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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