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Consumers are proving they love Halloween more than ever this year with big spending on candy and decorations

2 minute read

We love Christmas. We especially love spending money on gifts long before summer is over and we’re doing so more than ever. But wait your turn, Santa.

Americans are on track to spend more than ever on Halloween this year. The National Retail Federation predicts we’ll spend $8.4 billion on costumes, candy, decorations, and even greeting cards. This is way up from $6.9 billion we spent last year; and still more than the previous record from 2012: $8 billion.

We start spending early

And most of us are just about in full Halloween mode. Twenty-nine percent of us start Halloween shopping in September. The vast majority, more than 44 percent, are getting to it within the first two weeks of October. By mid-month, everybody else joins in.

“Consumers are eager to celebrate Halloween, especially given that eight in 10 Americans will shop by mid-October. That is the highest we have seen in the survey history,” says Pam Goodfellow, Prosper Insights principal analyst. “Americans will enjoy taking advantage of early-bird promotions both online and in-store as they kick off the fall season.”

Where does all our money go?

Most people will buy candy, two-thirds of us will get costumes; but 70 percent of NRF survey respondents plan on buying Halloween decorations.

Decorating homes and yards is a big deal, so much so that shows just how much work we’re willing to put into Halloween with the top haunted houses in the nation this year.

“This year we paid special attention to haunted houses that are unique in their approach to making your heart race,” says James Olmsted, representative. “From locations in creepy old industrial districts to country farms and hayrides under the stars, each location has a unique approach to interactive horror, but all deliver the thrills and excitement that Halloween fans are seeking.”

Taking the top spot is House of Torment in Austin, Texas. The haunted house starts running this week and goes through mid-November with admission starting at $27. With three major attractions and twice as big of a space compared to last year’s house, House of Torment reigns supreme.

“The haunted attraction industry is growing and continuing to evolve. We are always amazed at how the owners, producers and artists up their game each year,” Olmsted says. “Immersive entertainment in America is growing as a whole, and haunted houses are no exception. This year we’ve seen trends in interactive elements, where patrons become a part of the show, and although in its infancy, virtual reality is starting to make its way into the industry as well.”

Other top houses include: 13th Floor Haunted House in Denver; Headless Horseman in Ulster Park, New York, Terror on the Fox in Green Bay, and Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride in Philadelphia. Texas had three winners in’s top 13.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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