Halloween is a fun and scary holiday that kids look forward to each Fall season. Ever wonder why we celebrate Halloween?
Why do people get dressed up in costumes? Where did the idea of trick-or-treating come from? Find out the answers to these questions and more with these spooky, fun Halloween facts for kids 2023!
After reading these Halloween fun facts, check out our other Halloween articles, including:
Vampire Facts, Werewolf Facts, Boogeyman, and Pumpkin Facts for Kids.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is an annual holiday that takes place on October 31. It is the 2nd most anticipated holiday for kids. Beat out by Christmas. On Halloween, children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Children receive a “treat,” usually candy. Halloween is called All Hallows Eve, Witches Night, Lambswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain, and Summer’s End.
Black and orange are the colors of Halloween. The orange color represents the Fall harvest and the Fall season. The black color represents death and darkness.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
History of Halloween
Some people believe Halloween is based solely on evil spirits and death, but this isn’t true. Halloween has been associated with the ancient Roman festival of Pomona that celebrated the harvest goddess Pomona.
Halloween has also been associated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, or “Summer’s End.”
During medieval times in Ireland and Scotland, the Samhain festival was held at sunset on October 31 and lasted through daylight on November 1. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or the “dark season.”
Some people believed a door was opened from the underworld during Samhain, letting spirits or ghosts into our world.
During Samhain, people would put food and drinks in front of their homes for the spirits and ghosts. The food and drinks were offerings to please the spirits and ghosts.
During Samhain, people would dress up in costumes to disguise themselves from the dead. They often went from house to house, enjoying each other’s food and drinks.
Halloween was brought to the U.S. by Irish and Scottish immigrants brought Halloween to the U.S. from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.
Why do we Trick-or-Treat?
One of the kid’s favorite Halloween traditions is going trick-or-treating. Children dress up in costumes on Halloween and walk around their neighborhoods trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is walking around knocking on doors, asking to hope to receive a piece of candy or another small token. But where did this tradition come from?
The idea of trick-or-treating developed in the 16th century during the Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain, people would go guising. Guising is going door-to-door in disguise, singing songs in exchange for food.
Children Originally received fruits and nuts for trick-or-treating.
Children started going trick-or-treating in the U.S. in 1911. Trick-or-treating became popular in the U.S. in the 1930s.
52% of trick-or-treaters prefer chocolate candy such as Snickers, Reeses, or M&Ms over hard candy such as lollipops or other sweets.
Did you know that over 90% of parents steal their children’s Halloween candy?
Dressing up in Halloween costumes is another fun holiday tradition. People started wearing Halloween costumes to blend in with the supernatural beings and souls of the dead that are believed to walk the streets on Halloween night.
Today children wear a variety of different types of costumes. Some children wear scary costumes, such as a witch, zombies, or monsters. Other children dress up as their favorite characters from television shows or movies. Many girls dress up like princesses, and many boys like to be ninjas.
Some children dress up in outfits resembling a hero or someone they admire. These costumes include a Firefighter, police officer, army man, basketball/football/baseball or soccer player.
Some people have a good imagination and come up with something completely different and out of the box.
Many family members who go out trick-or-treating together will dress up in matching-themed costumes. Here are some family costume ideas:
- Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach -Super Mario Brothers
- Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Toto, Witch: Wizard of Oz
- Creulla Deville, Dalmations: 101 Damaltions
- Incredibles Family: Disney’s Incredibles
- Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Piglet: Winnie the Pooh
- Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Bo Peep, Rex: Toy Story
- Pokemon Characters
- Disney Princesses/ Prince Charming
Besides trick-or-treating, there are many other Halloween activities that people participate in on Halloween or during the Halloween and Fall harvest seasons. Harvest festivals happened every weekend in some areas, starting late September through October 31.
Some activities at these festivals include scarecrow making and other Fall crafts, hayrides, apple and pumpkin picking, and picking sunflowers or mums.
During this season, many delicious treats are made out of apples and pumpkin. Don’t forget all the Halloween candy that is also available.
Horror films are always out during the Halloween season. Many spend evenings on the couch watching scary movies or Halloween specials with loved ones. Remember, never watch alone!
Popular not-so-scary Halloween movies for young children include It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, and Beetlejuice!
Haunted Houses are also popular during Halloween. There are so many to choose from. While visiting a hunted house can be a fun family activity, do your research first. Some haunted houses are family-oriented, while others will genuinely scare even the bravest of adults.
During the season, there are many Halloween parties or costume parties. Children or adults come to the party dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Some activities include apple bobbing, pinatas filled with candy, dance games with spooky Halloween music, touch-and-feel mystery boxes, costume contests, and scary-scene photo booths. Click here for more activities. Sometimes the best part of the Halloween party is scary food.
Click here for Halloween food ideas. Did you know that bobbing for apples was also a couple-matching game? Years ago, girls would mark one of the apples, and if a guy bit that apple with his teeth, the two would go out on a date!
Jack-O-Lanterns are pumpkins that have been scooped out and carved. They usually have a light inside that shines at night.
Did you know the first Jack O’ Lanterns weren’t made of pumpkins? It’s true they were made out of turnips.
