Forget about scary vampire costumes, fake blood, haunted houses, superstitions and the stories of the dead who are supposed to visit us on Halloween – here are 8 real Halloween scary facts & stories. And they might make you sleep with your eyes open tonight…
#1: Children actually become meaner during Halloween
Not a joke. Numerous studies published by the American Psychological Association have shown that many children really do become monsters (well, at least little monsters) during Halloween. As it turns up, dressing them in scary costumes and sending them off in groups of similarly dressed little monsters with a clear goal in mind (getting candy) makes them care less about the consequences of their individual actions and do things they otherwise wouldn’t. So they steal candy and money, and occasionally even succumb to violence…
#2: Animal shelters often stop giving black cats up for adoption during Halloween
And why could that be, huh? Because there are always people who take the fun and slightly scary Halloween a step further and do really nasty stuff like sacrificing black cats in various rituals. So, the next time you see a black cat crossing the road in front of you, don’t take that as a bad sign immediately – the cat might just be running away from some dark ritual…
#3: Some people are really, really afraid of Halloween
Even heard of a thing called samhainophobia? How about wiccaphobia? Phasmophobia? Perhaps coimetrophobia? They are all real phobias that cause people severe psychological problems, such as extreme dread, panic attacks and depression, especially around Halloween. Why then? Because samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween, wiccaphobia the fear of witches, phasmaphobia the fear of ghosts and coimetrophobia the fear of cemeteries.
#4: Harry Houdini died on Halloween
Harry Houdini, the famous invincible magician who could get himself out of practically any trouble, died on Halloween night in 1926 due to the consequences of a bizarre accident that occurred a few days before. Houdini supposedly claimed that punches to the stomach do not hurt him and so a young student confronted him one day, attacking him with several blows to the abdomen. Houdini was hospitalised, and was believed to be recovering, but he somewhat surprisingly died due to a ruptured appendix on October 31.
#5: There have been incidents of candy poisoning
There have been many poisoning incidents around the time of Halloween in last decades (most of them in the USA). Some were intentional poisonings (such as the case of Ronald Clark O'Bryan who poisoned his 8-year-old son on Halloween of 1974) and some accidental (such as the death of the child who accidentally ate a heroin-filled candy in the USA).
#6: Real animal skin and skulls served as Halloween costumes
Such traditions were widely popular centuries ago, but still - can you imagine going trick-or-treating wearing a bloody animal skin and a skull? We think not!
#7: Some accidents are more likely on Halloween
Each year on Halloween, the media are full of real life scary stories that include murders, rapes and robberies. But none of these are statistically more likely during Halloween. However, there are some accidents that are directly caused by Halloween celebrations – in addition to costume and candy related injuries or illnesses, car accidents involving children are twice as likely as usual during Halloween. Drunk drivers and crowds on streets do take their dreadful toll…
#8: The commercialization of Halloween affects the time we live by
Well, it at least affects the time Americans live by. As of 2007, daylight saving time in the USA was extended to last until the first Sunday of November, supposedly as an energy conserving measure. The measure didn’t actually conserve any energy (in fact it might have even increased its consumption), but it gave the children more time to do their traditional trick-or-treating when it is still daylight, which is believed to bring billions of additional money to the sweets industry. The cleverest conspiracy of all times? Some people certainly believe so!