Test Your Halloween IQ

by Culinary Spelunker /
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Oct 26, 2015 / 0 comments

A tardis from Dr. Who. A witch or two. Harry Potter. Hermione Granger. A Tootsie Roll. Ventress - from Clone Wars. Captain America. A zombie. Another Harry Potter. Emojis. A fairy ghost puppy (not a typo - she couldn’t make up her mind, so my youngest insisted on combining all three).

When it comes to Halloween, my kids’ costumes have run the gamut from expected to zany. And that’s what I love about the holiday. Kids—hey, adults, too—can dress up for the day as their favorite character, their budding interest, whatever comes to mind. Even better, they’re rewarded for their efforts with candy. Add in leaves bursting in yellows and oranges, falling like an impromptu tickertape parade while you’re going trick-or-treating, and that makes for a fun holiday.

Test your Halloween IQ!

If you’ve ever wondered about holiday’s origins or when trick-or-treating first got its start, I’ve got a quiz to test your Halloween IQ. The answers may surprise you—and your little goblins.

1) Where did the origins of Halloween first begin?

(A) Mexico
(B) Russia
(C) Ireland
(D) Middle East
(C) You can thank the Celts in Ireland for Halloween. In ancient times the Celts would hold a festival, called Samhain, to mark the ending of the harvest season and the start of winter. Believing that spirits of the dead were roaming the earth during this time, they’d dress up as demons so as to pass by the real ones without notice.

Test your Halloween IQ

2) The first mention of “trick-or-treating” appeared in what country?

(A) Canada
(B) United States
(C) Spain
(D) England
(A) Canadians deserve the credit for coining “trick-or-treating.” The idea of people, particular kids, going door-to-door requesting goodies wasn’t necessarily new but the term first appeared in a 1927 edition of a paper in Alberta, Canada.
3) Which city first began celebrating Halloween in the U.S.?

(A) New York City, New York
(B) Manchester, England
(C) Osaka, Japan
(D) Anoka, Minnesota
(D) Did you guess Anoka, Minnesota? If so, you were right! Minnesotans decided to embrace the event—some of the town’s youth were already using October 31st as a day for mischief. The town began celebrating along with them back in 1920.
4) America’s favorite Halloween candy is?

(A) Reese’s
(B) M&M’s
(C) Snickers
(D) Hershey’s
(A) Maybe it’s the Halloween colors, but Reese’s are the candy of choice based on sales. First introduced in 1928, these Hershey’s treats were made famous by a certain little alien, yes, you, E.T.

Test your Halloween IQ
5) For Halloween, what do Americans spend the most money on?

(A) Costumes
(B) Candy
(C) Decorations
(D) Cards
(A) Whether it’s buying them premade, or shopping for all the pieces to construct at home, costumes drain American’s wallets more than candy. According to the National Retail Federation, costumes eat up 38% of Halloween spending which usually hovers over $7 billion (yes, billion) in years past.
6) At your next Halloween bash, you’re most likely to hear which song?

(A) The Monster Mash from Bobby “Boris” Pickett and The Crypt Kickers
(B) Thriller from Michael Jackson
(C) Ghostbusters from Ray Parker Jr.
(D) Somebody’s Watching Me from Rockwell
(B) Michael Jackson rules Halloween. At least based on what people are streaming, says SoundExchange. Thriller was the top streamed song in 2014, followed by Ghostbusters. The Monster Mash was 6th on the list.
7) The first jack-o-lanterns were not carved out of pumpkins but out of what piece of produce?

(A) Bell peppers
(B) Acorn squash
(C) Turnips
(D) Watermelon
(C) Early jack-o-lanterns were carved from turnips or beets. Once carved, a lantern would be placed in the turnip to light the path as one ventured into the night on Halloween. The practice has roots in Ireland where the story goes Stingy Jack was doomed to roam the earth because of his bad behavior. He carried a piece of lit coal in a carved turnip to light his way. The Irish called him Jack of the Lantern, which became—you guessed it—jack-o-lanterns.

Test your Halloween IQ!
So how’d you do on the quiz? Whether you came up with mostly the right answers or were stumped, you can share this Halloween trivia with the little witches and wizards roaming around your house.
This quiz was inspired in part by Terrance Zepke’s Happy Halloween: Hundreds of Perfect Party Recipes, Delightful Ideas & Awesome Activities.



Kristen J. Gough is the Global Cuisines & Kids Editor for Wandering Educators. She shares her family's adventurous food experiences--and recipes--at MyKidsEatSquid.com.


All photos courtesy and copyright Kristen J. Gough