- Jack O’Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
- Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!
- Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
- The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
- Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
- Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
- Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
- Black cats were once believed to protect the powers of witches.
When it comes to candy, Halloween smokes Easter, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. According to the National Confectioners Association, more sweets are sold in the weeks leading up to the Halloween than any other time of year. In 2005, Americans polished off $2.1 billion in Halloween candy! The top five Halloween candies based on 2005 sales, according to the National Confectioners Association:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Kit Kat
WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR?
Candy makers are hoping new shapes and seasonal packaging will give the edge for these old standbys:
- Kellogg’s Triple Spooky Berry Twistables
- Spooky Shapes Tootsie Pops
- Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape
- Pumpkin Patch Orange Pop Rocks
PARENTS LOVE CANDY, TOO
According to eCandy.com, 90 percent of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween bags. Parents favorite treats to sneak are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent). The least favorite? Licorice (18 percent).
GRANDPA LOVED CANDY, TOO
About 65 percent of American candy brands have been around for more than 50 years. The oldest Halloween treat is candy corn, which has been filling trick-or-treat bags since the 1880s. Here are a few other “golden oldies” still making kids smile:
- Tootsie Rolls, 1896
- Hershey Bars, 1900
- Milky Way Bar, 1923
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 1928
- Snickers, 1930
- Starburst Fruit Chews, 1960
- Skittles, 1981
Before we begin let me just say that we have a very cool place to get spooked right here in the Motherlode. It’s the Hi-4H Haunted House. Check out their website here. Have a safe Halloween. – Justin
Are you thinking of going to the same boring costume party this year? Think again! The Haunted House Association (hauntedhouseassociation.org), a collective of the most successful and renowned haunted houses and attractions in the country, has announced 13 reasons that haunted houses will scare even the bravest of family members this Halloween season.
- Screaming is good for you! — The surge of adrenaline in the terrifying but safe environment of a haunted house peps you up and really makes you feel alive.
- Horror movie madness — Modern haunted houses have special effects rivaling top Hollywood horror movies, only in this case, YOU are the star!
- Get transported into another world — Haunted houses are completely immersive worlds that let you journey through using all of your senses with each room hiding a new horror in the darkness just like your favorite survival horror video game.
- Create lasting memories — Visiting a haunted house with friends and family creates memories you will never forget. For years you will laugh at how loud Uncle Pete screamed when the chainsaw started!
- It’s affordable — Haunted houses are extremely cost effective entertainment choices compared to expensive theme parks and they are easily located all over the country.
- Help out the economy — Haunted houses contribute vastly to the economy, employing approximately 100,000 seasonal workers every October while pumping tons of money into the production of the event and boosting local businesses.
- Not just your neighborhood decorations — The level of detail and artistic skill in modern haunted houses is insane, with many serving as museums of horror.
- It’s safe — Haunted houses are very safe, requiring rigorous inspection by local authorities before they open and often staffed by off-duty policemen and firefighters to ensure that extra level of security.
- It’s fun for the whole family — Haunted houses are great places for kids and young adults alike. They are controlled, drug and alcohol free events that still have a massive cool factor.
- It’s philanthropic — Haunted houses help charities by collectively raising huge amounts of money and contributing free tickets to scores of worthy causes across the nation.
- Haunted houses help local businesses — Through sponsorships and local deals, haunted houses stimulate the economy for everyone and give a push to start off holiday shopping season.
- It sure beats costume parties — The details, costumes, music, actors and overall experience of haunted houses SCREAMS Halloween.
- Haunted houses just plain rock — Today’s modern haunted houses are technological marvels, featuring skilled actors in great costumes and intense makeup.
- Prolong a carved pumpkin’s life by lathering the inside of the shell and cut areas with petroleum jelly.
- For easy cleanup, set the pumpkin on several layers of newspaper before carving.
- Avoid cutting mouths that are large open spaces or very long horizontally. They weaken the pumpkin at the bottom and can make it collapse.
- To prevent a fire hazard, use battery-operated candles to light the pumpkin.
- Small children can make jack-o’-lantern faces by attaching vegetables, fruit or candy with toothpicks instead of cutting. Try cucumber or squash slices for eyes, a green bean for the nose and candy corn for teeth.
