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Halloween 2017: Hungry ghosts, poisoned candy, we scare you with these 10 facts

How often do full moons actually happen on Halloween? Can ghosts devour you? We present 10 amazing Halloween facts for all of you.

art and culture Updated: Oct 31, 2017 09:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Count Dracula,Halloween,Happy Halloween
Although shown in every ghost movie since the beginning of time, full moons on Halloween are very rare. In fact, the next full moon shall not take place till 2020.(Shutterstock)

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest night of the year, when, according to belief, spirits roam the earth and prey on humans. However, the thrill of the celebration is so much that children are seen roaming the streets, dressed in costumes, asking for tricks and treats.

Well, if you are planning to try some tricks to ward off ghosts, here are a few interesting facts which might turn out to be surprising even for the most ardent Halloween fans!

1. Dressing up for Halloween is a tradition from the Celts.

According to the Celts, Samhain (Samhain: According to Wikipedia — a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from October 31 to November 1, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset) was the time when spirits from the other world could enter into ours. Hence, they would dress up in order to ward off or confuse the various ghostly entities.

2. Fears of poisoned candy

Parents do have a fear that their kid’s Halloween candy might be poisoned, because of certain instances which took place a few decades ag\o. Only two such incidents have taken place till now, according to LiveScience. In 1970, a boy died due to a heroin overdose after having his Halloween candy. Investigations revealed that the boy had eaten some of his uncle’s heroin, and in order to cover up the incident, the family had sprinkled some of the heroin on his candy.

The second incident took place in 1974, when a boy named Timothy O’ Bryan died after eating a Pixy Stix which had been laced with cyanide by his father so he could get the insurance money after his son’s death.

3. Full moon

Bats chilling out on a full moon night. ( Shutterstock )

Although shown in every ghost movie since the beginning of time, full moons on Halloween are very rare. In fact, the next full moon shall not take place till 2020. The last one happened in 2001, and before that it was way back in 1955.

4. Finding your soulmate

A scene from Dracula: Dead and loving it (1995). ( Youtube )

Halloween used to be a popular day to find your soulmate. In certain countries, Halloween was celebrated by playing romantic fortune-telling games, which would be able to tell who would marry whom and when. In Hollywood, of course, Halloween would be the day when college-goers would get killed in a variety of ways.

5. Black cats

A black cat thinking whether it should attend that Halloween party or not. ( Shutterstock )

Many animal shelters will not allow you to adopt black cats around Halloween, fearing that they might be sacrificed.

6. Halloween, the movie

A scene from Halloween (1978) with Michael Myers, the killer. ( Youtube )

The movie Halloween (1978) was made on a very small budget, because of which they used the cheapest mask they could find for the character of Michael Meyers, which actually was a William Shatner Star Trek mask. Shatner didn’t know about this, of course, but years later when he came to know, he said he felt honoured.

7. Commercial success

After Christmas, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday.

8. The owl factor

The owl is a trendy Halloween image. During the medieval age in Europe, owls were considered to be witches, and if you heard an owl howling, it would mean that someone was going to die.

9. Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini. ( Youtube )

Harry Houdini (1874-1926), one of the most famous magicians ever, died in 1926 on Halloween day, after suffering an appendicitis which was the result of being punched three times.

10. Hong Kong’s Halloween

In Hong Kong, Halloween is celebrated as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, and food and gifts are offered to pacify ghosts who might be wandering, looking for revenge.

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First Published: Oct 31, 2017 09:04 IST