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A multi-coloured grid of halloween miniatures which reads Last-Minute Tips for Getting In on This Year's Halloween Trends

13 Halloween Trends That Can Help Marketers Fuel Their Winter Holiday Campaigns

Whether or not you happen to be a Halloween buff, Halloween is a pretty important event for retailers, both online and offline. Not only is Halloween 2022 gearing up to be a $10.6 billion retail event for retailers, but the increase in online searches around Halloween trends and Halloween-related stuff coincides with an increase in searches for ideas around the other fall and winter retail events.

That means people are looking for ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays during the same period of time. So, let’s talk about some of this year’s Halloween trends and how you can get in on those trends to drum up last minute Halloween sales, AND stay top-of-mind for the year-end holiday push.

People Love Halloween, and the Holiday is Spreading

Question it if you want, but people LOVE Halloween. The U.S. is one of only three countries where Halloween festivities are a big deal. The other two are Canada and Ireland. However, later on in this post, we talk about how Halloween is an emerging trend in the Middle East and North Africa.

Not kidding.

Halloween is celebrated in countries around the world… but it’s a whole big thing in America… which is why we tend to focus our Halloween marketing content on American buyers.

So, you can rest assured, this is not the Sweetest Day of the world, where your next door neighbor has never heard of it because he only moved here from Tennessee a few months ago. Halloween is different from place to place, but it’s still Halloween. And whether festive and cartoonish or dark and menacing, people all over the world take part in their annual Halloween celebrations.


The yearly uptick in Halloween-themed content usually hits Pinterest starting in June. Yes, June. That’s when people really start planning for Halloween (and Thanksgiving and Christmas).

You may have noticed that right around Independence Day, the Halloween-themed stores started showing up. Not long after, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns start lining store shelves and the sidewalks in front of stores. That’s because 24 percent of Halloween celebrants shop smart by planning their Halloween purchases in advance. And the early shopping is even more a part of our planning processes now that we know what it’s like to order products only to have them never arrive, or head to the store week after week only to find there’s still no friggin’ JIF peanut butter.

And we know it’s not just my peanut butter or my kids’ drink boxes that are MIA from store shelves. We’ve experienced kinks in supply chains across a bunch of different sectors last year. These days, the term “stock out” is pretty well known by a good number of us.

But don’t worry if you’re not reading this in June. The planning happens early, but the spending is done much later in the season. According to the National Retail Federation:

  • 10% of Halloween spending happens before September (in 2019, it wasn’t even 6%)
  • 35% happens in September
  • 40% of celebrants shop in the first two weeks of October, and
  • 15% shop during the last two weeks of October

Courtesy of: The Shelf



Actual Halloween spending really starts to pick up in September (or even a little earlier). On average, Americans plan to spend more than $100 per household on Halloween stuff this year. Not bad.

To put this in perspective, the average family spends $5 per person celebrating Thanksgiving Day and about $75 per household to celebrate the Fourth of July. As far as spending goes, Halloween is a mid-tier retail holiday.

By the time September 1st rolls around every year, shoppers have already spent about $500M on Halloween-related purchases. That means, Back-to-School, Labor Day, Halloween spending, and holiday shopping now officially overlap every year. But most Halloween spending (55 percent of it) happens in October.


Right now, they’re planning, Pinning, bookmarking, saving, Liking, Following, “tutorialing” and budgeting. So, it’s the perfect time to roll out your Halloween marketing campaign on social media to help you sell a lot now and sell even more over the next few months

The world’s spookiest retail event is growing, but it’s also evolving in some really important ways. We’ve put together a list of the things we see in the data that are shifting in this space. Plus, tips on how you can leverage this info to help you better target your Halloween marketing campaigns. And of course, each one of these ideas provides a seamless opportunity for you to incorporate influencer marketing, even if you’re not necessarily working with Halloween influencers.

Halloween Trend #1: Social media continues to play a key role in Halloween festivities

According to Statista, Facebook topped the list of social media platforms consumers rely on for ideas, with 20 percent of those surveyed saying they used Facebook to get inspired.  This year, YouTube is also grabbing a nice chunk of the social inspo traffic with 19 percent of those surveyed saying they use the video platform to find costume ideas. And with good reason – you have to see this video. 

