12 Fun Facts About Halloween’s History

With Halloween right around the corner, here are some fun (and spooky!) facts to share while trick-or-treating.

1. Halloween’s roots come from modern-day Ireland. The Celtic people who inhabited the area 2,000 years ago celebrated a yearly festival of Samhain. The festival would take place the night of October 31, people would dress up in costumes to ward off ghosts!

2. Witches weren’t always seen as scary. The Celts did not view witchcraft as evil – in fact, the word “witch” can be traced back to “wicca” which means “wise one.”

3. Trick-or-treating has been around for centuries. In 1000 AD, it was decided that November 2 would be “All Souls’ Day” in England. To commemorate the occasion, children would partake in a practice known as “souling” where they would go door to door asking for gifts and treats.

4. Americans didn’t widely start trick-or-treating until the 1920s, when Halloween became more popular in the states. By the 1950s, Halloween costumes had gone mainstream and the holiday had become a big deal!

5. Halloween “tricks” used to be a real scare. The “trick” in trick-or-treat was no mistake – up until the early 20th century, Halloween pranks were common. Tricks would often involve tying door handles shut or opening windows to make people believe their homes were haunted!

6. The word “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows’ Eve.” This essentially means “the night before All Hallows’ Day.” Today, All Hallows’ Day is referred to as “All Saints’ Day.”

7. The Jack-o-lantern comes from an Irish myth. In the myth, a man named “Stingy Jack” makes a deal with an evil spirit – but Jack’s plan backfires. As punishment, Jack is sent to roam the earth with a carved-out turnip with only a burning coal to light his way.

8. Pumpkin carving’s popularity is relatively modern. Up until the early 20th century, people usually carved turnips rather than pumpkins!

9. Candy corn was originally called “chicken feed.” The first company to market the candy in 1898 coined the kernels “Chicken Feed” to appeal to rural communities and children who lived on farms.

10. People didn’t always give candy. In the 1800s, it was common to receive fruits and nuts as treats. Apple bobbing was even a traditional Halloween activity until the early 20th century!

11. The most popular Halloween candy in America are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. However, Skittles often tie for first place, and M&Ms are usually a close third!

12. Candy preferences change through the years. In 1960, Swedish Fish were most popular, in 1967 Starburst caught on, and in 1975 Pop Rocks became a huge hit!

From all of us here at Tutor Doctor, have a wonderful Halloween and remember to stay safe!