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Cool stuff about Halloween

We feel that a national crime is undertaken on October 31st. Quite frankly, Halloween isn’t celebrated properly. By the time that All Hallow’s eve rolls on round, most supermarkets have opted for Christmas promotions and all things Santa - rather than Satan.

So, to counteract all that premature Christmas stuff, here’s some facts to help develop a proper Halloween mood - without using Michael Myers’ machete technique. After all, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. It’s time to celebrate!

 William Shatner and Halloween (1978)

Speaking of, Myers offers our first fact. Well, his mask does. Due to the tight budget on which John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) was filmed, the killer’s mask had to be the cheapest they could find for the character. As it turned out, this happened to be a William Shatner mask from Star Trek.

Shatner initially knew nothing of his likeness being used, but when informed years later, expressed how honored he was to have given his likeness to such a popular horror franchise.

Find Halloween scary? There’s a phobia for that. Samhainophobia is the fear of all things Halloween. You’ve also got phasmophobia (the fear of ghosts), wiccaphobia (the fear of witchcraft), and nyctophobia (the fear of the darkness) to contend with come October 31st.

As for us, we also have a fear of Halloween sequels. Don't bother after Halloween II (1981). The plot devices and acting are truly terrifying for all the wrong reasons. Don't believe us? Try this out.

Don't say we didn't warn you...

Witches gonna hate...

The word ‘witch’ comes from Old English, originally spelled as Wicce, meaning ‘wise woman’. Wiccan were highly respected members of the community before history’s infamous witch-hunts soiled the Wiccan name.

According to popular belief, witches - or members of the Wicca, a predominantly Western movement, whose followers practice nature worship and ‘witchcraft’ based on pre-Christian traditions - hold one of their two main after-dark meetings on Halloween.

Who gives a hoot?

Owls remain popular symbols for Halloween celebrations due to their association with witchcraft. Believed to be in cahoots with those who worship dark arts, to hear an owl’s call meant that someone was about to die.

Think about that the next time you find one outside your bedroom window...

Jack O'Lanterns

The first Jack O’Lanterns weren’t carved from pumpkins. Instead, folk turned their creative minds on the humble turnip. According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are left by a stingy chap to lead people away from their paths. Now, that’s quite an unusual thing to do - but there is method in ol’ mythical Jack’s method.

Jack tricked the Devil more than once and was therefore forbidden to enter both Heaven and Hell. Doomed to walk the earth for all eternity, he waves his lantern to lead people astray.

Carving like a pro

How fast can you carve a pumpkin? If you happen to be Stephen Clarke, then 24.03 seconds is the target. Mr. Clarke set the world record during a competition that states the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way. This requires - at the very least - eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.
Good luck trying to carve the world’s largest pumpkin in that time, however. The greatest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven back in 1993. It weighed 836 lbs - roughly the same as a Caterham R 500 sportscar.
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