- Make streamers by cutting a plastic garbage bag into stirps (cut just a few inches above the bottom of the bag so streamers stay together). Hang them from the porch.
- Stuff an old shirt and pants to make a scarecrow body. Set on a chair and top with a plastic pumpkin for a head.
- Fill a large jar with vampire fans and red water (use food coloring). Put it on the porch with fake spiders and bats.
- Tie cornstalks from a garden center or farm stand to porch columns or the door frame. Put pumpkins and large gourds around the edges of the porch.
- Put green or red bulbs in your porch lights to create an eerie glow.
- Give each child a flashlight.
- Make sure treat bags are sturdy and easy to carry. Take along some extra bags in case one breaks.
- Keep kids on sidewalks and walkways. Don’t cut across yards: Lawn ornaments and hidden sprinklers can cause injuries.
- Make it a rule that treats are not to be eaten until after trick-or-treating. This gives you a chance to inspect everything and discard anything that looks suspicious.
- Alternatives to candy: Give small treats, such as stickers, plastic figures, books, cards and bookmarks. Put the items in a bag, shallow bowl and let each child pick one or two.
If you have some pointers you’d like added to this list, please email them to me firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks in advance!
Pumpkin carving tools (a lid-cutter saw)
Taper and votive candles
What to Do
1. Insert the knife into the center of the gourd near the stem. Be careful, as gourds are very hard. Wedge the knife back and forth a little until you have a slit of about an inch. Remove the knife.
2. Insert lid-cutter saw and gently and patiently saw — with an up-and-down sawing motion, (don’t try to slice) — a circle in the center of the gourd. Don’t push too hard or the saw can break. If this happens, try to finish the work with a grapefruit knife or apple corer. When the ends of the circle meet, remove the section of the gourd.
3. Drizzle a few drops of candle wax in the hole and insert a taper or votive candle.
Did you know?
One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
Click the picture below for a TON of info on Halloween. I personally like the pumpkin carving patterns, always a fun time with the kids when we use them.
Have a safe and happy Halloween from the Star 92.7 crew!
Did you know that if you sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on the inside of your jack-o-lantern before lighting the candle, the flame will heat the area inside the pumpkin making a yummy, natural pumpkin-pie scent?
Maryann gave away tickets to the Hi-4H Haunted House this week. Listeners had to guess the #1 Phobia. (Winners also guessed # 10 & #5)
Just in case you want the to know the complete list, here it is:
TOP TEN REAL PHOBIAS
7. Thunder and lightning
6. The dark
4. Other people, or social phobia
3. Spaces. In other words, any place we fear of escape might be difficult: elevators, sporting events, bridges, etc.
It’s Wacky, but true! I’m sure this would never happen at the Hi-4H Haunted House. A haunted house in Essex, Maryland, is named “The House of Screams,” but it was the character of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre killer who ended up frightened when authorities say an off-duty Baltimore police officer pulled his gun and pointed it at the actor during a skit. Sgt. Eric Michael Janik was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. The man playing “Leatherface” said the sergeant held his screaming daughter close to scary characters and that when it came time to give chase he went after the adults because the girl was crying. A police report says Sgt. Morrison approached “Leatherface” guy and pointed a black handgun at his chest.
In a survey of parents, here are the weirdest Halloween handouts:
Animal Food — Doggie bones and cat treats?
Random Foodstuff — Besides apples, kids received canned vegetables, potatoes, bulbs of garlic and frozen dinners.
Toiletries — Dentists commonly give out toothbrushes, but other personal hygiene frequent finds included sample-sized soaps, shampoo, conditioner and even band-aids.
Odds ‘n Ends — Free trial software CDs, golf balls, batteries, and packs of pushpins, bobby pins, staples and paper clips.
Out of Season Candy — Halloween candy is supposed to be gross — fake ear wax, boogers, scabs, and even gooey eyeballs are all fair game. But what’s really gross is the obviously leftover candy from a way-past holiday, like old chocolate Easter eggs and Christmas candy canes.
Marketing Material — Cards and coupons for everything from babysitting and bowling to roof repair and real estate have been discovered among the sweeter scores.
(From Justin) : What’s the weirdest thing your child ever brought home from a night of trick-or-treating?