Halloween dates back to Celtic celebrations in the 5th century B.C., but the tradition of handing out treats has a shorter history. Most likely it originated with the “All Souls’ Day” parades in England, where poor citizens would beg for food and families would hand out pastries called “soul cakes” in return for prayers for their dead relatives.
Today, kids are more likely to receive a bite-sized chocolate candy — that’s the most popular treat for Halloween, according to the trade group the National Confectioners Association (NCA).
Overall, Halloween spending is expected to reach $6.86 billion this year, according to research from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Only part of that total will be spent on candy, with consumers spending about $21.05 each on treats. That’s a bit higher than last year’s average, when consumers spent about $20.29 each on treats.
Still, it is enough to make Halloween the biggest candy holiday of the year, with confectionery sales in the U.S. totaling about $2.3 billion, the NCA said.
At least some of that candy will focus on themes that are creepy, and sometimes disgusting, to capture the more ghoulish side of the holiday. So while most people will be stocking up on traditional treats, such as M&M’s, Hershey bars, and candy corn, there are sure to be others handing out candy that makes you say, “Eeewwww!”
Check out some of the “grossest” (or “coolest,” depending on your point of view) Halloween candy this year.
Body Parts Sushi Gummy Candy
Company: Frankford Candy
Here’s something to serve the zombies that come knocking on your door. It’s body-part sushi candy, featuring faux severed fingers, ears, some brains, and even a nose. Chopsticks are included with this eight-piece feast.
Giant Gummy Rats Candy
Company: Jelly Belly
Price: $30 for 12-count box
There’s a seeming endless list of gummy-shaped critters and creatures to set your spine tingling.
These giant rats from Jelly Belly have really long tails, just like the real thing. Each gummy rat is about 9 inches long, and is available either in red or black.
If you're not into rats, however, Frankford makes a number of gummy critters, including candy sticks with gummy spiders and snakes. They also sell an interesting novelty item: lightning bugs. A light in the “magic” tweezers helps the gummy lightning bugs appear to light up when squeezed.