Trick or WHAT? Strange and Shocking Halloween Traditions

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Halloween can get kind of weird (which is what we love about it). Here are a few trivia tricks and treats that delve into the stranger side of this historic holiday. Put on your zombie costume and use your BRAINS!

Celts thought that the presence of otherworldly spirits made it easier for priests to do what?

The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st, and they believed that on that particular night, the boundaries between the living and the dead opened up. This helped Druids, or Celtic priests, make predictions about the future to guide them through the coming winter.

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In late October, the Romans used to celebrate Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees. This celebration introduced which type of produce into Halloween tradition?

Sorry, but there is no record of anyone bobbing for onions. Gross. However, the tradition of bobbing for apples may have popped up because the symbol for Pomona is the apple.

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During the late 19th century, young ladies thought you could use a mirror to predict what?

Halloween tradition has it that if you sit in a dark room holding a candle in front of a mirror while eating an apple or brushing your hair, a vision of your future husband will appear over your shoulder. Or you could just try online dating. Both can be equally spooky.

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The tradition of going a-souling was the precursor to which activity?

Going a-souling is an old term for trick-or-treating. During All Souls’ Day in England, beggars would go from house to house asking for food. They would be given soul cakes in exchange for the promise that they would pray for the family’s deceased loved ones. Later, children took up the tradition and it evolved into trick-or-treating.

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What is the name of the fortune-telling cake eaten in Ireland at Halloween?

Colcannon is a potato dish filled with fortune-telling charms. However, barnbrack is the traditional Irish loaf cake made with dried fruits and stuffed with charms, usually a ring, a coin and a thimble. The ring predicts romance, the coin foretells prosperity and the thimble means you’ll never marry.

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Italians get into Halloween, too. In what shape do they make their special holiday cakes?

The Italians make a bean-shaped cake called Fave dei Morti, meaning beans of the dead. This is also a day where gentlemen propose to their future brides. They put the ring in a small box and then pack that in a larger oval box filled with beans of the dead.

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Spain also has a Halloween baking tradition. What do they call their special pastries?

If you visit Spain during Halloween, you can fill your belly with bones of the holy. Also called pan de muerto, “bread of the dead,” this anise-seed pastry is shaped into round skulls with bone-like strips attached and covered with orange glaze.

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What percentage of candy sold in the United States is purchased for Halloween?

A full 25 percent of America’s candy is sold at Halloween, and U.S. households spend roughly 6 million dollars each year on trick-or-treat supplies.

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What is the top selling Halloween candy?

Candy corn wins! Americans buy more than 20 million pounds (9 million kilograms) of it every year. But the real question is: How many pounds of candy corn are stuck into one big, uneaten hunk at the average American home.

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Which day of the year has the most candy sales?

October 28th is the biggest day for candy sales in the United States. In fact, the top five candy-selling days are all in October. Clearly, we love treats more than tricks.

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Jack-o'-lanterns originated in Ireland with what vegetable?

The first jack-o'-lanterns were hollowed out turnips that were filled with burning coal. They didn’t become pumpkins until the Irish immigrated to the U.S., where pumpkins were bountiful.

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What is the No. 1 most popular pet costume?

It’s true, some people dress their cats as dogs, and that is the No. 9 pet costume. But No. 1 is pumpkin! Awwwwww.

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According to a 2011 survey by the National Retail Federation, what is the most popular adult costume?

Even with vampires and pirates ruling the movie box office and popular television shows, witches still cast a spell on grown-ups who like to dress up. It reigns with13 percent of costume sales while the others lag behind, each averaging 3 percent of sales.

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In Czechoslovakia, what do people drink to honor the dead?

The Czechs like to knock back a glass of cold milk to pay tribute to their deceased family and friends. Apparently it “cools the souls roasting in purgatory.”

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In certain parts of the United Kingdom, jack-o'-lanterns are called this.

British historian Ronald Hutton reveals that children carry their “spunkies” around town as death warnings, and they sing this catchy ditty: “It’s spunky night, it’s spunky night, gie’s a candle, gie’s a light, if ‘ee dont, ‘ee’ll have a fright.”

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Why does it mean if your fire’s flame turns blue on Halloween night?

Halloween is full of freaky superstitions, and many people believe you should keep your hearth fire burning all night long to ward off spirits. If the flame turns blue, that means a being from the other world has entered the room.

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What should you do if you meet a witch?

Another spooky superstition involves turning your clothes inside out and walking backwards on Halloween night. If you meet a witch, this will surely protect you. Because she’ll think you're crazy and steer clear.

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According to superstition, if you see a spider on Halloween, what does it mean?

Seeing a spider on Halloween is actually good luck. It means that someone you love who has passed away has come back to watch over you. You might also need an exterminator, but that's no way to treat a loved one!

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How many days did it take to shoot the movie “Halloween"?

“Halloween” only required 21 days of shooting, but it’s been scaring the heck out of people every Halloween since 1978.

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Who is the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown?

Tim Burton’s awesome Halloween tale “The Nightmare Before Christmas” tells the story of the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, who stumbles across Christmastown and tries to get in on the jolly holiday action. A must see for Halloween fanatics of any age!

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