The Most Frightening Day of the Year: A Ranking of Terrifying Occasions

Choose the day you think is the most frightening!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 06:43
Step into the world of spine-chilling days and eerie nights as we uncover the most frightening day of the year! Are you brave enough to explore the depths of terror and cast your vote on the bone-chilling rankings of StrawPoll? Thousands have dared to weigh in, and now it's your turn to make your voice heard. From nights of ghoulish costumes and spooky tales, to days of superstitions and haunting mysteries, we have it all! But if you think we're missing a petrifying day that deserves recognition, don't hold back! Share your darkest fears with us, and together, we'll create a ranking that will send shivers down the spines of even the bravest souls. So, take a deep breath, muster your courage, and dive into the abyss of the most frightening day of the year at StrawPoll - if you dare!

What Is the Most Frightening Day of the Year?

  1. 1
    The holiday is associated with spooky creatures, scary costumes, and horror movies. It's also believed to have originated from ancient Celtic traditions that celebrated the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
    Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31st. It is a time for people to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties, and engage in activities associated with the supernatural, including decorating homes, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies. This holiday has a long history, originating from ancient Celtic festivals and later influenced by Christian traditions. Today, Halloween is widely celebrated in many countries around the world.
    • Date: October 31st
    • Origins: Ancient Celtic festivals and Christian traditions
    • Costumes: People dress up in costumes representing various characters
    • Trick-or-treating: Children go from house to house, asking for treats
    • Parties: Many people host or attend Halloween parties
  2. 2
    This day is considered unlucky by many cultures, and it's associated with bad luck, accidents, and misfortune. Some people even suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, which is the fear of Friday the 13th.
    Friday the 13th is considered to be an ominous day associated with bad luck and superstition. It is believed to be a day filled with superstitions, fear, and potential danger.
    • Origin: The origin of the fear associated with Friday the 13th is unclear. It is believed to have a combination of historical and cultural factors.
    • Frequency: Friday the 13th occurs at least once every year and can occur up to three times in a single year.
    • Superstitions: There are numerous superstitions associated with Friday the 13th, such as avoiding certain actions, objects, or places to avert bad luck.
    • Pop Culture: Friday the 13th has been popularized and fictionalized in movies, books, and other forms of media. The horror film franchise 'Friday the 13th' created by Victor Miller is notably known.
    • Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the irrational fear specifically related to Friday the 13th.
    Friday the 13th in other rankings
  3. 3
    This Mexican holiday is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd and honors deceased loved ones. It's believed that the spirits of the dead return to the world of the living during this time, which can be both comforting and frightening.
    The Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos, is a lively and colorful Mexican holiday that takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year. It is a celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away, where families and communities come together to honor and pay homage to the deceased.
    • Origin: Pre-Columbian indigenous traditions mixed with Catholicism
    • Dates: November 1st (All Saints' Day) and November 2nd (All Souls' Day)
    • Altars: Elaborate and colorful altars, called ofrendas, are created to honor and welcome deceased spirits
    • Marigold flowers: Symbolic flowers representing the fragility of life and their vibrant colors believed to guide spirits to their altars
    • Calacas and Calaveras: Skeleton and skull decorations, often made of sugar or clay, which represent the cycle of life and death
    Day of the Dead in other rankings
  4. 4
    All Saints' Day
    Fra Angelico · Public domain
    This Christian holiday is celebrated on November 1st and honors all the saints and martyrs. It's a day of remembrance for those who have passed away, which can be both solemn and unsettling.
    All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, is a religious holiday celebrated on November 1st each year in various Christian traditions. It is a day dedicated to honoring all the saints, both known and unknown.
    • Date: November 1st
    • Religious Significance: Honoring all the saints, known and unknown
    • Christian Traditions: Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, many Protestant denominations
    • Symbolism: Remembrance of the saints' holy lives, their intercession, and their example
    • Liturgical Observance: Special Masses and church services dedicated to all the saints
    All Saints' Day in other rankings
  5. 5
    This German holiday is celebrated on April 30th and is associated with witches, demons, and other supernatural beings. It's believed that on this night, the witches gather on the Brocken mountain to celebrate and practice their magic.
    Walpurgis Night, also known as the Witches' Night, is a traditional spring festival celebrated on the night of April 30th to May 1st. It is named after Saint Walpurga, an eighth-century Christian missionary known for her role in converting pagans to Christianity. Walpurgis Night is believed to have pagan origins and has become associated with folklore, magic, and witchcraft.
    • Origin: Ancient European traditions
    • Date: April 30th to May 1st
    • Purpose: To celebrate the arrival of spring and ward off evil spirits
    • Associations: Paganism, witchcraft, folklore
    • Celebrations: Bonfires, dancing, singing, masked processions
    Walpurgis Night in other rankings
  6. 6
    Yom Kippur
    Maurycy Gottlieb · Public domain
    This Jewish holiday is the Day of Atonement and is considered the holiest day of the year. It's a day of fasting, prayer, and repentance, and many people feel a sense of fear and trepidation as they reflect on their sins and ask for forgiveness.
    Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is considered the most solemn and important day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Jewish people around the world. Yom Kippur is believed to be a day when one's fate for the coming year is sealed, and individuals seek forgiveness for their sins and reconcile with others.
    • Date: Yom Kippur falls on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, which usually occurs in September or October.
    • Fasting: It is a complete fast day, observed from sunset to sunset, during which one abstains from food and drink.
    • Prayer: On Yom Kippur, special prayers, including the Kol Nidre and Neilah services, are recited in synagogues.
    • Repentance: The day is dedicated to sincere repentance, seeking forgiveness from God and asking for forgiveness from others.
    • Solemnity: Yom Kippur is characterized by somberness, introspection, and introspection, as individuals focus on their spiritual well-being and relationship with God.
    Yom Kippur in other rankings
  7. 7
    This holiday is similar to the Day of the Dead and is celebrated in many Latin American countries. It's a time to honor and remember deceased loved ones, but it's also associated with skeletons, skulls, and other creepy imagery.
    Dia de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. It is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away. The holiday combines indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism to create a unique and vibrant celebration of life and death. During Dia de los Muertos, families gather to create altars or ofrendas adorned with photos, candles, food, and marigolds to welcome the spirits of the deceased. The gravesites are also decorated, and people visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the tombstones. The holiday is marked by various cultural activities including parades, music, dancing, and the creation of intricate sugar skulls and marigold flower arrangements. It is believed that on this day, the spirits of the departed return to the world of the living to reunite with their families and share in the festivities.
    • Date: November 1st and 2nd
    • Origin: Ancient Aztec traditions and Spanish colonization
    • Purpose: Honoring and remembering deceased loved ones
    • Altars: Families create altars with photos, candles, food, and marigolds
    • Grave Decoration: Gravesites are cleaned and adorned with decorations
    Dia de los Muertos in other rankings
  8. 8
    This British holiday is celebrated on November 5th and commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which a group of Catholics attempted to blow up the House of Lords. It's a night of fireworks, bonfires, and effigy burning, which can be both exciting and scary.
  9. 9
    This holiday is celebrated in many countries and is associated with wild parties, parades, and indulgence before the start of the Christian season of Lent. It can be a fun and festive time, but it can also be overwhelming and intimidating for some.
    Mardi Gras is a vibrant and exhilarating carnival celebration that takes place in various parts of the world. Originating from France, Mardi Gras, which translates to 'Fat Tuesday', marks the culmination of the Carnival season and is known for its festive parades, colorful costumes, and lively street parties.
    • Location: Mardi Gras is celebrated in several cities worldwide, including New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Sydney, and Port of Spain.
    • Date: Mardi Gras occurs on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which varies each year but typically falls between February and March.
    • Carnival Season: Mardi Gras is the climax of the Carnival season, which begins on Epiphany (January 6) and lasts until Ash Wednesday.
    • Parades: Colorful and elaborate parades are a central part of Mardi Gras, featuring ornate floats, marching bands, and various themed krewes.
    • Costumes: Participants often wear vibrant and extravagant costumes, masks, and accessories, allowing for self-expression and anonymity.
    Mardi Gras in other rankings
  10. 10
    This day marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, and it's associated with the beginning of winter and the return of the sun. It can be a time of introspection and reflection, but it can also be a time of fear and uncertainty as people face the long, dark nights ahead.
    The Winter Solstice is an astronomical event that marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs annually around December 21st or 22nd.
    • Astronomical event: Marks the beginning of winter
    • Date: December 21st or 22nd
    • Shortest day: Daytime is shortest
    • Longest night: Nighttime is longest
    • Northern Hemisphere: Occurs in the Northern Hemisphere

