Halloween is now one of the biggest festivals of the UK calendar – but it hasn’t always been this way.
Decades ago Halloween was a lesser festival to bonfire night, the effigy-burning festival marking Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the houses of parliament on November 5 1605.
But that has arguably been eclipsed by the ghoulish spectacle, with market research firm Mintel finding Britons are to spend £419m on Halloween this year, rising by about 5% since 2017.
Research suggested more than half of people in the UK spent money on Halloween in 2017.
Money is most likely to be spent on chocolate and sweets, decorations and fancy dress.
Enthusiasm for costumes and candy was even higher among certain groups: Around 85% of parents of under fives spent money, while the proportion among young millennials was around 77%.
That doesn’t come close to the appetite for Halloween in the United States, where homes are decked out with spider webs and pumpkins for much of October and 69.5% of people planned to spend money, according to Statista.
Many outside of the United States think the spread of Halloween globally is an unwelcome American export.
In the German poll, 48% regarded the festival as an import from the US that could displace German culture, while 65% considered the festival a commercial celebration.
A 2013 UK survey by YouGov found similar attitudes among Brits: Then, just 22% of those surveyed planned to celebrate Halloween, while 78% said they disapproved of pranks being played as part of the holiday.
This hasn’t stopped Britons participating wholeheartedly in the celebrations, however: Mintel’s analysis found 17% of Halloween purchasers spent £26-50 on the party, with about a quarter spending £10-£25.
“Halloween continues to grow in popularity benefiting from the booming leisure market,” Chana Baram, a retail analyst at Mintel said.
“Once again, sales are set to increase as retailers dedicate more shelf space and merchandise to this key seasonal event.”