Or at least these are things I never knew. I was aware that Halloween has its origins in a Celtic holiday that honors the dead, but here are a few tidbits that are new to me:
- Jack-o-lanterns come from an Irish folk tale about Stingy Jack, who lit his way by putting a burning coal into a hollowed out turnip! Now 99% of the pumpkins grown domestically are used for jack-o-lanterns.
- One quarter of all candy is sold during Halloween time (September – November 10). Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America, making them a natural for handing out as treats. (I used to love Tootsies. However, as the owner of two small dogs who doesn’t travel anywhere without little plastic bags, I’ll never look at Tootsie Rolls the same way again.)
- Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday, respectively. 86% of Americans decorate their homes at Halloween. Approximately 82% of children and 67% of adults take part in Halloween festivities every year.
- Bobbing for apples may have originated from the Roman harvest festival honoring Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
- 48% of Americans believe in ghosts. 22% say they’ve seen or felt a ghost. Women are more likely to admit to it than are men. While we’re on the subject, I’ll admit that I saw somethingwhen I was a kid. It was an amorphous black blob that would appear in the corner of my bedroom at night and advance steadily toward me as I cowered on my lower bunk. If I closed my eyes, it retreated back to its corner to begin again. I didn’t tell anyone about it at the time, but when I was an adult, I shared the experience with my sister and her eyes grew wide. She’d been on the top bunk and had seen the same thing. Then our mother admitted that the previous owner of our house had hanged himself in our closet, but she didn’t want to tell us when we were little for fear of giving us bad dreams. Well, thanks, Mom!
How about you? Have you got a Halloween factoid to share? A personal ghost story? Let’s hear it.
I’ll give one random commenter a copy of my new e-novella A Duke for All Seasons. It’s the story of Sebastian Blake, Duke of Winterhaven, who never keeps a mistress longer than the turn of a season. Until he meets Arabella St. George, who won’t promise to even stay that long!
And as an added bonus, our winner will also receive the first chapter of Touch of a Thief, Book One in my Touch of Seduction series.