Shouldn't it be "horror filled halloween" or "spooky halloween"? It fits the purpose of the day. Why "happy"? By the way "Happy Halloween everybody!"

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    As the wiki article says: It's an evening of celebration and remeberance. Also it is unnatural/unintuitive to wish someone a horrible anything. Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 11:49
  • 6
    "Happy Halloween" has been a well-wishing greeting for over 100 years. Alliteration might have played a role in popularizing the greeting – who knows? This isn't to say that "Have a spooky Halloween" isn't used (in fact, it is), but it may not be as common as "Happy Halloween." Heck, you can use jolly if you want; don't overthink it :^)
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 12:07
  • 1
    Hallowe'en is celebrated in the UK and has been in various ways for centuries, but people don't really greet each other with "Happy Hallowe'en!" which sounds very American.
    – Hugo
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 15:19
  • Actually, it's HUGELY American! Happy Halloween everyone! :-)> Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


The wish for a "Happy" Halloween is a wish for the person to enjoy the day, regardless of how little or how much spookiness they wish for on that day.

Likewise, "Happy Christmas" is a common expression in the UK, wishing for an enjoyable Christmas.

Though it is true that people attempt to wish one another a "Spooky Halloween", this simply hasn't caught on in popularity, and "Horrible Halloween" would be similiar to telling someone to "Have a Rotten Day!", the connotation of you wishing them a bad day is just too overpowering to make it work.

The alliteration of "Happy Halloween" also likely helps keep it in its place as a popular greeting and well-wishing for the day.


"Happy" is just the generic modifier for holidays. I can think only of Christmas as an exception to the rule ("Merry Christmas").

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    Which it isn't in the UK. They just say "Happy Christmas".
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 13:48
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    Is Christmas the only Holiday that doesn't have Happy before it (in US English)?
    – krikara
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 15:04
  • I can think of no other holiday that does not get predecessed by "Happy".
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 16:28
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    @krikara There are some "holidays" that aren't happy and would be weird to be proceeded by "happy". Yom Kippur is the best example I can think of.
    – Amory
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 16:30
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    @Amory True. I didn't say it was either. Just that people do it. Sometimes people say things without realizing they should not.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 22:21

Because people say happy "everything" now. It is like a drone sentence that gets repeated by the non-thinking masses. Happy Monday. Happy Thursday. Happy Columbus Day (I heard this a couple weeks ago). Happy roll back the clock weekend!

This might be the masses or it could be Hallmark. If you put the word "Happy" in front of any phrase then they can sell millions of cards for each "Happy" phrase. Happy answer.

  • Yay, happy answer \o/
    – Thomas
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 23:02

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