10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Halloween
It’s that time of year again. You know, the one holiday filled with pumpkins, ghosts and sexy Donald Trump costumes. And although it currently features dressing up, trick-or-treating, haunted houses and ghost stories, it wasn’t always that way. Here are 10 things most people don’t know:
- Halloween’s birthplace. Halloween, believe-it-or-not, is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day. Whereas St. Patrick’s Day originated in America by Irish-Americans, Halloween’s origins likely evolved from the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain, which was a ritualistic festival that honored the pagan gods of the harvest.
- What’s in a name? Halloween has been called a number of things throughout the years including Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Eve, Lamswool, Samhain, Summer’s End, and Snap-Apple Night.
- You’re spelling it wrong. The correct spelling of Halloween is actually Hallowe’en.
- Money, money, money. According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. This year, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 billion, with over $2.6 billion dollars being spent on costumes alone (with plenty more being shelled out for trick-or-treat candy and decorations). $350 million dollars will be spent on pet costumes — yes, they like to dress up, too.
- Candy, candy and more candy. More candy is sold on Oct. 28 than any other day of the year (which can be attributed to getting ready for Halloween celebrations). The number one candy of choice is Snickers, followed by Reese’s, Kit Kat and M&M’s.
- Dressing as a witch is a popular choice. While pop culture favorites come and go, the witch is annually the most popular costume.
- What’s on your playlist? According to Billboard, the most played Halloween-themed songs are Michael Jackson’s Thriller followed by Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers and Ghostbusters by Ray Parker, Jr.
- Pedestrians beware. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average almost 30 pedestrians are killed each Halloween. That’s almost triple the number of pedestrian fatalities that happen on an average day in the U.S.
- Spiders are your friends. According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s actually the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
- Zombie apocalypse plan. Yes, the U.S. Defense Department has a zombie apocalypse plan. The document is called “CONOP 8888” and known internally as “Counter-Zombie Dominance.”