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Halloween Stats 2015: The Comeback Before the Storm

Star Wars Halloween!

At Walmart, The Force infringes on the Great Pumpkin’s religious turf.

Once again our annual Halloween traditions were besieged with lousy weather that interfered with the one day out of the entire year that my neighbors and I agree to look at each other. Fortunately, this year Mother Nature compromised: temperatures were in the rather hospitable low 50s, much preferable to last year’s anti-seasonal snowfall, and the rains didn’t arrive till around 7:30. In fact, the precipitation was so gentle that we no idea it was even raining till I went to shut off the lights at 8:30. That went a long way toward explaining why we’d gone a full 55 minutes with no further visitors. Duh.


Halloween Dragon!

At our local home-improvement store back in September, this giant inflatable Halloween dragon tried to strike a pose despite the efforts of photobomber Santa.

Each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters who flocked to our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and benevolent snack donation. It’s partly for future candy inventory purposes, partly out of curiosity, and partly because it’s now a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that fiends for taking head counts.

Previous years’ Halloween candy-receiver totals were as follows:

2008: 51
2009: 105
2010: 112
2011: 74
2012: 58
2013: 36
2014: 25

As usual, I turned on the lights at 4:30 and stayed on duty till 8:30. The ultimate turnout arrived within a narrower 92-minute range, but the final results were an encouraging three-year high:

First TOTer arrival time: 6:03
Final TOTer departure time: 7:35
Total number of trick-or-treaters for 2015: 39
Gain/loss from Halloween 2014: +64.10%

Saratoga!

An outtake from our one-day trip to Terre Haute: local bar decorates for the holiday.

The cosplayers whose raiment I could discern registered as follows:

cute tiny Hulk (first kid at the door)
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1 unknown, 1 Leonardo armed with two swords)
The Scarecrow (as in the Bat-villain)
princess
pirate
Day of the Dead skeleton
skeleton covered in LED lights
ninja
spider
2 cheerleaders (1 costume, 1 actual cheerleader from our local high school, which is cheating)
Princess Ariel
policewoman
Minion
surgeon
fairy
Buzz Lightyear
grandmother

Best of Show: a Hello Kitty who recited the classic extended version trick-or-treater’s credo: “Trick or treat, smell my feet / Give me something good to eat!” At least one American child is being taught properly in school. That industrious pupil earned a double helping from me.

Honorable mention: my wife, last weekend.

Banana Anne!

Anne taught Sunday school in this quite snazzy outfit. The “banana” thing is an in-joke between her and her girls. We owe special thanks to the holiday suppliers at Party City for making this possible by opening strangely early on Sundays.

Most of the roving packs who approached our door did their duty and said their minimum three-word line. I had one staring match with a quartet that wouldn’t speak and just stared at me. I refused to move and stared right back at them. After a few seconds of awkward silence the one in front finally said the magic words and we got on with it. As I wrote previously:

Three words, three syllables: “Trick or treat!” It’s not a secret password known only to members of the Halloween Cabal. Anyone can memorize it. Some of your peers seem to have trouble vocalizing it. No one is expecting you to spout anything nearly as complicated as, say, “supraventricular tachyarrhythmia”. If I open the door for you, your response is THE LINE. Staring at me silently and expectantly will be rewarded with me returning the silence and motionlessness in kind. I can stay locked in that position all night if I have to. I might even make it worse with eye contact. Don’t test me on this.

…and I meant it.

Otherwise, I had the pleasure of meeting some decent kids and their grateful parents. I didn’t even mind the teenagers who spent maybe a buck apiece on masks and nothing else. Heck, I’m just happy to confirm firsthand there’s still life inside some of the other houses in our aging suburb. Despite the terror wrought by a handful of mild raindrops, tonight proved the old door-to-door holiday has a pulse, thready though it might be. Halloween isn’t ready to be stricken from the community calendar just yet.

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

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