SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Halloween gets older, more low-cut
An editorial / By Dale McFeatters
Scripps Howard News Service


October 30, 2006

It has been true for quite a while that Halloween is not just for kids anymore, but just in the last year it has become truer than ever.

The little kids will still sally forth Tuesday night with their goodie bags, dressed as princesses, witches and Spiderman - the three most popular costumes for youngsters - but more and more the night belongs to adults and retailers.

Halloween revelers of all ages will spend $4.96 billion this year on food, drink and costumes, up an astonishing 51 percent over last year. And the number of people celebrating is up 20 percent over last year. Halloween is now the sixth-biggest retail spending holiday of the year, says the National Retail Federation, which, for obvious reasons, tracks these numbers closely.

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The boom is fueled by adults, especially the younger ones; over 85 percent of those 18 to 24 plan to party. And they have introduced a new element into the equation. Do a Google search of "sexy Halloween costumes" and you get over 5 million hits.

The 12th-most-popular costume for grownups is, as it is delicately put, "woman of the night." As for the other side of the law, there's a police costume with hot pants, handcuffs and decidedly non-regulation neckline. The French-maid and nurse costumes are a far remove from scrub brushes and bedpans.

Big girls want to dress like bad girls, it seems, and little girls want to dress like the big girls, which has many parents riled. Witch costumes for kids are basically pretty puritanical, with the all-enveloping black cape, so it can be tough to explain away the skimpy two-piece variety with black mesh stockings. The only similarity is the pointed hat.

Men's costumes tend to be heavily influenced by the movies and TV. Thus, pirates will be big this year because of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

To the little kids, we say be safe and have a happy Halloween, and to the adult pirates and witches, we say plunder and curse responsibly.


Contact Dale McFeatters at McFeattersD(at)
Distributed to subscribers for publication by
Scripps Howard News Service,

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