100 Haunting Facts About Halloween

100 Halloween Facts



Halloween is the time of year when we see doorsteps decorated with carved pumpkins and fake cobwebs.

Everyone dresses in spooky costumes on October 31 for trick-or-treating and themed parties.

But have you ever wondered why we celebrate Halloween or where the traditions came from?

We’re going to find that out and so much more with these Halloween facts!

Are you ready to be spooked? If so, you’re ready for these 100 Halloween facts that you need to know.

Halloween means saint’s evening.

A picture of date blocks for 31 October covered in webs

Some of the earliest uses of the word Halloween or Hallowe’en date back as far as 1745, in association with Christian origins.

The word Hallowe’en in Scottish means saints evening and would have been written as All Hallows’ Eve.

The word “eve” or “even,” shortening of evening in Scottish, would sometimes be written or pronounced as een or e’en.

Over time, All Hallows Evening became abbreviated to Hallowe’en.

Originally wearing a mask at Halloween was for protection.

A scary Halloween mask

Masks at Halloween were initially worn to ward off evil spirits.

People believed that at Halloween, souls would come back to walk the earth, looking for lives to take with them.

So the theory was that if you wore a scary mask, you would scare off the evil spirits.

Blue moons on Halloween are rare.

A blue moon changing the color of the whole sky

Blue moons are rare enough as it is, so to fall on Halloween is a unique occurrence, happening every 18-19 years.

A blue moon is the second full moon to occur in the same month.

October’s first moon is called a harvesters moon, and if there is a second, it’s called the hunter’s moon.

In Lithuania, Halloween is the night when light meets darkness.

Light meeting darkness in the sky

In Lithuanian, it is believed that half of the year is light and half dark, not just in terms of physical light but in spirit too.

Halloween marks the day where these two meet, and it is the change from light to dark.

Sometimes the light is seen as good and the dark as evil, so often, children will dress in black or white to represent either side.

Guising was the original trick-or-treating.

An illustration of 5 people guising

Guising was a British term used for the act of dressing up in a way so that your identity is disguised.

The act of guising has been recorded in Scotland from as early as the 16th Century.

One of the main ways of “guising” was to wear a mask or face covering on Halloween.

In the 1800s, this began to develop into wearing masquerade masks whilst going round to homes “souling” or asking for fruit.

There are “no mask” policies for Halloween.

Lots of creepy face masks

In the US, there are many rules about wearing masks in public on Halloween.

For example, in Dublin, Georgia, it is illegal to wear a mask if you are under the age of 16.

And in Belleville, Illinois, it is also illegal to wear a mask if you are under the age of 12 years old.

The loudest single scream at Halloween was record-breaking.

Three pumpkins, two with faces and one reading "Trick or Treat"

English teaching assistant Jill Drake broke a Guinness World Record in October 2000.

Whilst attending a Halloween festival in London, England, at the former Millennium Dome, Drake’s scream measured an incredible 129 dBA.

That’s the equivalent of a rock concert with a loud symphony.

In Wales, the Recording Angel will decide who dies on November 1.

The famous large yew tree

In Welsh mythology, the spirit named Angelystor, which means “Recording Angel,” will appear each Halloween at the Llangernyw Yew tree.

The spirit is sent to tell the village who will be the next to die.

The tree is located in the churchyard of St. Digain’s Church in the village of Llangernyw, Conway, Wales.

The largest pumpkin sculpture was of a zombie apocalypse.

Ray Villafane with his apocalypse carved pumpkin behind him

Over the course of two days, Ray Villafane created the world’s largest pumpkin sculpture.

The record took two days to complete and used two pumpkins weighing 1,818 lb (824.86 kg) and 1,693 lb (767.9 kg).

He created a zombie apocalypse scene across the two pumpkins between October 22-23,  2011.

As well as the world’s largest pumpkin sculpture, there is a record for most pumpkins carved simultaneously.

A total of 1,060 people in New Mexico, USA, simultaneously carved pumpkins, making them the largest group in the world to carve pumpkins at the same time.

The record went to Galloping Grace Youth Ranch and the citizens of New Mexico on October 26, 2013.

Charlie Brown was the first TV character to “Trick-or-Treat.”

Ghosts in Charlie Brown

In 1966 an episode of the famous cartoon Charlie Brown had the characters go trick-or-treating.

This was the first time the concept of trick-or-treating was seen on a television program.

The cartoon became the face of trick-or-treating, and everyone wanted to be like Charlie and his friends.

Covering a dead body with a white sheet was the inspiration for one of the first Halloween outfits.

A Halloween costume made of a white bed sheet

At Halloween, we like to dress up in spooky outfits, from witches to zombies and even monsters.

But if you are looking for a last-minute outfit, a white sheet is seen as an acceptable ghost outfit.

Originally the idea of wearing a white sheet came from the dead.

When someone dies, a white sheet is laid on top of them.

The idea of wearing a sheet over you created the illusion that there might be a dead person underneath.

Peter Jackson was born on Halloween.

A picture of Peter Jackson smiling

Along with a handful of celebrities, Peter Jackson was born on Halloween.

He is best known for producing and directing “The Lord of The Rings” series, but in his early career, he had a focus on horror.

Jackson’s career started with a horror-comedy show, as well as filming a zombie-inspired comedy show.

Some might say that his birthday has influenced the themes of his work and shaped his horror-inspired path.

Other famous people born on Halloween include Will Smith’s daughter Willow Smith, The Walking Dead actress Sydney Park and U2’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

Halloween candy used to be homemade.

Rows of red candy apples

Caramel apples and popcorn were popular Halloween treats.

Due to the time of year, apples are in harvest and readily available, so a popular treat was to coat or roll apples in sweet treats.

The most common form of caramel apple was to roll the apple in caramel followed by nuts.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that candy manufacturers started to market Halloween-specific candy and the trend turned to buying pre-made candy.

In Germany, it is a tradition for households to hide their knives on Halloween.

