Not Just for Kids: Halloween into Adulthood

Starting every fall, it feels impossible to go into a retail store and not be surrounded by pumpkins, witches, and spooky scary skeletons. It is the most profitable time of the year for all candy manufactures and dentists alike: Halloween! So many of us have happy memories from our childhoods dressing up as some of our favorite characters and monsters on the one night of the year where it was not considered “rude” to walk up to people’s doorsteps and ask them for free candy.

It never really occurred to me until now how much of a phenomenon Halloween truly is for adults. Of course adults have celebrated Halloween in the past, but it seems that this number has gone up significantly in recent decades. I always used to consider Halloween to be THE holiday for kids (At least it was when I was a kid!). It seems that in this day and age, a big emphasis of Halloween marketing is aimed towards teens, college students, and adults almost as much as it is children. Is it because our more recent generations refuse to grow up? Is it because Halloween is an excuse to spend time with our friends and escape from our everyday lives for one night and feel like kids again? Or is it simply because of genius marketing strategies taking a once child targeted holiday and making it equally celebrated by adults? I’ll give you a one word that may be the answer to this mystery: Millennials.

Halloween Meme Aliens

The term “millennial” has been thrown around so much to the point where it almost feels more like an insult in some contexts and a complement in others rather than a term to classify a generation of people. However, I will say that it is very likely that millennials are partially responsible for the continued popularity of Halloween into adulthood. Statistics show that in the previous decade, 3 in 10 costumes were purchased for adults from Now, this statistic has jumped to 6 in 10 costumes purchased for adults. So does this mean we should expect to see more adults walking up to doors asking for candy? No, but what it does mean is that more and more adults are willingly partaking in the holiday. A new era of Halloween Is on the rise.

Halloween Meme Distracted boyfriend

Several marketing geniuses who distribute costumes for children to different stores this time of year have caught on to this new era of adulthood Halloween relatively quickly and see it as a way to make even more money during the holiday season. Many of these costume manufacturers have caught on to the fact that more and more adults are celebrating Halloween to the point where many of the costumes being made are marketed towards exclusively adults. Rubie’s Costume Company is a great example of this. The first image you see on their website is not of children in costumes, but adults in costumes. A great local example would be the store “Halloween and more” in Wilmington, which if you ever go inside, you’ll see a large variety of costumes for children and adults alike. The first time I went in, I expected to walk in and be embarrassed by being surrounded by only kids picking out costumes, but there were even more college students than children in the store!

Halloween Meme Batman

The way I see it, our generation of millennials is not only keeping the fun tradition of Halloween going for kids to experience as we did, but keeping some of that magic for ourselves so we too can keep experiencing that sensational feeling we once felt as kids. Many companies see this immense interest in Halloween from adults and take advantage of the situation by supplying costumes for adult consumers. In the end, it is a win-win situation for both companies and Halloween lovers. Everyone stay safe out there today and most importantly, Happy Halloween!

For further readings related to this topic, check out these links!

-John Williams