Halloween. We all love it and we all know it. But do we really know it? I mean, how did it begin? Why, pumpkin?
Welcome to the Little Did I Know top ten things I didn’t know about Halloween — in no particular order.
10. Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain
Samhain took place at the time of the year where the boundary of summer and fall was blurred and the people believed the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred as well.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
9. Trick or treating can be traced back to the medieval practice of Souling
People went door to door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes. For every cake given, a soul was believed to be saved.
8. Stingy Jack
The Irish legend of Stingy Jack, also known as Drunk Jack and Flaky Jack, inspired the creation of the Jack O’Lantern.
Stingy Jack fooled the devil so many times that, eventually, he was sentenced to be a wandering spirit, roaming at night with nothing but a burning ember inside a carved out turnip to light his way.
7. Jack O’Lanterns weren’t always carved from pumpkins
Jack O’Lanterns used to be carved from turnips. It wasn’t until the Irish brought the tradition to America that Pumpkins became the carving canvas of choice because they were so plentiful.
And thank God that the pumpkin took over because. Turnip pie? Yuck!
6. Halloween was once known as Cabbage Night
Kids just used to throw cabbages at houses. Again, thank God because, Cabbage pie? Yuck!
5. Record pumpkin
The Guinness World Record holder for the largest pumpkin is 2,749 pounds, grown by Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota, at the 50th World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, California, last year.
They believe it could have made at least 687 pies.
4. “War of the Worlds” panic
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast caused panic as many mistook it as a real Martian invasion. Listeners who tuned into the program late didn’t hear the disclaimer that it was a radio play, and switchboards were flooded with panicked callers.
3. A real Thriller
In 2010, 4,093 people dressed as zombies in Asbury Park, New Jersey, breaking the record for the largest zombie walk in history — though nowhere near as cool as the one Michael Jackson did for the video “Thriller.”
2. Werewolves in the mirror
Some believe a werewolf reflection can still be seen in the mirror on Halloween, but that you should never look at your own reflection by candlelight because it can reveal your true self as a witch. All of this is, of course, predicated on you believing in werewolves and witches in the first place.
1. Beam me up, Michael Meyers
Do you know the movie “Halloween” with the spooky Michael Myers and the scary mask? Well, that mask is actually just a cast of William Shatner’s face used in the 1975 movie “The Devil’s Rain.” It’s just spray painted white.
Send your Little Did I Know story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.