After all these years, and after all the flack it’s taken, Halloween remains one of the most widely celebrated U.S. holidays. And the Kansas City area is no exception.

Each year millions of kids and adults mark the holiday by dressing up in spooky and silly costumes, carving pumpkins and, of course, consuming insane amounts of candy.

But how much do you really know about Halloween? Here are a few little known facts that you can use to impress your Halloween party guests or simply augment your personal useless knowledge database.

  • In 2016, it’s estimated that 70% of Americans will celebrate Halloween in some fashion, the highest total ever recorded by the National Retail Federation.
  • Black and orange are considered Halloween colors because black is associated with darkness and death, and orange represents the Fall harvest.
  • Each year, Americans spend an average of $2 billion on Halloween candy, and $6.86 billion on all Halloween purchases.
  • The tradition of carving Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland, where candles were placed in hollowed out turnips to ward of spirits.
  • The most popular candy sold in the U.S. are M&Ms.
  • If you dress your pet up for Halloween, you’re not alone. It is estimated that Americans spend about $300 million on pet costumes each year.
  • This year, more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced.
  • If you happen to see a spider on Halloween, consider yourself lucky. It is believed that spiders are actually spirits watching over us.
  • Those who have an intense fear of Halloween are said to have Samhainophobia.
  • Today, black cats have a bad reputation because they were once believed to be the spirits of witches.

If you’re among the 70% planning to celebrate Halloween this year, we urge you to exercise common sense safety precautions, like the following, for everyone concerned:

  • Dress your kids in brightly colored costumes to help make them easier to spot at night.
  • Keep their costumes on the short side to help prevent accidental trips and falls.
  • If you’re planning to hand out candy, keep your yard well lit and free of obstructions like rakes, toys, garden hoses, and so on
  • If you allow your kids to go out on their own, go over a list of rules with them in advance, such as never entering a stranger’s house or car
  • Use LED tea lights in your jack-o-lanterns, not lit candles.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!