Spooktacular Halloween Facts

Every year on October 31st, things go bump in the night, monsters go on parade and witches, goblins and ghosts ring doorbells throughout the country, exclaiming “trick or treat!” Halloween is a widely celebrated holiday where people dress up in costume and eat candy. However, the day has a longstanding history that dates back for centuries. Test your Halloween knowledge with these bewitching facts!


  1. Original Jack O’ Lanterns weren’t made from pumpkins, but from turnips.
  2. After Christmas, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday.
  3. If you have a fear of Halloween, you have samhainophobia.
  4. Other names for the day include Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Eve. In addition, some have called it Witches Night, Lamswool and Summer’s End.
  5. The traditional holiday colors, black and orange, have interesting meanings. Orange is known for strength, endurance, harvest and autumn. As for black, it is associated with death and darkness.
  6. Ireland is said to be the holiday’s birthplace.
  7. In China, Halloween is known as Teng Chieh or the Lantern Festival. Dragon-shaped lanterns and other animals hang on houses and streets to help guide spirits back to their homes. Family members leave food, water and portraits of their ancestors to honor and welcome the deceased.
  8. Not too many people celebrate the night in France and Australia. There, Halloween is seen as an overly commercialized American influence on their country.
  9. The idea for ghouls and spooky costumes came from an ancient Celtic tradition where townspeople dressed themselves as demons and spirits. During Samhain, a festival that ended the Celtic year on a calendar and a pagan holiday to honor the dead, many people believed spirits roamed the streets and disguised themselves in costume to keep them from being noticed.
  10. Also, trick or treating and bonfires emerged from Samhain.
  11. In 1993, American Norm Craven broke the world’s record for the largest pumpkin. His came in at 836 pounds.
  12. In Old English, the word “witch” is “wicce” and means “wise woman.”
  13. Candy corn was originally called “chicken feed.” When invented by candy maker George Renninger in the 1880s, corn was commonly fed to livestock. Candy corn was sold from March to November and didn’t have any connection to Halloween. It wasn’t until after World War II, the popular treat became a Halloween classic, thanks to its colors.
  14. Nearly 600 million pounds of candy are purchased each year. (Think about it in terms of 16 billion fun sized Snickers bars.)
  15. 90 million pounds out of that 600 million are solely chocolate candy, making it a favorite for tons of people.
  16. The best candy sellers for the past several years are Snickers, Reese’s, Kit Kats and M&M’s. Hint, hint: You might want to stock up on these for your trick or treaters.
  17. According to consumer research, the most candy is sold on October 28th.
  18. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and hearing their call meant death was near.
  19. Unfortunately, we have been spelling Halloween wrong. The correct spelling is Hallowe’en.
  20. More than 93 percent of children go trick or treating every year.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It is a fun time to be someone else and enjoy all the delicious candy. And now, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your magical knowledge about Halloween.


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