What do you know about Halloween?

Happy Halloween!
Photo: riptheskull/Flickr

Think you know everything about the special October day that involves scary movies, sugar highs and mutilated squash? Test your Halloween smarts and see how you stack up — if you dare!

Question 1 of 15

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Which U.S. state produces the most pumpkins?

A whopping 80 percent of all pumpkins produced commercially in the U.S. are grown within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Ill. In fact, the town of Morton, a suburb of Peoria and home to Libby’s pumpkin cannery, calls itself the Pumpkin Capital of the World. (You can probably guess what kind of pie folks in Morton prefer.)

Question 2 of 15

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Michael Myers
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What is the name of the homicidal boogieman who stalks babysitter Laurie Strode in the 1978 film “Halloween”?

In the credits of "Halloween," Michael Myers is referred to only as "The Shape" (his menacing mask is actually a cheap "Star Trek" mask meant to resemble Capt. Kirk). The film also marked the screen debut of a young Jamie Lee Curtis, who went on to become one of the most prolific scream queens of the 1980s. Her mother, “Psycho” actress Janet Leigh, must have been proud.

Question 3 of 15

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Scary clown on Halloween
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You probably spotted numerous Barack Obamas and Mitt Romneys in 2012, but what was the most popular adult Halloween costume that year?

About 6 million American adults got their witch on in 2012 by raiding broom closets, applying fake warts and perfecting a wicked cackle. Vampires and pirates came in second and third place, respectively, while princess, Batman and Spider-Man were the top costume picks for kids.

Question 4 of 15

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Sad Halloween puppy
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Pets are also fair game when it comes to donning a special outfit. What was the most popular pet costume of 2012?

More than 15 percent of Americans planned to humiliate their faithful four-legged companions by outfitting them in ridiculous Halloween costumes in 2012. Nearly 13 percent of owners opted to go the pumpkin route, although devils and hot dogs were also popular. It's unclear if the sharp spike in runaway dogs that occurs in early November is related.

Question 5 of 15

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Amityville Horror House
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You can’t swing a severed plastic arm without hitting a haunted house in October. Where is the notorious “Amityville Horror” house located?

A rambling Dutch Colonial at 112 Ocean Ave. in the sleepy town of Amityville was the scene of a gruesome mass murder in 1974 and, a little over a year later, a slew of unexplained phenomena experienced by the home’s new owners. Unlike the Lutz family, who lasted less than a month in the home, subsequent owners have not been plagued by red-eyed demonic pigs or fly infestations.

Question 6 of 15

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A Halloween store
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Where do Americans spend most of their hard-earned, Halloween-dedicated dollars?

No shocker here, but in 2012, the average American adult spent $28.65 per person on a Halloween costume, a hefty price considering that they could have rummaged through their closets for some truly terrifying Clinton-era outfits and called it a night.

Question 7 of 15

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Halloween shopping
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Now that we’ve established that Americans are willing to fork over big bucks to play dress up for the night, what Halloween-related item comes in second in the expenditure department?

Coming in a close second to costumes, the average American doled out $23.56 on cardboard tombstones, polyester cobwebs, disembodied limbs and decorative gourds during the 2012 Halloween season. In third place is candy at $23.27 per person. Seriously, 23 bucks will get you a whole lot of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Question 8 of 15

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An early 1900s Halloween party
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Halloween wasn’t observed in North America until the mid-19th century. What immigrant group brought the festivities to the U.S.?

Along with potatoes, we can thank our Scottish and Irish ancestors for Halloween. Mostly confined to immigrant communities throughout the latter part of the 19th century, Halloween traditions eventually spread throughout the country and gained mainstream status by the early 20th century. And get this: The turnip, not the pumpkin, is the traditional Scots-Irish symbol of the holiday.

Question 9 of 15

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Haunted House
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October is the best time of year to settle down with a good scary book. Which author wrote the classic ghost story “The Haunting of Hill House?”

The late Shirley Jackson, also known for the deeply unsettling short story "The Lottery,” penned this hair-raising haunted house novella that, in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Award, was adapted into films in both 1963 (pretty decent) and 1999 (pretty awful). One of the book’s most vocal fans is none other than horror maestro Stephen King.

Question 10 of 15

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Full Moon
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What is the night before Halloween known as (other than Oct. 30)?

An evening dedicated to pranks of the bored teenager variety (egging, toilet papering, pumpkin smashing, etc.), Mischief Night goes by several other names including Devil's Night, Hell Night, Cabbage Night and Gate Night. In response to decades of worsening Devil's Night-related arson in Detroit, city officials founded the neighborhood watch-based Angel's Night in 1995 to help mitigate crime.

Question 11 of 15

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Although Halloween arrived on American shores more than 100 years ago, trick-or-treating is a more recent tradition. When did it become a widespread practice?

This beloved Halloween pastime, one that involves pint-sized princesses going door-to-door, first started to appear regionally throughout the 1930s and '40s, particularly in the West. However, it wasn’t until the early 1950s that trick-or-treating was embraced nationwide as a Halloween activity.

Question 12 of 15

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Halloween candy
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What charity/nonprofit organization has been closely associated with Halloween for more than 50 years?

Although numerous charities hold fundraisers and special events on or around Halloween, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has long ruled on the do-gooding front. In fact, the program, started as a local event in Philadelphia in 1950, is nearly as old as trick-or-treating itself, and the little orange boxes used to collect donations by big-hearted trick-or-treaters are nothing less than iconic. To date, $170 million has been raised through the program, with all funds benefiting children in need around the world.

Question 13 of 15

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Halloween decor
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Which of these historical/memorable events did NOT happen on Halloween?

When it comes down to it, Oct. 31 is just another day: People are born (John Candy, Dan Rather), people die (Houdini, River Phoenix) and states (Nevada) are admitted to the union. You might be inclined to think that cult leader Charles Manson and his "family" embarked on a series of horrific home invasions starting on Halloween 1969, but the murders actually were carried out on Aug. 8 and 9.

Question 14 of 15

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Halloween decorations
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Which American city is the self-proclaimed Halloween Capital of the World?

Although Sleepy Hollow and the "Witch City" of Salem turn into veritable tourist machines around Halloween, the small Twin City suburb of Anoka — hometown of Garrison Keillor and Michele Bachmann — prides itself in being the most ghoul-friendly town in all the land. Dating back to 1920, Anoka's massive Halloween parade and festivities were conceived by civic leaders as a means of diverting the town's youngsters from Halloween pranks.

Question 15 of 15

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Candy corn!
Photo: Janet Beasley/Flickr
And last but not least, here we have everyone's favorite corn syrup-based Halloween confection. How many grams of fat are in a single serving of candy corn?

Hard to believe, but a single serving of these highly addictive tri-colored treats contains zero fat. Still, at 3.6 calories per kernel and positively loaded with sugar, we couldn't go as far as to call candy corn healthy. First concocted in the 1880s by a Philadelphia-based confectioner, an estimated 20 million pounds of the stuff is sold annually, no doubt most of it around Halloween.

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