Halloween wouldn't be the same without pumpkins, and thankfully, there are plenty of gourds to go around. According to the United States Department of Agriculture's , in 2014 the top pumpkin-producing states — Illinois, California, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — produced 1.31 billion pounds of pumpkins.
The name Jack-O-Lantern from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack who tricked the Devil over and over again. When Jack died, he was forced to walk the Earth with only a carved-out turnip and burning coal to help light his way.
Because Stringy Jack walked with a carved-out turnip, at first people in Ireland and Scotland grabbed turnips, beets, and potatoes to carve his scary "face." When the Irish brought the tradition to America, pumpkins were carved more often as they were more abundant.
For those who don't believe the Stringy Jack folktale, let us present an alternative: Some people believe that the term Jack-O-Lantern comes from the idea of a night watchman, who would light the street lanterns every evening, .
It's been said that it's bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, especially on Halloween night. In the U.S., this superstition stems from the Protestant beliefs of the . They disapproved of anything associated with witchcraft, and some believed the legend that witches could transform into black cats and back — hence the inspiration for pop culture characters like Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Binx in Hocus Pocus.
While couples costumes are about as romantic as Halloween gets these days, women used to to help them find their future husbands. One crazy ritual? Women tossed apple peels over their shoulders in the hopes that they'd see the shape of their future hubby's initials on the ground. Another involved women standing in front of a mirror in a dark room and holding up a candle to see their future husband's face.
When buying Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters, stay away from the of 2017: Circus Peanuts, candy corn, wax coke bottles, Necco Waffers, Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, black licorice, and Good & Plenty.
It's no surprise that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were — nobody can get enough of that chocolate and peanut butter goodness! Other favorites include Snickers, Twix, Kit Kat, Nerds, Sour Patch Kids, and Skittles.
During early All Souls' Day parades in England, the Church encouraged wealthier families to give out to the beggars of the lower class in exchange for prayers for dead relatives. It was a tradition known as "going a-souling," and later children were the ones who went to houses to ask for food, ale, and money.
At one time, it was customary to perform dances, songs, prayers, and plays, a practice called "mumming," in order to receive their treats, according to E.J.W. Barber's .
If you're a fan of this classic Disney film, you might be surprised to learn that it was supposed to be a much darker, scarier movie with the title .
Silly string fans should stay far away from Hollywood on Halloween. A ban on the toy, created in 2004, is enforced on October 31, according to the . If you're caught with sticky hands, expect to pay a $1,000 fine.
In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were 41 million trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in America. Parents spent an estimated $1 billion on children's costumes combined. By 2014, that number nearly tripled. And according to the , Halloween party-goers spent an estimated $2.8 billion on costumes overall.
According to , some pranksters in the northeastern U.S. keep up with the stinky tradition of collecting rotten vegetables and leaving them near their neighbors' doors in honor of "Cabbage Night" on October 30th.
From its vampy costumes and sweet treats to spooky outdoor decor, Halloween is a big business. So big, in fact, that it's the second-largest commercial holiday in America, with Christmas being the only one to surpass it in sales. According to the , consumers spent $5.8 billion on Halloween in 2010, and by 2015, that figure jumped to .
No matter how scary your local haunted house is, it probably can't top the in Lewisburg, Ohio. Measuring 3,564 feet long, the Guinness World Records has named it the world's longest haunted house. Even spookier: It's located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine.
Philadelphia-based trick-or-treaters traded in a sweet tooth for sweet action in 1950. In lieu of candy, residents collected change for children overseas and sent it to UNICEF. Subsequently, the program was born.
A working magician from the age of 17, Harry Houdini (AKA Ehrich Weisz) became America's favorite magician and a world-renown legend for his daring escapes. Many find it fitting, then, that this master trickster died on October 31, 1926 (from a ruptured appendix).
Due to safety concerns, was introduced in 2000 as an alternative to hitting the pavement for candy on Halloween night. Cars are parked in a circle at a school or church parking lot, with event-goers decorating their open trunks and dressing in costume in order to hand out sweets.
According to the , 64% of Americans celebrated the holiday in 2015, and they spent an average of $74.34 per (adult) person on candy, costumes, and decor.
In 2010, Belleville, Illinois became the latest city to ban trick-or-treating for . Teens can even face fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door. (Although, according to officials, more often than not over-age Halloween-goers are just given a warning.)
It was just tricks, no treats, for Charlie Brown in . In the 1966, the iconic lead character says, "I got a rock" while trick-or-treating. The phrase went on to become one of the most famous lines in Peanuts history.
Halloween candy wouldn't be the same without California. Why? According to the , the Golden State leads the nation in non-chocolate confectionary production. Out of the 409 sites that manufacture non-chocolate confections in the U.S., California is home to 45 of them.
If you've always wanted to welcome a black cat into your home, don't bother going to the shelter on Halloween – or maybe even the entire month of October. Many refuse to adopt these cats in the lead-up to the holiday, as they're worried the animals will be used in some sort of sacrifice, reports . But it really depends on where you go: the for example, provides a list of black cat adoption promotions that are actually tied to the holiday.