CLOSE
iStock
iStock

9 Halloween-Related Guinness World Records

iStock
iStock

Halloween comes and goes each autumn, but these Guinness World Records last all year long (until someone sets a new one, that is). Here are 10 spooky, seasonal, and festive feats worth remembering.

1. WORLD'S LARGEST NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Think you’re a huge Tim Burton fan? Meet William Wong, a Hong Kong native who owns the world’s largest collection of The Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia. Wong enjoyed the 1993 stop-motion classic so much that he’s spent the past 20 years collecting clothing, jewelry, dolls, books, kitchen appliances, and other pieces of memorabilia inspired by the film. The super-fan even owns a rare copy of the film’s official style guide.

In 2014, Wong received a Guinness World Record for his collection of 2020 items, which he showcases in a storefront he rents near his house. We’re sure it’s grown even more since then (although we don’t know how he’s going to top his The Nightmare Before Christmas toilet roll holder).

2. WORLD'S LARGEST CANDY

The world’s largest candy—a 3527-pound butterscotch sweet made by Norwegian confectionary company Nidar in 1997—could have probably satisfied the sweet tooth of every candy-craving child in Scandinavia. It was an oversize version of Nidar’s popular Smorbukk Butter Caramels, and measured 5 feet long and 5 feet wide. Now, if only someone could make the world’s largest Halloween candy pail …

3. WORLD'S LOUDEST SCREAM

Don’t sneak up on Jill Drake. In 2000, Drake, a teaching assistant from Kent, England, participated in a screaming competition in London’s Millennium Dome. Her screeching hit 129 decibels (around 10 decibels quieter than a jet engine taking off), and set a Guinness record for “loudest scream by an individual.” Drake’s impressive vocal cords ended up catching the attention of Disney, who invited her to travel to Los Angeles and scream for an hour to promote the park's then-scariest ride: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

4. WORLD'S LARGEST "TIME WARP" DANCE

In 2010, cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) turned 35. To honor the occasion, 8239 fans of the movie gathered to recreate its signature dance at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, setting a world record for the largest "Time Warp" dance.

5. WORLD'S LARGEST COLLECTION OF CANDY WRAPPERS

For Milan Lukich Valdivia, the best part of a piece of candy is its foil, paper, or plastic covering. Valdivia, who hails from Tacna, Peru, spent more than 30 years amassing thousands of candy wrappers from all over the world. As of December 2015, he owned the world's largest collection of them—5065 of them, to be precise, including ones from 49 countries.

6. WORLD'S LARGEST COLLECTION OF CLOWN-RELATED ITEMS

Lots of people are afraid of clowns, but Ortrud Kastaun, a woman from Essen, Germany, loves them. She was officially recognized for owning the world’s largest assemblage of model clowns—2053 individual figurines, to be exact—in October 2011.

Kastaun, who’s in her mid-60s, began collecting clowns nearly 20 years ago. Eventually, her hoard grew so large that she had to move to a larger apartment to house them all. Kastaun even established a home museum so visitors could see the smiling, red-nosed dolls for themselves.

While some consider clowns to be sinister, Kastaun—a recovering alcoholic—views them as a deeply personal talisman. Long ago, while in therapy, she was piecing a puzzle together of a jack-in-the-box clown, and “something just clicked,” Kastaun told Guinness World Records. She’s collected—and loved—them ever since.

7. WORLD'S HEAVIEST PUMPKIN

Currently, the world record for heaviest pumpkin officially belongs to a lopsided—yet massive—squash grown by Beni Meier of Switzerland. The 2323-pound pumpkin stole the show at the Belgium Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, in October 2014. But another big pumpkin—and its grower—might soon steal Meier’s title: Earlier this October, a Belgian man named Mathias Willemijns took home the grand prize from the same annual event after he displayed a 2624-pound pumpkin.

8. WORLD'S LARGEST GATHERING OF PEOPLE DRESSED AS GHOSTS

Singapore ain’t afraid of no ghosts. On June 12, 2016, Sony Pictures hosted a red carpet promotional event for 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot at the city’s Marina Bay Sands hotel. The occasion included appearances by leading lady Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig, but its highlight was when 263 individuals dressed as spooky specters convened to set the Guinness World Record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Ghosts.

9. MOST COSTUME CHANGE ILLUSIONS IN ONE MINUTE BY AN INDIVIDUAL

Typically, it’s only practical to buy—and wear—one Halloween costume, but if you’re Avery Chin and Sylvia Lim, all bets are off. In September 2016, the two magicians, who originally hail from Malaysia, broke the Guinness World Record for the “most costume change illusions in one minute.” Sylvia changed 18 times, and wore 19 different outfits—beating the previously held record (set by other Malaysian magicians only a few weeks prior) by two ensembles.

BONUS: WORLD'S LONGEST DISTANCE PADDLING IN A PUMPKIN (FORTHCOMING)

This one isn’t officially in the books quite yet, but this past October, a man named Rick Swenson from Fergus Falls, Minnesota tried to set a Guinness record for the longest distance paddling in a pumpkin. He sailed a hollowed-out, 1100-pound squash for 26 miles along the state’s Red River, and the journey took him 13 hours, 40 minutes. That being said, the boater has some competition. Another man, Todd Sandstrum from Easton, Massachusetts, is also vying for the record: In September, he paddled a 1240-pound pumpkin for eight miles down the local Taunton River.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy
iStock
iStock

Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.

[h/t weartv.com]  

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Health
The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice
iStock
iStock

Every Halloween, children and adults alike gorge on candy. One estimate puts the number of junk calories consumed at up to 7000 per kid, the equivalent of 13 Big Macs. While all of that sugar is most certainly not healthy, Consumerist reports that there’s actually a more immediate danger to your well-being: black licorice.

Most versions of the candy, which gains some popularity around the spooky season, contains glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios