20 Surprising Halloween Facts

Do you consider yourself a creepy connoisseur? Think that you know everything there is to know about ghouls, ghosts, and gremlins? Are you the ultimate Halloween trivia fanatic?

Halloween is shrouded in mystery. Even the most devilishly devout fans don’t know every fact and facet of the magic of October 31.

Don’t fret! We’re here to help you out. Here are 20 spooky and surprising tidbits that you didn’t know about this frightfully fun holiday. Don’t worry, these Halloween facts aren’t boo-gus.

1. Early trick-or-treaters had to dance for candy.

Yep, that’s right. Many experts have traced this treat-seeking practice back to the early European practice of “mumming.” This is where costume-clad candy-goers would perform dances, songs, and plays in exchange for goodies.

2. They’re watching you.

Legend has it that if you spy a spider on Halloween, a loved one is watching over you from beyond the grave.

3. Halloween used to be a time for romance.

Take a seat, Tinder. In certain areas of Ireland, singles celebrated the holiday by playing a romantic fortune-telling game that predicted who they would marry. Some autumn activities, including bobbing for apples, were originally intended to help a woman find a husband.

4. Michael Myers’ mask is actually a Star Trek mask.

The 1978 classic horror flick, Halloween, was filmed on such a shoestring budget that the crew used a $2 Captain James Kirk mask. To make it more sinister, they reshaped the eyeholes and painted it white

5. Samhainphobia is the pathological fear of this ghoulish holiday.

Does the thought of Halloween make you cringe? You may suffer from this phobia. Samhainphobia is actually a medical term for the fear of Halloween!

6. Black cats are harder to adopt close to Halloween.

Some animal shelters won’t let anybody adopt black cats around the end of October because they’re afraid the felines will be sacrificed.

7. Are you going batty?

These winged mammals have a special connection to Halloween. In addition to being a witch’s favorite pet, bats were attracted to the bonfires the ancient Celtics created when celebrating October 31.

8. The world’s largest pumpkin tipped the scale at a hefty 2,528 pounds.

A New Hampshire man named Steve Geddes won a $6,000 prize for the giant gourd at the Deerfield Fair.

9. The term “witch” actually means “wise woman” in Old English.

If somebody ever refers to you as “witchy,” don’t forget to thank them! They’re saying that you’re super smart.

10. It’s illegal to sell or use Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.

If caught with this prank product, it could cost you up to $1,000 in legal fines.

11. Mischief Night is really a thing.

Also known as Devil’s Night, it’s an informal holiday falling on the night before Halloween where pranksters engage in mischievous acts.

12. Chocolate candy takes the cake.

According to a 2019 survey, half of trick-or-treaters prefer a chocolate treat over any other type of Halloween candy. Six percent would accept gum. Obviously, toothbrushes don’t make the list.

13. Early Halloween costumes involved dead animal heads.

During the earliest Halloween celebrations, partygoers donned dead animal heads and skins. These pelts were considered the first type of Halloween costumes. Yuck.

14. Halloween is really old.

In fact, Halloween is more than 2,000 years old!The holiday can be traced back to the times of the ancient Celts and is rooted in their festival of Samhain.

15. There’s a Guinness World Record for fastest pumpkin carving.

How fast? A mere 16.47 seconds. The speedy carving was done by Stephen Clark of New York in 2013.

16. Houdini died on Halloween.

The famous illusionist Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926. Since then, an annual séance has been held with the hopes of making contact with him on the other side. Houdini had even given a code word to his wife before his death and told her he’d use it if his ghost ever returned.

17. The word “bonfire” has a horrific history.

Halloween is the perfect night to have a bonfire. However, this word has a horrific history. Derived from the phrase “bone fire,” bonfires originated during Samhain when priests would toss cattle bones into burning flames.

18. 17 percent of people in the U.S. dress their pet up for Halloween.

Looking for a great Halloween costume for your pooch? Spirit Halloween has a ton of cute pet costumes!

19. Halloween helped give us more daylight hours.

Halloween supposedly played a role in extending Daylight Savings Time so kids could collect even more candy during daylight hours.

20. Americans spent about $8.8 billion on Halloween last year.

How much individuals spend on Halloween has grown by about 80% since 2005.

Now that you know all of these fun facts, go show off your Halloween trivia skills to your friends and family!