Knives stuck in wood

A tradition in Germany is that on Halloween, you must hide all your knives.

Like many other cultures, Germany believes that Halloween is the time of year when the veil between worlds is thin enough for spirits to pass.

So to make sure the souls of their visiting relatives don’t get hurt, they hide all their knives in the house.

This is to ensure there are no accidents and their dead relatives don’t get hurt!

Black cats are symbols of superstition.

A black cat and a blackbird

Black cats are associated with Halloween because of their superstitious reputation.

Across France and Spain during Medieval times, cats were associated with bad luck and curses.

This association led them to be the perfect sidekick to any witch who wants to curse you.

The US Puritan Pilgrims distrusted anything related to sorcery and witchcraft.

It became a tradition to burn a black cat on Shrove Tuesday to ensure you would not have any house fires that year.

As Halloween is known for its window to the dead, in more recent years, many people started to decorate their homes with anything associated with witchcraft and superstition.

This was how black cats became a symbol of curses and Halloween.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller is the most played Halloween song.

MICHAEL JACKSON in his music video for Thriller

There are many songs associated with Halloween, like “The Monster Mash” and “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” but nothing quite beats Michael Jackson.

Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” is consistently downloaded, streamed, and played every Halloween.

Every year the song sneaks back up into the charts and back onto people’s radars, ready in time for Halloween.

Since its release, there have been 66 million copies sold globally.

Beggar’s night is a tradition in Iowa.

Children trick or treating expecting to be given candy

In some places, the night before Halloween is known as “mischief night,” but in Des Moines, Iowa, it’s different.

The actual night of “Beggars night” changes each year and is different depending on your county or state.

The concept behind it was to encourage younger children to have a safer experience whilst trick-or-treating.

On Halloween night, it can become quite daunting or too scary for little children, so beggars night was born.

It gives sensitive children a chance to still enjoy Halloween but with reduced stress and more comfort.

Mexico calls Halloween “Dia de los Muertos”.

Sugar skulls face makeup

In Mexico on October 31, people dress up as sugar skulls, and their traditions are a blend of indigenous Aztec rituals and traditions of Spanish colonizers.

Dia de Los Muertos means “day of the dead,” and although it is celebrated on the same day as Halloween, it has its own set of rules and traditions.

Celebrations consist of making offerings to deceased loved ones, creating flower decorations, and shrines in the home and at the burial sites of lost family members.

In more recent years, the cultural blend between Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos has spread globally, with the sugar skull or candy skull becoming a Halloween symbol.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus was almost named Halloween House.

Hocus Pocus scene with three witches looking at the spell book

Hocus Pocus is a popular movie to watch with friends on Halloween.

But did you know that the original concept for Hocus Pocus had a much darker plot with a scarier vibe?

The writer Mick Garris had the working title of Halloween House for the script that he pitched to Disney.

Disney took it on but changed the name to Hocus Pocus, so it had more of a family-friendly appeal.

The original “Halloween” movie was filmed in just 21 days.

Michael Mysers from the Halloween movie

October 25, 1978, brought us the horror movie Halloween.

The horror murder film has led to 10 sequel movies and remakes, with another two to be released in 2022.

The original Halloween film only had a budget of $300,000 USD.

This meant getting creative and using anything for costumes and props.

The famous mask worn by Michael Myers cost just $1.98 USD from a costume shop on Hollywood Boulevard.

A low budget forced them to film everything in one location, South Pasadena, California, in 21 days.

The largest gathering of witches was in Spain in 2013.

Three witches

On November 16, 2013, on the main street in Sort, Lleida, Spain, 1,607 witches gathered.

People dressed from head to toe in their best witch-themed attire.

This was a Guinness World Record breaker that has been held for 10 years by La Bruixa d’Or in Spain.

The White House was first decorated for Halloween in 1958.

A black and white photo showing children dressed Halloween costumes outside the White House

Every year alongside the majority of the country, Halloween is celebrated at The White House in Washington, D.C.

The first time it was decorated was in 1958 by Lady Mamie Eisenhower, with faux skulls, pumpkins and flowers.

The tradition has continued since, with presidents and their families hosting parties and carving pumpkins.

To add to the haunting décor, there are many mysteries around the ghosts of previous presidents visiting the white house to haunt the corridors.

Although The White House is lived in daily, it is still considered a haunted house.

Only 5 US states produce the majority of Halloween pumpkins.

Lots of pumpkins on a pumpkin patch

All states of the US produce pumpkins, but there are five states which produce the most at Halloween.

The U.S. Census of Agriculture documented that the states of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, and California were the leading states in growing pumpkins.

In 2018 Illinois harvested double the amount of pumpkins than any other state for Halloween.

500 million lbs (226 million kg) of pumpkins were produced across the five states in 2018.

In Cambodia, beans are given to the dead on Halloween.

Beans wrapped in banana leaves

Halloween is still a fairly new holiday in Cambodia, but over the course of September and October, Cambodia has had traditions with similarities to Halloween.

In Cambodia, it is believed that the gates to hell open up around October time, and souls can walk the earth.

A traditional offering was to give beans wrapped in banana leaves to lost loved ones on Halloween as a peace offering.

Halloween traditions last for one week in Austria.

Seleenwoche festivities showing many lit candles

In Austria, Halloween is celebrated as part of All Souls week, known in Austria as Seleenwoche.

A tradition as part of the celebration is to leave a light on in your house continuously for seven days.

Alongside leaving the light on, bread and water are left out for the souls of passing relatives.

It is also common to visit the graves of loved ones to lay flowers and lanterns.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was founded in 1950.

A girl being gifted a Halloween box by Unicef

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was designed to get children to support other children.

Children who would be out trick-or-treating were encouraged to take with them a little orange box provided by UNICEF to collect donations for children in need.

They were encouraged to shout “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF!” and then collect donations as well as the candy for themselves.

The campaign has raised over $180 million USD since it began in 1950.

The spirit of “Stingy Jack” is scared away by jack-o’-lanterns.

