Halloween History and Facts

Facts and History about Halloween

Here are some great facts and a little history about Halloween put together by the National Confectioners Association.  I have added some various comments in Bold Italics.

First, a little about the history of Halloween:

  • The celebration of Halloween started in the United States as an autumn harvest festival. In pioneer days, some Americans celebrated Halloween with com-popping parties, taffy pulls and hayrides.
  • In the late nineteenth century, with the large influx of Irish immigrants into the U.S., Halloween became associated with ghosts, goblins and witches.
  • Jack-o-lanterns are an Irish tradition. In Ireland, oversized rutabagas, turnips and potatoes were hollowed-out, carved into faces and illuminated with candles to be used as lanterns during Halloween celebrations.
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old Saxon word “wica”, meaning “wise one.” The earliest witches were respected dealers in charms and medicinal herbs and tellers of fortunes.
  • The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago. It is one of America’s oldest known vegetables. Pumpkins generally weigh from 15-to-30 pounds, although some weigh as much as 200 pounds. The majority of pumpkins are orange, but they also can be white or yellow. They are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene and potassium, and their seeds provide protein and iron. They make great pumpkin pie too.  I would like to carve a jack-o-lantern out of a 200 pound pumpkin.
  • According to legend, the jack-o’-lantern began with a fellow named Jack, who was too stingy to be allowed into Heaven and too mischievous to join the Devil in hell. As consolation, the Devil threw Jack a lighted coal, which Jack placed inside a turnip he was eating. It is said that Jack continues to use the coal to light his path as he searches for a final resting place.  Notice for all the over the top parents that don’t let your kids participate in Halloween, that this is a legend.  That means it is NOT true.  Halloween is a fun time.  You don’t have to let your children dress up as the devil.

Trick-or-Treat Tidbits


  • Four-in-ten (41%) adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl. I bet this is closer to ten-in-ten (100%)
  • On Halloween night, the majority (52%) of those providing treats to costumed kiddies will be passing out chocolate, while three‐in‐ten will drop hard candy or lollipops into the sacks. My question is, “Why do people still give out those nasty chewy fake peanut butter candies?  You know the ones I’m talking about that are wrapped in either Black or Orange wrappers.  Those are nasty and I bet most of them end up in the trash can.  May since the stastics show that 41% of adults admit sneaking candy from their own bowl, that means the 59% that aren’t doing it are giving out these nasty candies.
  • 62% of adults will be handing out candy because “it’s a personal favorite” or it’s a household tradition (55%)  This is the way to do it.  We give out Reece’s, Almond Joy, Kit Kats, and other GOOD stuff.
  • 43% of grown-up celebrants cite costumes as one of the most indispensable parts of the holiday.  What’s the point if you don’t have a costume?
  • About 26% of households will include full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate) in their Halloween activities.  I love these households.  Don’t be stingy with the goodies.
  • 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags.  Me? Never!  I can’t even believe you would suggest that.
  • Parents favorite treats to sneak from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent sneak these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent).  These statistics don’t quite add up to 100% but I guess that’s beside the point.  Full-size chocolate bars would be closer to 100%.  Don’t you know we want to help our kids eat healthier, so we have to ingest some of this sugar ourself.  It’s just to protect our kids though, not for us.
  • Parents least favorite goodie to take from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags is licorice (18 percent). No thanks on the licorice. 


  • 30% of kids report that they SORT their candy first when returning home with trick-or-treat loot, others:
    • Savor it (20%) YES!
    • Share it (16%)
    • Stash it (14%)
    • Swap it (7%)
  • Kids say they prefer homes that give: anything made with chocolate (68%) followed by lollipops (9%), gummy candy (7%) and bubble gum or chewing gum (7%) Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!
  • More than 93% of children go trick-or-treating each year.  I feel bad for that 7% that don’t get to partake in this event.  Halloween is not a devil’s holiday people!
  • Kids tell us that their favorite treats to receive when trick-or-treating are candy and gum. Eighty-four percent of kids said candy and gum are their favorites over other options like baked goods or small toys. I don’t let my kids eat baked goods.  Who knows how many roaches and rats are running around these kitchens.  Or these days, what kind of poison could be in those brownies.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags.

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