Getting Spooked

People certainly enjoy this spooky holiday.  They’ll dress up their houses with skeletons and spider webs and lights.  Why? To scare off the little trick-or-treaters? Or perhaps everyone – way down deep – likes to get a little spooked.  This holiday has become the 2nd highest profit-making day in the United States and perhaps beyond, because guess what? Rumor has it that this holiday’s roots are in Ireland.  Let’s find out more about Halloween.

Odd Facts

In 1927, a newspaper in Albert, Canada, mentioned trick-or-treating – and the term and the custom stuck.  Boston competed with the moon by lighting 30,000 jack-o-lanterns simultaneously. Back when all this started, jack-o-lanterns were carved out of turnips.  (Huh? What does a turnip even look like?) Potatoes and beets were also used. New York City launches the largest Halloween parade with over 5000 participants and two million bystanders. 

Halloween is big business – over $6 billion dollars are spent on costumes, candy, and decorations.  Guess why Daylight Savings Time starts on the first weekend in November? Yep. Candy manufacturers lobbied hard to make that come true.  This rarely happens, but next year, astronomers predict that we may just have a full moon on Halloween. Won’t that worry those who have Samhainophobia (a fear of Halloween) even more?

Odd Fictions

If you knew the sinister fables that sparked this invented holiday, you might decide to stay in your house on Halloween, lock the doors, and turn off the lights.  For instance, why do we carve jack-o-lanterns? (By the way, the largest pumpkin on record weighed in at 2,323 pounds!) As fable has it, a man named Jack in Ireland was relegated to roaming this world after doing some mischief.  He supposedly uses a lantern to warn others to right their wrongs. Hence – Jack “of the” Lantern.

Want to see a witch?  According to mystery and myth, the recipe is simple – just wear your clothes inside-out and walk backward.  (I better warn my grandsons. They do stuff like that all the time.) Apparently when you do both, a witch will appear at the strike of midnight.  No, thank you.

Odd Practices

Nowadays children are told not to talk to strangers, but on Halloween night in the United States, we encourage them to go door-to-door and take candy from strangers. In Scotland, a popular ritual on this day is called dooking – one must be blindfolded and try to find and eat a piece of pastry hanging from a string.  In Japan, October 31st is a time to think of those who have passed – visiting gravesites and cleaning the areas around them. A lighted lantern released into a river or a lake represents the return of their loved ones to whatever is beyond. 

Many full of mischief emphasized the word “trick” on this holiday – so much so that some places considered banning Halloween.  Not to give any of you ideas, but one such prank would be setting a cabbage stalk on fire and stuffing it into the keyhole in someone’s front door releasing an odiferous scent.  The unsuspecting homeowner would return to plug his nose and exclaim, “P U!” Some pranks went well beyond toilet papering a house or smashing a pumpkin – actually causing damage to people and buildings. 

Maybe it’s best not to pull any pranks during this holiday.  That’s what we think. We would like to treat you, though, to a software that will launch your business to the world of the Internet out there.  Visit us at SFM and see for yourself.  Sometimes we folks here at SFM will be full of mischief, but not when it comes to helping you promote your products or services.  We’d rather unmask our software so you can see it for what it truly is!

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