Tingy Jack stuck in a prison of fire

In Ireland, the myth of Stingy Jack is where the idea of carving pumpkins originated from.

The myth explains that Stingy Jack tricked the Devil for monetary gain.

When he died, God would not accept him into Heaven, and the Devil banished him from Hell.

So he was left to roam the earth and terrorize humans on Halloween.

As a result, people began to carve faces on vegetables to scare his spirit away on Halloween.

“Trick-or-Treat” was first printed in 1927.

Three pumpkins, two with faces and one reading "Trick or Treat"

The first time the phrase “Trick-or-Treat” appeared in print was in 1927 in an article written in Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald.

The report was an account of events of Halloween that year in Canada and uses the term trick-or-treat to explain the actions of children on Halloween.

Trick-or-treating has been around for many years, but in different forms and with different names.

Souling used to be a Halloween tradition.

Soul cakes

Back in the 1800s in England, on All Saints Day souling was practiced.

The Christian tradition would start by baking “Soul cakes” that were given out to “soulers.”

“Soulers” were people who went from door to door, offering prayers and songs for the souls of loved ones.

Souling was popular throughout the middle ages in Britain around Halloween and Christmas.

The largest Time Warp dance was at West Hollywood’s Annual Halloween Carnival.

Time Warp

8,239 participants gathered to take part in the world’s largest Time Warp dance on October 31, 2010.

20th Century Fox organized the event in Hollywood at their annual Halloween Carnival to celebrate the 35th anniversary of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.

The dance was the last event of the day and was followed by a screening of the movie.

Apple bobbing was a British tradition.

A boy with his head in a bucked of water trying to grab an apple with his teeth

Apple bobbing originates from Britain and served as a game to see if you would end up with your loved one.

There were variations of the game, but they all revolved around finding love.

One version was that an apple was assigned to a potential partner.

If it took them just one attempt to get that apple out, then they would marry that partner.

If it took two attempts, then they would fall in love, but it would fade over time.

If it took three, then they weren’t destined to be together.

Other variations of the game involve bite marks. If you were to pick out the apple with the bite mark of your possible lover, then you would marry.

Witches held one of their most important meetings on Halloween.

A witch meeting

The Pagan holiday Samhain fell on one of four special nights for witches.

Witches used to celebrate four sabbats, also known as fire festivals, and there were nights that were full of energy and mystery.

Wiccan tradition is to respect the dead and remember our ancestors on these nights.

The evening would have had more of a somber tone, with silence as opposed to partying and celebrating the life of the dead.

Illusion artist Harry Houdini died on Halloween.

Harry Houdini handcuffed on a boat

The famous illusionist and magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926.

Houdini agreed with his wife that if he were to die and found a way to communicate with her, then she should use the password “Rosabelle believe.”

After his death, his wife, Bess Houdini, held yearly séances on Halloween for 10 years after his death in an attempt to communicate with him.

She even kept a candle continuously burning since his death, but she blew it out after no response on the 10th attempt.

Although his wife gave up, his fellow magicians and fans didn’t.

An annual séance is held on Halloween for Houdini, and the tradition has been passed down as part of the Society of American Magicians.

Halloween is the second biggest holiday of the year.

Children sitting in Halloween costumes

Halloween is the second biggest commercial and grossing holiday of the year after Christmas.

In 2019 more than 172 million Americans celebrated Halloween, with around 69% of them giving out candy for Halloween.

The total spent in the USA on Halloween for 2019 was around $8.8 billion USD.

It was estimated that consumers spent around $86.27 USD each on decorations, outfits, and candy.

Owls are associated with witches.

A scary witch with an owl on her shoulder

In Medieval Europe, owls were often thought to be a form that witches take when in flight.

Folklore said that if you heard an owl’s hoot, someone was about to die.

Owls have become a popular decorative animal at Halloween because of this historical connection to witches.

The largest pumpkin ever carved weighed over 1,800 lbs.

Scott Cully's humongous carved pumpkin

Scott Cully broke the record for carving the largest pumpkin (based on size) into a Jack-o’-lantern.

On October 30, 2010, in New York, Cully attempted the world record.

The pumpkin weighed 1,810.5 lb. (821.23 kg), and although it is the largest in diameter jack-o’-lantern carved, it is not the heaviest.

The largest jack-o’-lantern to be carved based on weight was carved by a team of three on October 6, 2018, weighing 2,077 lb (942.11 kg).

It is illegal to dress as a nun or priest in Alabama.

A priest holding a cross necklace

There aren’t many laws around Halloween that influence your outfit choice.

In Alabama, it is a criminal offense if you dress as a priest or nun. That includes any member of the clergy of any religion.

If you are caught dressed as one, you could face a fine or even be arrested.

The law in Alabama states:

“Whoever, being in a public place, fraudulently pretends by garb or outward array to be a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

Halloween parties were encouraged to get kids off the streets.

Children at a Halloween Party

In the late 1800s, Halloween started to become a night of terror, and sometimes tricks got seriously out of hand.

This began to give Halloween a reputation as being a destructive time of year, and some youths used it as an excuse to be naughty.

So in the 20th Century, Halloween parties started to become more popular.

The idea was for families and neighborhoods to celebrate together, and the concept of having friends over to play games instead of causing trouble on the streets became a trend.

Halloween parties would entail telling ghost stories, playing traditional games, and feasting on Halloween-themed treats.

“Kale pulling” was a popular Halloween game.

Kale growing and ready to pull

In Scotland, a lot of Halloween games were centered on reading into the future to find out who you will marry, and a popular game to help with this was called “Kale pulling.”

Once the sun had set on Halloween and it was dark, women would venture outside to the vegetable patch and find the kale.

The game was for each woman to pick out the stalk of a mystery piece of kale.

It was said that the stalk of the kale would resemble the build and height of their future lover.

The amount and type of soil that surrounded it would tell the wealth of their possible husbands.

The largest Halloween-inspired GPS picture was completed in 2014.

