Secrets and Trivia

When did the tradition of carving pumpkins begin? Why are orange and black the official colors of Halloween? Learn fun and spooky Halloween secrets and trivia to share with your friends and family!

  • Halloween Secrets and Trivia Image: Jose Luis Murillo/Flickr

  • The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ("evening"). Image: Erica Paree/Flickr

  • According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths. Image: Hanna Horwarth/Flickr

  • During the pre-Halloween celebration of Samhain, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, hard winter. Often Druid priests would throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence, “bone fire” became “bonfire.” Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves this way would allow them to escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets during Samhain. Image: Shawn Magill/Flickr

  • 24.7 Pounds: The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010. Image: Tifotter/Flickr

  • Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death. Image: William Warby/Flickr

  • The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl's call meant someone was about to die. Image: Guitarfool 5931/Flickr

  • 1.1 billion pounds: The amount in pounds of pumpkins production by major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois produced an estimated 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. California, New York and Ohio were also major pumpkin-producing states, each with an estimate of more than 100 million pounds. Image: Rich Bowen/Flickr

  • At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy. Image: Donovan Beeson/Flickr

  • The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century. Image: Nick Taylor/Flickr

  • 92%: The percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night. Image: Chiot's Run/Flickr

  • Because the movie "Halloween" (1978) was on such a tight budget, they had to use the cheapest mask they could find for the character Michael Myers, which turned out to be a William Shatner Star Trek mask. Shatner initially didn’t know the mask was in his likeness, but when he found out years later, he said he was honored. Image: TRF_Mr_Hyde/Flickr