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halloween facts

Looking for Halloween facts? You’ve come to the right place! Halloween is easily one of the most beloved events on our calendar, and we see no better way to celebrate than with some Halloween facts that you probably didn’t know!

The celebration of Halloween is dedicated to all things spooky and takes place annually in October. Your costume is probably sorted, a scary movie night has been planned, and you’ve picked the pumpkins, but how much do you really know about Halloween?

Continue reading to discover facts about Halloween… 

1. When is Halloween 2023?

Family celebrating Halloween

The celebration of Halloween occurs annually on the evening of the 31st of October. In fact, Halloween 2023 will take place on a Tuesday this year, so be ready with treats for any spooky visitors!

Do you want to celebrate Halloween 2023 in style? Browse this collection of Halloween cottage breaks!

2. Halloween is older than Christianity itself.

The tradition of Halloween originates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan religious celebration.

The pre-Christian festival which means “summer’s end” falls on the eve of the first day of winter. A time when morning frost blankets the fields and bonfires are lit, rumoured to spook away any evil spirits.

The early pagan festival of Samhain involved ritualistic ceremonies to hold contact with spirits, where those experiencing it disguised themselves against the ghosts.

After Christianity took over, the spooky undertones of pagan practices tended to wane, however, continued to evolve and modernise!

3. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

Samhainophobia is a term rooted in ancient pagan traditions, defined as an unwarranted fear of Halloween!

4. Halloween folklore is full of superstition and myth.

tarot cards with crystal, candles and magic objects

It’s no secret that spookiness, mythology, and magic take centre stage during Halloween!

In medieval England, many believed that Halloween was a time when spirits of the dead would cross over into the other world. However, well into the 19th century, people believed that Halloween was when the spirits of the dead roamed the earth! As a result, people dress up as the living dead and fake gravestones adorn the porches of many houses.

Halloween remains full of superstition even today! People still bobble for apples and avoid black cats, and some believe that flying bats indicate the presence of ghosts.

5. The song “Monster Mash” was once banned by the BBC.

Massachusetts singer Bobby Pickett wrote the song in 1962 and interestingly, it was put together in less than an hour!

It is fair to say that the Monster Mash is the song of Halloween! It’s spooky but catchy! However, the BBC did not share that opinion. In the same year as its release, the BBC banned it from the airwaves on the grounds that it was “too morbid”.

It made No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962, however, the offending hit didn’t chart in the UK until 1973 when it rose to No.3.

6. A full moon on Halloween is extremely rare.

bats around the full moon

Halloween photos usually depict a full moon that is beaming, but a full moon occurring on Halloween only occurs three or four times every century.

On average, the moon is full every 19 years on Halloween, with the last occurrence in 2020! So, unfortunately, we could be waiting a while for the next one.

7. Trick-or-treating has been around for a long time.

The roots of trick-or-treating date back to the Samhain festival, where people would prepare banquet tables with food left out to placate unwelcome spirits.

In later centuries, people began to perform antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating.

Once Christianity arrived on Celtic shores, such traditions faded. During the 9th century, the act of ‘souling’ became prominent and poor people would visit the homes of the wealthy and receive soul cakes in exchange for prayers for the souls of departed loved ones.

Today trick-or-treating is dominated by Halloween-themed baked goods and mass-produced sugary sweets. No longer is there a need for prayers or performances.

8. The Tower of London is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.

Next on our guide to Halloween facts takes us to the capital city of London!

The Tower of London, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city is renowned for its chilling reputation as one of the most haunted places in the UK.

With nearly a thousand years of history as a royal palace, fortress, and prison, it’s no surprise that the Tower carries a heavy dose of ghostly legends and eerie tales.

9. It can be more difficult to adopt a black cat near Halloween for superstitious reasons.

Halloween black cat

Whilst Halloween folklore suggests that black cats bring bad luck, we know that this is a total myth! Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that black cats have an easy time getting adopted.

The medieval belief was that they were all pets of witches, whilst the modern-day fear deems them unlucky to walk by!

However, we are certain that black cats aren’t unlucky at all! In fact, in some cultures, they are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. So if you are looking for a forever furry friend, don’t write black cats off just because of medieval tales!

10. The UK is home to various haunted pubs.

The UK is home to a rich tapestry of history and folklore, and it’s no surprise that this includes a plethora of haunted pubs.

These quaint, centuries-old establishments often serve as the backdrop for spine-tingling tales of ghostly encounters, making them a perfect pit stop during the Halloween season!

The most haunted pubs in the UK include the Ye Olde Salutation Inn, in NottinghamThe George & Pilgrims Hotel in Somerset and the Jamaica Inn, in Cornwall.

