Happy Halloween! “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.” Halloween has always been a pleasant assault on our senses.
Double layered pillowcases for candy collection, crisp autumn air with leaves at your feet, bobbing for apples, and the sounds of children repeating Halloween sayings that we can recall from our own childhoods. The sounds, sights, smells, touches, and tastes of Halloween are permanently etched in our memories.
To help celebrate this festive holiday – I mean, what other day do most folks dress up in costumes – we’ve collected the following resources.
Funny Halloween Captions
Every great Halloween photo – be it of a kid in costume or a party photo – is in need of a great caption. An Instagram post comes alive when a good image is paired with a funny caption. Here are some ideas for you:
1.) Let’s give ’em pumpkin to talk about.
2.) Candy corn cutie.
5.) If zombies chase us, I’m tripping you.
6.) The Scare Factory is present on Halloween night.
7.) Extreme Makeover.
8.) Fangs for the Memories.
9.) Where does she park her broom?
10.) 2021 was batty!
11.) We love our Mummy!
Check out our long list of Spooky Halloween Captions (Lots of Funny Ones!)
Happy Halloween Greetings
In years gone by, kids went out in groups and were less likely to be accompanied by parents. While “Happy Halloween” might be what adults write on greeting cards for this holiday, children take a different approach when trick-or-treating. Kids might greet you at your front door with,
Trick or treat
Give me something good to eat
If you don’t care, I don’t care
I’ll pull down your underwear.
A shorter, less threatening version also became popular:
Trick or treat, Money or eat?
In today’s era of shortened attention spans and political correctness, the greeting is more commonly reduced to the bare bones:
Trick or treat!
With the present concern for child safety, parents nowadays generally accompany their children. With a heightened awareness of the relationship between candy and cavities, parents limit candy consumption more than in “the good old days.”
Kids can still play with their stash of goodies and trade them with their friends (“I’ll give you two Butterfingers for a Milky Way”). But leftover candy — at the homes of both the givers and the receivers — is often brought to work and shared with co-workers on the Monday after Halloween.
Of course, trick-or-treating will continue to evolve. One newer incarnation is “trunk-or-treating.” In this ritual, cars tailgate in school or church parking lots on Halloween, and motorists offer treats from the trunk of their car, which may be decorated with a theme appealing to kids. The relative safety and convenience of trunk-or-treating appeal to many parents.
Spooky Greetings for October 31
12.) I love you, boo-cause! Happy Halloween!
13.) If the broom fits, ride it!
14.) Best witches for a happy Halloween!
15.) Eat, drink, and be scary!
16.) Have a Spooktacular time!
17.) Come as you aren’t! Happy Halloween!
18.) Sit for a spell and have some brew.
19.) Mind your mummy! Happy Halloween!
See our Halloween Greetings and Wishes page.
Best Halloween Puns
With so many icons associated with this fun holiday – think witches, ghosts, pumpkins, ghouls, skeletons, and more – it’s ripe for some good puns. Check these out:
20.) Demons are a ghoul’s best friend.
21.) Have a fantastic Halloween!
22.) Just like Romeo and Ghouliet.
23.) Bone Appetit!
24.) Let’s creep it real.
25.) Life is gourd.
26.) Witch way to the boos?
27.) Vampires are a real pain in the neck.
28.) I’ve seen Stranger Things.
29.) Ghouls just wanna have fun.
30.) Ahead of the carving with our pumpkin.
Find some more Halloween puns and memes.
Frightful Halloween Quotes
Here’s a sampling of some spooky and funny Halloween quotes:
31.) There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight.
32.) I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.
33.) You dress as a superhero, bang on your neighbor’s door, and they give you candy. I do that today, and my neighbor wants me arrested.
34.) Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, and voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!
35.) A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.
36.) I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly.
Elizabeth, Friday the 13th
37.) We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
38.) By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
39.) Halloween is not only about putting on a costume, but it’s about finding the imagination and costume within ourselves.
40.) “I’m so happy that Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year!” said no teacher ever.
Check out all of our Bewitching Halloween Quotes.
It’s hard to get too serious about Halloween, so most Halloween greetings take the form of jokes or riddles:
41.) Why did the schoolteacher knock out the teeth in a jack-o’-lantern?
She wanted it to become bright.
42.) What do you say in a postcard from a Halloween festival?
Witch you were here.
43.) Why did the witch wear an orange cloak?
She heard that orange is the new black.
44.) People who go to bars on Halloween:
45.) People who barbecue on Halloween:
46.) Kids who complain that they want more candy on Halloween:
For more Halloween humor, go to our Hilarious Halloween Jokes page.
These playful Halloween sayings and wishes will have you ready to go come October 31. Here are some examples:
47.) I love you just boo-cause.
48.) If the broom fits, ride it.
49.) Ghosts have real spirit.
50.) Scare up some fun this Halloween!
51.) A candy a day keeps the monsters away.
52.) Time for a coffin break.
53.) I only spook when spook-en to.