Other popular platforms including Instagram and Pinterest are named among the top sources of Halloween inspiration for both decorations and costume ideas. According to the NRF: 

  • 18% of adults turn to Pinterest for ideas and shopping
  • 19% turn to YouTube
  • 20% turn to Facebook
  • 16% turn to Instagram

Women are more than twice as likely to go to Pinterest than men, and men are more likely than women to default to YouTube.

According to everyone’s favorite idea engine (Pinterest), consumers start their Halloween-related searches as early as May. From May to October, Halloween-related search volume on the platform consistently increases month over month. 

Halloween Trend #2: Pop Culture and Entertainment Fuel Tons of Great Ideas

According to Statista, 38.7 percent of Halloween celebrants will select their costumes based on what’s easiest to get. And 20.8 percent will go with one of the classic costumes – super heroes, giant hot dogs, witches – the usual suspects. 

But there are some really cool streaming-inspired trends popping off this year, too. 

  • 13.5 percent of shoppers will get their costume inspiration from recent TV shows or movie releases
  • 12 percent will reach back and get inspo from a old TV show or movie, and 
  • 11.49 percent will choose costumes inspired by social memes and trends.

Here are the Top 10 Trending Costume Ideas on Pinterest.

  • “Stranger Things costume ideas” increased by 22X
  • “Elvis and Priscilla costume” increased by 19X
  • “Patrick Bateman costume” increased by 18X
  • “Top Gun costume” increased by 6X
  • “Anna Delvey costume” increased by 5X2
  • “Harley Quinn halloween costume” increased by 4X
  • “Avril Lavigne halloween costume” increased by 3X
  • “Dani Hocus Pocus costume” increased by 3X
  • “Maddie and Cassie Euphoria costume” increased by 3X
  • “Lord of the Rings halloween costumes” increased by 2X

Now, if you recall, in 2020, Pinterest was the go-to spot for politically-correct Halloween ideas. The platform actually launched the Cultures Aren’t Costumes campaign to provide cultural context for costume ideas  to minimize the likelihood searchers would choose costumes that could offend. 

Halloween Trend #3: Halloween Has Officially Become a Thing in Some MENA Countries

Time to expand your ad targeting. Think With Google reports a 26 percent increase in Halloween-related searches in MENA countries this year after the holiday made its debut in in Saudi Arabia last year.

Much like what’s happening here, many of the costume-related searches are being fueled by the content people are watching on Netflix and other streaming services. For instance, Google reports that “search interest for ‘Squid Game costume‘ and ‘Cruella costume‘ crept up 900% and 215% respectively year-on-year.”

This is Halloween: Unveiling what consumers are searching for ahead of the spooky season-2
Source: Think with Google

Candy searches are also up in the region with searches for “candy corn” being up 150 percent and searches for Halloween candy up 165 percent year-over-year.

Halloween Trend #4: Candy Sales Are Up But the Door-to-Door Vibe Is Out Of Style

As you would probably expect, two of the most popular categories for Halloween spending are candy and costumes, both of which are fueled, in large part by trick-or-treaters. When Taboola analyzed searches around the term “candy bar” in the fall of 2021, it reported searches were 2495 percent higher in the 90 days leading up to October than they were for all of 2021.

Courtesy of: The Shelf


According to the National Retail Federation, in 2022, 96 percent of Halloween celebrants are planning to buy candy to celebrate, while 75 percent plan to spend money on decorations. Sixty-seven percent are planning to buy costumes (for themselves, their kids, and/or their pets), and 39 percent of Halloweeners plan to pick out Halloween cards.

While candy is definitely the most popular item people will buy for Halloween, it doesn’t account for most of the Halloween spending. The 96 percent of people who will buy candy will spend about $3.1 billion, while the 67 percent of people planning to buy Halloween costumes will be responsible for $3.6 billion in Halloween spending.

Courtesy of: The Shelf


Now, here’s something worth pondering… Before the pandemic overall candy sales were up, but slowing. For instance, between 2016 and 2018, candy sales dropped from $23.64 to $20.10 per person. There are a number of key factors that are contributing to this trend.

First, fewer families are venturing out for trick-or-treating. In 2016, fewer than 1 in 3 Halloweeners planned to go trick-or-treating, which, until then, was the lowest participation rate in recent history. Throw in a global pandemic and the number of people who planned to take their kids out to hunt for candy by 2021 was fewer than 1 in 4.