11. The fastest pumpkin carving only took 16.47 seconds.

Halloween Pumpkins

Our next Halloween fact is a quick one! On the 21st of October 2013, Steve Clarke from Pennsylvania, USA set the record for the fastest pumpkin carving.

It took him just over 16 seconds to complete the jack-o’-lantern’s face, which included the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

12. Many UK cities, such as Edinburgh, London, and York, offer ghost tours that explore their eerie histories and haunted locations.

If you’re on the lookout for an eerie adventure this Halloween, what better way to embrace the spirit of the season than by immersing yourself in a genuine fright during a UK ghost tour?

These hair-raising excursions will lead you through forgotten graveyards, sinister forests, medieval edifices, and ominous urban alleys, promising an authentic chill down your spine.

13. While pumpkins are typically orange, they can also be green, white, red and blue.


One of the first signs of Autumn you will notice is when orange pumpkins line the shelves of supermarkets or Instagram is full of pumpkin-picking pictures!

However, did you know that there are several other pumpkin colours to enjoy?

You may spot one or two green pumpkins while you’re out picking, as well as a red one! One of the most famous red pumpkins is the Rouge Vif d’Etampes, which is featured in Cinderella.

You can also spot white pumpkins, yellow pumpkins and even blue!

14. The most lit jack-o’-lanterns on display is 30,581.

Our next Halloween fact is an impressive one!

According to the Guinness World Records, the most lit jack-o’-lanterns on display were achieved by the city of Keene, USA. The city was the original record holder, but they have now broken it eight times since the original attempt.

The record stands as a whopping 30,581. Will they beat the record again this year?

15. The UK’s biggest Halloween event is held at Alton Towers theme park.

During Scarefest, Alton Towers, which is one of the UK’s most popular theme parks, transforms into a spooky and thrilling experience.

Feeling brave? Here, you can take on world-class thrill rides in the dark! The park will also be divided into various themed scare zones where costumed actors roam, creating an eerie atmosphere and interacting with guests.

In addition to the scarier experiences, Alton Towers also offers family-friendly Halloween-themed activities suitable for younger visitors.

Visiting this event is just one of the many Halloween activities that you can do this year!

16. Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween.

pumpkin family

Whilst this Halloween fact may not come as a surprise, did you know the significance of the two colours?

It is said that orange is the symbol of strength and endurance, as well as representing autumn, while black represents the cold and dark winter! Black also serves as a symbol of death, acting as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that celebrated the spirits of the dead.

17. Barmbrack is the traditional Irish cake, eaten on Halloween.

This traditional Irish dish is steeped in history and superstition and takes centre stage during Halloween! This unique treat has become an integral part of the country’s Halloween traditions, offering both a delightful taste and a touch of mystery.

Barmbrack, also known as Bairín Breac in Irish, is a sweet, fruit-studded bread-like cake. What sets it apart is the inclusion of symbolic items baked inside, each with its own meaning.

These hidden treasures often include a ring (symbolising marriage), a coin (representing wealth), a pea (meaning, the finder would not be getting married anytime soon!) and a piece of cloth (predicting bad luck). The recipient’s future was said to be foretold by the item they discovered in their slice of Barmbrack.

On Halloween night, families and friends gather to enjoy this special cake, cutting it with anticipation to unveil their fate for the coming year.

18. The tradition of bobbing for apples is thought to have originated in the UK as a Halloween game.

apple bobbing

Bobbing for apples is a charming and age-old Halloween tradition cherished in the UK. This lively activity has been a staple of Halloween celebrations for generations, adding a playful and slightly eerie element to the festivities.

19. In the UK, turnips were originally used for making lanterns before pumpkins became popular.

The tradition of carving lanterns for Halloween originally revolved around turnips long before pumpkins gained popularity.

To ward off malevolent spirits and commemorate the deceased, the Celts hollowed out turnips, rutabagas, and other root vegetables. When Irish and Scottish immigrants brought this tradition to the United States, they found that pumpkins were more readily available and easier to carve than turnips.

The larger size and softer flesh of pumpkins allowed for more elaborate designs, and they soon replaced turnips as the lantern of choice. Thus, the iconic orange pumpkin Jack-o’-Lanterns we know today were born.

20. Halloween in the UK is a time for family gatherings, pumpkin carving, and enjoying the autumnal atmosphere with loved ones.

Halloween pumpkin head jack-o-lantern

The autumnal atmosphere, with its colourful leaves and crisp air, adds a unique charm to Halloween in the UK.

Whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll through parks adorned with fallen leaves or attending local Halloween events, the season provides a perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories.

Halloween in the UK is a delightful blend of traditions, creativity, and togetherness that captures the essence of the autumn season.

If these Halloween facts have left you excited for the holiday, take a look at our 11 ways to celebrate Halloween at home! Alternatively, take a look at our favourite pumpkin patches in the UK!

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