The season that perfectly matches AU’s school spirit wear has finally arrived, Ravens. It’s the season where all of the spooks, candy and costumes come out. As you know, Halloween is here.
There are many traditions that come with this holiday, and America definitely has some odd ones. The weird, wild and wacky ways of this season will either make you laugh or send shivers down your spine.
Anoka, Minnesota, is the Halloween capital of the world.
It’s believed to be the first city in the United States to put on a Halloween celebration to divert its youngsters from pulling pranks on Halloween night. Citizens of Anoka awoke to find their cows roaming Main Street, their windows soaped and their outhouses tipped over. They decided that they had to do something about it.
In 1920, Anoka city leaders proposed a giant celebration. The Halloween committee was full of businessmen, teachers, parents and students. The attendance continued to rise for this celebration, and in 1937, Anoka was named the Halloween capital of the world.
Today, the celebration still lives on in this small Minnesota town. The festivities consist of pillow fights, a kangaroo court, firework displays, royalty coronations, concerts, dances, window painting contests, house decorating contests, celebrity appearances, costume contests, style shows, story-telling, races and a snake dance.
Going west on the map to Sleepy Hollow, New York, you will experience The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze.
This event features 7,000 illuminated jack-o’-lanterns that are all designed and carved on-site.
You can stroll across the pumpkin zee bridge, watch the pumpkin carousel, or see swimming aquatic creatures like the giant sea serpent—all made of pumpkins.
The landscape is complete with synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack.
Denver, Colorado, is home to the Zombie Crawl. For more than 10 years, more than 25,000 people have attended.
At the Zombie Crawl, there are makeup booths to complete your “undead” look, and a trivia and costume contest. Finally, you can learn the “Thriller” dance with other zombies.
Not only can you participate in the Halloween festivities, but your beloved pets can, too. Park City, Utah, is home to “Howl-O-Ween.”
This event is the perfect opportunity for you to show off your pet’s best costume. There are prizes for best dog or family combination, best large dog and more.
Owners often try to match their costumes with their pets, so of course, you will see the dynamic duo Dorothy and Toto or Yoda and Luke.
Howl-O-Ween has also been named one of the top Halloween celebrations in the country by Travel and Leisure magazine.
If you’re feeling tropical this spooky season, make your way to Lahaina, Hawaii, for “The Mardi Gras of the Pacific.”
You get to experience a warm Halloween, with temperatures around 70 degrees. Instead of driving, you will arrive via boat on the Halloween cruise. Before you get to Lahaina, you’ll stop at Maalaea Harbor where you can see the beautiful Maui sunset and enjoy a gourmet dinner.
You’ll land at Front Street where activities like costume contests, entertainment and shopping occur.
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate Halloween by the beach?
In the small town of Coarsegold, California, everyone takes part in the annual Tarantula Festival. This might be the creepiest festival for some people.
Activities like hairy leg contests, costume contests, scream contests and more take place during this festival.
The fan favorite is the tarantula derby with a gift certificate and trophy for the owner of the fastest spider.
As for Hoosiers, we have quite the Halloween history ourselves.
After the Civil War, Hoosiers continued centuries-old, Celtic-influenced Halloween traditions. These included the belief that spirits walked the earth on the 31st of October and could be called upon for favors or glimpses into the future. Lots of young people looked to these spirits to determine their future husband or wife.
Hoosiers would use various and quite random “spells” to understand the future. This would consist of using two hazelnuts or chestnuts to determine your match by burning the nuts, using a hard-boiled egg to interpret your dreams and eating an apple while looking in the mirror to test if you can see the face of the person you will marry.
Indiana also has some scary stories of its own like The Crawfordsville Monster, The House of Ghosts and The Intriguing Tale of Pogue’s Run: A Civil War “Battle.”
Halloween is definitely not just candycorn and costumes. Americans young and old take part in the cool and crazy traditions on the last day of October.
Whether you’re looking to race some spiders, be a zombie for a day or see a light show made of jack o’lanterns, your options are endless on the spookiest night of the year.