Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Over the years, Halloween customs have changed dramatically. Today, Halloween is celebrated many different ways, including wearing costumes, children trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and going to haunted houses and parties.
Here are some frighteningly fun facts and figures about the pagan tradition turned modern celebration.
Land of ... Pumpkin?
The Land of Lincoln is actually the pumpkin capital of the world, according to State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), producing mroe than 90 percent of the nation's pumpkins.
But most of Illinois' pumpkins don't wind up as jack-o-lanterns — the vast majority are canned at the Libby pumpkin processing plant in Morton, Illinois.
Source: State Sen. Kirk Dillard
Trick or Treat!
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2011 — children age 5 to 14 — across the United States. Of course, many other children — older than 14 and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2011 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Jack-o’-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies
Value of pumpkins harvested from the top six pumpkin-producing states, Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan in 2011.
Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:
- Transylvania County, N.C. (population 32,820)
- Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,396)
- Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,222); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark.
- Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (population 18,388);
- Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (population 1,323).
- Skull Creek, Neb. (population 268)
Candy and Costumes
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2010, employing 35,074 people. Pennsylvania led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 102, followed by California, with 100.
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2010. These establishments employed 17,526 people. California led the nation in this category, with 49 establishments.
Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2010.
Information compiled by Local Editor Shannon Antinori