Everyone loves Halloween. We get to dress up in costumes, eat tons of candy, and decorate our homes with all sorts of spooky accessories. But while Halloween is one of the most-celebrated American holidays, there's a lot many people don't know about it. To get you up to speed, we've rounded up 30 Halloween facts that are scary good. From how much money Americans spend on trick-or-treat sweets to the origin story of bobbing for apples, these facts will give you pumpkin to talk about! And if you need some costume inspiration
Potatoes were originally used to make jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween.
Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without a few spooky carved out pumpkins. But years ago in Ireland, where the jack o’-lantern tradition began, people made the decorations using vegetables that were more readily available to them: large potatoes and turnips. When the tradition made its way to the U.S. through immigration, Americans used pumpkins instead.
And bobbing for apples started as a British courting ritual.
Bobbing for apples is a popular Halloween party game. But it turns out, the activity started as an 18th-century British courting ritual, according to the History Channel. In one set of rules, each apple was assigned to a potential suitor. The woman bobbing for apples would attempt to bite into the apple associated with her preferred suitor. If she bit it on the first try, they would be destined for love. If it took her two tries, their love would fizzle out. If it took her three, their relationship would be doomed.
There is only a full moon on Halloween three or four times per century.
A large full moon would certainly create the perfect atmosphere for a spooky night. However, it turns out that a full moon rarely happens on Halloween. According to The Old Farmers Almanac, a “full moon on Halloween only occurs roughly once every 19 years. If the full moons are calculated using Greenwich Mean Time, that translates to approximately three to four times per century.” Lucky for us, a full moon is expected for Halloween 2020.
Americans buy enough candy each Halloween week to fill six Titanics.
We Americans love our candy. So much so, that during Halloween week alone, we consume around 300,000 tons of the stuff, which is the equivalent of two pounds of candy per person. According to the data whizzes at Vox, if you put all that candy in one big pile, it would be enough to fill six Titanics! And for some activities to try at your Halloween get-together,
And candy makers produce around 35 million pounds of candy corn a year.
These white, orange, and yellow triangles of sugar are meant to resemble a kernel of corn. The candies were first created in 1898 by the Jelly Belly Candy Company while it was still known as California’s Herman Goelitz Confectionary Company. Today, around 35 million pounds of it are produced each year, according to the National Confectioners Association. Despite that, they’re often ranked one of the worst Halloween candies out there.