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Shock horror!

Halloween is good for you. Yes, really…

Pumpkin power

This spooky veg isn’t just for carving, you know – it’s full of nutrients. The vibrant orange hue is thanks to beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A – important for maintaining healthy vision and immunity. Plus, pumpkin seeds contain some marvellous minerals, including potassium, zinc, and magnesium, which plays a role in energy metabolism and bone health. Top tip: try roasting the seeds with a little oil and seasoning for a feel-good snack.

Ritual healing

Halloween is an ancient cultural ritual that was part of the Celtic religion in Britain – and those Celts were on to a good thing! Studies show that engaging in superstitious practices can have benefits, including enhancing our confidence, helping us deal with loss, and improving our performance in sport and memory tasks. We’ve got new-found respect for our lucky pants!

Dressed to thrill

Ever catch sight of your reflection when you’re wearing fancy dress and feel like a different person, as well as looking like one? You’re not alone. Several studies have suggested that wearing a mask can alter the perceptions we have both of ourselves and our behaviour. For instance, in one experiment, people with a stutter were asked to wear a mask during speech therapy – and they actually stuttered less. Wow! So it’s time to ditch the excuses and get creative with your costume.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

As we peek through our fingers at a horror film, there’s often a feeling of delicious anticipation that keeps us gripped, despite ourselves. Why? Well, science backs up what fans of scary movies have known all along: we may actually enjoy being frightened. Researchers in the US have found that when we feel safely detached from a threat, we can experience positive emotions at the same time as fear. A night in with The Exorcist, anyone?

GET YOUR GHOUL ON

*Available in selected stores

Words Rosie Benson Photography Pixeleyes, Getty Images

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