In old Irish folk law, Jack O’ Lanterns came from the legend of Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack was a farmer; when he died, he was turned away from heaven and hell.
He was forced to roam the streets looking for a final resting place. Legend says that he carved out a turnip, placed a lit piece of coal inside, and used it as a lantern. He held it to light his way.
The largest pumpkin on record weighed 2,032 pounds. The record was set on October 11, 2013.
Pumpkins were originally grown in Mexico.
Pumpkins are not only orange but can grow to be blue, white, or green.
Haunting Halloween Facts for Kids
The word witch comes from the old Saxton word “Wica,” meaning “wise one.”
It is believed that if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
World-famous magician Harry Houdini (1847-1926) died on Halloween night.
The largest Halloween parade is held in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York.
All Saints Day is the day after Halloween. All Saints Day is known as All Hallows Day, Hallowmas, and the Feast of All Saints. In the Christian faith, it is a holiday that celebrates saints.
Many people are superstitious about black cats. Some believe they bring you bad luck, while others think they are good luck. Black cats symbolize Halloween and have been portrayed as pets to wicked witches.
Soul cakes are round bite-size cakes that were made to celebrate the dead. These cakes were mainly made during Halloween or All Souls Day. Soul cakes were part of the Christian tradition and made popular in Medieval Europe. This isn’t celebrated anymore, but In some countries, such as Portugal and the Phillippines, this tradition still lives on.
Traditionally when we think about candy corn, we think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Fall season. Did you know that candy corn was originally marketed for chickens; it was called “chicken feed?” Candy corn is not the number one rated candy for Halloween; in fact some years, it has been voted as the worst candy. The most popular candy for Halloween is Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
Like during Christmas, many people decorate their homes with decorations for Halloween. Some people put up black and orange lights on their houses. They may also display skulls, skeletons, ghouls, zombies, pumpkins, and witches around bonfires.
Spraying people with silly string is popular on Halloween night. In Hollywood, California, silly string is banned on Halloween night.
Halloween Celebrations Around the World
Mexico celebrates All Souls Day, also known as Dias de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, on November 2. It is a big celebration that honors family and friends who have passed away.
In Hong Kong, Halloween celebrations are called Yue Lan, meaning Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. During Yue Lan celebrations, fires are lit, and food and gifts are offered to angry ghosts looking for revenge.
Did you know that some people celebrate the night before Halloween? October 30 is Mischief Night. Mischief Night is also called Goosey Night, Cabbage Night, and Devil’s Night. It is celebrated in regions of North America. It is a night where people, mostly teenagers and children, perform pranks on one another.
Bat – A small, nocturnal flying mammal. Vampires turn into bats. Click here to find out more about bats.
Boogeyman- A fictional character that scares children who misbehave. Boogeyman Facts for Kids
Boo- A word used to scare people.
Brew- A stew cooked by a witch.
Broomstick – A mode of transportation for a witch.
Candy – Sweet treats.
Cape- A long sleeveless garment that hangs over shoulders. Vampires wear capes.
Creepy– A feeling of uneasiness or fear.
Costume – An outfit worn as a disguise on Halloween.
Evil Spirits – Ghosts that intend to harm others.
Fangs- The two sharp pointy top teeth. Vampires use their fangs to bite human necks to suck their blood.
Frighten – To scare
Ghost – A spirit of someone who has passed away.
Ghoul – A fictional flesh-eating monster.
Goblin– A fictional mischievous creature that causes trouble.
Grisly– Intense fear, extremely gruesome
Gruesome– Causing repulsion or horror
Halloween – A holiday celebrated on October 31 where children dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating.
Jack-O-Lantern– A pumpkin that has a carved-out face with a candle inside.
Magic – The power to make things happen through mysterious or supernatural forces.
Mask – A face covering a person wears to disguise themselves.
Monster – An imaginal creature usually large and ugly and scares children.
Mummy- A dead person wrapped in layers of cloth to preserve their body.
Nightmare- A terrifying dream.
November 1- The first day of November and All Saints Day
October 31- The last day of October and the date of Halloween
Prank– A trick or practical joke.
Samhainophobia: The fear of Halloween
Skeleton – A firm structure of a living thing made of bones.
Skull – The skeleton of the head and face that encloses the brain and supports the jaw.
Spooky – Something that is mildly scary.
Trick-or-Treat– When children dress up in costumes and visit people’s houses asking for candy.
Vampire-(fictional) A living dead person that sleeps in a coffin all day and awakens at night to search for people to bite and suck their blood. Click here for more vampire facts for kids.
Warlock– A male witch
Werewolf– (fictional) A person that turns into a wolf when there’s a full moon.
Wicked – Bad or evil.
Witch– A female that has magical powers and casts spells on people.
Witchcraft- Magic that witches practice.
Zombie – (fictional) walking-dead person that roams around feeding on human flesh.
Check out these fun Halloween Party Activities.
Hope you enjoyed reading Fun Halloween Facts for Kids and learned many amazing fun facts. Please check out kidsplayandcreate’s Halloween page for fun facts, activities, crafts, and more.
Free Printable Halloween Coloring Pages
Halloween Craft Activities