A Corsa car

In 2014 European car manufacturer “Vauxhall” decided to break a world record for the launch of their new release.

The Vauxhall Corsa is a popular car across Britain, so the makers decided to draw the biggest Halloween-inspired collection of images across the UK using GPS.

Much like we use GPS apps to record where we have run or cycled, Vauxhall decided to plan their route to create an image.

There is a world record for the most amount of people simultaneously apple bobbing.

Apples bobbing up and down and in water

On September 21, 2011, the United Community Healthcare community plan of Ohio, USA, decided to obtain a new record.

They managed to get 597 people together to simultaneously apple bob, therefore breaking a world record.

There is a reason why black and orange are the colors of Halloween…

Black and orange pumpkins

You may be wondering why orange and black are the two most prominent colors at Halloween.

Orange is one of the main colors as it represents fall which is the season Halloween falls, and pumpkins which are a popularly harvested crop at that time of year.

Black is the other color associated as it symbolizes death and darkness as summer comes to an end.

The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.

Someone screaming in horror

The word Samhainophobia comes from the word “Samhain,” which means summer’s end.

Most cases of Samhainophobia are caused by a traumatic experience or panic attack around certain elements of Halloween.

When exposed to these elements, it is likely that you will feel symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, shaking, and sweating.

When shops start to decorate for Halloween, people who suffer from Samhainophobia will become exposed to elements that might trigger them.

Puerto Rico hosts the annual Yellow Halloween event.

San Juan Halloween party

Every year San Juan, Puerto Rico, hosts the Yellow Halloween event, where musicians come from afar to celebrate.

The concert is one of the biggest Halloween events in Puerto Rico and even across the Americas.

The elaborate party has a different theme every year but keeps the yellow color incorporated into the event.

The event is sponsored by Medalla Light beer which has a yellow-colored logo, which is the main inspiration for using yellow at the event.

Statistically, fewer babies are born on Halloween.

Scary baby doll

Naturally, when you are planning to have a child, you have some choice in the date or time of year of birth.

If you are superstitious about Halloween, then you can roughly plan around it.

Not only has this factor contributed to the low birth rate on Halloween, but studies have revealed that willpower can be a powerful tool in giving birth.

Research suggests that the human mind can influence hormones, and when it comes to birth, if the mind is not ready, then in some cases, it can be put off for a small period of time.

A report in Social Science & Medicine explained that on Halloween, births are reduced by around 11.3% compared to any other day in the US.

Pumpkin smashing is a sport in the USA.

Many smashed squished and splashed pumpkins on a field

At the end of every Halloween, we are left with an abundance of pumpkins that have started to slowly rot away.

So what better way to dispose of them than having a big get-together and smashing them up!

The popular sport has become a regular tradition across the US.

In Asheville, North Carolina, everyone gets together to have a day of “smashing,” drinking beer and hanging out.

The smashed pumpkins get taken to be used as compost for locals.

There are even world records being set for pumpkin smashing.

On November 3, Ronald Sarchian successfully smashed a total of 49 pumpkins in one minute, creating a new record. The record was broken in Van Nuys, California, USA.

Halloween traditions have been around since 4000 B.C.

Celtic style Halloween illustration

Halloween-related celebrations and beliefs have been around for an estimated 6,000 years.

Traditions are believed to have come from Ancient Celtic harvest traditions.

The Gaelic festival Samhain is considered one of the roots of Halloween as there are many similarities and thoughts about the veil between life and death being at its thinnest.

The most amount of people dressed as ghosts in one location was 560.

A ghost made of a white bed sheet

560 people dressed as ghosts in an attempt to break a world record on March 24, 2017.

The Mercy School Mounthawk in Tralee, Ireland, got their students to bring in bed sheets to create ghost outfits.

Once they were all ready and dressed, they got together in the school hall to create the world’s largest gathering of ghosts!

Snap apple is a traditional Halloween game, which is similar to apple bobbing.

Children grabbing apples on string with their mouth

Snap apple starts with tying an apple by its stem to string.

You then hang it at the height of the person who will be attempting to eat it.

The challenge is to see who can eat their apple the fastest with their hand behind their backs.

It is similar to apple bobbing, but you have to eat the entire apple!

The largest haunted house takes nearly an hour to walk through.

Professional spookers from Cutting Edge Haunted House

In 2015 Guinness World Records named Cutting Edge Haunted House the “World’s Largest Walkthrough Haunted House.”

Cutting Edge is a haunted house built inside an abandoned meat packing factory in Fort Worth, Texas.

The total length of the walk-through house is 2,261 ft. (689 m), and it will take around 50 minutes to walk through.

In Missouri, you can only Trick-or-Treat if you are under the age of 14.

Children trick or treating

In the town of Bellville, located in Missouri, trick-or-treating is only for children.

There is a blanket rule that you can only ask for candy whilst trick-or-treating if you are in or below the eighth grade – or 13 to 14 years old.

The record amount of jack-o’-lanterns lit together is 30,581.

Thousands of Jack O' Lanterns all lit up

On October 19, 2013, a Guinness World Record was broken in the City of Keene, New Hampshire, USA.

The record was to have the most jack-o’-lanterns lit at the same time.

The record was broken by the City of Keene, Let it Shine Inc.

The City of Keene was the original record holder, and they have broken their original record eight times.

Although they hold the record for most jack-o’-lanterns lit at the same time, there is another record for most jack-o’-lanterns lined up in a row.

On November 1, 2019, River Dart Country Park in the UK lined up a total of 4,164 carved pumpkins, creating a new record.

In Mexico City, over 13,000 people created the largest synchronized Thriller dance.

New Mexico Thriller gathering

On August 29, 2009 the Instituto de la Juventud del Gobierno del Distrito Federal hosted the world’s largest Thriller dance.

13,597 people gathered in Mexico City, Mexico, to take part in a synchronized Thriller dance.

They broke the world record just in time for Halloween and two months after Michael Jackson’s death.

Vivaron the snake demon, is the oldest Ghost in the world.