Another key contributing factor may be something we talked about in our back-to-school post and that’s that there are fewer school-aged kids in the neighborhoods these days. America’s aging up.

Family-friendly alternatives to trick-or-treating are cropping up all over the place. More community-focused Halloween activities are on the rise. So, while going door-to-door to get candy doesn’t seem to be as popular anymore, attending fall or Halloween events sponsored by local businesses or community organizations is gaining traction.

Older Halloweeners are further solidifying the “experiences” trend for Halloween by throwing costume parties and participating in fashion shows to display their costumes. More people are planning to throw or attend a Halloween party this year than go trick or treating – 25 percent compared to 24 percent. For young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, 43 percent of them have set their sights on a Halloween party.

And let’s face it – experiences like fashion shows and parties make for more engaging social media posts than trick-or-treating. These are also events that would work well as part of an event-based influencer marketing strategy.

Here’s a Halloween marketing idea for ya: Host a community event (online or offline)

In our post on Halloween marketing ideas for local small businesses, one of the ways we recommended brands boost their visibility and stay top-of-mind as we roll into the winter holiday season is to get involved in local Halloween festivities by sponsoring or hosting events like trunk-or-treat, drive-thru trick-or-treating for families, and even sponsoring costume contests.

This tactic employs Robert Cialdini’s rule of reciprocity, encouraging people (in this instance, it would probably be parents of the trick-or-treaters) to remember and patronize businesses that have offered something of value to their kids. Your good will won’t be lost on your customers.

Here are some ways this can shake out in an influencer marketing campaign…

Makeup brands can work with Halloween influencers or MUAs who specialize in horror and special effects makeup looks to teach parents and teens how to add gore or whimsy to the costumes of older kids using regular drugstore makeup. In high school, I went trick-or-treating as 1982 Carrie (the way she looked after that kiss from The Greatest American Hero made John Travolta and the blond dump pig blood all over her). We could never nail any makeup looks, so we had to go for themes.

L’Oreal has a specific Halloween Makeup Looks board on Pinterest where you can grab ideas and purchase products to create the different looks. Once you’ve chosen one, you can click on the pins to get the full tutorial and information on the products used.

Side note: The board repopulates its results when you sign in based on your previous searches around skin tone, hair texture, other content you’ve engaged with in the past.

Skincare brands can distribute samples of wipes and cleansing scrubs at costume parties, fashion shows, and dance clubs where local radio stations may be having costume contests on or before the big day. Costume makeup is no joke to get off.

If you’re interested in getting to kids and parents, publicize the event on social media by partnering with local influencers on Facebook and TikTok. You can supply local stores with branded, reusable canvas bags strong enough to hold treats on the big night then be reused after Halloween can get your name in front of parents. The goal is to go where the party is and find creative ways to get your products in front of partygoers.

Halloween Trend #5: Large Outdoor Decorations

Both the Halloween and Christmas seasons saw jumps in decoration sales as people sought safe ways to drum up holiday spirit while maintaining social distance. So, if you’re wondering if you’ve just been ignoring all the giant scarecrows and metal pumpkin yard stakes all these years, you haven’t. Super sizing our fall decor is just one of the ways we’re trying to keep the melancholy away and solidify our new normal

Per-household spending on Halloween decorations is up more than 50 percent over the last ten years from $20.99 per household to $31.89 per household. Not a bunch, right? Doesn’t seem like a huge shift in Halloween spending. But we’re talking a jump from $2.4 billion spent on decorations in 2016 and $2.6 billion spent in 2019 and 2020 to $3.4 billion this year.

Another Halloween marketing idea: Mis En Scene the HECK out of your office or store

So, this Halloween is going to have a lot to do with setting the mood, and getting people in the holiday spirit without necessarily having to get them into the store to do it. People are shopping earlier. Even as we write this article, we’re only a few days out from the second Prime Day of the year. And this is the perfect time to focus on boosting your visibility with some fun decorating ideas.

  • Update your window displays, storefront or facade with over-the-top holiday-inspired decorations.
  • Add offbeat Halloween elements to offices, conference rooms, and break rooms in parts of your office or building that are okay to post on social.
  • Sponsor a local haunt or a crawl of the 10 best Halloween decorations (with the owners’ permission and some fanfare, of course)

This may seem like a small thing, but it isn’t. You want your audience to like, trust, and support you. And that starts by being a brand that is actively engaged in your community – whether online or offline.

