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Black Cats Mean Bad Luck (They Don't) and Other Halloween Myths, Debunked!

Halloween is one of the spookiest nights of the year and there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the celebration in general. We've all heard the horror stories about what happens on the 31st of October and it can be hard to sort out what's based in fact and what's just an ongoing superstition that also happens to keep the scare spirit alive.


1. Black cats always mean bad luck

We've all heard that if you see a black cat cross your path, you're in for some bad luck and they're even more spooky of a sight on Halloween. Cats with black fur have gotten a bad rap and there's the belief that they're always up to no good and they've since become the poster pet for the spookiest night of the year. According to Mental Floss, cats and bad luck is based in some folklore and history that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages where cats were thought to be the root cause of the Black Death pandemic around 1348.


But, they're not considered bad luck everywhere. In some cultures, black cats are good luck, specifically for marriage and as Mental Floss reports, cats with black fur are still given as fits to brides as a way to bless new nuptials.


2. Razor blades and candy apples

Every year parents are warned to make sure they check their children' Halloween treats before allowing them to eat even one piece. This runs on that long-standing fear that one time, razor blades were found in candy apples given out to Trick-or-Treaters and resulted in children getting hurt or dying. According to The Washington Post, who spoke with Joel Best, a criminal justice professor at the University of Delaware, there is no real indication this actually happened.


"I have been unable to find a substantiated report of a child being killed or seriously injured by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating," Best says. There have been several reports of candy tampering, but they've all been either done outside of Halloween time or debunked as some other underlying cause.


3. Halloween is satanic

For many religious people, Halloween is considered a "festival for demonic spirits," but when you trace back the beginning of the Samhain festival, a Celtic tradition where sacrifices to honor the dead were made in the form of burned crops, not any harm to animals or people.


4. Bats on Halloween are also bad luck

Bats, like cats, have gotten a bad rap and there is a superstition that if you see a bat flying around your house on Halloween it's a very ominous sign. Some believed that it meant someone who lives in your house was going to die soon or if you spotted one in your house, your home was haunted. But just like all black cats don't mean bad luck, bats can't predict the future and know what's going to happen.


5. Halloween is a marketing campaign

Every year we hear someone go off about how Halloween is just a commercial holiday used to boost sales in the retail chains so that they can have better luck finishing out the year in the black. While there is no doubt Halloween does give a boost in revenue thanks to costumes, candy and decorations, its sales are still way below Christmas.


According to the National Retail Federation, this year Halloween sales will hit an estimated $8.4 billion -- most of that spend on candy, which is still way below the projected $586 that Christmas hit. Guess we didn't really debunk that one...but just some food for thought!


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