Halloween, alternatively known as Hallowe’en (from the English “hallows eve,” meaning “All Hallows’ Evening”), is a holiday that takes place on October 31st each year. It should not be confused with All Saints’ Day, which falls on the following day, November 1st. Halloween originated in Ireland and Scotland, and then spread to the USA, where many Irish immigrants arrived during the famine and hardship of the 1840s. Since then, the holiday has spread more and more around the world, primarily in English-speaking countries. However, it has also become popular among children in Sweden to dress up and go trick-or-treating for candy, in exchange for not playing pranks. Is this possibly a holiday you and your children celebrate? In that case, it might be good to know these ten facts!

Several animal shelters refuse to adopt out black cats during Halloween…

Many animal shelters in the USA do not allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween. However, this has nothing to do with the shelters’ superstitions. Instead, it’s a fear that these cats might be sacrificed or tortured during Halloween, activities that occur within certain sects and cultures. [source]

A Spooky Halloween Tale with a Pinch of Truth…

Once upon a time, there was a spooky Halloween myth – and in a way, the myth is also true. The mushroom Omphalotus olearius (pictured below) emits such a strong glow that you can literally walk through forests using its light on a cloudy night. [source]

Pedophiles in Texas Are Advised to Keep Outdoor Lights Off…

In several cities in the state of Texas, USA, individuals registered in the sex offender registry are instructed to keep their outdoor lights turned off on Halloween. This is to make children believe they’re not home and therefore prevent them from knocking. This method has also proven to be effective. [source]

It Didn’t Originate in the USA…

Considering how big and popular the holiday is in the USA, you might easily assume that Americans were the ones who invented it – but no! Halloween was actually invented by the Irish. It was originally a Celtic festival called Samhain, celebrating the harvest. Thanks to Irish emigration to the USA in the 1840s, the holiday also spread to the states. The picture below is from a Halloween celebration in Dublin, Ireland. [source]

Egg and Flour Sales Are Restricted Weeks Before Halloween in the UK…

In many cities in the UK, eggs and flour are not sold to children and teenagers under 16 years old in the weeks leading up to Halloween. This is to curb “antisocial behavior,” as many children throw eggs at houses that don’t have candy when they go trick-or-treating. [source]

However, Candy Contributes to Deforestation…

During Halloween, record amounts of candy are sold around the world. Candy containing palm oil contributes to deforestation of the natural habitats of orangutans and other wildlife. This issue has gained more attention in recent years due to increased environmental awareness and improved label reading. Some stores have even banned candy that contains palm oil. [source]

Still a Long Way from Beating Christmas…

However, the holiday still has a long way to go to surpass Christmas in terms of revenue. In the US alone, about $7 billion is spent annually on candy and decorations during Halloween. This can be compared to Christmas, where they spend a whopping $447 billion! [source]

A Different Celebration in Iceland…

Iceland doesn’t really celebrate Halloween; instead, they have something called “Öskudagur,” where children dress up and go to various stores to sing for candy. [source]

Spirit Halloween’s Unique Business Concept…

The American store chain Spirit Halloween, owned by Spencer’s, opens in over 1,200 locations every year for 4-8 weeks. They spend the rest of the year searching for empty spaces for the next Halloween season. Despite this, they sell so much during their open hours that they manage to open over 1,200 stores annually, only to close them a few weeks later. [source]

Very Few Cases of Tampered Candy Have Been Reported…

A 23-year-old man from northern England was arrested in November 2012 for possession of drugs after he accidentally gave children who knocked on his door asking for “trick or treat” cocaine instead of candy. [source]

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