Consumers are looking to spend money with companies whose culture and values they can support. According to The 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose research, when it comes to patronizing purposeful brands, consumers are:

  • 4 times more likely to purchase from the company   
  • 6 times more likely to protect the company in the event of a misstep or public criticism   
  • 4.5 times more likely to champion the company and recommend it to friends and family   
  • 4.1 times more likely to trust the company  

Halloween Trend #6: DIY Halloween Costumes Are Inflation-Proof

Interestingly enough, even though more people are planning to spend money on decorations than on costumes, Halloween costume expenditures make up the largest share of Halloween spending.

Come on… don’t you remember how excited you were to dress up in your not-so-ridiculous pumpkin suit, Ghostbusters outfit or a witch with the most awesome pointy hat and magical wand?

Courtesy of: The Shelf


Of all the moms and dads who get dragged out on Halloween to beg strangers for sweets, Millennials are one group of adults who may be doing it willingly… without the kids.

How to use this info in your Halloween marketing strategy

A great Halloween costume is worth its weight in Likes, shares, and retweets. But for Millennials and Gen Z partiers, there’s likely to be a little innovation as well. That usually means planning well in advance and sourcing ideas on social media instead of store racks.

More than 30 percent of Halloween shoppers will source inspiration from online searches, compared to the 26 percent that will go in-store to find ideas. That means your content strategy has to get you found in searches for popular search terms like…

  • Halloween costume ideas (enormous number of monthly searches for this one with very little competition, comparatively)
  • Halloween costume ideas for couples (another big one)
  • DIY Halloween costume ideas
  • Creative Halloween costume ideas
  • Halloween costume ideas for groups (another surprisingly big one)
Courtesy of: The Shelf


That said, creating visual content that ties your brand into Halloween-related themes is key. Pinterest is an invaluable tool for sourcing inspiration for looks of all kinds. Even if your team does most of its targeting on Facebook and Instagram, it will only help you to partner with influencers who can help you repurpose your content for Pinterest, YouTube, and IGTV.

But you’re certainly not limited to just costumes and Halloween looks.


A screenshot of a post from Lush Cosmetics's handle on Instagram.
Source: On Instagram

We’re pretty fond of Lush Cosmetics. Lush has run some pretty eye-catching social campaigns (there was even one where everybody was naked!), and this one is actually pretty cool because it’s a branded Halloween post (#LushHalloween) that isn’t the typical Halloween promo post.

The post is promoting a detoxifying green tea face mask. But there’s no CTA. No coupon code. No talk about the mask being great for Halloween or for restoring skin after piling on horror makeup. And that’s part of what makes it effective as a Halloween marketing post.

Halloween Trend #7: Spending on Indoor Halloween Decorations is Up

In 2017, decorations tied with candy for second place in the top four Halloween spending categories. By 2018, people were spending more on their streamers, ghoulish cardboard cutouts, plastic cauldrons, dangling skeletons, perpetually hissing black cats and other creepily creative Halloween home decor than they were on candy. In 2022, 77 percent of Halloweeners are planning to buy decorations, totaling $3.6 billion.

How to use this info in your marketing strategy

Halloween decorators aren’t limited to the stuff you find in the discount stores. And people aren’t always so thrilled to throw purple and orange into their home decor. Both good news because it provides brands with an opportunity to help Halloween shoppers dream up Halloween decorating ideas that won’t ruin their decor.

Share Halloween Accent Ideas

For companies that sell home goods, crafts, used items, furniture, or interior design services the goal should be generating and sharing ideas that include your products. Think about coming up with ideas that will allow customers to transition their interior design from Halloween to Thanksgiving without completing revamping their home.

In the post below, I spy with my little eye… a chic white ottoman, what looks like a vintage clock – similar to something you’d grab from a resale shop and paint black, bats made from construction paper (hello, crafting with the kids!), an oversized mug I can make myself or pick up from my local discount store, a comfy-looking couch, decorative pillows that can be store-bought or made with a little bit of fabric.

Bonus: When it’s time for Thanksgiving, one would only have to swap out the pillows and the blanket, remove or replace the bats, and add warmer colors to the existing collection of knickknacks to make the Halloween-to-Harvest transition simple.

