How much did you know about the goblin holiday?
How many of these did you know? Here are the answers.
- We know Halloween is really a Celtic holiday. But what time of the year is that to a Druid?
New Year. You can celebrate the new year anytime you like. Why not Fall?
- If you're a-scared of Halloween, what phobia do you suffer from?
Samhainophobia, of course.
- What were the original jack o' lanterns made of?
Potatoes or turnips. It's a cheap way to make a disposable lantern. The pumpkins are just more decorative, and easier to carve. (Trust us on this.)
- One quarter of all the annual candy sales in the US take place during Halloween season. It helps if the candy is wrapped. What was the first wrapped candy sold in the US?
Tootsie rolls. Leo Hirschfeld, the Austrian-American answer to Willy Wonka, first put out his individually-wrapped penny candies in 1896.
- Why would it be an especially good idea to bob for apples in Pomona, California?
Because Pomona was the Roman apple goddess. Well, goddess of fruit trees. When you bob for apples, you're honouring her. Bet you didn't know that. Bite respectfully.
- What was the native language of Bela Lugosi, the world's most famous Dracula?
Hungarian. (Ha!) Lugosi's stage name came from his home town of Lugos, in the Austro-Hungarian empire.
- What famous escape artist died on Halloween?
Harry Houdini. (Another Hungarian American.) For years after his death, friends and relatives held séances on Halloween. Houdini never answered – he really didn't like people with Ouija boards.
- What can you do with a pumpkin and a trebuchet?
Go ballistic. You can hold a Pumpkin Chunkin'. Much to the disgust of people who yell 'don't play with your food,' these engineering displays are held annually. The record for hurling a pumpkin by means of a catapult? So far, 4,424.28 feet.
- What best-selling US Halloween confection imitates a common vegetable, but is worse for the teeth?
Candy corn. US trick-or-treaters consume 20 million pounds of the cloying stuff per annum. Remember your dental check-up.
- On the night before Halloween, 1938, what did many people in New Jersey believe had happened?
The Martians had landed in Grover Mills. They hadn't, really. It was just Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre, on the radio. Trick or treat!
Don't be shy. Entertain your Halloween guests with these factoids. And be careful when bobbing for apples.