This past week, we did a series on horror movies from around the world that you might never have heard of: Ich Seh Ich Seh, Noroi: The Curse, The Soul Collector, Terrified, and Tigers Are Not Afraid. We also dug up unknown facts about movies you have heard of (Casper, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Conjuring), and also about some real Halloween crimes. Like the time a dad murdered his son and blamed it on Pixy Stix, or the Spanish soldier who got mysteriously transported across the world. 

Here's a look back at the facts we learned this week. These short summaries are not meant to be appreciated by themselves—each one links to a full article we put out this past week with much more info, so click every one that interests you, or you’ll have to cook dinner for everyone.    

1. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer really wrote barely any of Scary Movie.

They received writing credits because their own script, Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween, got folded into the project, but almost none of their jokes made it into the finished film. 

2. The one time a kid got poisoned eating Halloween candy, his father was the poisoner.

Ronald Clark O’Bryan murdered his son and blamed it on the urban legend of poison Halloween candy. 

3. The Exorcist was loosely based on the real case of Ronald Edwin Hunkeler. 

This was kept secret so long as he was alive. As a result, Hunkeler spent years afraid to leave house on Halloween, paranoid that someone would find out the truth. 

4. A (scientific) curse kept killing the people of apartment 85. 

A bit of radioactive caesium (ironically from a device meant to detect radioactivity, for safety reasons) got stuck in a Ukraine wall, giving four residents fatal leukemia. 

5. Your eyelids will not save you from the blinding horrors of space. 

For more, read 20 Trivia-Tastic Facts That Really Stirred Our Coffee

 

6. The Blob was inspired by a supposed incident from Philadelphia in 1950. 

Police officers touched a blob of something that fell from the sky and called for backup, but the material vanished before anyone could properly document it. 

7. An earl got a shrine built to his own severed leg. 

Lord Uxbridge lost his leg in the Battle of Waterloo, and his family did not give permission for people to put it on display for tourists, but people did it anyway. 

8. Shadow-takers would measure people’s shadows, so builders could bury the measurements in a building’s foundations.  

According to superstition, this was the equivalent of actually burying a person in the foundations, and so the shadow owner would die within 40 days

9. The Chihuahuan Hook-Nosed Snake uses farts to repel predators. 

It might even fart with so much power that it launches itself into the air

10. As terrible as wartime rationing was, it actually made people in the UK healthier.

For more, read 15 Facts About Dan Aykroyd, George Orwell, And Weaponized Cheese

11. When a woman broke off an engagement with a taxidermist, and he killed her dog, he then gifted her the dog, stuffed. 

He also put nitroglycerin in the dog, so it would explode when it caught fire ...  

12. People carried a mummy a thousand years before sticking it in a pyramid. 

We don’t know why they did this, but we can speculate that these ancient Mexican people revered that particular ancestor highly. 

13. The term “bucket list” was wholly invented for the 2007 film The Bucket List.

People swear they knew the phrase before that movie—we’re almost convinced we did too—but no: screenwriter Justin Zackham invented the term, and no recorded use of it predates the movie

14. Swallowing pills dry doesn’t give you an extra hard hit. 

Actually, swallowing pills without water can lengthen the time it takes for the pill to work, since water dissolves some of the medication, speeding absorption. 

15. Two MMA fighters took shrooms, and one ended up cutting the other’s heart out and cooking it. 

He tried pleading insanity, and when that didn’t work, ended up sentenced to prison for at least 50 years. 

Top image: David Jahn

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