Spooky and Fun Facts About Halloween

Last Modified: August 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm by Tianna | Leave a comment


Halloween is such a fascinating holiday to me. It has a long, rich history and is so much fun! I love hearing all the interesting facts about Halloween which I think might surprise you, too, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite fun facts about Halloween.

Spooky and Fun Facts About Halloween

Halloween, also known as All Hallow’s Eve, can trace it’s roots back nearly 2,000 years to a Celtic holiday called Samhain which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic and was traditionally celebrated on November 1st.

It is basically thought to have been a harvest event where all harvest was collected for the winter, animals were brought back from pastures, and also a time for communing with the dead as it was believed that this day was one in which spirits crossed over into the other world. In Mexico, November 1st is also known as Dia de Los Santos (All Saints Day – for children) and November 2nd is known as Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day – for all dead spirits) and has similar roots in Halloween traditions.

The first jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips!

They’ve been made from all kinds of gourds and squash over the years and I think it was directly related to whatever they had in surplus.

Halloween is the second-highest grossing holiday.

It only falls second to Christmas. This makes me think we should stop spending so much of our hard-earned cash on candy and costumes, but all the pretty Halloweenie things! I know, I have a problem 😛

The word “witch” comes from the old English word “wicce” meaning “wise woman.”

 This referred to Wiccans which, at some point, were very highly respected people and held one of their two annual meetings on Halloween night.

Jack-o-lanterns are named, according to Irish legend, after a man named Jack who tricked the devil several times and was forbidden to enter heaven or hell, doomed to wander earth forever. It was said he waves his lantern to lead people away from their paths at night.

Because the Catholic church was trying to convert Pagans, they came up with the name Halloween or “Hallowmas,” a 3-day holiday from October 31st to November 2nd to honor saints and pray for the dead.

Black cats, spiders, and bats were thought to be the familiars of witches and thus, people thought they caused bad luck. Samhain’s tradition of building a big bonfire to ward off insects actually attracts bats (not sure if that’s intentional though).

During this time, the veil between worlds was thought to be at it’s thinnest so people believed spirits could slip through and roam earth. This is why we wear costumes – to throw off the spirits of the dead!

People leave candy and food out on their doorsteps to ward off evil spirits. 

Since spirits were thought to roam the earth during this time, people would leave food out to get the spirits to leave them alone.

Bonfires were originally lit by Pagans to ward off darkness and evil spirits.

The word “bonfire” actually comes from it’s original name “bonefire.” It was dubbed this name because Pagans would usually burn crops, animals, and even humans up until the 1600’s!

In Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, Halloween is Celtic New Year’s!

November 1st is the New Year according to Celtic tradition and why Samhain was celebrated.

What Are Some Halloween Facts or History You Find Fascinating?

Any that I Forgot to List?

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6 thoughts on “Spooky and Fun Facts About Halloween

  1. October 13, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Very interesting article. I am most surprised by Halloween being the biggest holiday after Christmas. I always thought it was Thanksgiving. It’s amazing how the holiday has evolved, and I can’t help but wonder what the people then, would think of how it is being celebrated now. Great article!

    Bella Kulture

    1. October 13, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      thanks! I know it’s insane how much money is made from Halloween. I think people used to take Halloween a lot more seriously as they were more superstitious, but I can see how it’s evolved with more fun spirit haha. they might be upset if they saw what it is today 😛

  2. October 13, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    I love your enthusiasm for Halloween 🙂 And in France November 1st is “La Toussaint” (All Saints day) and we honor the dead, it’s a holiday and people go put flowers at the cemetary

    1. October 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      thanks Helene 🙂 We have All Saints Day here in USA too, but usually it’s only a religious holiday for Catholic/Christians so not everyone celebrates it. People usually visit the dead, pray for them, light candles at church , etc.

  3. October 27, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    Great Post!! I currently live in the “Bible Belt” and people were always dish on Halloween as evil… So I did a research paper in college just about the true reasons we have Halloween like you wrote!! Great Job!
    Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday – Link Party! Hope to see you again this week!! Pinned!
    Elaine recently posted…Shrimp Wonton’s 2 Way!My Profile

    1. October 27, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      how cool! Sounds like you were a bit of a revolutionary! That’s awesome!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Elaine 🙂

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