5 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About October 31st
On Halloween night, Scottish girls would hang a wet sheet in front of a fire and believed they would see the image of their future husband.
Finally! A completely foolproof way to meet my ideal life partner!
While I delete my Match.com profile, read about a few more happy-fun-times Halloween facts:
1. Orange is the New Turnip
In Ireland, Jack-O-Lanterns were originally made out of turnips. But when the Halloween custom came to America, Irish immigrants used pumpkins because, stateside, turnips were too spendy.
“Thank goodness those Irishmen switched to carving up pumpkins that way I don’t have to worry about an early-Fall turnip shortage,” said no one, ever.
2. Jack-O-Lanterns are Named After a Zombie (sort of)
According to Irish legend, Jack-O-Lanterns are named after an old, grumpy drunkard named Stingy Jack who tricked the devil into promising that he could never take Jack’s soul.
However, when Jack eventually died he was not admitted into heaven on account of him being a meany pants, and the devil kept his promise and would not allow Jack into hell, either.
The devil then offered the-dead-but-not-really-dead Jack an ember from the fires of hell that would light his path as he eternally wandered in the Netherworld. Jack– an all-around weird guy– really liked turnips and at his time of death just so happened to have one in his pocket. He hollowed it out and put the ember inside.
In Jacks’ defense, if his parents gave him a better moniker than “Stingy” maybe he wouldn’t be carrying around a turnip lantern for all of forever.
3. Harry Houdini is Haunting a Canadian Fraternity (kinda)
On October 31, 1926, the famous escape artist passed away. A death that was a result of appendicitis brought on by several punches to the stomach, which were inflicted upon him by a college kid from McGill University in Canada.
I like to think the circa 1900s magician still haunts the Zeta Beta Chi fraternity that the overly aggressive co-ed belonged to, making their alcohol disappear and sewing mismatched sleeves onto their day-glow bro tanks.*
4. Rotten Cabbages Carry Out Attacks on Unsuspecting Townsfolk (in a way)
In Vermont and other parts of the Northeast, the night of Oct. 30 is called Cabbage Night.
It consisted of preteens and other unruly-types raiding local gardens for cabbages and throwing them at things around their neighborhoods.
This Halloween-time tradition officially validates my fear of cabbages and preteens and the Northeast.
5. Eating Cake on Halloween Can Help You Pay off Your Students Loans (not really)
The Halloween Cake is an aptly named cake that you eat on Halloween.
I know what you’re thinking: “But Mia how is this cake any more special than the one I ate on Arbor Day or Flag Day or the one that I had last night for second diner?”
I know, I know. I went through the exact same thought process.
But baked into this cake is a ring, key, thimble, penny, and button that foretell—respectively– speedy marriage, a jouney, spinsterhood, wealth, and bachelorhood.**
However, if I understand this Halloween Cake concept correctly, if you eat the entire cake you are assured all of the fortunes– as well as increased predisposition to Type 2 diabetes.
*This scenario is not rooted in fact and is based strictly on my own imagination. I have no evidence that Harry Houdini’s attacker belonged to any Canadian fraternity, so please don’t tell this story at your next house party and then come back here and yell at me when someone debunks your anecdote. I hate when the Internet yells at me.
** WARNING: Choking hazard.