Halloween may seem like an overlooked holiday, but its proven to be a standout in America. Noted as one of the most lucrative holidays next to Christmas, Halloween has presented us with gems like hilarious costumes, excuses to overeat M&Ms and horror films that have stood the test of time.
The holiday has crossed paths with black culture, notably Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” leading to a heaping of creative projects, films and more pop culture moments. There are also songs with no horror correlation that have found their way into the holiday.
Check out more creepy, tasty and interesting facts related to Halloween below.
31. Whodini’s “Freaks Come Out at Night” has been heavily connected to Halloween, but the 1984 classic is about those who liked to get down and dirty after dark.
30. The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
29. Días de los Muertos translated as “Days of the Dead,” lasts from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. Originated throughout Mexico, the holiday pays respects to those who have passed on. Many dress up as representatives of death like Catrina or Mictēcacihuātl (Lady of the Dead).
28. Halloween’s origins vary according to the Romans, Christians and the Irish. One thing that remains similar are the colors associated with the holiday. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance while black is a symbol of death and darkness. It also reminds us of the holiday’s relationship with life and death.
27. It’s racist to wear blackface before, during and after Halloween.
26. Michael Myers’ mask is a washed out Captian Kirk (William Shatner) Halloween mask.
25. Rappers and singers really really love dressing as Michael Jackson for Halloween. Many include Nas, YG and Chris Brown.
24. There are plenty of horror films and projects with black casts. Some of the most iconic include Blacula, horror anthology Tales From the Hood and Bones, starring Snoop Dogg.
23. Countries like France and Australia believe Americans have oversaturated Halloween. They’re probably right.
22. Halloween” is short for “Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallows’ Evening.”
21. The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the country. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators every year.
20. During the height of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise’s popularity in 1988, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince recorded “A Nightmare on My Street.” The song didn’t sit well with New Line Cinema, who sued the group for copyright infringement. The video was also pulled from MTV, but the it FINALLY emerged from the vault today.
19. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
18. Harry Houdini died in 1926 on Halloween night. The world-famous magician suffered from appendicitis. His diagnosis was revealed after was punched in the stomach several times by college students.
17. Stacking candy corn will leave you feeling a way.
16. 2 Chainz kept his pink trap house alive in Atlanta after teaming up with 13 Stories to create a haunted version of the attraction.
15. Chris Brown penned Rihanna’s haunting dance hit “Disturbia” after deciding to focus his energy on a little banger known as “Forever.”
14. Crimes on Halloween are nothing new sadly. A number of deaths have happened including the murder of Karl Jackson. The Bronx native was a data entry clerk for Morgan Stanley. On Halloween, the 21-year-old went to pick up his girlfriend’s son from a party. After he was pelted with eggs by a group of teenagers, Jackson attempted to drive away and was gunned down by 17-year-old Curtis Sterling.
13. October 30th is National Candy Corn Day.
12. Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
11. John Carpenter and co-screenwriter Debra Hill wrote the original script for Halloween in 10 days.
10. Halloween Resurrection put a Big Brother-type of spin on the franchise. The film starred Sean Patrick Thomas, Busta Rhymes and Jamie Lee Curtis.
9. Other notable musicians in horror films include Kelly Rowland in Freddy vs. Jason, Christina Milian in Pulse, Rah Digga in Thirteen Ghosts and LL Cool J in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.
8. Harry Belafonte’s 1961 jam “Jump in the Line (Shake, Señora)” became a Halloween classic after it was featured in Beetlejuice in 1988.
7. Early Trick-or-treating was considered to be a poor practice with children either begging for money or food. Children of privileged backgrounds joined in, switching the narrative quickly.
6. Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) video was inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
5. A number of normal rap songs have been considered Halloween jams like Kanye West’s “Monster,” Big L’s “Devil’s Son” and Kid Cudi’s “Maniac.”
4. Kanye West’s video for “Monster” was also inspired by “Thriller,” horror classics American Psycho and Saw as well as the reportedly haunted painting The Hands Resist Him by Bill Stoneham.
3. Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” is filled with plenty of rich history. The song was meant to have a nightlife feel but after the song title was changed from “Starlight” to “Thriller,” many more changes followed like the vibe of the song and the iconic video or short film.
2. “Thriller” is considered to be one of the greatest recordings of all time.
1. While sharing the inspirations behind the critically-acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar shared how Tupac’s ghost visited him in a dream. After telling him “Keep doing what you doing, don’t let my music die,” Kendrick created “Mortal Man” as an ode to the rap legend.