A vivaron illustration that looks like a dinosaur snake

Ghost sightings and sharing ghost stories at Halloween is a popular pastime that emphasizes the spooky atmosphere.

A place called Ghost Ranch in New Mexico is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest ghost.

The Guinness World Record holding ranch has claimed multiple sightings of a reptile ghost measuring around 19-29 ft. (6-9 m) long.

The ghost has been named Vivaron, the snake demon, and sightings have been dated back to the 1500s.

In 1947 many reptile and dinosaur bones and fossils were found at the site, including the skeleton of a 19-29 ft. (6-9 m) long snake-like reptile.

The world’s largest temporary corn maze covered 60 acres.

The world's largest wheat field maze

Halloween is the best time of year to visit a corn maze and spook your friends whilst getting lost in the fields.

The world’s largest temporary corn maze was made in Dixon, California, USA, in 2014.

Cool Patch Pumpkins decided to attempt to create the world’s largest maze covering an amazing 60 acres (242,811 sq. m).

In Belgium, a Halloween tradition is to simply light a candle.

5 simple tall white candles lit in the dark

A lot of Halloween traditions originate from Europe, but they have become lost in the new ways of Halloween.

In Belgium, Halloween is celebrated with large gatherings and big parties.

An old tradition in Belgium was to light a candle on Halloween as a mark of respect to the dead.

The candle would be lit in the household of the family of the deceased.

In London, 51 people wrapped their partners as mummies in just three minutes.

A scary looking mummy

A fun game that is often played at Halloween parties is mummy wrapping.

The game normally consists of wrapping your partner in toilet paper in a race against other pairs.

In 2015 a group called Britmums, based in London, UK, broke a record of wrapping 51 people as mummy’s in just three minutes.

New York’s Village Halloween Parade is the biggest in the US.

Halloween parade drummers

The Village parade of Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, was initiated in 1973.

On average, the parade attracts around 2 million spectators and consists of an average of 50,000 people taking part.

The parade is quite spontaneous, and anyone can join the march at any point without getting a ticket.

Although this is the largest parade in the world, it is not considered the largest gathering for Halloween.

The average Trick-or-Treater will collect around 7,000 calories on Halloween.

Lots of Halloween candy on a table

The average American will eat around 3.4 lb. (1.54 kg) of candy on Halloween.

That’s around 3 cups (384 g) of sugar that is consumed on the night of Halloween!

The average child on Halloween will consume up to 7,000 calories from candy, which is the equivalent of 13 Big Macs!

Americans will purchase a total of around 600 million lbs (272 million kg) of candy each year for Halloween.

That is the equivalent of 6 ships the size of the titanic!

Many shelters across the US don’t allow people to adopt a black cat at Halloween.

A black car with two pumpkins

Much like at Christmas when shelters and pounds are overwhelmed with puppies and kittens that are unwanted Christmas presents, similar events occur at Halloween.

Many shelters across the US refuse to rehome black cats at Halloween; this is mostly in fear for their lives and well-being.

Sadly some people go to the extreme when it comes to decorating their homes for Halloween and will go to the lengths of adopting black cats to enhance the atmosphere.

It is also feared that die-hard Halloween fans might be tempted to use black cats in their rituals or, even worse, sacrifice.

Black cats across the US have some of the lowest adoption rates and one of the highest euthanasia rates.

As a result, some shelters like to take advantage of this time of year and don’t put any restrictions.

In Germany, Ortrud Kastaun owns the largest collection of clowns in the world.

Ortrud Kastaun who owns the most clowns

Clowns have become one of the scariest characters of Halloween, but in Germany, there is a woman who is obsessed with them!

Private collector Ortrud Kastaun has the Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest collection of clowns.

Known to her friends as “Orty,” she has been collecting clowns since 1995. In 2012 when the record was obtained, she owned 2,053 different clown models.

She has said the collecting clowns helped her overcome her alcoholism.

She sees them as being positive characters, and she goes to sleep with hundreds of them smiling at her!

The word “bonfire” comes from the tradition of burning bones on Halloween.

Burned bones

A bonfire was a key element of the Samhain festival, which celebrated summer’s end.

Halloween traditions have stemmed from Samhain traditions, one being to have a large bonfire.

The word bonfire comes from the Samhain tradition of a “bone fire.”

To mark the end of summer, a bonfire would be made, on which bones and cuttings from crops were thrown on top to ensure a good crop for the following year.

This ritual led to the creation of the joining of words “bone fire” to create “bonfire.”

In Sweden, Halloween is spent in graveyards, visiting loved ones.

Gravestones at dusk

In Sweden, most graveyards are often surrounded by nature, in forests and woodlands.

An old Halloween tradition is to go with your family to visit the graves of loved ones and take a candle.

The candles are placed on the graves, and everyone spends the evening connecting with the lost loved ones.

There is no trick-or-treating or dressing up, just family by candlelight in a graveyard.

Stephen Clarke holds the world record for carving a pumpkin in 16.47 seconds.

A picture of Stephen Clarke with many certificates

Stephen Clarke is a two-time Guinness World Record holder, and they are both to do with pumpkins!

As well as carving one ton (907 kg) of pumpkins in the fastest time, he also holds the fastest carving time for a single pumpkin.

On October 31, 2013, Stephen carved a complete face that included eyes, nose, mouth, and ears on a pumpkin in 16.47 seconds. 

Clarke also holds the world record for carving exactly one ton (907 kg) of pumpkins in a record-breaking time.

It took him exactly 3 hours, 33 minutes, and 49 seconds to completely carve all pumpkins.

He completed the record at Harrah’s Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

In China, the hungry ghost festival is celebrated instead of Halloween.

Hungry Ghost Festival opera in China

In China, Halloween isn’t often celebrated; instead, the festival for hungry ghosts is a traditional event to celebrate the dead.

This is usually on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.

The festival is called Zhongyuan and is an important time of year to worship ancestors.

