie Halloween (1978) was made in only 21 days on a very limited budget of $300,000. The movie's budget was so cheap that the mask used by Michael Meyers was a 1966 William Shatner mask.