There are so many creepy critters out there!
Halloween is right around the corner, and, like most holidays, there are many superstitions surrounding Halloween. Many of these superstitions have even led to traditions that we still take part in today, including dressing up in costumes. There are also many Halloween superstitions surrounding the holiday’s most iconic and creepiest creatures, including black cats, spiders, wolves and bats. In this blog series, the experts at East Meadow Veterinary clinic are going to go over the superstitions around these animals, and separate the myth from the fact.
While many of the superstitions surrounding black cats took hold during the Middle Ages, some historians believe that the origins of humanity’s distrust in felines dates back to the very first humans. Early humans weren’t exactly on the top of the food chain, and it is believed that, due to their carnivorous appetite, developing a fear of cats was necessary for human survival.
During the Middle Ages, or Dark Ages, people began associating black cats with witchcraft. People believed that witches could turn themselves into black cats, or that the devil himself would send black cats to assist witches in committing evil deeds. Many cats were subsequently killed during the witch trials in Europe, and some historians even believe that the death of all of those cats helped the mouse population to grow out of control and spread the Bubonic Plague.
Today, we know that witches cannot turn themselves into cats, or that the devil doesn’t send them to do his bidding. But, many people still to this day see black cats as bad luck, and they are still targeted for sacrifice and other maleficent deeds. If you have a black cat, make sure you keep them safe in your home on Halloween and the days leading up to it.
There are superstitions about bats all over the world, and for centuries, they’ve been associated with evil and seen as bad omens. It’s no wonder, as bats have an unfamiliar appearance, with beady eyes and peculiar shaped faces that make them look scary. Bat are nocturnal, and because vampire bats feed on blood (of cows and chickens — not humans), they have been associated with vampires. Some people even believe that vampires can turn into bats. In reality, bats are an essential part of the earth’s ecosystem, feeding off of insects, like mosquitos and moths.
With their eight hairy legs and numerous eyes, spiders look pretty darn creepy, which is probably why so many people are afraid of them. According to folklore, spiders use their webs to help witches cast spells. But, there are other superstitions that claim that a spider found in your home is good luck, and that you should never kill one in your home. The fact is that there are only a small percentage of poisonous spiders among the 35,000 species, and spiders are essential for keeping insects at bay, including mosquitoes.
There are so many superstitions about creepy critters around Halloween, and in our next blog, our veterinarian in South Bellmore will be going over a few more. Stay tuned to learn more, and don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment if your pet needs veterinary care.