Despite Hard Times, People Opt To Celebrate Halloween


Forgive me for not being caught up in the spirit of the boo, but I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since I was six-years-old. I dressed up as Buster Bunny from Tiny Toon Adventures. At the time (and probably still now) my teeth went perfectly with Buster’s aesthetic.

However, since then I haven’t paid any attention from the holiday as I don’t eat much candy and find people pretend more on any day of the week than they do in a costume in October.


But, most people don’t share my lackluster view of Halloween and even though it’s a recession there are lots of consumers out there spending their dough in celebration.

According to IBISWorld, a market-research firm, Halloween sales will reach a record-breaking $6 billion in 2009, up 4.2% from last year.

Toon van Beeck, a senior analyst for IBISWorld, told Time magazine: "A year ago, Halloween was all about escaping a crisis. This year, it's more about a celebration. It's a mood booster.”

A shopper conveyed those same sentiments to Time:

In spooky economic times, does Nicole Amaya, a college student who also works as a ticket agent at JFK Airport in New York City, really need the $200 worth of Halloween party supplies she's holding in two plastic bags? "No," says Amaya, 20, who just purchased a fog machine, black lights and spider-web decorations from Spirit Halloween, a specialty retailer. Amaya, who is throwing a bash with a friend, adds, "Honestly, it's hurting my wallet." So why suck the blood out of your finances? "With jobs and school, everyone is so tense," says Amaya, who lives on Long Island. "It's our a chance to step out of our element and go crazy a little bit. I've been working my ass off. It's my one day to go all-in."

I suppose maybe more of us should get into the spirit. I’ll dress up like someone with good credit for Halloween. How does that sound?

No good? Well, if that doesn’t work out, there’s always this idea:

How much do you plan on spending for Halloween?

If you want to play it cheap, I suggest celebrating Halloween on November 1. 

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.