Halloween, Take 2

Today is Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve). We reported on 1 October (http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/?p=629) about the rapidly growing financial value of the market in Halloween-related products and also noted last year’s Angus Reid Public Opinion (ARPO) survey on the observance of Halloween in Britain.

Fresh data are now available from a YouGov poll commissioned by The Sun newspaper and conducted online on 27-28 October among a representative sample of 1,571 Britons aged 18 and over. Full results have been published at:


18% of the whole sample said that they were planning to celebrate Halloween this weekend. This was 4% more than told ARPO in 2009 that they always celebrated Halloween, although an additional 45% then said that they sometimes did.

YouGov recorded no real difference in the celebration of Halloween by gender and social class. However, age was significant: 33% of the 18-24s and 28% of the 25-39s planned to mark the festival but only 15% of the 40-59s and 5% of the over-60s.

Regionally, Scots intend to celebrate Halloween most (28%), followed by Londoners (20%). Party political preference is also a factor: 25% of Liberal Democrats will be Halloweeners but 15% of Conservatives.

Even those who will not be Halloweening themselves are likely to get the ‘trick or treat’ knock on the door tonight. While 38% of all adults regard this as a harmless tradition, 44% (including 54% of the over-60s) consider it an unacceptable annoyance.

Of the 24% with children of the appropriate age, 38% think they will go trick or treating tonight and 56% not. The highest incidence is anticipated by Labour voters (45%), the 18-24s (47%), and residents of Northern England (44%) and Scotland (45%).

If you are planning to answer the door tonight, YouGov has some advice about what to hand out to the trick or treaters, based on its SixthSense children’s confectionery study. You can certainly forget about trying to palm them off with anything nutritious or non-sugary, and dark chocolate is not well-received either. See:


POSTSCRIPT [21 November]

A further Halloween poll was conducted in October by TNS Omnibus, among an online sample of 1,046 adult Britons aged 16-64. 25% said they would be personally celebrating Halloween and spending on average over £30 to do so. For the TNS press release, see:


British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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