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What we spend on Halloween is scary
Americans celebrate Halloween in force
halloween parade 2019
Kids take part in the Halloween Parade in downtown Great Bend Saturday morning. The event is one of the ways millions of Americans celebrate Halloween. - photo by VERONICA COONS Great Bend Tribune

Halloween just around the corner, and little ghosts and goblins will be roaming the streets Thursday.

Anyone who has taken a stroll down Broadway on Halloween night won’t find it difficult to believe that total spending on related expenses for this holiday are projected to reach $8.8 billion nationally this year. Of this, over half will be spent on candy and costumes, the personal finance website Wallethub reported.

It is estimated that 172 million Americans will celebrate Halloween. It has been calculated that they will spend about $25 each.

Halloween retail spending was estimated at $9 billion in 2018, a little less than 2017’s record of $9.1 billion. It ranks second in holiday spending behind Christmas.

Other Wallethub stats:

• $3.2 billion: Halloween costume spending in 2019.

• $2.6 billion: Halloween candy spending in 2019.

• 36% of parents think 12 or 13 years old is old enough to trick-of-treat alone.

• 68% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween.

• 69% of Americans plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.

• 44% of Americans plan to carve a pumpkin.

• 49% of Americans plan to decorate their home.

• 29% of Americans plan to take their children trick or treating.

• 83% of Americans check their children’s candy for anything dangerous.

• 72% of parents admit to stealing candy from their kids.

• $4.65: Average retail price of a pumpkin (up 5.9% from 2018).

• $300-plus million: Annual revenue from ticket sales for haunted attractions, 80% of which are run by charities.

• $11 Million: Direct property damage caused by Halloween house fires each year.

• 42% of Halloween-night motor vehicle deaths involve drunk driving.

Here are some spooky facts from the United States Census Bureau:

• 41.1 million – the number of potential stops for trick-or-treaters to occupied housing units for the second quarter of 2019.  

• 59.1 million – the number of housing units where trick-or-treaters had to climb steps in order to fill their bags full of candy in 2017.  

• 16.4% – the percentage of U.S. households who think their neighborhood has a lot of petty crime.  

Hauntingly delicious economic statistics

• 1,342 – the number U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2016.  

• 3,430 – the number of U.S. confectionery and nut stores that sold candy and other confectionery products in 2016.  

• 991 – the number of formal wear and costume rental establishments in the United States in 2016.  

Spooky places

• Tombstone, Ariz. (estimated population 1,300)

• Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. (estimated population 10,057)

• Kill Devil Hills, N.C. (estimated population 7,202)

• Yellville, Ark. (estimated population 1,170)

• Transylvania County, N.C. (estimated population 34,215)

• Slaughter Beach, Del. (estimated population 232)

• Casper, Wyo. (estimated population 57,461)

• Scarville, Iowa (estimated population 70)

According to the, the most popular candy in Kansas are Reese’s Peanut butter cups, followed by M&Ms and Snickers. In the months leading up to Halloween, Kansans purchased over 248,000 pounds of Reese’s Cups between 2007-2018.

The top 10 candies nationwide are Skittles, Reese’s, Snickers, Starburst, candy corn, Hot Tamales, Tootsie Pops, Sour Patch Kids and Hershey’s chocolate.