First of all, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you know I have a three-year running tradition I like to call “Octallween”. If, in in the unfortunate event, you’re not familiar with Octalloween and you don’t follow me on Facebook, then let me explain to you what this is.
Every year, beginning the first week of October, usually around the first, I research and compile crazy, spooky, or interesting Halloween and autumn facts. When I find facts that I believe will interest others, I create a special post on my Facebook account and title it something like this: “Octalloween Day 1”. These facts can be anything from the origins of Halloween, to trick-or-treating festivities, to autumn treats with historic meanings. I start posting in early October and continue until Halloween. When I first began this tradition three years ago, I posted a fact every single day for the entire month. The following year, I quickly realized I was too busy to do that again. So now I post a fact once every few days, but each post consists of 2 – 3 facts. This year I have reached at least ten posts on Facebook. All will be posted below. Each and every post for three years now has garnered interest and surprise from readers. That is why I created Octalloween, to bring interest or the holiday and create more of a Halloween and autumn feel.
By the way, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and autumn is my favorite time of the year!
All of 2016 Octalloween facts are listed below. Feel free to let me know what you think and please share around the internet to inform and teach others about these cool facts. Enjoy!
1.The word “witch’ probably doesn’t mean what you think it means…
The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccanwere highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night. (http://www.factretriever.com/halloween-facts)
Derived from Old English, wicce, or sometimes termed wicca, can mean “wise woman” or “wise one” as wicce and wicca seem to be feminine and masculine terms. Over time and in various countries the spellings have evolved and changed, but obviously today the meaning has shifted to seemingly mean something of evil.
So when you choose to call someone a witch, remember the root of the meaning. It may not have the same effect on you before you read this. Look at it this way, Hermione from Harry potter is a witch, and she is the smart one of the bunch! Take from this what you will…
2. Samhnainophobia is the fear of Halloween
Ah… Okay? I guess everybody has to be afraid of something. Here’s a list of other crazy (some not so crazy) Halloween related phobias. (Pumpkins, I mean come on!)
3. The world’s heaviest pumpkin is 2,323.7 pounds!
Beni Meier of Switzerland broke the world record in 2014, and obviously he had to use some heavy machinery to move the pumpkin that weighed almost as much as a small car!
1. The fasted pumpkin carving time is 24.03 seconds. The rules require at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.
2. Halloween has previously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain, and Summer’s End.
3. Ages ago, Scottish girls believed they could view images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.
1.According to tradition, if a person wears their cloths inside out and walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
2. In the pre-Halloween celebration of Samhain, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, difficult winter. Frequently Druid priests would throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence, “bone fire” became “bonfire.”
3. Halloween is believed to have originated around 4,000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years.
1.Teng Chieh, also known as the Lantern Festival, is one Halloween festival in China. Lanterns shaped like dragons and other animals are hung around houses and streets to help guide the spirits back to their earthly homes.
2. In Hong Kong, there’s a Halloween celebration know as Yue Lan or Festival of the Hungry Ghosts during which fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.
3. Both Salem, Massachusetts and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.
1.Halloween used to be a day to find your soulmate. According to Nicholas Rogers’ “Halloween: From Pagan Ritual To Party Night.” In some part of Ireland, people celebrated Halloween by playing romantic fortune-telling games. These games allegedly predicted who they’d marry, and when.
2. Baking a Halloween cake was a tradition in colonial America, but so was baking objects into the cake to predict futures. If you bit into the cake and got a thimble, you’ll be unlucky in love.
3. “Punkie Night” – The villages of Hinton St. George and Lopen in Somerset have their own creepy twist on Halloween. The tradition involved children marching around with jack o’lanterns (punkies) asking for candles and money. They threatened those who wouldn’t give any. The youngsters are generally led by a Punkie king and a Punkie queen. There is even a song that accompanies the kids on the street.
1.Some pet shelters wont allow people to adopt black cats around Halloween for fear they’ll be sacrificed.
2. Apparently, there is a tradition in Germany where you hide knives on Halloween. This is supposed to honor the dead and prevent them from hurting themselves on any knives in the house.
3. There is a traditional Halloween recipe in Italy called “Fave dei Morti” – which translates to “Beans of the Dead”. They are an oval cookie similar to a macaroon.
1. The Guinness World Record for the most simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns is 30,919 – which took place in Highwood, Illinois.
2. Kids were off candy until the late 1940’s due to sugar rationing in Europe and America from WWI to WWII. Radio programs joked that the children would have to explain to their parents what trick or treating was. Many of the adults opposed the practice as it encouraged extortion and begging.
3. Halloween is a $6 billion dollar industry for candy makers.
Day 8: First 10 out of 30 scariest books according to shortlist.com
30. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
29. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (One of my favorites!)
28. Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
27. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (I don’t know about scary)
26. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
25. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
24. The Stranger by Albert Camus
23. Pet Sematary by Stephen King
22. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
21. Cock & Bull by Will Self (Sounds very, uh, interesting…)
Day 9: Next 10 out of 30 scariest books according to shortlist.com
20. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Scary? I don’t know about that, but creepy…)
19. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade
18. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
17. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
16. The Trial by Franz Kafka
15. Blindness by Jose Saramago
14. Hell House by Richard Matheson (This is on my “to read” list)
13. Requiem For A Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.
12. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
11. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Day 10: Last 10 out of 30 scariest books according to shortlist.com
10. Pollen by Jeff Noon
9. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
8. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
7. The Witches by Roald Dahl
6. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
5. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (I didn’t like this book or find it scary.)
4. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (On my “to read” list)
2. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (On my “to read” list)
1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Link to shortlist.com’s scariest book list is here.
Thanks for stopping by to read these interesting and cool facts! Join me on Facebook for more interesting facts next October!
Until next time…