Halloween Trivia

October 25, 2021
Health & Wellness
Read time: 2 mins

With hybrid and more nontraditional work arrangements becoming more common, the traditional Halloween costume and party advice is not as applicable as in the past. In place of policy or etiquette suggestions, this year we share some information to up your trivia game.

  • Illinois consistently produces the most pumpkins in the United States—564 million pounds in 2020 (as much as the other five top producing states combined). Everyone thanks you, Illinois, at Halloween and Thanksgiving!
  • Anoka, Minnesota, is known is the Halloween Capital of the World. Festivities started in 1920, following a particularly mischievous 1919 Halloween, which resulted in overturned outhouses and cows roaming the streets on the morning of November 1. The festivities have grown to a monthlong celebration that includes a Grande Day Parade, scavenger hunt, ghost run, and loads of other treats.
  • The custom of Halloween crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America in the 1840s when Irish immigrants fled the potato famine. At that time, the favored “tricks” in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates (see reference to Anoka, Minnesota, above).
  • The “treat” custom related to Halloween is also thought to have Irish origins, possibly stemming from a practice of going door to door to collect money and cake, or other custom that involved begging for offerings for one’s dead relatives. Those who didn’t supply a treat were often subject to a practical joke.
  • The National Retail Federation projects that Americans will spend $10.14 billion on Halloween in 2021. Halloween candy will account for $3 billion in spending, with another $3.32 billion going toward costumes.
  • Superheroes and princesses are the most popular costumes for kids. Adults have a preference for witches, ghosts, vampires, cats, and pirates.
  • Candy corn was invented by George Renninger, a candymaker at the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia in the 1880s. It was originally called “butter cream candies” and “chicken feed” because corn was commonly used as food for livestock. A rooster even graced the candy boxes. Candy corn had no association with Halloween or fall and was sold seasonally from March to November. Following World War II, advertisers began marketing it as a special Halloween treat because its colors match those of the fall harvest.
  • According to Candy Industry, our favorite Halloween candies by state are:
    • Illinois: Sour Patch Kids
    • Iowa: M&Ms
    • Minnesota: Tootsie Pops
    • Wisconsin: Butterfinger