The following questions are all related to Halloween, celebrated on the 31st of October every year.
We believe that these questions are very difficult for a pub quiz audience so perhaps you should pad them out with simple questions interdispersed.
1. The festival of Halloween was first celebrated by which ancient tribe?
2. In the old Norse religion, an event believed to occur around the same time of the year as Halloween was the álfablót, which involved the blessing of food and sacrifices to which creatures?
3. In North America, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse. Halloween and which other notable holiday occur in two consecutive days, leaving some Christians uncertain of how they should treat the holiday of halloween?
4. "The Halloween Tree" is a 1972 fantasy novel by which American author?
5. Halloween (sometimes referred to as John Carpenter's Halloween) is an American horror film set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. In which year was the film released?
6. The Simpsons Halloween Episodes are an annual tradition in which there are three separate, self-contained pieces. By which title are these episodes known?
7. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is a critically-acclaimed and very popular animated halloween television special based on a comic strip by which American cartoonist?
8. He is a pumpkin whose top and stem have been cut out and interior removed, leaving a hollow shell that is then decoratively carved. Twelve Letters.
9. "Samhain", literally means "end of summer" and is a Gaelic language word. What is it's direct English equivalent?
10. Trick-or-treating, also known as guising, is an activity for children on Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as candy with the question, "Trick or treat?". In which country did this practice originate?
11. Plus or minus 100 pounds (lb), how much did the world's largest recorded pumpkin weigh?
12. The fear of halloween is known by which other name? Fourteen letters.
13. Which famous halloween party game originated from a custom to establish who would get married first?
14. The collective noun for a group of witches is a ____ of witches.
1. The Celts According to the beliefs of the ancient Celts, the bright half of the year ended around November 1 or on a moon-phase near that date, or at the time of first frost. The day is referred to in modern Gaelic as Samhain ("Sow-in" meaning: End of the Summer). After the adoption of the Roman calendar, the date began to be celebrated independently of the Moon's phases. As October 31 is the last day of the bright half of the year, the next day also marked the beginning of winter, which the Celts often associated with death, and with the slaughter of livestock to provide meat for the coming winter. The Celts believed that on October 31, the boundary separating the dead from the living became blurred. The Celts' survival during the harsh winters depended on the prophecies of their priests and priestesses (druids), and the accurate prediction of how much food would be needed to sustain the populace before the next harvest. They believed that spirits would aid in making accurate predictions about the coming year.
2. Elves The elves were powers connected to the ancestors, and it can be assumed that the blót related to a cult of the ancestors. The álfablót is also celebrated in the modern revival of Norse religion, Ásatrú.
3. All Saints Day In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions of All Saints Day, while some Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a day of remembrance and prayers for unity
4. Ray BradburyThe story is about a group of eight boys who set out to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, only to discover that a ninth friend, Pipkin, has been whisked away on a journey that could determine whether he lives or dies. Through the help of a mysterious character named Moundshroud, they pursue their friend across time and space through ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures, Celtic Druidism, Notre Dame Cathedral in Medieval Paris, and The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Along the way, they learn the origins of the holiday that they celebrate, and the role that the fear of death has played in shaping civilization. The Halloween Tree itself, with its many branches laden with jack-o'-lanterns, serves as a metaphor for the historical confluence of these traditions.
5. 1978 The original draft of the screenplay was titled The Babysitter Murders. John Carpenter directed the film, which stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and Nick Castle as Michael Myers (listed in the credits as "The Shape"). The film centers on Myers' escape from a psychiatric hospital, his murdering of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis's attempts to track and stop him. Halloween is widely regarded as a classic among horror films, and as one of the most influential horror films of its era. Halloween was produced on a budget of only $325,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States, becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever made.
6. Treehouse of Horror
7. Charles M. SchultzThe special depicts one Halloween night in which Linus van Pelt, Charlie Brown's security blanket-toting best friend, eagerly awaits the arrival of "the Great Pumpkin", who Linus believes to travel around the world each Halloween giving toys to all the good little children (in the manner of Santa Claus each Christmas).
8. Jack O' LanternAn old Irish legend tells of Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn't get down. Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down; Another myth says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers whom he had stolen from, when he met the Devil: it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet... only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped.
9. November The Festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is generally regarded as 'The Celtic New Year'. The same word was used for a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest. A modernized version of this festival continues today in some of the traditions of the Catholic All Souls' Day, the secular Halloween, and in folk practices of Samhain itself in the Celtic Nations and the Irish and Scottish diasporas. It is also observed by various types of Neopagans
10. The United Kingdom, surprisingly The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of "souling," when poor folk would go door to door, receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (All Hallows Day). It originated in the British Isles, and is still popular in Ireland, and in some parts of England and Scotland. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas." Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900.
11. 1,524 lb Oregon farmer Thad Starr squashed the competition with the colossal 691kg (1,524lb) pumpkin. The vegetable also surpassed the previous world record of 557kg. For his efforts, Mr Starr was awarded $6 per pound, earning him $9,144.
13. Bobbing for apples. Bobbing for apples, also known as apple bobbing, is a game customarily played on Halloween. The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface. Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of hands is not allowed. The popularity of this game is falling because it can be viewed as unsanitary. The custom originated among the Celts as part of their celebrations of the Samhain season, celebrations that grew into modern-day Halloween. The original custom generally took place during large gatherings of people. Apples were associated with love or fertility goddesses; the first person to catch an apple would be the next one to marry, a tradition that is echoed in the modern "throwing of the bouquet" at weddings.