Ghouls, goblins, and ghosties abounding…


Some interesting ‘facts’ about halloween, and no I haven’t fact checked them all… YMMV… ๐Ÿ™‚

-In many countries, such as France and Australia, Halloween is seen as an unwanted and overly commercial American influence.

-There’s a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween. The prank product has been banned since 2004 after thousands of bored people would buy it on the streets of from illegal vendors and “vandalise” anything and everything. The city ordinance calls for a maximum $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail for “use, possession, sale or distribution of Silly String in Hollywood from 12:01 AM on October 31 to 12:00 PM on November 1”.

-Children are more than twice as likely to be killed in a pedestrian/car accident on Halloween than on any other night.

-Orange and black are Halloween colours because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.

-No matter how scary your local haunted house is, it probably can’t top the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio. Measuring 3,564 feet long, the Guinness World Records has named it the world’s longest haunted house. Even spookier: It’s located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine.

-In 1964, Helen Pfeil of Greenlawn, NY was arrested for handing out arsenic laced treats as a prank on teens she deemed too old for trick or treating.

-Scarecrows, a popular Halloween fixture, symbolise the ancient agricultural roots of the holiday.

-Candy makers supposedly lobbied to extend daylight savings time into the beginning of November to get an extra hour of daylight so children could collect even more candy (thus forcing people to purchase more candy to meet the demand). They wanted it so badly that during the 1985 hearings on Daylight Savings they put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator.

-The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with an 836 lb. pumpkin.

-Jack O’ Lanterns are pumpkins with a lighted candle inside. According to Irish legend, Jack O’ Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. Therefore, he was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

-Halloween wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins, and thankfully, there are plenty of gourds to go around. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s statistics, the top pumpkin-producing states produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins in 2010.

-Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds, smashing his previous record of 54.72 seconds. The rules of the competition state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.

-Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

-Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhaim, and Summer’s End.

-Trick-or-treating was brought to America by the Irish and became popular during the early 20th century, but died out during WWII when sugar was rationed. After the rationing ended in 1947, children’s magazine “Jack and Jill” radio program “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” and the “Peanuts” comic strip all helped to re-popularise the tradition of dressing up in costumes and asking for candy from door-to-door. By 1952, trick-or-treating was hugely popular again.

-The first known mention of trick-or-treating in print in North America occurred in 1927 in Blackie, Alberta, Canada.

-Candy Corn was invented by George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia in the 1880’s. Candy Corn was originally called “butter cream candiesโ€ and “chicken feedโ€ because corn was commonly used as food for livestock. They even had a rooster on the candy boxes. Candy Corn had no association with Halloween or fall, and was sold seasonally from March to November. After World War II, advertisers began marketing it as a special Halloween treat due to its colours that match those of the fall harvest.

-Since it was thought the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead blurred on Oct. 31, which allowed the dead to walk among the living, humans would wear masks and costumes so the spirits would not recognise them as human.

-The biggest pumpkin pie on record was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds. It wasbaked by the New Breman Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio in 2010, breaking their own previous world’s record of 2,020 pounds. The ginormous orange pie contained 1,212 pounds of pumpkin, 233 dozen eggs, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 525 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of salt, and 14.5 pounds of cinnamon.

-Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.

-Americans purchase nearly 600 million lbs. of candy a year for Halloween. What does that look like? Imagine 16 billion fun size Snickers bars or 158 trillion individual Candy Corns. A whopping 90 million lbs. of chocolate candy is sold during Halloween week, taking a strong lead compared to other holidays. Almost 65 million pounds is sold during the week leading up to Easter and only 48 million pounds during Valentine’s week.

-Valentine’s Day is no longer the sweetest national holiday – at least when it come to candy sales. More than twice as much chocolate is sold for Halloween than is for Valentine’s Day.

-With their link to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (a precursor to Halloween) and later to witches, cats have a permanent place in Halloween folklore. During the ancient celebration of Samhain, Druids were said to throw cats into a fire, often in wicker cages, as part of divination proceedings.

-Trick-or-treating has been around for a long time, with versions existing since medieval times. Originally, it was called “guisingโ€ and children and poor adults wore costumes and begged for food or money in exchange for songs or prayers during Hallowmas. This practice was also called “souling”.

-In 2010, an Illinois town became the latest city to ban trick-or-treating for kids over 12. Teens can face fines from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door although according to officials, more often than not, over-age Halloween-goers are just given a warning.

-Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.

-One of parents’ biggest fears is that their child’s Halloween candy is poisoned or contains razor blades. In reality, there are only two known cases of poisoning, and both involved relatives. In 1970, a boy died of a heroin overdose. The investigators found it on his candy, but in a twist they later discovered the boy had accidentally consumed some of his uncle’s heroin stash, and the family had sprinkled some on the candy to cover up the incident. Even more horrifically, in 1974 Timothy O’Bryan died after eating a Pixy Stix his father had laced with cyanide to collect on the insurance money.

-1978 cult slasher film, Halloween was made in just 21 days on a shoestring budget. The movie was shot in the Spring and used fake autumn leaves. The mask used by Michael Meyers in the movie was actually William Shatner’s mask painted white which the prop department found in a costume store. When Shatner found out years later, he said he was honoured by the gesture.

-Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.

-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California leads the nation in non-chocolate confectionary production. Out of the 409 sites that manufacture non-chocolate confections in the U.S., California is home to 45 of them.

-Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday after Christmas.

-More than 93% of American children under the age of 12 go trick-or-treating. 67% of adults take part in Halloween activities, such as parties, decorating the house, and trick-or-treating with their children.

-Candy corn has been made with the same recipe by the Jelly Belly Candy Company since around 1900. What’s in that recipe, exactly? Sugar, corn syrup, and marshmallow. One serving (about 30 pieces) has 140 calories, the equivalent of three miniature Hershey bars.

-During the pre-Halloween celebration of Samhain, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, hard winter. Often Druid priests would throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence “bone fireโ€ became “bonfire”.

-Over 10% of pet owners dress their pets in Halloween costumes. A study from the National Retail Federation shows Americans spent over $300 million on pet costumes last year!

-Got leftover Halloween candy? Save it for later! Dark and milk chocolates can last up to two years if stored in a dry, odour-free spot. Hard candy can last up to a year, while unopened packages of candy corn can last nine months.

-According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.

-Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia.

-Chocolate is clearly the preferred choice of sweets for many. Of the $1.9 billion sold in Halloween candy each year, $1.2 billion was on chocolate candy and only $680 million on sugar candy.

-The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

-The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the United States. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators.

-If you see a spider on Halloween, it is considered a good luck, as it means the spirit of a loved one is guarding you.

-In 2015, an estimated 3.2 million children are expected to dress up in princess costumes, making it the most popular kids’ costume for the eleventh straight year. Batman characters are the next most popular.

-Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30,128).

-Ever wonder how the broomstick became associated with witches? Elderly women who were accused of witchcraft were usually poor and could not afford horses, so they would use a walking stick, which was often replaced by a broom, to help them travel.

-Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years.

-Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honouring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.

-Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong are known as Yue Lan or the “Festival of the Hungry Ghostsโ€ during which fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.

-Owls are associated with Halloween because, in Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches. To hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.

-Even though the economy is tightening everyone’s budget, that does not stop them from splurging a bit on this one holiday. The average American household spends $44 a year on Halloween candy. Now, that’s a lot of candy.

-Many shelters don’t allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween for fear that they may be tortured or sacrificed.

-San Francisco is the number 1 U.S. city for trick-or-treating.

-90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags.

-Candy Corn is the most searched-for candy term in Google – more popular than candy apples, gummy worms and candy pumpkins.

-50% of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.

-More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be for Halloween. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end.

-Parents are expected to spend $1.04 billion on children’s costumes-and if they’re on trend, most of the cash will go toward pumpkin, princess, witch or vampire getups.

-Ireland is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.

-Black cats, spiders, and bats are all Halloween symbols because of their spooky history and ties to Wiccans. All three were thought to be the familiars of witches in the middle ages, and are often associated with bad luck. Bats are even further connected to Halloween by the ancient Samhain ritual of building a bonfire, which drove away insects and attracted bats.

-Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

I’m more afraid of the left over candy… burp…


Holloween… — 21 Comments

  1. Maybe your physical terrorist/therapist will be easier on you if you ply them with Halloween candy? It can’t hurt.

  2. My wife has wondered over the years why we have few trick or treaters, and why we always have left over candy. Maybe one day she will find out that the signs that I put at the foot of the drive do not really say, “Trick or Treaters Welcome!”, like I told her, instead the signs say, “WARNING! OUR POISONOUS SNAKE HAS ESCAPED!”

    And I do look at the leftover candy and hiss, “my precious.”

  3. LL- ROTF, that might work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    John- I hear ya… M&Ms and Butterfingers… ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. After all that, liberals still ban the most fun time of the year for little kids (and the parents who get to dress the real little ones) is banned in some schools and demonized by churches. Lighten up people. It is about fun and candy, not devil worship. Geezzee!!!!

  5. $1000 fine for silly string in LA but be an illegal immigrant and get money, medical, housing and education.

    Nothing strange there eh?

  6. One of Dad’s stories was of the Halloween when they got a neighbor’s wagon out of his barn and balanced it on the end of the pole in the center of the guy’s hayrick.

  7. Mrs.C- Figured you might like it with what you’re doing…

    PH- Oh… THAT had to be fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Over here in East Yorkshire my humble abode is several miles from the nearest hamlet/village, which means ‘trick or treat’ is an evolution too far. Come to think of it, that’s probably why Santa never visits either?

    Bah, humbug!

  9. Oh, and when it doesn’t butt up with Sunday, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation for US Catholics – i.e. it’s the same as a Sunday and carries the same requirement for Mass attendence.

  10. Ol AF- Yeah, right…LOL

    EB- LOL, couldn’t have anything to do with your being a curmudgeon either, right??? ๐Ÿ™‚

    PH- Didn’t know that, thanks!

  11. “-According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.”

    Sounds like the typical obozo voter. :p

    “-Ever wonder how the broomstick became associated with witches? Elderly women who were accused of witchcraft were usually poor and could not afford horses, so they would use a walking stick, which was often replaced by a broom, to help them travel.”

    My guess is that hillary clinton hasn’t touched a broom in over 30 years. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. WSF/Dammit- Both??? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Grog- Ouch, and yeah, the old ladies were the inveterate cleaners… They made their own brooms out of rushes, and were very leery of letting them get away.

  13. Ron Wallace currently holds the world record for largest pumpkin at 2,032 pounds.