Know what would be cool? A post that shows how a shopper can double-down on seasonal decor by telling them how to use $57 to decorate for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Something like…

  • Spend up to $7 at your favorite Goodwill or local resale shop on an accent piece (clock, oversized plate, creepy painting (resale shops are BRIMMING with horrible, homemade artwork that can easily be rebranded as kitschy.
  • Buy 3 yards of the z-pattern fabric from Joann Fabric (on clearance this week for $3.97/yd)
  • Buy 5 yards of orange fabric from Walmart (regular price $1.99/yd)
  • Buy 3-piece floating shelves from Walmart $10.99

And so on and so on…

An image of a living room in Halloween theme from Brit Morin.
Source: Brit Morin on Pinterest

Craft-related brands already know how to make the most of this holiday. To go a step further, think about decorations that can easily transition to Thanksgiving. You can find a lot of ideas on lifestyle blogs, like this one.

A screenshot of a post from abeautifulmess's handle on Instagram.

Create Transformation Videos

Another smart idea for creating Halloween marketing campaigns or themed content is to show and not just tell. This strategy translates really well on social media.

Take this example from Lowe’s Home Improvement. They created a campaign where they showed, through Instagram stories, how to transform a vertical space from drag to fab.

A series of images on how to transform a vertical space from drag to fab from loweshomeimprovement on Instagram.

Halloween Trend#8: Halloween At Work

A significant part of our most recent post on Halloween marketing had to do with the concept of bringing Halloween to life at work by doing things like creating Halloween pop-ups that were gram-worthy, holding costume contests for employees, sponsoring a Halloween event for the local kids, and a few other really cool ideas that work for brands whether or not they sell Halloween-related products.

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

Fun fact: 1 in every 10 Halloween searches on Pinterest is related to office decor. So, the opportunity is there for you to suggest cool items for people to use to add a splash of Halloween spirit to their workspaces or even to transform entire office into haunted rooms.

An image of DIY Halloween decoration from HGTV Handmade YouTube Channel
An image of DIY Halloween decoration from HGTV Handmade YouTube Channel
Easy, DIY decoration for your desk! Source:HGTV Handmade YouTube Channel

Halloween Trend #9: Pet Costumes

Pet costumes account for 10 percent of total spending on Halloween costumes. In 2016, owners spent $420 million on Halloween costumes for their pets. A year later, that number was $440 million. That’s because 1 in 5 Halloween celebrants plan to dress up their pets for Halloween.

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

The pet industry is notoriously bulletproof. In 2020, 70 percent of U.S. households had pets. Heck, we’ve had a pig, hamster, three dogs, and for a short while, an orphaned squirrel just in the last two years. #lifeinthecountry

There is an opportunity here for marketers to zero in the focus for this Halloween on the furry friends who are considered members of every 7 in 10 households in America.

Marketers can do that by sponsoring live or virtual pet costume contests or fashion shows, or pet-person costume contests, and do it by creating a branded hashtag or using an existing one like #doghalloween (62,715 posts currently) or #doghalloweencostume (63,668 posts currently).

An easy voting system would be having users comment or double-tap. The comments and double taps will help you to boost engagement and provide one metric for determining the success of your campaign.

A colorful collage of three dogs.

Halloween Trend #10: Pop Culture Costumes

Coincident with Millennials taking ownership of Halloween is a trend toward sourcing costume inspiration from pop culture. TV character costumes, Halloween meme costumes, and celebrity costumes are on the rise. Overall, 11 percent of those polled said pop culture would inspire their costumes. For older Gen Zers and younger Millennials who fall in the age range of 18 – 24, that number was 34 percent – one in three.

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

The first tip is to stay relevant by keeping up on trends. And a simple way to do this is with Twitter and Instagram. A 10-minute cursory view of both platforms once a day will do wonders for you marketing strategies. If your team is able to push out content in hours instead of days, you can capitalize on trends in real time.

The next tip is to help people use what they may already have in their house. The Internet went sorta nuts a couple years ago when a 2016 lecture at Getty Museum entitled Designing the Middle Ages: The Costumes of Game of Thrones was mentioned in an article on Apartment Therapy that revealed Ikea rugs are used as capes on the popular HBO show Game of Thrones. The news increased online searches of Ikea’s SKOLD rug by 775 percent. Of course, Ikea released its own official instructions for recreating the GoT look with a pretty funny sketch.

a gird of 4 sketches of GoT look from ikea.

Halloween Trend #11: Grocery Stores are the New Front Porch

So, did anyone else have to take their candy to the police station to be scanned by the officers growing up, or was it just me? I remember the fun I had as a kid dressing up and trick-or-treating. I also remember CAREFULLY EATING candies that cleared the scan (not all did) hoping Daddy and his cop buddies got all the bad ones out.

Local businesses and community organizations have been taking an active role in reimagining Halloween without allt he risks I had to talk as a child. As a parent, this is one of my favorite Halloween trends. The idea of handing my little girls a piece of “some guy’s candy” is… umm… not really optimal.

Two years ago, I was in no hurry to get home and spend all evening denying the neighborhood kids treats, so my kids and I stopped off for a few groceries before heading home. I was surprised to discovered Halloween had been moved inside the grocery store – in the produce section.

So, in addition to picking up groceries, we spent more than two hours at my local Kroger playing in a bouncy house, decorating cookies, collecting treats, and playing games. My older daughter hung out with friends from school who were working as ghosts and operating games. My toddlers – though not in costumes like the other kids – got to “go fish” in the produce section… unfortunately they traded the fruit they fished out for candy.

Weird choice, Kroger. Then again… probably much cheaper choice.

The point is my desire to avoid Halloween unwittingly put me smack dab in the middle of a community Halloween party.

And it’s not just my neighborhood. More and more, retailers are becoming the community Halloween hubs because yeah… COVID.

Plus, it’s hard to uphold the “stranger danger” message when Halloween is so awesome for kids.

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

Create family-friendly experiences that parents (like me) can use to distract their kids from the fact that their friends are trick-or-treating. Usually, it’s not that kids want so badly to go; it’s more FOMO – they don’t want to miss out on all the fun their friends are having.

Your Halloween festivities can be the fun thing they look forward to this year. Marketers can use this time to not only build goodwill in their communities, but to introduce parents to new products like gummy vitamins (please, please, please somebody make more nutritious gummies for kids!), sauces, salad mixes, hand wipes, and snack ideas. Let them test the products for free at your event and you will get parents who are happy to add your product to their weekly or monthly shopping lists.

About half the things on my shopping list landed there because I got to try it for free first. Speaking of…

The fine folks at La Colombe can thank Ibotta for the thousands I’ll likely spend on draft lattes (genius idea). I literally have to go out of my way to get them, but… I get ‘em.

Halloween Trend #12: Gender Neutral Costumes

Of the $3.2 billion spent on Halloween costumes last year, $1.17 billion of that was specifically for children’s costumes. But for the past few years, the focus for both boys and girls has been on superhero costumes, relegating the former top costume choice of a princess to second place on the list of kids’ costumes.

The trend toward gender neutral costumes pushes against the idea of traditionally girl or boy costumes. And it’s not really about girls wearing costumes intended for boys. It’s more about there being more female heroes from which to choose.

A screenshot of a post from @platimewith_darrian on Instagram.
Source: Instagram @platimewith_darrian, posted with the permission of her mother, @ishine89

Were I to venture a best guess at the costume my preschooler would pick in a perfect world, I would say Colonel Nick Fury (not sure why she likes him so much), Megamind (again, what?), Thanos (she sees his point), Hawekeye (full disclosure: her older sister teaches archery), and Captain America’s shield.

Yeah. Just the shield. So…

She’s no unicorn. For the past few years, it’s been superhero costumes that have been the top sellers for kids regardless of age or gender.

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

You can win loyal fans and generate content that gets shared with parents who support gender neutral costumes (and who often can’t find what they’re looking for) by helping parents source the right suppliers (which you can do by repinning Pinterest pins) or by creating content that gives parents simple DIY instructions for customizing their outfits for the best fit, look, and experience for the kids.

Halloween Trend #13: Halloween Experiences

Experiences are a BIG part of Halloween celebrations. From attending parties , to driving nearby streets to see the decorations, to walking the streets to check out the costumes – Halloween is a visual holiday.

Among Halloween celebrants, 66 percent plan to hand out candy, 52 percent will decorate their home or yard, 46 percent will wear costumes, 44 percent will carve a pumpkin, 25 percent will throw or attend a party, 25 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 18 percent will visit a haunted house and 20 percent will dress pets in costumes.

