Halloween Activities

With exactly one week to go to Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve), one-third of Britons may be planning to observe the day in some way, according to a new poll. TNS interviewed 1,030 British adults aged 16-64 online on 27-29 September 2011 about their expected activities during the month of October. Results are available at:


From a checklist, 32% of respondents said that they were planning to buy food and drink for Halloween and 32% other items for the day, such as sweets and decorations. Anticipated observance rose to one-half for those who were parents of children living in the household, falling to one-quarter for those without resident children.

More generally, two-fifths of younger people (aged 16-44) intended to make Halloween-related purchases. There was a sharp falling-off among the older age groups, with only 13% of the 55-64s expecting to buy food and drink and 19% other Halloween products. There were no great differences by social grade, but there were regional variations, with two-fifths of Scots planning Halloween purchases against one-quarter of Londoners.

Far fewer of the sample, 12%, thought they might go trick or treating. The proportion rose to 29% for parents of children in the household, compared to 5% who had no children at home. It was somewhat under one-fifth for those aged 16-44 but a mere 2% for the 55-64s. At 9%, the number was lower in the Midlands than in the rest of Britain (13%).

These percentages derive from a survey conducted one month before the event, and it remains to be seen whether expectations will be translated into actions. If they are, however, it looks as though Halloween’s penetration of British society (from Ireland and America) may be steadily increasing.

Our two posts of 1 and 31 October 2010 give some indication of the findings of previous polls and of the economic value of the Halloween retail market. See:



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One Response to Halloween Activities

  1. Clive Field says:

    A Vision Critical online poll for Sainsburys on 19 and 20 October 2011, among 2,004 adult Britons aged 18 and over, suggested an astonishingly high degree of intended Halloween observance. Apparently, 75% of respondents said they would host or attend a Halloween party and 72% that they would dress up in Halloween costume. Ideally, we would need to see the full questions and data before validating these numbers. Unfortunately, all that is in the public domain at present is a press release from Sainsburys which, predictably enough, is largely preoccupied with maximizing sales of their Halloween products. See:


    Another Vision Critical online poll, this time for Santander Insurance on 25 and 26 October 2011 among 2,005 adults, found that 22% supported a ban on trick-or-treating this year, in the wake of the August riots, with 50% wanting to introduce mandatory parental accompaniment of children engaged in trick-or-treating. 43% wanted a prohibition on people wearing masks obscuring the face over Halloween and 31% on wearing hooded tops. Amazingly, the Santander press release is only accessible online to accredited journalists, but the story has been fairly well covered in the print and online media, largely informed by a Press Association brief. So Google etc. should help any BRIN readers wanting to find out a bit more about the survey.

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