I still remember my first Halloween in Germany when we lived on a U.S. military post. Little German kids would come dressed in costume, walk up to our door, and speak tentatively to us in stilted English. "Halloween?" They would ask -- that is, they'd ask the first time. Once we put candy in their little bags they'd go to the next place and smile, "Halloween! Halloween!" I could only imagine what they were thinking. Probably something like, " My folks weren't lying about this crazy American holiday. This is so cool!" Only a few knew to say, "Trick or treat." We didn't care. The joy on their faces transcended the language barrier.
In celebration of the day, I've compiled a few fun Halloween facts. But first, another anecdote from earlier this week...
One of my son's teachers asked the class: "What do you get when you cross a teacher with a vampire?" Spoiler alert: The teacher's answer was "a teacher who gives blood tests." My son came up with a different answer. He yelled, "A teacher who sucks!"
His teacher was not amused.
As a fake punishment for his cleverness, I was going to share a silly Halloween photo of him when he was a baby. I stopped myself but, as penance for this almost betrayal, I'm posting an old Halloween photo my friend, Lisa, took of me:
Okay, now for fun Halloween facts. Hope you enjoy them. If you're also interested in Halloween keyboard characters, click the bat.
FUN HALLOWEEN FACTS:
- $330 million dollars a year is spent on costumes -- pet costumes. All costumes combined? Over $2.5 billion. We spend about that much in candy, too. The estimated projection for Halloween candy sales in 2013: $2.25 billion.
- In Alabama, it's illegal to dress up as a priest.
- In Hollywood, California, there is a $1,000 fine if you use Silly String on Halloween.
- Jack-o-lanterns were first carved by the Irish. (The Halloween tradition began with the Celts.) They used turnips, rutabagas, and potatoes.
- As for records, Boston, Massachusetts holds it for the most pumpkin jack-o-lanterns lit at once. The number: 30,128. The largest pumpkin in 2013 was grown by Tim and Susan Mathison from California. The weight: 2032 pounds!
- In the United Kingdom, white cats are considered to bring bad luck instead of black ones, like in the United States.
- Michal Jackson's song "Thriller" is the most played Halloween song on U.S. radio stations.
- The highest grossing scary movies: 1. Jaws ($260MM), 2. World War Z ($202MM), 3. What Lies Beneath ($155MM) -- for the rest of them click here for the IMDb list.
- The movies that scared the poop out of me when I was a teenager: Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. What scared me as an adult: The Ring. (shudder)
That's it. Be safe and try not to get too many cavities tonight!
photo credit for pumpkin photo: