1. Halloween was originally a Celtic festival called Samhain ("summers end") held around the 1st of November which was recognised with a feast to acknowledge the final day of fall harvest and spirits crossing over. The people of Ireland, UK and Northern France would light sacrificial bonfires, wearing customers to ward off ghosts as they believed during this time the veil between the living and the spirit world was at its thinnest.
2. Trick or treating was originally known as 'guising' in medieval times of Scotland and Ireland. The young used to dress up in costumes and go from door-to-door looking for food or money in exchange for songs, poems or "tricks" they may perform.
3. Jack-'o-lanterns came from the Irish! The story of the Jack-'o-lantern is believed to have come from an Irish man called "Stingy Jack" who was believed to have tricked the devil and was therefore not allowed into either heaven or hell. So, he spent his days wandering the earth, carrying a lantern, and went by the name, "Jack of the Lantern".
4. Irish immigrants who fled the potato famine in their country in the 1840s brought over their Halloween traditions to America.
5. Candy corn was originally called chicken feed!
6. Single ladies during the 18th century used to devise plans to help them find a romantic match during Halloween. This involved bobbing for apples at parties, where the winner would marry first. Some women would throw apple peels over their shoulder hoping to see their future husbands initials in the pattern that landed no the ground, while others would stand in a dark room, holding a candle in front of a mirror hoping that their future husbands face would appear in the glass.
7. Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in America, second to Christmas. In 2020, Americans spent over $8 billion for the holiday!
8. In the Irish culture there is a traditional Halloween bread called "barmbrack" or "brack". A sweet loaf containing dark and golden raisins, as well as a small hidden toy or ring. Tradition goes that the person who finds the item will come into good fortune in the year ahead.
9. The state of Illinois, America produces more than 500 million pounds (22679618510 kilograms) of pumpkins annually! The farms of Illinois have more than 15,000 acres devoted to growing these pumpkins!
10. Harry Houdini, the famous magician and illusionist died from peritonitis, caused by a ruptured appendix on Halloween in 1926!