On December 16, 1773, a beverage became the symbol of a revolution after angry colonists dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. Today, colonial reenactors will toss the bitter brew into the harbor for the first time since the infamous Boston Tea Party, the Associated Press reports.
Each December, members of the Old South Association, the Boston Tea Party Museum, and a bevy of volunteers reenact the historical protest, Smithsonian’s Erin Blakemore writes. This year, London’s East India Company—which provided the tea that fueled the original mutiny—decided to join in on the fun, donating 100 pounds of the beverage for historical accuracy.
For those of us who slept through history class, the Boston Tea Party occurred because the East India Company had too little cash—and too much tea. Britain decided to help the company out by instating a heavy tax on the product. Of course, the British government had other motives. They also wanted to nip Dutch tea smuggling in the bud, and demonstrate their financial and political dominion over the Colonists.
The Tea Act made the colonists so mad that, during a town hall meeting, they decided to march down to the harbor and toss the tea leaves into the water. For years, the participants’ identities were a secret—but the rebellion went down in history, and eventually led to the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. How many other tea parties can boast a similar claim to fame?
10 Creepy Candles to Get You in the Halloween Mood
BY Kirstin Fawcett
October 23, 2017
Candles are always a handy household accessory, but they're especially useful around Halloween, when they can be used to light jack-o'-lanterns, summon spirits, or simply brighten a long, dark night. These spooky lights are more suited for tabletops than pumpkins, or soirees than seances, but they'll still make your upcoming costume shindig extra festive (and fragrant, to boot).
1. KISA CANDLE
PyroPet’s cat-shaped Kisa candle looks like an ordinary wax feline. But as it melts, a hidden surprise reveals itself: a macabre metallic skeleton with charred bones and bared fangs.
The Kisa candle costs $34 and comes in three colors: pink, gray, and an ultra-spooky black. Not into cats? Additional PyroPet offerings include birds, bunnies, reindeer, owls, and dragons, all with the same silver framework.
2. BRAIN CANDLE
This specimen-inspired candle by Etsy seller Creepy Candles would look equally at place in a mad scientist’s laboratory as it would at a Halloween soiree. A wax brain is suspended in green-tinted gel that resembles formaldehyde, but the candle itself thankfully smells like grapefruit. The Brain Candle costs $25 and is handmade to order.
3. HUMAN SPINE CANDLES
Grave Digger Candles
Grow a spine this Halloween—or at least buy one. These notched beeswax pillar candles are inspired by the Victorian Era, a period in which physicians created detailed wax models of flayed corpses to teach medical students the literal ins and outs of anatomy. Etsy seller Grave Digger Candles sells them in sets of three for $76.
4. OUIJA BOARD CANDLE
This Ouija board-inspired, LED battery-operated candle probably won’t summon spirits, but it’s still spine-tinglingly spooky. Sold by Etsy user Twisted Nightmares, it costs $20 and requires three AAA batteries, which aren’t included with purchase.
5. BLEEDING HEART CANDLE
Cozy Custom Candles
Love guts, blood, and Gothic romance? Your heart might bleed for this candle, which turns into a gushing heart when lit. Sold by Etsy seller Cozy Custom Candles, the heart-shaped light source has a white outer shell made from a high-melt point paraffin wax, while its core is made of a red-colored wax blend with a low melting point. The candle hemorrhages vital fluids as it burns, making it the perfect accessory for a bloody good time.
The Bleeding Heart Candle costs $17 and comes in multiple autumnal scents, including caramel apple, pumpkin pie, and sweet cinnamon-pumpkin.
6. PICK YOUR POISON CANDLES
Mr. Toad's House of Wax
The “Pick Your Poison” candles by Etsy seller Mr. Toad’s House of Wax appear to have been snatched from the shelf of a Victorian apothecarist. But while labeled “Poison Hemlock Oil” and “Tincture of Wolfsbane Poison,” they smell like fresh fallen leaves, pumpkin spice, and other autumnal scents when lit. Both candles cost $21, and are embellished with a sparkly jewel and black velvet ribbon.
7. CREEPY WOODS & GRAVEYARD DIRT CANDLE
Geeky Girl Scents
There’s nothing quite like the aroma of trees and fresh graveyard dirt on a fall night. With hints of wood and earth, this candle by Etsy seller Geek Girl Scents will make your living room smell like a haunted cemetery. An eight-ounce jar costs $15, and a 16-ounce version is also available.
8. WITCH FARTS CANDLE
The Candle Crate
If you’ve ever wondered what witch gas smells like (who hasn’t?), you can find out by purchasing The Candle Crate’s flaming ode to supernatural flatulence. The Etsy seller’s “Witch Farts” candle is more Glinda the Good Witch than Elphaba, with top notes of peach, apricot, and blackberries and middle notes of mandarin, cinnamon, and rose.
Even if you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, you can still keep them at bay with this “Ghost Repellent” candle by Etsy sellers Nola And Neighbors. It smells like lavender and sage, and comes with an instruction label informing owners to light it “at dusk or dawn” for best results—although the ghost’s removal is “not guaranteed.” At $17, it’s still way cheaper than hiring the Ghostbusters.
10. ZOMBIE GOLDEN GIRLS PRAYER CANDLE SET
The Eternal Flame
Golden Girls devotees who’d follow the Fab Four to the grave and beyond can light up their lanais with these zombie prayer candles by Etsy shop The Eternal Flame. They come in sets of four (one for each Girl, naturally) and cost $40. Color choices include white, orange, and purple.
Bobbing for apples, though sometimes comparable to dunking your head in a cesspool of saliva, is a relatively harmless fall tradition. But it wasn’t always the kid-friendly activity we know today. Early versions of the game played in Britain on Halloween night lacked the tub of water, but they did include fire, hot wax, and a lot more injuries to the face.
Written recordings of Snap-Apple date back to at least the 14th century. Like bobbing for apples, the game had players catch apples in their mouths without using their hands. To make things even more difficult, apples were placed on one end of a wooden plank hung horizontally from the ceiling which was then spun in circles. Chomping at an apple as it whipped around the room was only half the challenge. At the other end of the board was a burning candle: Players who didn’t retrieve the apple in time risked getting walloped in the face with molten candle wax.
"... see the open mouth of the adventurous peasant who is going to make a bite at the fruit,—and what a mouth!—the sweet child at his foot seems to look with wonder at its capacity. Look at the fellow behind him grinning with pain, having made an unsuccessful bite, and caught the candle instead of the apple; and see that hand thrust from behind a backward group, giving the machine a malicious twitch to increase its speed …"
Despite its risks, Snap-Apple was a beloved part of the harvest season in England and Ireland. The tradition became so popular that it was literally synonymous with Halloween, with many people referring to October 31 as "Snap-Apple Night." In Wales, the date was sometimes called "Snotching Night" in reference to the act of snatching or "snotching" the apples from the beam.
As the holiday evolved, less fiery apple-centric games began popping up beneath the Snap-Apple umbrella. According to The New York Times, one iteration of the game had players struggle to wrangle an apple with their mouths as it hung from the ceiling by a string. Superstition held that whoever succeeded in biting the fruit first would be the first to walk down the aisle, reflecting the days when Halloween was as much a time for romance as it was for horror.
Today, only one version of the game is still played at Halloween parties: the one that requires participants to dunk their faces into a pool of lukewarm water. Like Snap-Apple, bobbing for apples often ends with ruined clothing, but at least related visits to the emergency room are rare.