Spooky Halloween facts we love!

These Halloween tradition origins will blow your mind…

Halloween is a mystical time for children and adults alike. The fun of dressing up, decorating the house, watching Halloween films and going trick or treating, plus the creative faces that can be carved out of the pumpkins.

But where did it all come from? Well, some of these bizarre traditions have some equally bizarre origins that we’d love to share with you! Keep reading for some seriously spooky Halloween facts… 👻

The Jack O’Lantern 🎃

Or as we call it, pumpkin carving!

Pumpkins have become synonymous with Halloween with the Jack O’Lantern adorning many a front door step. But where did this tradition come from? Why do we annually grab a knife and carve faces into a pumpkin?

It originates from Irish folklore. Legend has it that there was once an unsavoury character called ‘Stingy Jack’ who once made a deal with the Devil. Stingy Jack tricked the devil not once but twice and as a punishment after Jack died, he was not allowed into heaven by God or into hell by the Devil and was forced into the dark night with nothing but a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been apparently roaming the Earth with it ever since. He was known as Jack with the lantern or Jack O’Lantern.

In Ireland and Scotland, people began making their own versions by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. Immigrants from these countries brought the Jack O’Lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, are perfect for making Jack O’Lanterns. And so the tradition continued!

Halloween Pumpkins

Share your Halloween Jack O’Lanterns with us!


We want to see your spookiest of Halloween pumpkin faces! All lit up and waiting on your doorstep, of course… So, tag us in your crazy creations on Instagram!

Apple Bobbing 🍏

What Halloween party would be complete without an Apple Bobbing game?!

We’re sure you’ve all played before, but let’s recap the rules… The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Bobbers (usually children) then try to catch a floating apple with nothing but their teeth (hands behind your back, no cheating!)

Despite it being a popular Halloween activity, its origins are more rooted in love and romance than tricks and treats. Would you believe it started out as a British courting ritual? In the olden days, each apple was assigned to a potential male suitor. The female bobber would then try to take a bite into the apple named after the young man she desired. If it only took her one try, they were destined for romance. Nowadays the game is played on Halloween, but it is more coincidental as Halloween falls during harvest season.

Halloween Apple Bobbing

Other regional names for this game include Dooking, Apple Ducking or Duck-Apple.

Trick or Treating 🍬

The Halloween staple of trick or treating has evolved over time, but its origins can be traced back to the Celts who lived over 2,000 years ago.

The Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain and believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain, so they would light bonfires and offer sacrifices to pay homage to the dead.
Sometimes, villagers would disguise themselves with animal skins to ward off evil spirits and leave food out to placate unwelcome visitors.

During the Middle Ages, an old Pagan custom known as ‘mumming’ would occur, whereby people would dress as ghosts and demons to entertain others in exchange for food and drink. This is thought to be the first instance of trick or treating.

Once Christianity had spread across Europe and the UK, the custom had evolved once more. Poorer people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive a pastry known as a ‘soul cake’ in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of dead relatives. Often children would go ‘souling’ from door to door. Souling then moved on to ‘guising’, whereby children would dress up to knock on doors and then sing a song, tell a joke or perform a ‘trick’. They would then receive a ‘treat’ in the form of nuts, fruits and coins.

Halloween trick or treating

Many believe trick or treating is an American tradition. And while it’s certainly popular in the United States, the roots of this spooky tradition originate from Ireland, Scotland and England before it was taken across the pond by immigrants from here.

Got some of your own fun fact about Halloween? Share them with us!

Decorating the house for Halloween? Create a spook-tacular wall display with the kids using our re-usable Halloween Wall Stickers!

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