20 Scary Facts About The Festival of Frights – Halloween

1River Phoenix

River Phoenix

Johnny Depp would close a club he partially owned on Halloween every year because his good friend and fellow actor, River Phoenix, collapsed and died in front of it. He did this for over 10 years until he sold his part.

2. Many shelters won't allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween, for fear that they may be sacrificed or tortured.

3. In a number of cities in Texas, people on the sex offender registry have to keep their outdoor lights off on Halloween.

4. The "Switch Witch" (also known as the "Santa of October") is something anti-candy parents are doing on Halloween. A child leaves out their bag of candy and the Switch Witch replaces it with an awesome toy.

5. Ann Landers is responsible for the urban legend of people putting razor blades in children's Halloween candy.

6Ghostwatch tv show

Ghostwatch tv show

On Halloween 1992, the UK show 'Ghostwatch' purported to show a real haunting which was spreading around the country. Banned for a decade and never re-aired, it was blamed for several traumas, including a suicide.

7. Samhainophobia is the medical term for the irrational fear of Halloween. The root word is expressive of the ancient Celts who held a ceremony called Samhain in order to honor the harvest cycle.

8. Only in Des Moines and St. Louis, local Halloween tradition calls for children not to say "trick or treat," but to tell a joke in order to earn candy. This stems from a Depression-era attempt to curb hooliganism.

9. The abandoned Land of Oz theme park in North Carolina, deserted for decades, reopens just once a year for two days leading up to Halloween.

10. Americans spend nearly $400 million on Halloween pet costumes each year.

11Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween on October 31, 1926.

12. The Witchcraft Act 1735 banned pork pastries such as sausage rolls in Britain on Halloween. The law wasn't repealed until the 1950s.

13. On Halloween in Poland, believers are encouraged to walk through forests whilst praying out loud so that the souls of the dead might find comfort.

14. Significantly fewer birth rates happen on Halloween as compared to a week before and after, and the opposite is true for Valentine's day.

15. Originally Halloween lanterns were made from a turnip (Rutabaga) not pumpkin.

16John Belushi

John Belushi

On Halloween in 1981, John Belushi got the hardcore punk band FEAR to play live on SNL, causing an estimated $200,000 in damages.

17. For Halloween in 2002 while on a break from filming X-Men 2, actors Ian McKellen and Alan Cumming dressed up as Gandalf and Floop (from Spy Kids). They gave out candy to trick-or-treaters and McKellen even carved a Nightcrawler pumpkin.

18. 50% of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.

19. Anoka, Minnesota, was the first city in America to officially hold a Halloween celebration, in an effort to divert kids from pulling pranks like tipping outhouses and letting cows loose to run around on Main Street.

20. Benito Mussolini came into power on Halloween in 1922.