Missing your favorite day?


Ranking factors for frightening day

  1. Cultural significance
    Identify the days with cultural or historical associations with fear, horror, or supernatural elements. For instance, Halloween is traditionally associated with ghosts and fear in many Western countries.
  2. Emotional impact
    Consider the level of fear or anxiety experienced by people on specific days. This could be due to events or activities taking place, such as haunted houses or horror movie marathons.
  3. Psychological associations
    Take into account any days with psychological associations to fear, such as Friday the 13th, which is considered unlucky in many cultures.
  4. Personal experiences
    People might have individual days that are frightening to them based on personal experiences, such as the anniversary of a traumatic event.
  5. Media influence
    Some days may be perceived as more frightening due to media coverage or pop culture references. For example, the popularity of scary movies or television shows might heighten fear around certain days, like Halloween.
  6. Group behavior
    Days on which communities or groups participate in fear-inducing activities or rituals, like ghost tours or telling scary stories, can contribute to a heightened sense of fear.
  7. Superstitions and beliefs
    Certain days may be associated with specific superstitions or beliefs that result in heightened fear. For example, some cultures may have days where they believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinner, resulting in increased fear of supernatural events.
  8. Environmental factors
    The weather or time of year can influence perceptions of fear. For example, days with stormy weather or occurring during the darker winter months can contribute to a more frightening atmosphere.
  9. Social circumstances
    The social context of a specific day can also factor into its fear ranking. For example, days with increased crime rates, war-related events, or significant upheavals could contribute to a heightened sense of fear.
  10. Personal vulnerability
    Some days might be perceived as more frightening depending on a person's vulnerability to specific fears or phobias. For instance, someone with a fear of spiders might find a day where they encounter multiple spiders to be particularly frightening.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most frightening day of the year. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or day is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 197 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each day once every 24 hours. The rank of each day is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most frightening day of the year

Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, is widely considered to be the most frightening day of the year. It originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people believed that the lines between the living and the dead were blurred, and spirits could walk among the living. To ward off evil spirits, people would wear masks and costumes and light bonfires. Over time, Halloween has evolved into a day of spooky fun, with children dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, and adults attending haunted houses and horror movie marathons. But the fear and fascination with the supernatural and the unknown still lingers, making Halloween a day that continues to send shivers down our spines. So, whether it's the ghosts, goblins, or monsters that scare you, there's no denying that Halloween remains the most frightening day of the year.

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