At The Business Creative we know quite a bit about theming and creating an atmosphere, however, there was a lot we didn’t know about the origins of Halloween; an annual event that is about both celebration and superstition.

If you really want to get a feeling of authenticity for your Halloween ‘spooktacular’ this year then here are a few facts about this ghoulish event that you can throw around at random and will make you look REALLY clever…..

1. Thinking of using Silly String in Hollywood at Halloween?  I’m a frayed knot!

This is totally bonkers but true.  The prank product has been banned in Hollywood since 2004 after thousands of people would buy it from the street vendors and "vandalise" the area. The law is unforced for a 24-hour period and can also result in $1000 dollar fine or a 6-month jail term if not upheld 

2. The tradition of dressing up on Halloween can be blamed on the Celts.

Celts believed that the Samhain festival was a time when the wall between our world and the paranormal world was porous and spirits could get through. Because of this belief, it was common for the Celts would don masks and costumes in order to confuse or ward off any evil ghoulies!

3. The name "Halloween" comes from a type of recruitment festival held by the Catholics.

Hallowmas is a three-day Catholic holiday where saints are honored and people pray for the recently deceased. At the start of the 11th century, it was decreed by the pope that it would last from Oct. 31 (All Hallow's Eve) until Nov. 2.  These dates were probably chosen to deliberately coincide with Samhain; the church was trying to convert the pagans. "All Hallow's Eve" then evolved into “All Hallow’s Even” and by the 18th century it was commonly referred to as “Hallowe’en”.

4. Originally you had to dance for your “treat”.  A bit like ‘singing for your supper’.

Most experts trace trick or treating back to the European practice of “Mumming” or “guising”.  These acts saw costume-wearing participants go from door to door performing choreographed dances, songs and sketches in return for treats and coins

5. Halloween is considered one of the best days to meet your soul mate.  Putting the ‘ooh’ into ‘spooky’!

In some parts of Ireland, people would celebrate Halloween by playing romantic fortune telling games.  The games would often predict who they would marry and when.  Like Valentine’s Day, Halloween was considered a good day to mingle with the opposite sex.

6. Legendary stories of poisoned Halloween sweets are unfounded.

One of parents' biggest fears is that their child's Halloween treats are poisoned or contains razor blades.  This fear was borne of an urban legend.  In reality, this fear is almost entirely unfounded. There are only two known cases of poisoning, and both involved relatives.   In 1970, a boy died of a heroin overdose. The investigators found it on his candy, but in a twist they later discovered the boy had accidentally consumed some of his uncle's heroin stash, and the family had sprinkled some on the candy to cover up the incident.   Even more horrifically, in 1974 Timothy O'Bryan died after eating a chocolate bar his father had laced with cyanide to collect on the insurance money. 

7. Halloween and the candy industry supposedly influenced Daylight Savings Time.

Candy makers in America apparently lobbied to extend daylight savings time into the beginning of November to get an extra hour of daylight.   This enabled children to collect even more candy (which then forced people to purchase more candy to meet the demand).  Rumour has it that the candy manufacturers were so determined they put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator present during the 1985 hearings on the matter.

8. Many animal shelters will not rehome black cats at this time of year.

This is due to the fear of them being used in ritualistic sacrifice.  Luckily, this seems to becoming less of a concern and more shelters will look to have black cats adopted during October, believing that generally most people who look to rehome an animal from a shelter are good sorts.

9. The spooky mask in the original film ‘Halloween’ was William Shatner.

Because the movie Halloween (1978) was on such a tight budget, they had to use the cheapest mask they could find for the character Michael Meyers.  Weirdly, this turned out to be a William Shatner Star Trek mask. Shatner initially had no idea the mask was in his likeness, but when he found out years later, he said he was honored. 

10. Which witch was which?

The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, these witches or wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.  Not a flying broomstick in sight.

So there you have it, a few tasty morsels to seek your teeth into while you’re bobbing for apples, or hollowing out a pumpkin.  Unless of you course you suffer from Samhainophobia (the fear of Halloween), in which case you probably haven’t read this far.