By: Colin Hall

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to brush up on your facts in the second installment of One Easton’s Fact or Fiction! 

1. Halloween is the second-most commercial American holiday of the year.
2. Dressing up on Halloween comes from America.
3. A full moon on Halloween is common.
4. Jack-o’-lanterns were originally made from turnips to ward off spirits.
5. Vampires are real.
6. Halloween and Day of the Dead are the same thing.
7. The Hash Slinging Slasher is real.
8. You can’t adopt a black cat in October.
9. Police have documented cases of people randomly distributing poisoned goodies to children on Halloween.
10. Mischief Night and Devil’s Night are the same thing.

Answers:

  1. True.
  2. False: Dressing up for Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.
  3. False: The next occurrence will be in 2020, followed by four more this century in 2039, 2058, 2077, and 2096. It’s interesting to note that any Halloween full moon will be the second full moon in October, making it, by popular definition, a blue moon.
  4. True.
  5. False: Lucky for us, vampires aren’t real. A vampire is a being from folklore who subsists by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living. The origin of the term wasn’t popularized until the early 18th century.
  6. False: Day of the Dead (or Dia de los Muertos in Spanish) is a traditional Mexican holiday that honors ancestors, family members, and friends who have passed away. The holiday takes place on November 1 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2).
  7. False: The Hash Slinging Slasher (from SpongeBob SquarePants) is a parody of slasher film villains such as Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. Don’t worry if you are working the night shift!
  8. True: Although it is rare to be allowed, shelters normally don’t allow adoption of black cats during October in fear that they will be used for sacrifice or other inhumane rituals.
  9. False: Although there have been a few isolated incidents of poisoned candy, to qualify as a Halloween poisoning, poisoned candy must be handed out on a random basis to children as part of trick or treating on Halloween. The act can’t be targeted to any one specific child.
  10. 10. True: They are both the same informal holiday, but it’s more common to call it Mischief Night in America since the 1970s.