Our ongoing tribute to Halloween and all things that are scary continues with some little-known facts about the day known as All-Hallows Eve in some parts of the world:
Here are the most unusual Halloween-related items I have found:
• “Samhainophobia” is the fear of Halloween. My only fear connected with Halloween is that I’ll eat too much of the grandkids’ candy. Rarely, have I met a candy bar I didn’t like.
• Ireland is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween. Wow, and all this time I thought it started in Hershey, Pa. You know, the birthplace of all those chocolate candy items.
• According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight. I’m not sure about the witch thing, but depending where you might be walking, you would sooner or later be seeing a police officer.
• Pumpkins are classified as a fruit, not as a vegetable. In fact, in 2006, New Hampshire declared that its state fruit is the pumpkin. OK, you want to be really confused? Check out this definition from fruitandveggie.org: “A pumpkin, from a botanist‘s perspective, is a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. Vegetables, on the other hand, are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, bullbs, flowers, and tubers. Because pumpkins are less sweet and more savory from a culinary perspective, we categorize them as a vegetable.”
• The movie “Halloween” was originally titled “Babysitter Murders,” and was filmed in just 21 days. Oh, and the stabbing sounds in that film? They were made by a knife being plunged into a watermelon.
• The average bag of candy that one child will collect on Halloween contains about 11,000 calories. I’m just guessing, but I think any bag of candy I might collect on Halloween would contain slightly more calories.
• In many countries, such as France and Australia, Halloween is seen as an unwanted and overly commercial American influence. Ya think?
• Boston, Mass., holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once with 30,128. I just want to know who did the head count, and how long it took.
• In Bellville, Mo, it is illegal to ask for candy if you are over the age of 13. Probably not a bad idea.
• In Dublin, Ga., it is illegal for anyone over the age of 16 to wear a mask, sunglasses or any other facial covering on Halloween. Probably another good idea, considering the world we currently inhabit.
• If Milk Duds are one of your favorite Halloween candies, this might prove interesting. The original creator of Milk Duds wanted to make the candies into perfect circles, but when that proved impossible, he called them “duds.” He later added the word “milk” to refer to the large amount of milk used to make the candy.
• And arguably the strangest Halloween tidbit, Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was regarded as one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three strong punches to his abdomen.
Houdini had always claimed he could withstand all such punches to his abdomen. It had been part of his act for years. On this occasion, however, those claims proved false.