Publisher’s Letter: Halloween — How to Love it More!

Blaine Howerton takes a bite of a cupcake topped with candy (Photo by Blaine Howerton)
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

When it was time to write this column, I decided to do a little research on Halloween. I was surprised to learn that it dates back to first-century Europe. In the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced “Sou-in”) the celts would light fires on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits often wearing masks in an attempt not to be recognized by any ghosts that might be lurking nearby.

Throughout the centuries Celtic traditions continued in Europe until coinciding with the great Irish immigration in the mid-1800s, Halloween arrived in the new world — continuing the great tradition.

Halloween means costumes and candy to me. I am especially fond of candy corn so I did a little research on that too. In the 1880’s George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented candy corn. Then, in 1898, the Goelitz Confectionery Company (now called Jelly Belly) began manufacturing it.

Surprisingly, my love for candy corn isn’t shared by nearly as many as it used to be. According to, that “sweet goodness” is number 10 on the top 10 list of Halloween candies in 2021. Another favorite of mine, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is number 1.

Here’s the 2021 List of the most popular Halloween candies:

  1. Reese’s Cups
  2. Skittles
  3. M&M’s
  4. Starburst
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Sour Patch Kids
  7. Hershey Kisses
  8. Snickers
  9. Tootsie Pops
  10. Candy Corn

It speaks to my sweet tooth that there isn’t a single candy on that list that I don’t like.

Speaking of my sweet tooth, my sons get ornery around trick-or-treating — because every year their father raids their candy — but hey, a dad needs to test it to make sure it’s safe, right?

I confess — picture a grown man, hiding his candy stash to eat later — yup, that’s me.

And for parents who are concerned about ALL that sugar, if your child collects lots of goodies, consider doling out a few pieces at a time. Another strategy is to ask your child if he or she would like to swap some — or all — of their candy stash for something entirely different such as a toy, a book, or an outing.

And for those of you who won’t be trick-or-treating this year, be sure to check out the weekly calendar on the New SCENE page — where you’ll find some neat Halloween events!



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