Halloween has some major spook hidden in its traditions, and these five creepy Halloween facts and superstitions only confirm that. If you really want to scare yourself silly this Halloween, then read on, because these freaky traditions and myths will most definitely send some shivers up your spine.
Did you know that Jack-O'-lanterns come from a myth that has to do with a man tricking the devil? Did you know that there's an old folk tradition that provides secret instructions for seeing a witch on Halloween? Did you know that because of superstition, you're not allowed to adopt black cats from shelters on or around Oct. 31? Did you know that you won't be able to find any knives in Germany on Halloween? Did you know that Medieval Europeans believed that when owls called, somebody died? If you didn't, then you're about to, and just wait until you get the details on it all, because they are beyond creepy.
By now you've hopefully picked out your Halloween decorations, started creating your costume, and stocked up on trick-or-treat candies to hand out to kids (or eat for yourself). So what's the only preparation you have left for Oct. 31? Learning some spooky facts to share with your friends and family, of course!
1. Jack-O'-lantern carving comes from a creepy Irish myth.
While we might carve Jack-O'-lanterns all in good fun these days, the tradition is actually based on the myth of "Stingy Jack," a man who loved to trick the devil. As the story goes, the devil eventually got so sick of Jack's tricks that he refused to let him into Hell, which forced Jack to roam the Earth for eternity. It was with a lump of coal inside of a carved turnip that he was able to see his way.
2. There's an old folk tradition for seeing a witch on Halloween.
Want to see a witch? According to an old folk tradition, you'll see a witch on Oct. 31 if you wear your clothes inside out and walk backwards. Supposedly, you'll see one at midnight. It might not be true, but it sure is creepy to think about, isn't it?
3. Black cat adoption is often prohibited on Halloween.
Many American animal shelters refuse to let people adopt black cats around Halloween in hopes of protecting the animals from any kind of torture associated with witchcraft. While there is no actual evidence of black cats being killed or sacrificed on Halloween, the animal shelters still take the precaution of protecting the felines.
4. It's a German tradition to hide all of the household's knives on Halloween.
Halloween is celebrated in Germany, but unlike in America, the European country considers it a time to honor those who have passed away. One of their most bizarre traditions is to hide all of the knives in their homes for fear of returning spirits accidentally injuring themselves on any blades that are left out. Bizarre? Yes. Creepy? Totally.
5. In Medieval Europe, it was believed that when an owl calls, somebody dies.
Medieval Europe was filled with all sorts of spooky beliefs, including one that had to do with owls. Europeans actually believed that owls were witches, and that when an owl gave a call, somebody died in the world.
See? Like I said — totally creepy.
Images: Paul Goodman / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images; Giphy