In case you haven’t noticed, Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s so much fun, that people can’t help but love it. It’s dark. That’s true, but the dark has an element of playfulness, mystery, and adventure that hangs in the air. I feel an exhilaration with it, more than any kind of fear, and I’m not even the one doing the Trick-or-Treating. Yet, some people don’t like it or are even afraid of it. So, I’ve put together a little list of things that people believe are true about this dark holiday, but are just plain bogus.
It’s only for Satanists/pagans/heathens
Is this still a thing? Does someone actually still believe this? Think about it: we carve up fruit; hang up plastic and wooden, (i.e., fake), spiders and ghosts; kids dress up in goofy costumes and beg for candy; and women dress in short versions of certain professions, (“Hellooooo, Nurse”). What, exactly, is evil about all of that? Nothing.
Let’s look at it from another angle: Satan is a Christian character and Halloween is derived, in part, from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. That’s apples and oranges, or pumpkins, if you will. They aren’t the same religion. As a matter of fact, the druids tried to protect themselves from potentially evil spirits that they thought roamed the earth during that time of the year. That’s why they wore masks: to scare bad spirits away. Aside from that, no actual Satanic rituals or practices have ever been found, on any day, let alone Halloween. Here are a few examples: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Satanic_Panic http://www.snopes.com/2017/06/23/satanic-panic/ http://www.snopes.com/satanic-dungeon-chuck-e-cheese/
Trick-or-Treating is for little kids
What is wrong with this world?! It should be completely acceptable for adults to Trick-or-Treat. Forget the candy! It’s about the adventure. I would just give my candy away or something. I digress. It seems to be a common consensus that the fun is just for the wee tikes. However, I submit, that our modern ritual of collecting treats was used as a way to keep the shenanigans to a minimum. After all, the holiday used to be called “mischief night”. I seriously doubt that 6 year old kids were going around pushing Model Ts onto haystacks or putting soap on people’s windows. For example, the people of Anoka, MN began ramping up their Halloween activities nearly 100 years ago because someone in the town would let cows out and knock over the outhouses. http://anokahalloween.com/history/ So, who is Trick-or-Treating for again? I thought so.
Everyone is out to poison kids
I can’t believe people still worry about this. Since Trick-or-Treating restarted some 80 years ago, not one kid has ever been poisoned or cut with razor blades found in apples. There have only been 2 reported cases of children dying while Trick-or-Treating and those had NOTHING to do with strangers. One kid got into his uncle’s secret heroin supply and the parents tried to blame it on the people handing out candy. The other boy who died was poisoned by his own dad. His dad spiked a pixie stick with cyanide to collect the life insurance. It would take a real MONSTER to poison random children on Halloween. Check here: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp
Everyone is out to hurt or kidnap kids
It seems like some parents are worried about their children going out and getting kidnapped by pedophiles and serial killers. While this is, entirely, possible, Halloween has nothing to do with it. Statistics show that a child is just as likely to be kidnapped on any ordinary day as with Halloween. Why is this? Well, for one thing, 93% of kidnappings are committed by someone the child knows. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/kidnap.asp Plus, it’s also unlikely that known sex offenders are out shopping for victims. Many cities and states require sex offenders to turn their lights off, post “No Candy” signs, and, generally, not be any part of Halloween. Obviously, this isn’t a catch all, but we’re down to a very small percentage of “hunters” on the “prowl.” Despite what shows like Criminal Minds imply, serial killers are very rare: 87 total since 1980. http://www.statisticbrain.com/serial-killer-statistics-and-demographics/ Compare that to the 300 million people living in the country at any one time. Am I saying there isn’t any danger at all? No, I’m not. The only increase in incidents having anything to do with Halloween is the rate of child-involved car accidents, for obvious reasons. Go with your kids to Trick-or-Treat anyway. Why would you want to miss all of the fun?
Halloween is made up by the candy companies
Actually, I think you’ll find that most of the candy companies didn’t start up or begin selling such large amounts of wrapped candy until well after the practice of Trick-or-Treating took hold again. The current practice began in the 30s and early 40s with homemade cookies and cakes being handed out. It wasn’t until the 70s that people got the idea that store bought, individually-wrapped candy was safer for children. Riiiiiight.