American Halloween traditions have been introduced to China, with places such as Disneyland Hong Kong holding westernized Halloween parties on October 31.

Despite new ways, old traditions are still practiced throughout the year.

The world’s largest gathering of Zombies was in the USA!

Halloween zombie gathering in Minneapolis

You might think the apocalypse is happening if you stumbled across 15,458 zombies.

But on October 11, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, this was just a bar crawl!

However, this wasn’t your average bar crawl, the challenge was to break the world record for the largest gathering of zombies.

As of 2020, it still holds that world record.

In the 1960s, “sexy” Halloween outfits came into fashion.

A woman in a sexy Halloween costume

Dressing up on Halloween started as a tradition to ward off evil spirits and protect your identity when being a trickster on Halloween.

Over the years, that motive has changed, and now dressing up on Halloween has evolved into a night where you can be whoever you want to be.

Traditional Halloween outfits would have been ghosts, pumpkins, skeletons, and witches.

In the 1960s, “sexy” Halloween costumes were marketed, and Halloween became a chance for you to dress as your alter ego.

In the 1990s, Halloween outfits started to become made based on recent events involving celebrities, film releases, and scandals at the time.

Silly string is outlawed in Hollywood on Halloween.

A vehicle covered in silly string

In Hollywood, there is a fine of $1,000 USD and/or six months in jail for the use, possession, or distribution of silly string on Halloween.

The law goes from 12.01 a.m. on October 31 to 12.00 p.m. on November 1.

The law was brought in in 2004 following vandalism to buildings and vehicles, which cost the city thousands of dollars to clean up.

In Germany, “Trick-or-Treat” is called “Sweets or Sours.”

Lots of different Halloween candies

Trick-or-treating didn’t start in Germany until the 1990s, and as the celebrations started to become more popular, they began to have their own names.

Different phrases were thought up in Germany to describe the act of trick-or-treating.

The most common was “Süßes oder Saures” which translates to “Sweets or Sours”.

But this was a shortening of “Süßes sonst gibt’s Saures,” which meant “Give me sweets or there will be sour things.”

From this phrase, it became a tradition when knocking door to door to say a poem or rhyme when asking for candy.

Bat blood was used in witches’ potions on Halloween.

A scary bat with sharp killer teeth

Bats are associated with Halloween for a number of reasons.

Firstly they have a long-term association with vampires, and naturally, as Halloween is about all things scary, vampires are a popular subject on Halloween.

There is also a species of bat, which is called the vampire bat, which was given its name because, much like a vampire, it feeds on blood.

They are also linked with witches as it is believed that witches worshipped bats and possibly even used their blood in the creepy concoctions.

It was said that witches would use bat blood to create potions to help them fly.

The Christian church became weary of bats because of the association with witches, and therefore bats have become a symbol of evil.

Dubai’s Wild Wadi Waterpark holds a masquerade ball every Halloween.

Advert for the Forbidden Basement at Wild Wadi

Although Halloween is a more predominantly Christian festival, it is becoming a global celebration.

In Dubai, the Wild Wadi Waterpark holds an annual masquerade ball.

Anyone can take part in the celebrations as part of the Spooktacular event, and fancy dress is encouraged.

Trick-or-treating has become accepted in some areas of Dubai between 3-7 pm.

The largest Halloween gathering brought together 17,777 people.

Cheerleaders in halloween costumes

The Guinness World Record holder for the largest Halloween gathering in New Orleans!

On October 31, 2010, New Orleans Saints and NBC Sports organized the record attempt at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

As part of the broadcast of Sunday night football on NBC, 17,777 participants took part in a record-break attempt to have the largest gathering on Halloween.

Giving birth on Halloween is considered bad luck.

a devil baby doll

There are many old wives’ tales about giving birth on Halloween and the possible implications it might have on your child.

Tales tell us that a child born on Halloween will be cursed for their life and might have special powers.

It is thought that a baby born on Halloween might be able to speak to the dead and have double vision.

In Virginia, over 1,000 vampire fanatics gathered in their best attire to break a world record.

Sharp campire teeth

On September 30, 2011, 1,039 people dressed as vampires in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

Kings Dominion theme park, located in Doswell, Virginia, USA, hosted the record attempt.

The world record attempt was a marketing campaign to start the month of October by promoting its haunted-themed entertainment and rides.

They were successful, and as of 2020, they still hold that record.

There is an island of haunted dolls in Mexico.

Scary dead dolls hung up

One of the scariest characters on Halloween is children’s dolls or rag dolls, and they are common characters in horror films.

In Mexico, there is an island that is full of creepy dolls, and you can spend Halloween there!

It might be some people’s nightmare but for others a spooktacular place to visit at Halloween.

The tale of the island is that a caretaker once found the body of a little girl who had drowned.

He found a doll nearby, so he hung it up in the tree as a mark of respect.

He then found himself haunted by the ghost of the girl, so he continued to hang up dolls.

Most of the dolls have limbs missing and have been known to move and change their positions.

This haunted island is the creepiest Halloween getaway.

In Scotland, it is believed that burning nuts on Halloween will help you to tell the future.

Lots of shelled nuts burning

In Scotland, an old Halloween tradition was to burn nuts on the fire to help tell your future.

A newlywed couple would throw a nut each on the fire and see what happens.

If the nut burned slowly and quietly, then the marriage would be happy and calm.

If the nut hissed and cracked, then the marriage would be turbulent.

Candy corn is a traditional Halloween sweet treat.

Candy corns

Around three-quarters of the annual total production of candy corn is purchased for Halloween.

Candy corn is available in various colors to suit the holiday or occasion.

For Halloween, Candy corn is yellow, orange, and white.

In eastern Canada, a special Candy corn with a “blackberry cobbler” flavor is popular at Halloween.

Halloween was canceled during World War II.

"Halloween is cancelled" written on a chalk board

During World War II, Halloween of 1942 had to be canceled.

One of the main reasons for this was that sugar was rationed at the time, and therefore sweet treats were difficult to get hold of.

