Dressing up as ghosts and goblins on Halloween night actually originates from an old Celtic superstition that spirits of the dead wandered the streets on the night they knew as Samhain. Celts dressed up as spirits themselves in order to blend in and not be noticed. Here are some other weird superstitions around Halloween:
1. In Scotland, young girls often hung wet sheets in front of a fire on Halloween, hoping to see images of their future husbands. Seems like a strange way to do laundry.
2. Another Scottish superstition is that if a girl looks into a mirror while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween, she will see her boyfriend’s face. So why doesn’t she just go trick or treating with him and ditch the mirror?
3. In China, Halloween is celebrated with Teng Chieh, a lantern festival in which homes and streets are festooned with lanterns shaped like dragons and other animals. The lights are supposed to help guide spirits of the deceased back to their earthly homes for the night, where family members have placed food and water next to their portraits.
4. In Hong Kong, Halloween is known as Yue Lan, the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. Offerings of food and gifts are left near bonfires to placate angry spirits who might be seeking revenge.
5. One Halloween superstition has it that if you walk around your home backwards three times and then counterclockwise three times before the sun sets on Halloween, you will ward off any evil spirits nearby.
6. Some believe that anyone born on Halloween has the ability to see and talk to dead people. I talk to dead people all day long in the office…
7. If you light an orange candle at midnight on Halloween and let it burn till sunrise, it’s supposed to bring you much good luck. As long as you don’t burn your house down; now that wouldn’t be very lucky, would it?
8. If you see a spider on Halloween, don’t squash it. It may be the spirit of a dead relative who has come to watch over you.
9. If a bat flies around your house three times on Halloween night, someone in the household is going to die. Or maybe you’ve just got bats in your belfry…
10. If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween night, whatever you do, don’t turn around and look. It may be Death himself, and if you look Death in the face he will come for you within the next year. Or it could be a mugger. Maybe you should just run…
And if you hear footsteps behind you at Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend, it might be your girlfriend, or it might be a chainsaw-wielding zombie! Open Friday and Saturday nights, 8 to 10 p.m. — get your tickets online and come on down!