Courtesy of: The Shelf


Haunted Houses

Hey. remember when haunted houses were literally a 4-person cart zigzagging on a rickety track through the detached container of a 18-wheeler? I do.

Today, the haunted house industry is… well, an industry. I want to tread lightly here, as the haunted attraction industry is still formalizing despite its explosive growth, and it’s not easy to find up-to-date stats.

Back in 2013, NBC News reported Americans spent around $7 billion celebrating Halloween. At that time, there were 2,500 haunted attractions around the world, most of which were in the United States. The haunted house industry was generating $300 million a year in revenue then. Since then, overall Halloween sales have grown by 30 percent, and Halloween participation is up 11 percent. It makes sense to assume the haunted attraction market has experienced growth as well.

Courtesy of: The Shelf


There re now 4000 haunted attractions in the U.S, not including the haunts you can check out in the local amusement park. In the U.S., 18% of the 200 million+ people planning to celebrate Halloween are also planning to visit a haunted attraction. That’s 36 million people. The averaged haunted attraction costs between $15 and $20 per person, with theme parks charging as much as $100 per person. I would estimate today, the haunted industry rakes in close to $1 billion a year, which backs up. Here’s a great quote I grabbed from Listverse.

There are more haunted houses in the United States than Targets.

Isn’t that quite possibly the most devilish thing you’ve heard today?

How to Use This Info in Your Marketing Strategy

Experiences are the bee’s knees, man. Haunted attractions have been labeled a 100 percent American export. The fastest-growing market for haunted attractions outside the U.S is the Asian market. As well, the rise of computer generated graphics in Hollywood movies has created an opportunity for makeup artists who specialize in film makeup and horror makeup to offer their services – at least on a part-time basis – to haunted attractions to help create different looks.

Lastly, the emergence of year-round extreme haunts and offshoots of haunted attractions like haunted hayrides, zombie paintball, escape rooms, and virtual haunted houses are on the rise, and making their post-pandemic comeback.

The science behind haunted attractions is that they provide a way for people to be downright terrified and to legitimately feel threatened but have an “out” so to speak. Haunted attractions are a great way to be afraid and in a safe place at the same time.

Corporate backing and sponsorships of haunted attractions is on the rise. Melissa Cardone’s Ten Thirty One Productions creates spooky hayrides and other haunted events in both Los Angeles and New York. Cardone got a $2 million investment (for a 20 percent stake in her company) from Mark Cuban during her Shark Tank pitch in 2013. Two million bucks may not be your thing, but drink startups may consider striking a deal with haunt production companies to provide energy drinks, soda, water or novelty foods. Smaller brands could target local haunts to provide novelty items, screen printed apparel, or partner programs that provide discounts for haunted house patrons who visit their establishment within the same day.

This Year’s Big Wrap-Up Isn’t Really That Scary

The big takeaway here is that people are loosening their hold on candy and trick-or-treating as the be all end all of Halloween. This current evolution of Halloween trends means there’s room for brands to dream up family friend experiences… or horrifying ones. Depends on your brand and your demographic.

A screenshot of post from @worldofsfx on Instagram.

Is anyone else thinking this is an amazing eyeshadow color? Source: Instagram @worldofsfx

But the one thing that is consistent throughout all eight of the trends we talked about here is that the experience you create has to be grand enough, interesting enough, and unique enough to make it into your customer’s Instagram feed. That’s the ultimate goal.

Sorilbran Stone Content Strategist

About This Author

Sorilbran Stone | Content Strategist

I serve as the resident content strategist and the official Head of Content Marketing at The Shelf. Marketing is my happy place. I’m as happy looking at analytics as I am actually creating a thing. I focus a lot on dreaming up and implementing the best ways to create, publish, and distribute content that will build your brand and get your audience to do a thing.

Struggling to come up with creative concepts for your influencer campaign?

We have strategists for that sorta thing.

Let’s avoid those basic-looking product placement posts. They generally don't convert anyway. Our campaign strategists work with our sales team + your in-house team to dream up multiple creative, fun, on-brand concepts for your influencer campaign. This way, your campaign not only reaches a bunch of people and gets engagement, you also end up with a catalog of really, REALLy great visuals to reuse across your own branded channels. (And you can download those suckers right from your campaign dashboard on our platform.)

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