Halloween Stats 2017: Kudos to the Comeback Kids

Lowe's Skeletons!

Happy couple enjoying their minutes in the Halloween spotlight at a local hardware store before Santa shoves them out of the way.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and beneficent snack donation. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that thrives on taking head counts, no matter how discouraging the results.

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

2008: 51
2009: 105
2010: 112
2011: 74
2012: 58
2013: 36
2014: 25
2015: 39
2016: 23

This year’s surprising results:

First TOTer arrival time: 6:43 p.m.
Final TOTer departure time: 7:49 p.m.
Total number of trick-or-treaters for 2017: 59
Gain/loss from Halloween 2016: +156.52%

Even though temps were twenty degrees lower than last year’s, we more than doubled in attendance — our best showing since 2011. Well, eventually. Official trick-or-treating hours for the city of Indianapolis were 6 to 8 p.m., but those first forty minutes were a dead drag. But when they showed up, they did so in team after team. After one opening trio made the first move, they were followed a minute later by a twelve-pack of kids and their tagalong parents, staying in the background for security purposes, either chatting with each other or making sure their phones weren’t lonely. Solo child acts were rare; a few lonely but spirited parent-and-kid duos were in the mix as well.

It may have helped that I decorated our yard a few days earlier than I did last year, when I came distressingly close to putting them up same-day. It may also have helped that the neighbors across the street likewise had their porches and walkways prettied up for the occasion. Maybe our joint efforts as a block, albeit one where we never talk to each other, worked better this year at promoting a unified facade of Halloween welcome. All told, this felt much better than last year’s sinking feeling that we were doomed to a future with awful headlines like “How Millennials Are Killing Halloween”.

MCC extends an extra-special salute to those stalwart winners who understood the true meaning of Halloween and weren’t afraid of fresh air. The cosplayers whose raiment I could discern registered as follows:

Master Chief
Black Panther
Harley Quinn
Captain America
clown (shockingly not Pennywise)
racecar driver
something military
Power Ranger
Michael Myers
Jason Voorhees
2 Ghostfaces
2 witches
2 unicorns
3 Batmen
at least 6 princesses of varying pedigrees
Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Best of Show)

The majority of kids fulfilled their part of the Halloween social contract and said “Trick or treat!” out loud. Double candy was awarded to the quartet who shouted it at me like they trained for this moment for days at Halloween boot camp. Good to know we’re not raising an entire generation of mumblers. And thankfully this year none of the tinier children were frightened by the incessant barking of our dog Lucky, who was confined far from the door because he’s intolerant of strangers and rather rude about it.

At least two kids seemed impressed by our meager decorations; one found them confusing, which is acceptable. A few of my seasonal lawn objects are old and weird. I only set up half my collection because I wasn’t sure the full assortment would be worth the effort if only five or ten kiddos would show up to see them. it’s heartening to see signs that our neighborhood hasn’t gone entirely elderly or succumbed to isolationist paranoia after all. If the kids are still willing to help keep these traditions alive, then I will too.

Candy Corn!

And with that, the internet puts its anti-candy corn jokes back in the attic, where they can gather dust till this time next year.

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