22 Historical Halloween Facts To Hex Your Brain

Gather around the “bone fire,” ye of Halloween born, as we tell the ancient tales of Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve, and why people are so super weird about black cats.


Halloween is a mashup of different cultures and traditions - It originated with the Celtic people and was a festival called Samhain. The Celts believeSource: BBC


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Trick-or-treating was done differently. During Samhain, sacrifices in the form of crops or animals were burned in bonfires (originally called bone fi


Costumes had a greater significance than today - The Celts wore costumes, usually in the form of animals or beasts,  to trick and fool any spirits tha


Samhain became known as Halloween under Christianity. c OMO NSONIC 80y O OCN ancso AN AAL n MOC TOML 212222 When Rome conquered the Celtic lands, many


Dishing out candy evolved from the All Saints' Day traditions. People still made bonfires and donned costumes, but instead of leaving food offerings o


All Saints' Day didn't prove as popular as All Hallows' Eve. The pagan practices prevailed, however changed, as people weren't into celebrating the gSource: Time


At first, Halloween wasn't widely celebrated in the US. The Puritans in colonial New England didn't share the pagan traditions, and celebrating Hallow


The Irish popularized Halloween in the US. When Irish immigrants came to the US in the 19th century after fleeing the Great Famine, they brought with Source: History.com


Originally, jack-o'-lantern was a person, not a pumpkin. It initially meant a man with a lantern, or a night watchman.


Jack-o'-lanterns then evolved to mean strange mysterious lights seen at night over swamps and marshes. These lights were created when gases from decom


The Irish had their own unique story for these jack-o'-lantern lights, and it revolved around Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack invited the devil for a drink b


Carving jack-o'-lanterns into pumpkins was a tradition that came from the British Isles, and they used different types of vegetables. They used turnip


In the US, the pumpkin ck-o'-lantern evolved from a prank. Kids in the US carved crude and evil faces into their pumpkins (used for their abundance) aSource: Mental Floss


There was a brief effort to purify Halloween. In the late 19th century, Halloween celebrations were focused away from ghosts and pranks and more towar


Some of the older games and traditions got lost over time. For instance, an old Halloween tradition centered around women finding a companion, or hopiSource: History.com


Bobbing for apples was part matchmaking, part fortune telling. Young women would mark their apples in secret before dumping them in a water barrel. ThSource: NPR


The Irish have a traditional Halloween bread. Called barmbrack (speckled loaf), the bread was originally baked to play a game of fortune. It would conSource: Irish Times


Witches and Halloween Members of the pagan Wicca were once highly respected, and were seen as wise people who honored and celebrated natural forces inSource: History.com


Black cats have always been part of folklore and superstition. In Scottish folklore, there's a fairy named Cat Sith who walked around as a giant blackSource: Mental Floss


owls had much of the same societal fate as witches. The ancient Greeks linked owls to the goddess Athena and saw them as symbols of wisdom, but duringSource: Rijksmuseum


Seeing a spider on Halloween is a good thing. Many believe that a spider on Halloween is actually a loved one watching over you. Source: Live Science