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How Much Americans Spend On Halloween

Linda McMaken

Ghosts, goblins and things that go "bump in the night" are frighteningly fun during the Halloween season. The holiday that celebrates all things dark and wicked has become the nation's second-largest holiday, raking in over $8 billion in sales . According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average American will spend about $80 this year on candy, costumes and decorations.

Price of Costumes
Dressing as your favorite character from cartoons and comics has become a custom. For kids going trick-or-treating, you can find Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man costumes. Child-sized costumes will typically cost you around $30 to $40, not including some additional spooky make-up and a handy sack for collecting all those treats.

Adults certainly don't have to be left out of the fun. Every Halloween has popular costumes, but usually they are a direct reflection of current pop culture. This year the favorite seems to be Big Bird. Prices for costumes of the "Sesame Street" icon range between $30 and $100, depending on costume details. Most retailers are reporting that they are already sold out of Bird Bird costumes. These prices, however, would fall into the average range of costume prices, but it isn't even close to some of the most expensive costumes to be released for this year.

Examples of Pricier Costumes
If you love all things Batman, a leather, form-fitting Batgirl costume complete with a mask and boots can be purchased for $399. If you're a "Star Wars" fan, you can purchase a Stormtrooper outfit for $999.99. Alternatively, you can spend less money and be Darth Vader, for a mere $799.

If you want to make people tremble with fear, consider buying a Predator costume. There is a costume available that rivals the one worn in the actual movie, but it costs over $6,400. You can purchase just the head for $400. If cartoon characters, movie icons or singing legends don't appeal to you, perhaps your inner geek would be excited about a "Tron: Legacy" costume, described by the seller as "not just a costume but as an authentic replica of the one worn in the movie." It can be all yours for $3,000.

Sometimes we all crave something completely different. For the purchase price of $1,000,000, you can be the most unique person at your Halloween party: a human slinky. It is a costume worn by the performer Veniamin in live stage and television productions worldwide. If you are the winning bid, Veniamin will autograph the human slinky costume for you and include five years of permission for you to perform in the costume. Plus, eBay will donate 10% of the purchase price to the American Cancer Society.

Price of Candy
If the price of costumes isn't in your budget , perhaps you'd just like to indulge in some candy for the holiday. Americans will spend an average of nearly $22 on candy this year. Before you indulge too much, consider that the average kid collects between 3,500 to 7,000 calories on Halloween. Those kids will have to walk for nearly 44 hours or play basketball for 15 hours to work off the calories from all of those treats.

The Bottom Line

The National Retailers Federation states that, "when the economy is down, Halloween spending soars." The reason is simple. People need something to celebrate, and they need to have some fun. After spending nearly two months planning and preparing for this deliciously ghoulish holiday, remember to carve a pumpkin and enjoy passing out the candy. Get creative with your costume instead of breaking the bank.

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