Batman, Candy and Pumpkin Pie

For roughly 2000 years, people around the world have celebrated October 31, All Hallows Eve: the night before All Saints’ Day when spirits can walk the Earth. While traditions, perceptions and focuses of the holiday may have changed (moving from prayer to mischief and candy, candy, candy), Halloween is one of the biggest holidays in the United States. If you’re in the mood for some thrills and chills, check out 10 scary things you didn’t know about Halloween:

10. In the 1960s, a woman began handing out harmful candy apples (with pins and razor blades sticking out of the caramel) to trick-or-treaters she deemed too old for the holiday. While no one was injured, she was found guilty for child endangerment.

9. What’s scarier than spending money? On average, American households spend $80 on costumes and candy—that’s not even counting decorations like pumpkins. As a whole, Americans spend $8 billion dollars on the holiday.

8. The greatest magician who ever lived, Harry Houdini, died on Halloween in 1926. Cause of death: ruptured appendix.

7. In the 1970s, a father laced his son’s Halloween candy with poison (killing him so he could collect insurance money) and distributed the candy to other children to throw off the cops. His plan was foiled, and he was sentenced to death in 1984.

6. While candy poisoning is a rarity, reports of alcohol poisoning are higher on Halloween—you know, the kind where you binge drink, not the kind where “someone drugged my wine cooler.”

5. In 2000, some towns adapted trunk-or-treating. Instead of the children walking (therefore actually exercising to get candy), parents bring the candy to them. Parents load up their trunks with candy, and children walk (in their costumes of course) around the parking lot collecting candy. Weak!

4. In towns such as Bellville, Illinois, if you’re over twelve and caught trick-or-treating you can pay fines from $100 -$1,000. What a trick!

3. Twilight is predicted to break box office records when it premieres next month. Not necessarily Halloween related, but honestly, what’s scarier than teen-crazed Twilight fans (or Kristin Stewart’s acting)?

2. The highest-grossing movie on Halloween of all times—it had people screaming, crying and fleeing—was Jaws? Maybe all of the other truly scary movies were just too scary for the masses to see on Halloween.

1. Americans purchase 90 million pounds of chocolate the week of Halloween. What could be scary about 90 million pounds of candy? Not much until you consider that heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S.

Bonus: Alright, since Twilight wasn’t necessarily about Halloween, here’s a frightening fact, adults spend almost twice as much money on costumes than children. Grown adults? Costumes? You can’t get much scarier than that.

Can’t get enough Halloween facts, visit College Humor for more.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween!

Cover Photo Source: Michelle Hofstrand via Flickr

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.