Based on completely unscientific polls and research, here are ten reasons why adults love Halloween to the tune of spending 80 billion dollars yearly:

  1. Sex (from men’s angle). The big interest for men on Halloween seems to revolve around female costumes. Getting downright droolly on the Internet, one male commented he liked Halloween because he liked French maids and nurses in miniskirts. Another fellow chimed in with a list of HIS favorite female rigs which included “Hookers, Little Red Riding Hood, Catholic School girls, Cat-women, Wonder Women, Police women, Playboy bunnies, Elviras, Cheerleaders (oh man, those pom-poms).”
  2. Sex (from women’s angle). Contrary to our more modest past, women’s Halloween costumes now require ultra push-up bras, mini skirts, fishnet stockings and form fitting spandex. “Hot” and “sexy” describe today’s most popular female costumes.
  3. Escapism. For those trapped in rigid schedules and mundane lives, masks and costumes allow flights into scary, distant, exciting worlds normally only dreamed about.
  4. Nostalgia. Decorating pumpkins and houses and handing out candy to cute little witches, princess, pirates and cowboys invokes memories of earlier Halloweens in  freer, more innocent times.
  5. Fun. Halloween allows people to drop their everyday, controlled demeanor and act as weird or as goofy or as totally nut-so as they want without restraint or criticism.
  6. An Affinity with the dark side. Eric Wilson, author of “Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away,” says that humans have a fascination with the macabre — with blood and vampires and gore and ghouls and ghosts. Halloween puts them in touch with their inner monsters.
  7. No relatives. Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, Halloween festivities don’t include relatives. People can drink and party without stress or long-simmering resentments popping up.
  8. No cooking. Pretty much in line with #7. With the added attraction of cooks being freed from hot kitchens and preparing meals that will be unmercifully critiqued and compared to prior family shindigs
  9. Fascination with the supernatural. Two out of three Halloween lovers not only believe in ghosts, but 33% say they have actually encountered one. And 28% believe people can put curses on others that will be successful. (Voodoo dolls and pins anyone?)
  10. The final festival of autumn. As one forum reader wrote, Halloween is the last refuge of childhood before the darkness of winter.

I myself celebrate the holiday by snapping pics of Halloween characters around the neighborhood. How about you?

More on the Halloween Season, etc: