Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

“A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night.” - J.M. Barrie

Halloween isn’t exactly a literary holiday but thought I’d observe it by sharing a few trivia facts. The first few vaguely relate to the writing world and the others are just fun.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.

Samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween.

Dracula is the most filmed story of all time.

Jack o’ lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.

According to studies, the smell of pumpkin pie is the most arousing to women, followed by lavender, cucumbers, baby powder and Good & Plenty candy. (Can this be true? If so, there’s something wrong with me!)

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 pounds. It was weighed in on October 1, 2005 at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-Off. Trick-or-treating is an Irish tradition, based on a custom where wealthy landowners would give food to the poor on Halloween night, believing ghosts would look favorably on them for doing so and spare them from mischief.

Fifty-one percent of all American adults believe in ghosts. Nine percent of Americans claim to have been in the presence of a ghost during their lifetime.

Do you believe in or have you seen a ghost? I’ve seen one (at least I think I did), how about you? I’d love to hear your comments.

I have a Halloween interview but hope it’s about The Ride and not the holiday. Today at 9AM, I have my first ever radio interview on the Anything Goes Show with Gene Davis on WNCO AM 1340. On Wednesday, November 5th, I have my second radio interview with host James Lowe on KJAG Radio. I’m hoping I don’t become tongue tied or forget my own name. Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

Tags: Halloween, Barrie, Samhainophobia , Dracula, Pamona, Pumpkin, ghost, James Lowe, KJAG Radio, The Ride, WNCO, Anything Goes Show, Gene Davis,


Sondra said...

Hi Jane!
I lived in a haunted apartment in Houston..I'll tell you about it sometime. It freaks Barry out when I tell people about it.
I have a lot of Wicca friend up here so Blessed Sahmain (pronounced sow-ain)! It is believed, on this day the veil between the spirit world and our world is the thinnest and you lay a "dummy dinner" (spare plate/meal out for your ancestors that want to stop in and see how you are doing.
Happy Halloween!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Sondra, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your haunted apartment. Since I’m not planning to cook tonight, my ancestors are out of luck. Or, maybe I can entice them with a Snickers bar!

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world