Halloween is celebrated every year on 31 October in many countries around the globe. Historically, it begins the Christian observance of Allhallowtide – three days dedicated to remembering the dead – but over time it has become an occasion for carving pumpkins, costume parties, themed games, horror movies and haunted attractions.
To get you in the mood, take a look at Guinness World Records' top ten most festive and frightening Halloween-related records... if you dare.
In a tradition that was originally associated with the harvest season, ghoulish faces carved into pumpkins are seen glowing eerily on doorsteps and in windows during the Halloween period.
FivePoint Communities (USA) went all-out with this tradition last year when they created the longest line of carved pumpkins ever with 1,510, at the “Pumpkin Glow” event in Irvine, California, USA, on 25 October 2014 (pictured above).
2. Largest jack o’lantern
Scott Cully (USA) held the record for the heaviest pumpkin in 2010 and he decided to put it to good use by producing the largest jack o'lantern – another term for a carved pumpkin, named after the Irish legend of “Stingy Jack”. The original fruit weighed a bulky 821.23 kg (1,810.5 lb).
3. Oldest ghost
The telling of chilling ghost stories is an age-old festive custom, and this tale about the oldest ghost is as scary as they come.
Ghost Ranch in north-central New Mexico's Rio Arriba County earned its name from the many sightings made here for generations of a huge ghostly reptile of serpentine form and measuring 6-9 m long, which has been dubbed Vivaron, the snake-demon, by local inhabitants. Initially dismissed as mere folklore, it acquired greater significance and attention when, in 1947, palaeontologist Edwin H. Colbert unearthed a huge cache of fossil skeletons in this same area, derived from various prehistoric reptiles. These not only included more than a thousand dinosaur specimens but also a very elongate 9-m-long crocodile-like creature known as a phytosaur. Its discovery led to speculation that the paranormal "snake-demon" being reported by the locals was the ghost of this phytosaur! If this were true, and bearing in mind that its fossil skeleton is 220 million years old, dating from the Triassic Period, the phytosaur's spectre would therefore be the world's oldest ghost!
4.Most successful horror film series
New horror films are often released around Halloween to make the most of the atmosphere, but the most successful horror film series is SAW, with a total gross of $733,271,976 (₤481,525,920.92) throughout its 6 instalments. This record considers the global grossing of each one of the SAW movies.
Saw III (USA, 2006) is actually the Highest-grossing Halloween movie ever, having taken had taken $33.6 million (£17.6 million) by 31 October 2006.
5. Longest walk-through horror house (indoors)
Cutting Edge Haunted House (USA) aimed to scare when they created the longest walk-through horror house (indoors), measuring 1,642.16 m (5,387 ft 8 in) and located in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, as verified on 9 October 2015. They had previously held the record in 2009 and 2010 and were determined to re-establish their record this Halloween season.
Classroom assistant Jill Drake (UK) had a scream that reached 129 dBA when measured at the Halloween festivities held in the Millennium Dome, London, UK in October 2000.
7. Largest collection of haunted dolls
Only the bravest of people have visited the world's largest collection of haunted dolls, found on Mexico's Island of the Dolls or La Isla de las Muñecas.
Located south of Mexico City within a vast network of canals, the tiny isle houses thousands of broken, mutilated and decaying dolls, hanging from virtually every tree and bush there.
This grotesque collection began when a hermit called Don Julian Santana Barrera came to live here during the 1950s, and claimed that he was being haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had drowned in one of the canals surrounding this island three decades earlier.
To appease and occupy her restless spirit, he began placing dolls around the island as a kind of shrine, and he became so obsessed with collecting them that he spent his days scouring rubbish dumps and fishing in the canals for old, discarded dolls, and even trading home-grown vegetables and fruit for them.
Ironically, he met his own death here in 2001 by drowning in the very same canal where the girl had died back in the 1920s.
The Island of the Dolls is now a major, if macabre, tourist attraction, and locals claim that at night the dolls come to life, animated by the spirits of the dead, and begin to call, whisper, move their limbs, and turn their heads of their own accord, hoping to lure the unwary to a watery death in the island's canals. To appease them, every visitor should offer a gift as soon as they set foot on the island.
8. Largest gathering of people dressed as witches
There is always someone who dresses up as a witch for Halloween, but La Bruixa d'Or (Spain), in Sort, Lleida, Spain, grouped together 1,607 witches on 16 November 2013. The participants - all dressed in a black hat and a black floor length dress, with a broom - gathered to perform an incantation to bring them luck for the Spanish Christmas lottery.
An entertaining game often played at Halloween parties is wrapping people up in toilet roll so that they resemble Egyptian mummies.
The most people wrapped as mummies in three minutes is 51 and was achieved by Britmums (UK) in London, UK, on 19 June 2015.
10. Most apples bobbed in one minute
Another common seasonal activity is apple bobbing, thought to have derived from the Roman celebrations of Pomona or to represent witch dunkings.
The most apples bobbed in one minute is a seriously impressive 37 and was achieved by Cherry Yoshitake (Japan) at Oasispark in Kakamigahara, Gifu, Japan, on 11 October 2015. This was attempted at the Guinness World Records Challenge Live! 2015 in Gifu, Japan.