Trick-or-Treating was prohibited due to the lack of resources and, in particular, candy.

This was one of the first times Children had to go without at Halloween.

The first Zombie walk event was held in 2000.

A female zombie walker

Following popular TV shows like “The Walking Dead,” zombies have become significant characters on Halloween.

The first-ever Zombie walk event was organized by Gen Con, Milwaukee, in August 2000.

This style of the event took off, and another was organized in Sacramento, California, in August 2001.

The concept behind it was to arrange a secret meeting location, everyone dress in zombie attire, and then roam the streets as if there were a real zombie invasion!

Halloween on Sundays can’t be celebrated.

A very sad looking pumpkin

In most cities across the world, Halloween is celebrated on the day of October 31.

But in the town of Rehoboth, Delaware, it is illegal to celebrate Halloween if it lands on a Sunday.

Instead, it must be celebrated the day before Halloween.

Rehoboth also has a law that trick-or-treating must only occur between 6-8 pm.

In New Zealand, two ghosts were exorcised and sold online in 2010.

Two girl ghosts

At Halloween, we decorate our homes with authentic spooky-themed items, but have you ever thought of buying a real ghost to spook your visitors?

In 2010, Avie Woodbury set up an auction for the sale of two ghosts.

The ghosts were exorcised from her home in Christchurch, New Zealand, and placed into glass vials which were then dipped in holy water.

She claimed the spirits were of a man who had lived in the house and a little girl who had visited.

She sold the ghosts for $2,000 New Zealand Dollars (1,395 USD).

Woodbury donated the money raised to animal welfare charities.

You can celebrate Halloween in Dracula’s castle!

Dracula castle surrounded with fogs

Have you ever imagined celebrating Halloween in Dracula’s castle?

Well, in more recent years, it has become an annual event.

G Adventures exclusively book Brans Castle in Transylvania, Romania, every year to host a spectacular Halloween Party.

Brans castle is said to have been Dracula’s home.

Although most of Romania does not celebrate Halloween, the hometown of Dracula throws some of the most haunting Halloween parties.

The first villain scarecrow appeared as Batman’s antagonist in 1941.

Dry wheat fields

Scarecrows have always appeared in the fall season to scare off crows from crops.

Once the crops are harvested, the scarecrows are the only thing left on the horizon of cornfields, creating a lonely and eerie scene.

They have become popular on Halloween due to horror movies and comics using scarecrows as the evil characters that haunt those left in cornfields.

The first villain scarecrow, was the character named “Scarecrow” in the 1941 Batman comic.

Films such as the 1988 “Scarecrow” and the 2001 Jeepers Creepers have played on this.

They are designed to scare away birds, but this has evolved into scaring people too!

“Trunk-or-Treating” began in the 1990s as an alternative to Trick-or-Treating.

A family trunk or treating from the trunk of their car

Trunk-or-treating began in the mid-1990s in the US as an alternative way of celebrating Halloween.

It became a popular way of enjoying Halloween in areas where perhaps houses are far apart or where you don’t know your neighbors.

The trend started with parents setting up Halloween displays in the trunks of their cars in school or community car parks.

The trend has become so popular that some stores have now started selling products to trick out your trunk!

In 2016 clown masks at Halloween were banned.

A scary clown mask

2016 was the year of “The Great Clown Scare,” as there were an abnormal amount of suspicious clown sightings across the globe.

Over 18 countries across the world were affected by these spooky sightings that were allegedly part of the promotion for a new horror movie.

The main issue was that these clown sightings started to get out of hand, with people dressed as clowns hanging around schools and forests, and it became a global concern.

Precautions were brought into place, which included banning the selling of clown costumes, and banning wearing clown outfits and masks in certain areas.

All clown masks and outfits were removed from stores for Halloween of 2016 to ensure the safety of the public.

Razor blades in apples and poisoned at Halloween are a myth.

A sharp razor blade inside a half eaten apple dripping in blood

There have been no cases of strangers plotting to kill children who trick-or-treat from them at Halloween.

The razor blades in apples are simply a myth that stands as a reminder of food contamination and children’s safety laws.

It acts merely as a cautionary tale, and no candy has ever been poisoned and tampered with at Halloween on purpose by strangers.

There has, however, been one case where a parent poisoned their child’s candy after taking out a life insurance policy in their name.

Originally turnips were used for carving at Halloween.

A devil carved into a turnip

The tradition of carving Jack-o’-lanterns out of pumpkins comes from an Irish tradition of carving turnips.

Turnips were carved to scare off Jack’s soul, and when Irish immigrants moved to the US, they began to use pumpkins instead.

This is where the tradition of carving pumpkins at Halloween came from.

Celebrating Halloween in Jordan is illegal.

A pumpkin with a sad face

Halloween started as a pagan tradition that then influenced Christian traditions at that time of year, but it is still not celebrated by Muslim communities.

As the festive elements of Halloween spread across the globe, more countries and communities are warming to the idea of celebrating Halloween.

However, there are still some places where it is illegal to celebrate.

The country of Jordan is one of these countries that have banned Halloween celebrations.

All public celebrations and appearances in relation to Halloween are strictly prohibited, and police action will be taken.

Although younger generations are becoming interested in the customs of Halloween, any involvement is advised to be subtle and low-key.

In 1900 it became a custom to send a postcard to loved ones at Halloween.

An old retro postcard

From 1900 to 1915 in the US, it became a popular trend to send postcards to family and friends at special times of the year, like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.

It became known as the “postcard craze,” where companies started selling Halloween-themed postcards.

By 1909 the Souvenir Post Card Company of New York had created 12 different designs for Halloween cards.

Most Halloween postcards depicted witches, goblins, and pumpkins; however, as the years went on, the themes developed.

The trend started to die out around 1915 when the introduction of the home telephone came in, and by 1930 it was rare to receive a postcard at Halloween.

October 30 is sometimes referred to as “mischief night,” as it’s said this is when the gates to hell open.