54.) Forget the ghosts and witches – beware of me!
Check out all of these fun Halloween Sayings.
Halloween History: The Spooky Evolution of the Holiday
Halloween didn’t need social media to go viral. It’s been going viral for centuries, traveling from country to country, culture to culture, era to era. And, like the most mystical ghost, it keeps changing shape along the way.
Halloween falls on All Hallow’s Eve, which is the night before All Saints Day on November 1.
The Ghosts of Halloween Past
Much of what we now call Halloween grew out of Samhain, an ancient festival of the Celts. They believed the underworld door opened on this day, releasing the spirits of the dead, who roamed the earth on Samhain Night.
Although Samhain was a pagan festival, Christian missionaries incorporated its traditions into what became known in various countries as the celebration of All Saint’s Eve, All Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve. In Gaelic, “eve” becomes “e’en,” which explains the genesis of “Halloween.”
Occurring on October 31, All Hallow’s Eve ushers in All Hallows’ Day, a Christian feast commemorating saints (hallows), martyrs, and loved ones.
The need for such a celebration is universal. Japan honors the deceased with the Bon Festival, a Buddhist holiday involving outdoor festivals and visits to the graves of loved ones. In China, the Festival of Hungry Ghosts is a time to ward off evil spirits with gifts.
Ghost stories date back to ancient Rome, while poltergeists first “appeared” during the Middle Ages in Germany. And to this day, Romanians on Halloween recall the legend of Dracula, who is said to haunt their towns.
You might like Best Halloween Phrases and Captions.
Other Names for Halloween
Synonyms for this popular holiday include:
1.) Night of Witches.
2.) All Saints Eve.
3.) Allhallows Eve or sometimes spelled, All Hallows Eve.
4.) Feast of Saint Andrew.
5.) All Soul’s Day.
Halloween Discovers America, and Vice Versa
Scottish and Irish immigrants brought their Samhain heritage to America, and a new land gave it a new, distinctively American turn. Halloween was not widely observed here until the mid-19th century.
Even then, it surfaced primarily in the immigrant communities. But with the growth of mass media and transcontinental travel, the holiday reached critical mass by the early 1900s. Thanks to the American “melting pot,” Halloween celebrations became customary coast to coast.
Although the holiday became customary, the specific customs of the holiday were all over the map. In the 1800s, in many parts of the country, October 31 was primarily a day of mischief, aka “tricks” — throwing eggs at houses, knocking over outhouses, and letting livestock loose.
During the Depression, as vandalism became increasingly dangerous and mean-spirited, parents and other concerned citizens began promoting Halloween candy and costumes to make the holiday safer for kids.
This tactic was effective but had an unintended result: The pranks moved to October 30, which different communities variously labeled Cabbage Night, Mischief Night, Devil’s Night, or Devil’s Eye. Children prowled the area for treats on two consecutive nights in some urban neighborhoods, with October 30 dubbed Beggars’ Night.
On Halloween, We Carve… Turnips?
Well, we might have if Americans hadn’t replaced the traditional turnip with the pumpkin. Europeans used to carve turnips, potatoes, and beets to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve.
Initially, carvers used these items to create jack-o’-lanterns that fended off evil spirits and lit the way. Irish legend has it that the jack-o’-lantern name derives from a boy named Stingy Jack.
According to the legend, Jack trapped the Devil inside a turnip, and then released the Devil in exchange for a promise that his soul would never be sent to hell. But when Jack died, he wasn’t allowed in heaven either. Instead, he was sentenced to remain on earth eternally and walked the land with only a turnip, in which he placed burning coal for light.
Americans remembered Jack by carving his face into “jack-o’-lanterns.” Parents told their children that the jack-o’-lantern would scare Jack away by tricking him into thinking it contained the Devil.
The switch from turnips to pumpkins probably happened because pumpkins are more prominent and accessible to carve than turnips — not to mention that pumpkin pie makes a tastier traditional holiday dessert than turnip pie!
In 2005, Larry Checkon grew a pumpkin that weighed 1,469 pounds. On Halloween of that year, it became the world’s largest jack-o’-lantern when Scott Cully carved it in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania.
Happy Halloween Meme
The roots of trick-or-treating extend back many centuries to Europe. In England, “souling” involved individuals, usually of limited means, begging the wealthy for soul cakes.
In exchange, the ”soulers” would pray for the givers and their friends. Scotland and Ireland’s folks celebrated with a practice called “mumming.”
It consisted of merrymakers who would dress up in masks and costumes and go house to house singing songs or reciting poems in exchange for food. By the 19th century, it had morphed into “guising,” with costumed children carrying hollowed-out turnips and visiting homes to seek rewards of cake, fruit, and coins.
Guising made its way to North America by the early 20th century. In German-American neighborhoods, guising took the form of a tradition known as “belsnicking.” Children wearing costumes would call on neighbors to see if adults could guess their identities. If no one guessed correctly, the child received a treat.
