13 Spooky Things You Never Knew About Halloween

Who is this Jack-O’-Lantern?

Halloween is the one time each year when we can pretend to be our favorite foods or favorite celebrities. We attend parties dressed as mermaids and superheroes, admiring decorations and, let's face it, eating delicious candy. But how much do we really know about one of the most popular American holidays?

Halloween wasn't always a day for trick-or-treating, but rather a Celtic holiday on the day the dead returned to the earth. So, where did all of our traditions come from? Who is the jack-o'-lantern really named after? Why do we carve pumpkins? Use these shocking facts to prepare a quiz at your Halloween party and see how much your guests really know about All Hallow's Eve. 

Ancient Origins

Halloween started as a Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated on October 31, when the Celts believed the dead returned to the earth. On this day, people gathered to light bonfires, offer sacrifices, and pay homage to the dead, according to History Channel

Candy Collection

In America, the candy industry earns an average of $2 billion annually due to Halloween, according to Business Insider.

Candy Corn Crazy

Candy corn, which used to be called "Chicken Feed," was invented in 1880s by  Philadelphia candy maker George Renninger. More than 35 million pounds (nine billion pieces) of the iconic Halloween candy will be produced this year, according to Better Homes and Gardens

Fruity Facts

A pumpkin is actually a fruit The seeds on the inside indicate that the pumpkin is in fact a fruit and is part of the squash family with zucchini.

Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve

"All Hallow's Eve" evolved into "All Hallow's Even," and by the Eighteenth century it was commonly referred to as "Hallowe'en," according to Business Insider. This crazy change up explains how we eventually came to call the fall holiday Halloween. 

Turnip and Drop the Beet

Carving jack-o'-lanterns originated in Ireland, but instead of pumpkins, they carved turnips and beets. Pumpkin carving is an American tradition.

Naughty Parents

A shocking 78 percent of parents confess to sharing candy from their child's trick-or-treating earnings, according to the National Confectioners Association.

Pumpkins Aren’t Just Orange

Though the most popular pumpkins are orange, they also come in white, yellow, and even blue. 

Pumpkins for Carving Are Not for Pies

The sweet pumpkin flavor we crave in autumn is not from the pumpkin you carve every October. In fact, as pumpkin carving grew into a multi-million dollar industry, farmers began to breed new lines of pumpkins specifically for carving. The Howden pumpkin is the most popular carving pumpkin, while a sugar pumpkin is sweet and perfect for pumpkin pies.

Second Best

Halloween is the second largest commercial American holiday of the year behind Christmas. Americans spend an estimated $6 billion on Halloween between candy, decorations, and costumes, according to History Channel

Spooky People and Their Pets

An estimated 68 million Americans will dress up this Halloween and another 20 million pet owners will dress up their pets, according to the National Retail Federation. That's a lot of hot dogs!

Trick or Treating for fruit

The trick-or-treating hunt didn't always involve candy. In the 1930s and early 1940s, children got everything from homemade cookies and cake to fruit, nuts, coins, and toys, according to History Channel. No candy on Halloween? Now that's scary.

Who is this Jack-O’-Lantern?

The name jack-o'-lantern came from an old Celtic folk tale about Stingy Jack, who would play tricks on the devil. When Stingy Jack died, the devil gave him a lump of burning coal to light his way in the darkness. Stingy Jack put this light into a turnip to light his way in purgatory.