time to learn a thing or two about Halloween


halloween kid

“Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve.”

Ray Bradbury


Happy Halloween.

I have a love – hate relationship with Halloween.

Love. Love the chocolate and the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of one of the goofiest nights in the world as ghosts and spirits of loved ones <and I assume some not-so-loved ones> wander the world being as persnickety <I just wanted to type that word> and aggravating as they were when they stood near you in their flesh & blood, and children can wander the neighborhood unattended dressed up as whatever they want trick-or-treating <begging/demanding as much sugar as they can possibly consume> or, in general, simply wreaking havoc as young people do <just not in cars – that comes later in the teen years>.

Hate? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … the cats.

Cats are probably the most useless animals and pets in the world. I am sure they have some redeeming value it is just that I have yet to find any <if but one>.

Oh. Please note here … I am a dog guy.


halloween catCats. Halloween has too strong an association with cats for my liking.

We seem to be able to blame this association on European pagan religions which were tightly associated with the animals of nature, including the cat, in the good ole <dark ages> days.

Then Christianity put the kibosh on all that pagan stuff — kind of decided that witchcraft was a bad thing — and since everyone associated cats with witches, well, there you go. Cats were deemed evil by association.

Aside from the old Popes <who apparently were dog lovers too> there are a bunch of old myths that attribute bad luck to cats:

–          King Charles I of England owned a black cat and the day it died he was arrested.

–          An old sailor’s legend said that meeting cats in the shipyard meant an unpleasant voyage of storms or other bad luck.halloween black cat

–          In Babylonian folklore a curled up cat on the hearth is seen as similar to evil serpent.

There you go.

Hopefully I have covered my butt with all the crazy cat ladies who want to throw used kitty litter at me for saying I hate cats by noting that my cat concerns are rooted in some historical, if not mythical, thoughts.


Some things you should be aware of that you may not know <albeit I doubt is very useful> about Halloween:

–          There’s a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.

The prank product has been banned in Hollywood since 2004 after thousands of bored people would buy it on the streets of Hollywood from illegal vendors and “vandalize” the streets. The city ordinance calls for a maximum $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail for “use, possession, sale or distribution of Silly String in Hollywood from 12:01 AM on October 31 to 12:00 PM on November 1.”

–          Dressing up on Halloween comes from the Celts <no, not the Boston Celtics, the Celts in great Britain history>.

Celts believed their version of a Halloween date was a time when the wall between our world and the paranormal world was porous and spirits could get through. Because of this belief, it was common for the Celts to wear costumes and masks during the festival to ward off or befuddle any evil spirits.

–          Ah. Celts were pagans, but the name “Halloween” comes from the Catholics.

halloween pumpkinHallowmas is a three-day Catholic holiday where saints are honored and people pray for the recently deceased. At the start of the 11th century, it was decreed by the pope that it would last from Oct. 31 (All Hallow’s Eve) until Nov. 2,

<speculation on my part: we should note that the dog loving Popes were smart enough to place this holiday at this time most likely because that was when the cat loving pagans celebrated and the church was trying to convert them – into dog lovers>.

“All Hallow’s Eve” then evolved into “All Hallow’s Even” and by the 18th century it was commonly referred to as “Hallowe’en.”

–          Turnips

Pumpkins are a fraud. We should probably blame Hallmark, but instead we can just blame America for this too. Halloween originally had nothing to do with pumpkins … it was turnips.

The origin of Jack-O-Lanterns comes from a Celtic folk tale of a stingy farmer named Jack who would constantly play tricks on the devil. The devil responded by forcing him to wander purgatory with only a burning lump of coal from hell. Jack took the coal and made a lantern from a turnip using it to guide his lost soul. The myth was brought over by Irish families fleeing the potato famine in the 1800s, and since turnips were hard to come by in the U.S., America’s pumpkins were used as a substitute to guide lost souls and keep evil spirits like “Jack of the Lantern” away.

–          Media is part of the horror story of Halloween.

Media is made up of witches and warlocks. Well. They must be. Because fears of poisoned Halloween candy are unfounded but a constant story on media.

One of our biggest fears is a child’s Halloween candy is poisoned or contains razor blades.

The truth?

This fear is almost entirely unfounded.

There are only two known cases of poisoning, and both involved relatives, according to LiveScience. In 1970, a boy died of a heroin overdose. The investigators found it on his candy, but in a twist they later discovered the boy had accidentally consumed some of his uncle’s heroin stash, and the family had sprinkled some on the candy to cover up the incident. Even worse, in 1974 Timothy O’Bryan died after eating a Pixy Stix his father had laced with cyanide to collect on the insurance money <according to Smithsonian Magazine>.

Besides that the razor blade in apple story is a myth <unproven or simply staged>.

The real point of sharing this is that your kid has less to fear from some unknown random neighbor than he/she does from someone they already know <that is an extremely unfortunate  Life truth in general … sigh>.

–          I hate Candy Corn. Oh. And it was originally known as chicken feed.

Invented by some guy at the Wunderle Candy Company in Philadelphia in the 1880s, Candy Corn was originally called “butter cream candies” and “chicken feed.” Ah. There was a reason. Back then corn was commonly used as food for livestock <they even had a rooster on the candy boxes>.

At that time candy corn had no association with Halloween or fall and was sold seasonally from March to November.

After World War II, advertisers began marketing it as a special Halloween treat due to its colors and ties to the fall harvest <the bastards … who the heck actually eats that stuff?>.

–          A full moon on Halloween is extremely rare.

halloween cat pumpkinAlthough almost every Halloween decoration seen is with witches flying across the full moon … just another marketing lie. The next full moon on Halloween won’t occur until 2020. The last was in 2001. Before that it was in 1955. Brilliant marketing … but it is just another lie <sigh>.

–          Trick-or-treating has been around for a long time <so America or capitalism cannot be blamed for this greedy little maneuver>.

Versions of trick-or-treating have existed since medieval times.

It was known as ‘guising’ where children and poor adults went around in costumes during this time begging for food and money in exchange for songs or prayers. It was also called “souling.”

–          thank you Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown. halloween great pumpkin

Trick-or-treating as we know it was re-popularized by cartoons.

Trick-or-treating was brought to America by the Irish and became popular during the early 20th century, but died out during WWII when sugar was rationed. After the rationing ended in 1947, children’s magazine “Jack and Jill,” radio program “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” and the “Peanuts” comic strip all helped to re-popularize the tradition of dressing up in costumes and asking for candy from door-to-door. By 1952, trick-or-treating was hugely popular again <thank you Charlie Brown and Linus and the Great Pumpkin>.

There you go.

Today in America we will share or consume something like 90 million pounds of chocolate.

chocolate silly questionsAwesome <and we wonder about a national obesity issue … sorry … different post, by the way, I blame cats for that too by the way>.

Americans will also spend about $6 billion on Halloween including candy, costumes, and decorations <note: that does not include the wacky cat costumes crazy cat people make their cats wear>.


Happy Halloween.

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Written by Bruce