1. In one form or another, Halloween has been around for 6,000 years.
All cultures have some sort of harvest festival, but our modern Halloween has its roots in an ancient Celtic tradition known as Samhain. (source)
2. Jack-o-Lanterns were originally made from turnips.
Irish villagers would burn candles inside hollowed-out turnips in order to scare away evil spirits. (source)
3. About 99% of all pumpkins sold are used as Jack-O-Lanterns on Halloween.
That seems like a tragic waste of potential pumpkin pies. (source)
4. In many American towns, Halloween was originally called “Cabbage Night.”
And instead of trick-or-treating, great fun was had by throwing cabbages at neighbors’ houses. (source)
5. Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year.
It is only outpaced by New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday. (source)
6. There is no word in the English language that rhymes with “orange.”
This may be why you don’t hear a lot of Halloween poetry. (source)
7. What to do if you see a spider on Halloween night.
According to tradition, you should take comfort in the fact that a dead loved one is watching over you. (source)
8. You originally had to dance to receive a treat.
We’re not sure when (if ever) you had to do a trick, but in the original tradition, one had to dance in order to receive candy. (source)
9. In Alabama it’s illegal to dress up as a priest.
That’s not only for Halloween—it’s for any other day of the year—unless, of course, you’re actually a priest. (source)
10. Many animal shelters won’t let people adopt black cats around Halloween.
This is due to a fear that they’ll be ritually sacrificed. This fear traces all the way back to the Druidic ritual of Samhain, during which live cats were sometimes tossed on a fire. (source)
11. Two billion dollars.
That’s how much Americans spend on Halloween candy every year. (source)
12. Candy corn was invented in the 1880s.
And the world still hasn’t figured out a way to get rid of it. (source)
13. Three-quarters of all Halloween candy is chocolate.
That’s according to the National Confectioners’ Association. (source)
14. There’s a term for the fear of Hallloween.
That term is “Samhainophobia” and is based on the Celtic precursor to Halloween, Samhain. (source)
15. The term ‘witch’ derives from an Old English term meaning ‘wise woman.’
That word is wicce, from which is derived the modern term Wicca. (source)
16. Talk about a great pumpkin!
The largest pumpkin ever recorded weighed 836 pounds and was grown in 1993 by a man named Norm Craven. (source)
17. Trick-or-treating started with a medieval practice called ‘souling.’
In the Middle Ages on November 1, the poor would go door-to-door offering to pray for dead souls in exchange for cakes. (source)
18. The world record for most Jack-o-Lanterns lit at once is 30,128.
This massive “jack-off” happened in Boston in 2005. (source)
19. The most common Halloween costume for American adults is the witch.
This is followed, in order, by animals, superheroes, pirates, zombies, and vampires. (source)