Trick Or Treat Origin
In 1927, the earliest use of the term “trick or treat” appeared in North America. Since then, trick-or-treating has become firmly established as a core component of the Halloween celebration.
As trick-or-treating matured, neighborhoods adopted various norms. Homes that welcomed trick-or-treaters would turn their front lights on at sundown and turn it off around 9 p.m. Or, turn it off early enough to discourage rowdy teenagers from ringing the doorbell.
Homes would place a pumpkin by the front door — multiple pumpkins in the more upscale neighborhoods. By Halloween, those pumpkins would morph into creatively carved jack-o’-lanterns.
The earliest costumes in Celtic times were designed to ward off evil spirits. The basic idea was to trick the ghosts into thinking you were one of them!
Today, the need to dress up when trick-or-treating is simple: No costume, no candy.
Adults love seeing little kids in costume — at some homes, they take pictures of trick-or-treaters at the door.
Kids enjoy the sense of “becoming” the character they’ve always loved. And those characters keep changing. It used to be ghosts, witches, and clowns. Then Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman.
Today you’re more likely to see the stars of recent movie franchises: Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and Captain America. According to the National Retail Federation, action/superheroes are now the best-selling costumes.
What’s Up with Bobbing for Apples?
Look a little closer if you don’t see much connection between apples, romance, and Halloween. Traditionally harvested in October, apples have long been associated with Halloween activities and romance.
Youths in Ireland and Britain would peel an apple in one long strip, then throw it over their shoulder. The peel would supposedly land in the shape of the first letter of the name of your future husband or wife.
When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought with them an ancient courting ritual that involved apple bobbing. In some versions of this game, the first person who bit into an apple would be the next to marry.
The Roman’s apple bobbing merged with the Celtic’s Samhain activities, resulting in apple dunking in England (apple dooking in Scotland).
Although the romantic aspects of apple bobbing haven’t caught on in America, the activity remains a Halloween staple. So do apples in general. Since the 1950s, caramel or taffy apples have become a traditional Halloween treat.
Boo! There’s No Escaping Halloween
It’s in our music. Consider the lyrics to the pop hit “Spooky”:
Just like a ghost
You’ve been a-hauntin’ my dreams
So I’ll propose on Halloween
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.
Of course, the biggest Halloween song is “Monster Mash.” In the week leading up to Halloween 1962, it reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100. Youths from coast to coast danced the Monster Mash.
To paraphrase from the song, “It was a graveyard smash.” Check out these fun Halloween quotes to have a happy Halloween.
1930s Halloween Hit
And countless children had felt a tingle of excitement when mom or dad sang them this durable ditty composed back in the 1930s:
Witches and goblins with jack-o’-lanterns bright
Creep through the town on a cold October night
You can hear the sounds of running feet when nothing can be seen
And the strangest things can happen on a WILD HALLOWEEN!
Halloween kids’ songs have a rich tradition. Who can forget “The Monster Mash”?
Halloween is also in our movies. The first ten films in the Halloween franchise have grossed $366 million at the box office. And that doesn’t include Halloween novels, comic books, merchandise, and video games.
And even though there’s no mention of Halloween in Washington Irving’s novel of the headless horseman, The Legend of Sleep Hollow, the holiday figures prominently in Disney’s animated classic version.
Halloween is embedded in our culture. It’s in the haunted houses — from the haunted mansion at Disney World to the Children’s Museum Haunted House in Indianapolis to the San Mateo Haunted House in California.
It’s in the celebrations — from the New York Halloween Parade to the Starlight Parade in Portland, Oregon, to the largest Halloween parade in the world in Derry, Northern Ireland.
And Halloween is most definitely in our candy. Annual Halloween candy sales in America now total around $2.7 billion. While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups currently tops the list, good old Halloween candy corn — once known as chicken feed — still ranks in the top 20. And let’s not forget those tiny candy pumpkins, which pop into your mouth as quickly as popcorn.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Halloween.
Halloween is always celebrated on October 31. This year in 2023, Halloween falls on Tuesday, October 31.
Some good Halloween wishes include: “Best Witches for a Spooky Halloween,” “Eat, Drink, and Be Scary,” and “Let’s Scare Up Some Fun on Halloween!”
Halloween is celebrated on the evening before All Saints Day. All Saints Day traces its roots back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. On that day, it was believed that the souls of the dead returned to their homes. Folks dressed up in costumes to ward off these spirits the night before.
A Frightfully Popular Holiday
In front of my local supermarket, they put out a massive display of porcelain jack-o’-lanterns for sale — in July! And people are starting to buy them — in July!
A Harris poll ranks Halloween as the third most popular holiday, behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. But in late October, ask any kid which holiday is on their mind. You know, “witch” one, it’s bound to be. So, behave yourself, boys and ghouls.
By Art Novak and Mike O’Halloran
Art Novak is an Emmy-winning writer, novelist, and Professor Emeritus at Savannah College of Art and Design. Mike is the founder and editor of Greeting Card Poet.