Poisoned candy, black cats, the “unlucky” number 13 – some legendary superstitions that make your skin crawl on Halloween.
1. Halloween is the devil’s holiday
Halloween is actually derived from Celtic and Druid ritual, which is separate from Christianity – meaning “Satan” isn’t even a factor. Scholars attribute this myth to Christian fundamentalists who thought that the dark imagery associated with Halloween made it evil and the work of the devil. In all actuality, the original Halloween celebrations were dedicated to positivity, like celebrating the harvest.
2. People hand out poisoned (or otherwise tampered with) candy
Every year, parents worry about their children’s well-being when they go out to trick or treat. But maybe this will make you relax just a bit: There have only been two confirmed cases of children being killed by poisoned Halloween candy, and in both cases, they were killed intentionally by one of their parents. With those two exceptions, no child has been killed or seriously injured thanks to Halloween candy.
3. A black cat crossing your path means bad things to come
Halloween is derived from Celtic and Druid ritual, which is separate from Christianity
If a black cat crosses your path, well – you’re screwed. This myth originates from the idea that witches used to keep these creatures as companions and that some could even change themselves into cats. All of this is completely bogus, and in some countries and cultures (the UK, Japan and Scotland, for example), a black cat actually has a positive connotation: foreshadowing good things to come.
4. A broken mirror equals bad luck
Break a mirror and you’ll have seven years’ bad luck. This myth is derived from an idea that our ancestors had: The image in a mirror was your actual soul, and if a mirror was shattered, it meant your soul had gone astray. The only way to set it straight? Bury the pieces of broken glass.
5. The number 13 is unlucky
Could a number get a worse rep than 13? People even skip it as an official floor in many buildings, going straight from 12 to 14. But this number is just that. There’s a lot of speculation as to why 13 has been deemed unlucky, including the idea that there were 13 witches in a coven, but rest assured – it’s perfectly fine to leave your house on the 13th. Even on a Friday.
TV network HBO is being sued by Barbara Casey who claims she was unfairly dismissed from horseracing drama Luck.
Luck, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was axed after several animals died.
Barbara Casey, ex-director of the American Humane Association (AHA) film and production unit, says producers “engaged in ongoing, systematic and unlawful animal abuse”.
An HBO statement said precautions were taken “to ensure that our horses were treated humanely”.
Barbara Casey’s lawsuit also accuses the American Humane Association (AHA) of bending to pressure from the TV network “to allow the use of unsuitable horses”.
She said her employment was wrongfully terminated after she threatened to report animal mistreatment.
HBO added in its statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “Barbara Casey was not an employee of HBO, and any questions regarding her employment should be directed to the AHA.”
HBO is being sued by Barbara Casey who claims she was unfairly dismissed from horseracing drama Luck
The drama, in which Dustin Hoffman starred as a crime kingpin scheming to gain control of a racecourse, was cancelled last March during filming on its second season.
Several horses were injured and put down, and a statement at the time said it was “with heartbreak that HBO have decided to cease all future production”. It was shown in the UK on Sky Atlantic.
However, Barbara Casey claims the network engaged in efforts to “conceal and cover-up” animal safety violations while filming.
She said HBO “misidentified horses so that the humane officers and/or animal safety representatives could not track their medical histories, experience and/or suitability for use”.
Barbara Casey, who held her position with the AHA for 13 years, claimed officers witnessed horses being “drugged to perform” and “underweight and sick horses unsuited for work [being] routinely used”.
AHA said in a statement to movie website Deadline that it “is unable to comment on this pending legal matter”.
HBO has decided to cancel TV horse-racing drama Luck, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, after a third animal was injured and put down during production.
The series was filming its second season when the incident happened.
In a statement, HBO said it was “with heartbreak” that it was ceasing “all future production” on Luck.
Produced by Michael Mann and David Milch, the series looks at the seedy side of life in US horse-racing.
It sees Dustin Hoffman play a crime kingpin scheming to gain control of a racetrack and introduce casino gambling.
Luck debuted in the US in January and will see its first season finale broadcast on 25 March.
It is currently being shown in the UK on the Sky Atlantic channel.
HBO has decided to cancel TV horse-racing drama Luck, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, after a third animal was injured and put down during production
The decision to cancel the entire series came one day after filming was suspended pending an investigation into the horse’s death.
“It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series <<Luck>>,” HBO said in its statement.
“While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.”
On Tuesday the American Humane Association (AHA) issued the suspension order, pending a “thorough and comprehensive investigation”.
HBO said the horse was being led to a stable by a groom when it reared and fell back, suffering a head injury.
The animal was put down at the track in suburban Arcadia, California, where Luck was filming.
Although the AHA – which oversees Hollywood productions – noted the accident did not occur during filming or racing, it issued the demand “that all production involving horses shut down”.
On Tuesday, California Horse Racing Board vet Dr. Gary Beck said he had just examined the horse as part of routine health and safety procedures before it was to race later in the day.
“The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground,” Dr. Gary Beck said in a statement.
A second vet determined that euthanasia was appropriate, he added.
Dr. Rick Arthur, medical director of the state racing board, said such injuries occurred in stable areas every year and were more common than thought.
During filming of the first series in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and were subsequently put down.
The AHA called for a production halt at the Santa Anita Racetrack after the second horse’s death, and racing resumed in February after new protocols were put in place.
The first two horse deaths drew criticism from animal rights group PETA, which said the safety guidelines were “clearly inadequate” as they failed to prevent the deaths.
On Tuesday, PETA vice-president Kathy Guillermo said: “Three horses have now died and all the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of thoroughbreds.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of the Animals (PETA) has called for TV and film safety rules to be tightened after two horses were put down during filming for HBO drama Luck.
The animals were injured in the making of the show starring Dustin Hoffman.
PETA said it “repeatedly reached out” to HBO before filming to offer safety advice but was “rebuffed”.
HBO, which worked with the American Humane Association, said both were “committed to ensuring all necessary safety procedures” were in place.
Luck, conceived by NYPD Blue creator David Milch, is billed as “a provocative look at the world of horse racing – the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players”.
The AHA said in a statement that the fatal accidents had taken place several months apart – one during the filming of a pilot episode and another during the filming of the seventh show.
AHA’s standard “no animals were harmed” statement was removed from the credits of both episodes.
PETA has called for TV and film safety rules to be tightened after two horses were put down during filming for HBO drama Luck
The AHA said both racehorses “stumbled and fell during short racing sequences”.
“The horses were checked immediately afterwards by the onsite veterinarians and in each case a severe fracture deemed the condition inoperable,” it added.
“The decision was that the most humane course of action was euthanasia.”
It listed a series of precautions taken including that each horse was “limited to three runs per day and was rested in between those runs”.
In a statement released to the New York Observer, HBO said filming was suspended after the second accident “while the production worked with AHA and racing industry experts to adopt additional protocols specifically for horse racing sequences”.
They included “the hiring of an additional veterinarian and radiography of the legs of all horses being used by the production”.
“HBO fully adopted all of AHA’s rigorous safety guidelines before production resumed.”
But, in a blog on its website, PETA said: “Perhaps if producers had considered the proved safety protocols that we would have suggested, these horses would still be alive.”
It added that “two dead horses in a handful of episodes exemplify the dark side of using animals in television, movies, and ads”.
It said it was now in discussions with HBO “about how to prevent even more deaths on the show”.