The War of the Worlds was a Halloweed episode of The Mercury Theatre on the Air. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode (adapted from H. G. Wells' famous novel about an alien invasion and broadcast as if it were a real news program) became famous for allegedly causing mass hysteria, although the scale of the panic is disputed as the program had relatively few listeners.
According to the National Retail Federation's Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the most popular Halloween costume in 2004 was Spiderman, with 2.15 million children dressing as their favorite superhero. Other popular costumes included princesses (1.8 million children), witches (1.3 million) and vampires (899,000).
The world record for heaviest pumpkin is currently held by a gigantic gourd weighing a whopping 2,096 pounds--as much as a small car! Beni Meier, the Swiss gardener who grew the massive fruit, had to use a special vehicle to transport it. The world record was previously held by California couple Tim and Susan Mathison.
Samhainophobia refers to an abnormal and persistent fear of Halloween. This time of year may also stir up other phobias such as the fear of: cats (ailurophobia), witches (wiccaphobia), ghosts (phasmophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), the dark (nyctophobia), and cemetaries (coimetrophobia).