October is upon us, and soon we’ll hear the pitter patter of little goblin feet crunching up the garden path, accompanied by nervous giggles and the ubiquitous “Trick or Treat!” screamed at the top of tiny lungs, as though we were so old we needed a hearing aid. Ah Halloween, the world’s sweetest holiday. Let’s get in the mood with some fun trivia about Halloween candy, shall we?
1. Who wants gum? According to dubious polls taken somewhere in the United States, only 10% of kids prefer to receive gum for Halloween, while 50% prefer chocolate candy and 24%, non-chocolate candy.
2. Desperately seeking sugar-free: With type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity on the rise, people have been resorting to handing out sugar-free candy for Halloween. What else can they take out of our annual sweet treats? Google reports 20 percent more people are searching online this year for gluten-free candy. What’s next? Candy-free candy?
3. The truth will out: Candy actually accounts for only 6% of the added sugar in the American diet. Soft drinks and juice add up to 46%.
4. In fact, candy has long been a scapegoat for health problems. Over a hundred years ago, doctors blamed candy for the spread of polio. Then starting in the mid to late 1900s it was blamed for tooth decay. Today it is blamed for type 2 diabetes and obesity. Go back and read number 3, people!
5. Take a little trip with me: Panic ensued when the news reported that five-year-old Kevin Toston allegedly ate Halloween candy laced with heroin in 1970. Turns out the drugs belonged to the boy’s uncle, who was trying to throw off drug dogs by mixing his stash in with the tot’s haul.
6. Just don’t eat the stuff you get at home: After eight-year-old Timothy O’Bryan died of cyanide poisoning allegedly from eating Halloween candy, savvy investigators dug a little deeper and discovered that his father had taken out a $20,000 life insurance policy on each of his children. He not only poisoned the boy himself, but also attempted to poison his daughter.
7. In Canada they call it beaver tail: Vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry flavorings in candy are sometimes made with castoreum, an extract made from beaver butt excretions.
8. Still going strong: Candy corn has been around for more than 100 years. It was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger, an employee of the Wunderle Candy Company. In 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company started producing candy corn and still produces it today — only you know them as the Jelly Belly Candy Company.
9. Candy-free Halloween: During World War II, sugar rationing put a serious damper on trick-or-treating, which lasted for a number of years. Maybe that’s when people started giving out the non-candy alternatives…
10. What happened to the third Musketeer? Or for that matter, the second? Introduced in 1932, Three Musketeers started out as a package of three separate candy bars, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Later it morphed into just a fluffy chocolate center coated with chocolate — less than one bar, but they still kept the name.
Got a sugar high? What better way to work it off than screaming your head off at Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend! Open Friday and Saturday night, 8 to 10 pm!