Halloween by the Numbers

People were asking this week if we get a lot of trick-or-treaters. I wasn’t sure what to say because the truth is I’ve never actually counted — until last night.

In an effort to apply a little science to Halloween, I kept track of how many trick-or-treaters received candy, and took notes on their costumes to see if I could pick out any cultural trend among the local children.

We served a total of 63 trick-or-treaters. There was one adult, who was either dressed as a biker or an S&M enthusiast. I was not sure and did not want to ask.

The greatest number of costumes recorded fall into the category “unknown.” These were either impossible to distinguish by observation, or incomprehensible after explanation. This may reflect a cultural bias on the part of the examiner who is not up on every aspect of pre-teen culture.

A note on methodology. I tried not to ask young kids what they were dressed as. Generally speaking, adults should avoid chatting with young children who come to their door because it’s creepy. When I was growing up, there was one creepy guy who insisted that we do a “trick” to get our “treat.” He clearly misunderstood Halloween, which is about handing out a “treat” so you don’t become the target of a “trick.” I remember walking away flummoxed because I didn’t know any tricks. What a jerk! I hope somebody egged his house.

Anyway, the diversity of costumes was impressive. There were more than 40 different identifiable costume character types represented and it is difficult to establish any sort of pattern. Surprisingly, there was only one vampire — and there were no politically themed costumes. Here are the top costume categories:

[table ]
[attr style=”width:10px”],Type of Costume,Trick-or-treaters,
1,Hippie ,4,
2,Zombie,3,
3,Gypsy,2,
4,Angel,2,
5,Ballerina,2,
[/table]

All of this makes me wish I’d started recording this data ten years ago, because it’s only with that sort of history that you can pick out trends. Expect another blog post like this in 2022.

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