Color Matters Blog
Color is always doing something. Sometimes color screams out a message, sometimes it casts a subliminal spell. So, what's happening in the world of color today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? What are the facts, what are the myths?
The Colors of Fright! Black, Orange, and White
We can be green with envy, turn purple with rage, see red, and feel blue. But what about fright? What’s the color of fear? And for that matter, what about the colors of Halloween?
Here are some symbolic colors to consider:
We may not consider white to be a frightful color, but we can "turn white" with fear. Consider the following examples:
White as a ghost
You can be so scared that you can turn white as ghost. If you’re fair-skinned, fear can drain the color from your face and other parts of your body. This happens because the blood goes to the muscles where its power is needed more. Source
Can hair turn white from fright?
Legend has it that Marie Antoinette’s auburn locks turned ghostly white the night before she lost her head to the guillotine. In the ‘80s horror movie -"Nightmare on Elm Street" - the heroine's hair turns white after she is terrorized in her dreams.
Can this be true? Can your hair turn white in a flash of fear?
No, not really. Fear can't suddenly cause your hair to turn white, but there is a medical condition that could make people think it does. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that makes hair fall out. It leaves the gray and white hairs behind and new hair will keep growing with no pigment.
The colors of fright in other languages
When they are scared the French say that they are green with fear, while the Italians are blue or white.
Black and Orange
The colors of Halloween - black and orange - symbolize this fun yet frightful celebration. Try to picture Halloween without orange pumpkins, black witches, and black cats.
The Celtics are credited for the origin of this harvest festival (known as Samhain) 2000 years ago. Halloween was – and still is - a festival of the dead. Source
In the past and present, orange represents the changing colors of leaves and the end of summer.
Black represents the elongating hours of darkness that occurs during the fall marking the end of the productive crop growing season, which was the reason for the Celtic Samhain celebration. Black also symbolizes the time when which the unknown world of the dead is crossing over into the living realm.
Could black be the color that best represents fear? Historically, our prehistoric ancestors experienced the dark of night as a time of danger – a time when unknown predators could attack without warning. Today, black represents the unknown and mysterious – the perfect surrounding for fearful encounters.
What do you think?
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