7 Things You Never Knew About Halloween
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

7 Things You Never Knew About Halloween

Halloween is coming... better hide your silly string and stock up on potatoes!

103
7 Things You Never Knew About Halloween
Steve Isaacs

Halloween is one of America's favorite holidays. There's something so wonderfully fun about dressing up. But, like every other holiday, Halloween has a wacky and wild history. Here are the weirdest and craziest things you never knew about Halloween!

1. Is that a... potato?

Everyone loves carving pumpkins, but did you know that in the earlier days of Halloween people carved potatoes (and turnips) instead of the now well-loved pumpkin? The whole phenomenon can be blamed on the mythical character of Stingy Jack. Back in the day, roughly 500 years ago, in Ireland there lived a drunkard named Stingy Jack. He liked to cause as many extra issues as he could, so he often bartered with the devil, even trapping him twice! When Jack freed the devil they made an agreement; Jack would never trap him again, and the Devil would not banish Jack to Hell when he died. Yet, when Jack died he discovered that because of all the sins he'd committed in his life he was not allowed into Heaven either. Instead, he was given a single burning ember and left to roam the Earth for eternity. Jack carried that ember in a makeshift lantern, built from a hollowed out turnip. Thus, the Jack-O-Lantern was born. To ward off Jack's evil spirit people began carving turnips and potatoes (and then eventually pumpkins) and displaying them outside their homes.

2. It isn't just the sugar making kids act out.

Studies have shown that children in costumes, who are allowed to mill about the streets, actually act out more than they normally do. Researchers believe this is due to a specific type of group-think, where members of a group lose their individuality, and also gain anonymity, which then causes them to feel more comfortable acting out. One study, in particular, found that in a group of 1,300 children those who were in costumes and were left with no responsibility participated in more theft than the other groups of children. Another researcher found that children wearing costumes were more likely to take more Halloween candy than allowed if they believed there was no parental supervision. So, watch those kiddos closely because group-think might be turning them into little demons.

3. Thimble got your tongue?

In colonial America it was traditional to bake Halloween cakes and fill them with all kinds of unsavory treats. If you were the lucky person who bit into a thimble, it meant you were destined to have bad luck with the opposite sex.

4. Candy and capitalism.

It's a well known fact that Halloween is every candy company's favorite holiday, but did you know that in the 1985 hearings on Daylight Savings companies actually helped lobby to extend the extra hour into November? It was theorized that if children had an extra hour of light in which to trick-or-treat during, then adults would have to purchase more candy to keep their supplies stocked throughout the evening.It's hard to imagine a world where people could possibly spend more on candy than they do now, which hovers about 2 billion dollars annually, but that was certainly the goal in this specific lobbying task. Rumor has it that during the hearings the candy industry banded together and placed candy pumpkins on each legislators seat, though this account is highly disputed by the companies themselves.

5. The infamous Silly String struggle of 2004.

Currently, a city ordinance stands in Hollywood decreeing that the use of Silly String in the city limits on Halloween is subject to a $1,000 fine. Back in the good ol' days bored folks wandering the streets of Hollywood, particularly Hollywood Boulevard, would be confronted by illegal vendors who would sell discount Silly String. This, of course, riled up the crowd and led to a lot of property damage via Silly String. Ever since the Halloween of 2004 it's been illegal to use the popular party toy near Hollywood Boulevard.

6. If you couldn't break down with a sweet dance move, you couldn't get candy either...

In the Middle Ages, when Halloween was still known as All Hallows Eve, it was customary to pray, dance or sing in order to get your treat. That's definitely much more work than I ever put in while trick-or-treating!

7. In Illinois you may be asked to show an I.D...

In Belleville, a small town of 35,000 people, if you're over the age of 12 you may be fined up to $100 for trick-or-treating overage! Belleville is just the latest in a handful of Illinois cities that have begun enforcing this rule, after elderly people and parents were complaining about teenagers showing up to their doors for candy. Sheesh, tough crowd!


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

105391
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

45101
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

82804
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments