Whether you’re dressing up in a creative costume or passing out candy this year, Halloween has once again arrived as a night of ghostly celebration and fun.
Traditionally a Celtic holiday of Samhain, people all over the world get in the spirit by trick or treating, hoping not to be scared by the eerie ghouls and goblins that, according to legend, connect to the world on that day.
To give you a spook before your festivities begin, we’ve put together some of our most frightening, but nevertheless true world records.
Largest gathering of skeletons
With 2,018 participants, students of Swansea University gathered for the Jokers' Masquerade (UK), putting on their best bones for the record. After successfully achieving the title, the skeletons celebrated by dancing in a “day of the dead” fashion.
Largest collection of haunted dolls
If you weren’t too fond of puppets or figurines like horror film Chuckie, get ready to be scared straight. The island of the Dolls does exist, and it holds the record title for largest collection of haunted dolls for good reason. Located in Mexico, the name translates to “La Isla de las Muñecas” and is one of the closest settings to a real-life haunting.
The off-the-map isle houses thousands of broken, mutilated and decaying dolls, hanging from virtually every tree and bush there. This grotesque collection began when a man named Don Julian Santana Barrera came to live on the island in the 1950s. After spending some time there, Barrera claimed that he was being haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had drowned in one of the nearby canals three decades earlier.
To appease her restless spirit, placed dolls around the island as a shrine, and became so obsessed with collecting them that he spent his days scouring rubbish dumps and fishing in the canals for old, discarded dolls; 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 tourist attraction, and an eerie place which locals claim the dolls come to life at night. It is said these broken and tormented dolls are 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. Legend has it, to appease these haunted dolls, every visitor should offer a gift as soon as they set foot on the island.
Most prolific children’s horror book series
This record though freaky, is a fond memory for many people’s childhood. Written by author R L Stine (aka Robert Lawrence Stine), the original series Goosebumps is considered the most successful children’s horror books sequence. Named “goosebumps” for a reason, it’s bound to raise the hair on your arm after reading the 62 novels in total. The first book – Welcome to Dead House – was released in July 1992 and the last – Monster Blood IV – in December 1997. There have subsequently been several spin-off books, a TV series and a movie which was released in 2015. The book series publisher, Scholastic re-issued 21 of the original books last year to tie-in with the film's release.
This is what happen when Halloween meets art: you get a very scary-looking pumpkin! The talented artist who holds this record is Scott Cully, who is also the record holder for Heaviest pumpkin. Using a substantial 821.23 kg (1,810.5 lb) pumpkin, he created the ultimate Halloween craft by carving the giant squash into the world’s largest jack-o-lantern in Bronx, New York, USA, on 30 October 2010.
Most common sound effect in film
This record is arguably one of our most hair-raising yet. A fact not known by many, the “Wilhelm Scream” is declared the most common sound effect in film. It was originally created for the 1951 movie Distant Drums, a series of six short sound recordings was made in post-production to accompany the visuals of a soldier being bitten by an alligator and dragged into a stream. The scream effect was archived by Warner Bros. and used exclusively by the studio in a series of movies, including Them! (USA 1954), The Sea Chase (USA 1955) and A Star is Born (USA 1954) before being picked up by sound effects editor Ben Burtt (USA). Burtt dubbed it the "Wilhelm Scream", after the character in the original movie, and used it in, among others, Star Wars (USA 1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (USA 1981). Since then, the scream has been adopted by countless sound engineers and used in films such as Batman Returns (USA,UK 1992), Planet of the Apes (USA 2001), and even the animated adventure Madagascar (USA 2005). To date, it has featured in at least 133 movies, as well as in computer games and theme park rides. You can check how startling it is in the link above!
Fastest time to carve one tonne of pumpkins
Stephen Clarke is the jack-o-lantern master. With a sharp knife in hand, he’s terrifyingly fast when it comes to pumpkin carving. On October 29th in 2008, he managed to carve an incredible one tonne of pumpkins in just 3 hours and 33 minutes while at Harrah’s Casino Resort, in Atlantic City, NJ (USA).
Largest collection of candy wrappers
A perfect example of a record you can achieve if you save all of your Halloween candy wrappers for the rest of your life! Milan Lukich Valdivia lives in Tacna, Peru where he keeps his gigantic collection of 5,065 candy coverings and counting. He has wrappers from 49 different nations around the world, and has been collecting chocolate packaging for more than an amazing 32 years! With the amount of candy that is passed around each year, it’s safe to assume Halloween just might be Valdivia’s favorite holiday.
Largest gathering of zombies
A record that is truly a real-life “Walking Dead” episode. The largest gathering of zombies numbered an insane 15,458 participants, all dressed in their best decaying clothing. It was organized by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA in 2014, where participants walked the closed-off streets of the Warehouse District, featuring multiple outdoor stages, food trucks, and entertainment, including a live performance by famed DJ, Steve Aoki.
Largest GPS drawing by a car (team)
You wouldn’t expect this one to be a Halloween-related title, but wait until you see the talented and carefully planned image created by cars! Vauxhall Corsa created a 6,080-mile-long image across the length and breadth of Britain’s mainland. The artist at the wheel of the Corsa was US-born Jeremy Wood, one of the pioneers of GPS art, which combines drawing, travelling and technology to create art-work on a large scale. Over 264,000 positions were recorded with the Corsa’s GPS receiver and linked together like a virtual dot-to-dot drawing, using Great Britain as a giant canvas. Nearly 10,000 miles and 44 days later, he completed the journey just in time for Halloween.
Most lit jack-o-lanterns displayed
A wonderful title to complete the round up, the most lit jack-o'-lanterns on display is 30,581 and was achieved by the City of Keene, New Hampshire. Keene was the original record holder in this category and has now broken it 8 times since the original attempt. The beautiful display of candle-lit pumpkins is the perfect sight to put anyone in the mood for All Hallows Eve; happy trick-or-treating!