Halloween myths busted
Poisoned candy, black cats, the “unlucky” number 13 – some legendary superstitions that make your skin crawl on Halloween.
1. Halloween is the devil’s holiday
Halloween is actually derived from Celtic and Druid ritual, which is separate from Christianity – meaning “Satan” isn’t even a factor. Scholars attribute this myth to Christian fundamentalists who thought that the dark imagery associated with Halloween made it evil and the work of the devil. In all actuality, the original Halloween celebrations were dedicated to positivity, like celebrating the harvest.
2. People hand out poisoned (or otherwise tampered with) candy
Every year, parents worry about their children’s well-being when they go out to trick or treat. But maybe this will make you relax just a bit: There have only been two confirmed cases of children being killed by poisoned Halloween candy, and in both cases, they were killed intentionally by one of their parents. With those two exceptions, no child has been killed or seriously injured thanks to Halloween candy.
3. A black cat crossing your path means bad things to come
If a black cat crosses your path, well – you’re screwed. This myth originates from the idea that witches used to keep these creatures as companions and that some could even change themselves into cats. All of this is completely bogus, and in some countries and cultures (the UK, Japan and Scotland, for example), a black cat actually has a positive connotation: foreshadowing good things to come.
4. A broken mirror equals bad luck
Break a mirror and you’ll have seven years’ bad luck. This myth is derived from an idea that our ancestors had: The image in a mirror was your actual soul, and if a mirror was shattered, it meant your soul had gone astray. The only way to set it straight? Bury the pieces of broken glass.
5. The number 13 is unlucky
Could a number get a worse rep than 13? People even skip it as an official floor in many buildings, going straight from 12 to 14. But this number is just that. There’s a lot of speculation as to why 13 has been deemed unlucky, including the idea that there were 13 witches in a coven, but rest assured – it’s perfectly fine to leave your house on the 13th. Even on a Friday.