Art work of the gates to hell

Sometimes called “cabbage night,” Hallows eve-eve has become a night where people go wild! It’s also a tradition that has become known for its vandalism.

It is unknown why it happens on this particular date, but there are links to pranks that would have been played on people on May Day, a festival in the UK.

It is thought that the gates to hell open on the 30th in time for all worlds crossing on Halloween; therefore, evil is let loose.

This tradition of causing chaos occurs on different dates around the world.

In the US it’s on October 30, whilst in England, some practice it on November 5; Guy Fawkes Night.

The Saw movies are the most successful Halloween film series.

The scary ceramic faced toy clown from the movie SAW

Halloween is the perfect time to release a horror movie as it makes the most of the atmosphere.

Saw III is the highest-grossing Halloween movie of all time.

It was released on October 27, 2006, in the USA, and by the 31st, it had grossed $33.6 million.

The series as a whole is the highest-grossing horror film, with the total of the six movies bringing in $733,271,976.

The world’s largest Ouija board is in Pennsylvania.

A closeup of a ouija board

The Grand Midway Hotel, Windber, Pennsylvania, is one of the USA’s most haunted hotels.

What better place to celebrate Halloween than at a haunted hotel with the world’s largest Ouija board?

This spooky attraction draws people from all over the world to experience its creepy and unique bohemian interior.

Halloween is a great time to visit and experience the atmosphere in its full with their annual Halloween party.

In Ireland, a traditional baked treat at Halloween is a bread called Barmbrack.

An Irish barmbrack cake with dried fruit inside

You might be wondering what Barmbrack is and what it has got to do with Halloween.

This old Irish tradition involves baking bread or cake on Halloween and hiding special treats inside.

Alongside the usual ingredients of raisins, items were placed inside the bread, which became a game of seeing who got a slice with something in.

The bread was almost seen as a way of fortune-telling on Halloween as different items inside had different meanings for the coming year.

Common things to place inside were rings, coins, a pea, a stick, and cloth, all with different meanings for the receiver.

For example, if you got the slice with a pea in it, it meant you would not marry that year.

Green witch costumes were inspired by the Wicked Witch of the West.

A scary witch with green skin

Witches have inspired Halloween costumes for over one hundred years, and traditionally the key features are a black pointed hat and broomstick.

However, in 1939 when the first film was released based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the green-skinned witch appeared.

This was the first time a witch character had been depicted with green skin, and it has since been a popular color for dressing up as witches for Halloween.

In the UK, 2,018 people collaborated to create the world’s largest gathering of skeletons.

Rows of human skeletons

On October 8, 2011, 2,018 people dressed as skeletons got together to try and break the record in time for Halloween.

Swansea University in Wales hosted an event run by Jokers Masquerade, who required everyone attending the party to come dressed as a skeleton.

As of 2020, they are still the record holders.

“Scrying” is an old British tradition at Halloween.

A magic glass ball for scrying

You might be wondering if scrying might have something to do with crying, but it has nothing to do with it!

In the 1800s, the old British tradition on Halloween was to take part in scrying.

Scrying was the act of staring into a mirror in a dimly lit room, and eventually, you will see the face of your future husband.

If you saw a skull, then it meant that you would die before you married.

Many traditional Halloween activities center on varied methods of divination.

Boxed costumes became popular in the 1950s.

An old magazine showing some Collegevillege Costumes

Costumes have become one of the biggest aspects of Halloween alongside trick-or-treating.

In the US, costumes are sometimes made at home, but if you are looking to buy one, they can start anywhere between $25-$40 USD.

The first boxed costumes were produced in the early 1900s, but it was until the 1950s that they really took off.

Boxed costumes provided the customer with an almost head-to-toe outfit of a character or theme.

One of the first manufacturers was Collegeville Costume Company which would create boxed costumes based on popular Halloween characters.

It was post-World War II, and mass production made them more affordable to everyone.

Bogie Books were the first Halloween text to give you tips for creating Halloween outfits and decorations.

Halloween scene illustration art in a Bogie Book

Dennison Manufacturing Co. started out as a crepe paper company, but in the 1900s turned to Halloween for marketing.

They started to produce “Bogie Books,” which were annual magazine-style books.

The books contained ideas for making at-home Halloween-themed decorations and outfits using crepe paper.

They also contained some ghost stories and Halloween game ideas.

Dennison Manufacturing Co. saw an opportunity to expand its business in the mid-1900s, so it started to produce some of the first Halloween decorations.

Alongside Beistle Company of Shippensburg, PA, they were the first companies to produce paper decorations for Halloween.

In Britain, the “The Witchcraft Act of 1735” made it illegal to eat pork pastries on Halloween.

Scary looking mummified sausage rolls with eyes

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was introduced in Britain to abolish the hunting, executions, and accusation of witches in Britain.

However, one of the laws in the act was that it was forbidden to consume any pork-related pastry or pie on the night of Halloween.

It’s unknown why specifically pork pastries were banned. And it wasn’t until the 1950s that this law was repealed!

Since the 1950s, it has been ok to eat and offer out pork pastries and pies on Halloween.

Dressing your pets up for Halloween has become a popular tradition.

A cute dog wearing a halloween tie

In 2018 the National Retail Federation revealed that around 30 million people across the US bought Halloween outfits for their pets.

An estimated $480 million USD was spent in 2018 on accessories for pets in the US.

The most popular costume choices for dogs are pumpkins, a hot dog, and a bumblebee.


Halloween is becoming a popular holiday across the globe, and it all revolves around similar themes.

It’s a time when the Northern Hemisphere enters winter & darkness, and it’s seen as a time when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest.

Halloween is the time of year to remember our ancestors and to celebrate life… and eat candy!

We hope you’ve learned something new with these 100 Halloween facts; which one was the most shocking?

About The Author

Becca Marsh
Becca Marsh

Becca Marsh is a travel enthusiast and a lover of nature. She is the co-founder of Global Convoy, a travel production company. When she is not filming, she enjoys writing about culture and travel.

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