30 Fun Facts About … HALLOWEEN
1. Because the movie Halloween (1978) was on such a tight budget, they had to use the cheapest mask they could find for Michael Meyers, which turned out to be a William Shatner Star Trek mask.
2. The first Jack O’Lanterns was actually made from turnips.
3. Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
4. The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time
5. Samhainophobia- An intense and persistent fear of Halloween is called Samhnainophobia Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
6. Fifty percent of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.
7. The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.
8. According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns is named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell.
9. The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with an 836 lb. pumpkin.
10. 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.
11. Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
12. The first known mention of trick-or-treating in print in North America occurred in 1927 in Blackie, Alberta, Canada.
13. “Halloween” is short for “Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallows’ Evening,” which was the evening before All Hallows’ (sanctified or holy) Day or Hallowmas on November 1.
14. Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and darkness.
15. Halloween originated in Ireland over 2,000 years ago Ireland is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.
16. Scarecrows, a popular Halloween fixture, symbolize the ancient agricultural roots of the holiday.
17. Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve and Witches Night.
18. Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
19. Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.
20. 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.
21. Mexico celebrates the Days of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) on the Christian holidays All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) instead of Halloween.
22. The average American will spend $66.28 on Halloween in 2010, totaling $5.8 billion.
23. According to the National Retail Federation, 40.1% of those surveyed plan to wear a Halloween costume in 2010. In 2009, it was 33.4%. Thirty-three percent will throw or attend a party.
24. In 2010, 72.2% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation will hand out candy, 46.3% will carve a pumpkin, 20.8% will visit a haunted house, and 11.5% will dress up their pets.
25. Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years.
26. In 1974, eight-year-old Timothy O’Bryan died of cyanide poisoning after eating Halloween candy. Investigators later learned that his father had taken out a $20,000 life insurance policy on each of his children and that he had poisoned his own son and also attempted to poison his daughter.
27. Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.
28. Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30,128).
29. 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.
30. Children are more than twice as likely to be killed in a pedestrian/car accident on Halloween than on any other night
Friday October 31 2014 12:38pm