Pumpkins in North America are ubiquitous this time of year, and they are no more evident than on Halloween, when they are on display carved with frightening faces to ward off evil spirits. But did you know that in the Middle Ages in Europe, as a pagan vestige against the growing wave of Christianity, hideously carved turnips were the vegetable of choice to spook the spirits?
Fact or Fiction?
Scroll down for the answer!
FACT! As the conversion to Christianity took root in the Middle Ages, pagan influences remained, which was the case with Halloween. It was believed that spirits roamed freely on this fateful night. Turnips were carved in the form of demons to keep evil spirits away. Since the pumpkin was more abundant in America, it became the much more colorful and rotund symbol of nefarious spirits as the Halloween tradition crossed the pond.
Click here to learn more about historic Halloween traditions and to read a scary story about a ghost hunter.