Black cats are bad luck
I’ve been hearing this since I was a kid. Luck isn’t really a thing in the first place. The only real proof I can show that this is untrue is the fact that people in Europe consider all WHITE cats to be bad luck. So, what does that tell you about the myth? If the world can’t agree on a color, how can we be sure of anything so day-ruining as bad luck? Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter what color, all cats are dicks anyway.
Trick-or-Treating started with the druids
This one has a wee bit of truth to it. However, it wasn’t a secretive organization of ancient Celtic monks who did the “Trick-or-Treating”. It was ordinary people, just like you. Ordinary folks would leave platters of treats outside of their doors in an effort to ward off mischievous, trickster type creatures. Some would say fairies, but apply some reality here, and what you get is some kids causing trouble while everyone is out celebrating the new year. Did they have TP back then…?
There’s always a full moon on Halloween
As cool as it would be for every Halloween night to be graced with a bright, silver, full moon, it just doesn’t happen. A cursory look at just about any calendar would tell you that this isn’t true. The moon consistently follows a 28 day cycle. The ancients have used it to base certain holidays on. This year, October’s full moon will be this Sunday, the 16th. Next year it will be on the 19th. Sorry.
Owls, cats, and other familiars are spying on youngsters
Owls, cats, ravens, bats, toads, rats. This is about the same as the black cat thing: no one is going to find any real proof that these creatures are not spies, but come on. The only known association between these creatures and witches is that they tend to operate at night. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years ago, people associated darkness with the unknown, which led them to think it was evil. Your mind tends to play tricks on you when your house is surrounded by pitch black woods and noisy animals. We can’t be certain, but it’s highly unlikely that they’re spying on us.
Pop rocks will kill you instantly
All I really have to say to this is, I’ve eaten Pop Rocks, many times. I’m still here. If you’re talking about the Pop Rocks and soda thing, that’s bogus, too. About the only thing you’ll get is a massive burp. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/poprocks.asp
An owl’s hoot signifies someone’s death
Like the Pop Rocks, I’ve experienced owl hoots many times before. Here I am. It means nothing, to average humans, at least. It might get some ornithologists excited, but that’s the extent of it. Owls have many reasons for hooting: mating calls; territorial announcements, but none of them are sinister death knells, unless you’re a field mouse. http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-owls-hoot
Black cats have 9 lives
They do not. I know it might seem like they have extras some times, but they have one, just like the rest of us. It’s pretty obvious how they got this legend: they are super-human, in a manner of speaking; cats can see in the dark; they have great balance, reflexes, and jumping abilities; their backbones have more vertebrae than humans’; and their whiskers immediately tell them if a hole is large enough for their bodies to fit through. You might be wondering, why 9 lives? Well, as I mentioned earlier, cats are thought to be magical creatures in past centuries. 3 is a magical number, supposedly. So, what does one get with 3 3s? Why, a really long life, apparently. I’ve seen many an unfortunate feline struck by vehicles, (after the fact. It wasn’t me). Trust me. They don’t get up afterward. Sorry, Fluffy.
Halloween is the second highest grossing holiday of the year
I have mixed feelings about this one. Many reports show that Halloween is no more than 6th on the list of highly grossing holidays, like this one: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/halloween/spending.asp Do we really want to be second? Would the increased commercialization cheapen the holiday? I do, however, think the numbers shown in here and other places aren’t entirely accurate. Halloween has become more of a Do-It-Yourself holiday. Sure, people go out and buy candy, but more and more people have been making their own spooky decorations. Perhaps we’re using the wrong criteria.
The “Harry Potter” books are evil
Come on now. Let me start off by saying, you know it’s fiction, right? The stories aren’t really about wizardry and magic. They’re about a boy’s struggle to fit in to not just the world he grew up in, but also in a world many people know nothing about. The real driving force for the books is the prophecy about Harry. I’m sure he would rather just hang out with his friends, like a normal kid. Some imaginative people are claiming that these books are teaching readers the dark arts of Satan, (again with him?). Really? Do people say this same thing about “Lord of the Rings”? There’s magic in that. I really don’t know what else to say to this other than the original story that created this hysteria was made up by a parody news company. It was a joke, and now it has gotten out of hand. http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/potter.asp
Did I miss something? Tell me about it in the comments.