Have you ever wondered how an unhealthy holiday with symbols of witches, black cats, fire, skeletons and darkness turned into an annual celebration of children and candy?
Can we all agree that Halloween is the spookiest night of the year? It’s the eve where bats fly, dogs howl and spooky energy scents the air. Houses decorated with spiders and skeletons invite costumed children to fill their candy bags while their anxious parents pray they won’t slip on wet leaves or break a tooth with hard candy.
October 31 is the night that reminds us that the clear days of summer are long gone and the darkness of winter will soon arrive. Have you ever wondered how an unhealthy holiday with symbols of witches, black cats, fire, skeletons and darkness turned into an annual celebration of children and candy?
While most people are familiar with the basic Halloween narrative, Stacker wanted to dig a little deeper and deliver a few tricks and treats. In addition to reading works by Halloween scholars like Regina Hansen, we looked at statistics from the National Retail Federation annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Stacker also reviewed the Halloween recordings of the Guinness Book of World Records to bring readers 25 fascinating facts about Halloween.
Take a few moments before heading out for Halloween to learn some devilish details about the spooky holiday.
Readers will learn lots of fun facts about Halloween, including how much people spend on Halloween, the best costumes for kids and pets, which state harvests the most pumpkins, and the original name of the Disney movie “Hocus Pocus.” Grab your bucket of candy corn, click on Stacker’s list and let the fun begin.
There is one word to describe a Halloween scare.
readers who suffer samhainophobia probably aren’t reading this slideshow because of their Halloween phobia. Although many sufferers can understand that there is no real danger, they are afraid of October 31. People with samhainophobia may also fear ghosts, witchcraft, and darkness.
The largest pumpkin ever measured weighed 2,702 pounds.
Stefano Cutrupi grew the biggest pumpkin ever measured. His 2,702-pound pumpkin broke the world record in 2021.
Halloween isn’t the only nickname for the holiday.
While kids may call October 31 the happiest day of their lives, Halloween has many names. Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, Witches Night, Summer’s End and Snap-Apple Night are other names for the holidays.
In one state, a clergy costume is a misdemeanor.
Alabamians don clergy robes are considered to be breaking the law and may be subject to a $500 fine and up to one year in jail. Note to self, when you are in Alabama on October 31, do not dress up as a priest, rabbi or nun.
Can you guess the calorie count of a bag of Halloween candy?
According to CNN, a consumer report noted that the average calorie count of a bag of Halloween candy is 11,000. Wondering how many Weight Watchers points that’s worth?
The turnip has its place in Halloween history.
People walked the streets of Ireland wearing hollowed out turnips with candles inside in the early history of Halloween. This practice is believed to be the precursor to the current ritual of creating carved pumpkins called jack-o’-lanterns.
Halloween attendance returns to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
The National Retail Federation annual halloween survey looks at Americans’ plans for the holidays. After two very abnormal Halloweens, the results show people are returning to pre-COVID-Halloween plans. The survey revealed that 69% of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween, compared to 65% in 2021 and 58% in 2020; that’s comparable to the 68% who celebrated in 2019.
Halloween sales are expected to reach $8.8 billion.
Buyers are reported to spend an average of $102.74 for Halloween 2022. In 2021, they spent $92.12. Total spending in the United States is expected to be $10.6 billion, up from $10.1 billion last year.
One in five people will buy a costume for their pet.
According to the NRF survey, one in five people will don their furry friends this year. Pet spending for Halloween 2022 is expected to reach $710 million, surpassing the 2021 record. The most popular pet costumes include a pumpkin, a hot dog, a bat, a bumblebee and a witch.
Spiderman and the princesses lead the costume parade.
An estimated 2.2 million children plan to wear Spiderman costumes for Halloween 2022, and in second place, 1.9 million will go as their favorite princesses, according to the NRF. An additional 1.6 million children will wear witch costumes and 1.3 million children will dress up as ghosts.
Apple swinging started with the Romans.
Some scholars associate Halloween at the Roman festival honoring the goddess of fruit trees, Pomona. During the festival, people would try to float an apple in water with their teeth. Whoever bites the apple first would be the next to get married.
Some Halloween rituals involved pairing.
In Eighteenth-century Ireland, a go-between cook can add a ring to his mashed potatoes the night before Halloween, hoping to inspire true love in the lucky guest who discovers it. Fortune tellers in Scotland have advised eligible girls to name a hazelnut for each of their suitors. They should then throw the nuts into a fireplace and see which burned to ashes to identify their future husbands.
Illinois is the number one pumpkin producing state.
Farmers in the six major pumpkin-producing states harvested more than a billion pounds of pumpkins in 2020, but Illinois produces the most. The Prairie State has grown 564 million pounds in 2020, as many as the other five major pumpkin-producing states — California, Indiana, Texas, Virginia and Michigan — combined.
Candy Corn Day is October 30.
Followers of the tricolor triangular candy box celebrate making on october 30. Did you know that sweet corn is also eaten at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter? Sweet corn also includes new flavors including peppermint and pumpkin spice.
The fastest pumpkin carving was done in 16.47 seconds.
American Stephen Clarke holds the record for carve a pumpkin in the fastest way time at 16.47 seconds. The feat was accomplished on October 31, 2013, and included the sculpting of a complete face, complete with eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.
The origin of the word bonfire is quite scary.
Did you know that the word bonfire is derived from Middle English “bonefire”, which literally means “bone fire?” An earlier quote of the word is ignis osiumwhich in Latin means “bone fire”.
Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926.
Wizard Harry Houdini died of peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix on October 31, 1926. He was 52 years old.
The world record for carved and lit pumpkins is 30,581.
A pumpkin festival in Keene, NH, has broken the world record for having the most carved and lit pumpkins. The display of 30,581 set the record in 2013breaking the Boston record in 2006.
World War II put a pause on trick-or-treating.
During World War II, sugar was rationed, meaning there were fewer treats. Trick-or-treating regained its place in Halloween activities after the post-war baby boom.
Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country.
Christmas still rings while the the best shopping holidays in the countrywith Halloween in second place.
“Hocus Pocus” was not the original name of the film.
Disney’s original “Hocus Pocus” title was “Halloween House”. It was also meant to be much darker and scarier.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF started in 1950.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF started in 1950 to help children affected by World War II. Millions of children across the country go door-to-door on Halloween with UNICEF and have helped raise more than $175 million over the past 69 years.
Silly String is illegal in Hollywood on October 31.
Silly String has been banned in Hollywood since 2004. Violators will be slapped with a sticky $1,000 fine.
The record for the most pumpkins carved in one hour was set during a TV show.
Trevor Hunt sets record for most carved pumpkins in one hour on NBC’s “The Meredith Vieira Show”. He skillfully carved 109 pumpkins on October 21, 2014.
Iconic Halloween colors celebrate fall and black.
Orange celebrates the changing leaves and endurance of fall, while black is considered the color of death. The Celtics may have launched this color mix to prepare for the coming winter and celebrate the dead for the feast of Samhain.