Halloween Myths and Legends

barkeater Blog, Halloween, Holiday

It’s the spookiest season of the year and nothing says Halloween like scary stories! Does anyone ever question where these famous scary stories came from, and how much truth these stories contain? After all, art imitates life and there is no originality, so even spooky campfire stories are based on something. Let’s take a look at some of our most popular Halloween myths/tales and where they originated. 

  1. Bloody Mary – you’ve heard the tale as a kid: say Bloody Mary in the mirror of a dark room three times and when the light comes back on … well, you know the rest. Bloody Mary herself is based on a 16th century English Tudor Queen who was said to be particularly ruthless when it came to her enemies (no surprise, as she was the daughter of famous wife-executor Henry VIII). However, she didn’t get to the throne by inheritance. Instead, she gathered support and followers to seize the throne as hers since she technically lost her status as princess after her parents divorced. During her reign, she gained the nickname “Bloody Mary” after she ordered almost 300 Protestants to burn alive. Although this may seem horrific, when it comes to the 1500s, Mary was quite non-violent for her time – not to mention her family was responsible for far more bloody deaths than she was. Historians agree that she was depicted in a “bloody” light simply because she was the first woman to take the throne not by marriage. 
  2. Night of the Living Dead – zombies have been quite a popular focus in horror media for some time now thanks to TV shows and movies about flesh-eating people. The uptick in popularity led to lots of “zombie survival guides” and even true believers. In fact, these true believers may be on to something as there have been quite a few incidents that seemed like the start of the “zombie apocalypse.” In 2012, a series of violent attacks began happening that seemed to mock classic zombie characteristics. The first media frenzied attack took place in Florida, where a man attacked another by literally eating his face. This, along with other strings of “zombie” attacks, had people believing that was how the world would end (the year was 2012, after all). However, it was confirmed that these attacks were not zombies, but in fact people having side effects from a drug referred to as “bath salts,” which soon became famous as the face-eating drug. 
  3. Black Cats are Sacrificed on Halloween – you may read this somewhere on social media, people telling you to keep your black cats indoors on Halloween night. This is only fueled more by the fact that most shelters refuse to adopt out black cats close to the holiday. However, this is not due to feline sacrifices, as believe it or not most humans aren’t that sick, but for the same reason you can’t adopt a bunny around Easter: animals are not for aesthetics. Black cats are seen as a symbol for Halloween and an omen of bad luck, making them mysterious and perfect models for holiday shoots. But the people who adopted these animals because it added an extra layer of fun to the holiday forgot that pets can’t be stored in the attic until next year and would return or abandon them soon after Halloween ended, leaving innocent animals homeless. 

No matter what story you love (or hate) to hear, one thing is certain, Halloween is a holiday where over indulging in candy is the norm, not the exception. Check out our chocolate ghosts and chocolate bats in our haunted factory store for a scary sweet treat.