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Trick or treat

Say the word “Halloween” and the mind is sure to conjure up images of ghosts, pumpkins and witches. Actually, the spooky holiday dates back to thousands of years ago to Celtic rituals.But over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have dramatically changed. For most kids, and even some adults, Halloween is all about costumes and candy. Find out what four Halloween enthusiasts picked as their favorite (and least favorite) candy and costumes.

Tony Cecilia
Best Halloween treat: Nestle’s Crunch or SnickersWorst Halloween treat: Candy CornMy favorite Halloween costume: When I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom cut up sheets and wrapped me in it so that I looked like a real mummy.

Dani Fahey
Colorado Springs
Best Halloween treat: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – the regular size ones. I don’t like the little ones.Worst Halloween treat: fruit flavored Tootsie RollsMy favorite Halloween costume: I am really excited about this year. I am going to be a lion.

Jennifer Sullivan
Old Colorado City
Best Halloween treat: TwixWorst Halloween treat: Good ‘n PlentyMy favorite Halloween costume: In fifth grade my mother made me a giant green dragon suit. It was pretty wonderful. It had puffy hands and feet and everything.

Julie Hovde
Best Halloween treat: Carmel Apples. They’re my favorite and no one gives them out anymore.Worst Halloween treat: Anything with peanut butter. I just don’t think peanut butter and chocolate should go together.My favorite Halloween costume: It was a costume we made for our daughter. It was an Oreo cookie. She couldn’t sit down, but ended up winning a contest for best costume at her school. She was the cutest Oreo cookie ever.

2008 Halloween statisticsTrick or treat!36 millionThe estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2007 – children age 5 to 13 – across the United States. This number is down about 38,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children – older than 13 and younger than 5 – also go trick-or-treating.110.3 millionNumber of occupied housing units across the nation in 2007 – all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.93 percentPercentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe; in addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.Jack-o’-Lanterns and pumpkin pies1.1 billion lbs.Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2007; Illinois led the country by producing 542 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, New York and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $117 million.Where to spend Halloween?Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood:* Transylvania County, N.C.* Tombstone, Ariz.* Pumpkin Center, N.C.* Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C.* Skull Creek, Neb.Candy and costumes1,170Number of U.S. manufacturers that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2006, employing 39,457 people and shipping $13.9 billion worth of goods; California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturers, with 128, followed by Pennsylvania, with 116.473Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2006; these establishments employed 18,733 people and shipped $7.2 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in this category, with 72 manufacturers.24.5 poundsPer capita consumption of candy by Americans in 20072,077Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2006Source: U.S. Census Bureau at

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