Halloween, a secular holiday with roots in both ancient superstition and medieval Christian traditions focused on death and the afterlife, is fertile ground for scary rumors and legends. It goes without saying it's our favorite holiday.
For this collection, we've dipped into the Snopes archive and assembled a grab bag of Halloween goodies, old and new — such as the reasons why we wear costumes or go trick-or-treating; our investigation into the history of the jack o' lantern and how it (supposedly) got its name; and the origins of moral panics surrounding the alleged tainting of Halloween candy with poison, drugs, or foreign objects, and why they persist.
Halloween may be the scariest holiday of the year, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the lore. Ghosts and goblins aren't real. Witches only exist in fairy tales. Put on your "sexy Freddy Krueger" costume and let's go trick-or-treating!