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The Halloween spending habits are supposed to be second to Christmas but you can't tell it by how people are decorating. You used to be able to drive around and see other people's efforts when it comes to decorating. But lately you don't see much. The "normal" houses that decorated to the hilt don't exist anymore. Some people just set out a couple of pumpkins and call it quits.

I've also noticed that the retail stores are selling less and less Halloween stuff. Take Lowe's for instance. One end cap with Halloween stuff. but when it comes to Christmas, you will see isles and isles of stuff.

If Halloween is such a BIG money holiday, how come the retailers aren't taking advantage of this?

Is Halloween a dead or dying holiday? Will it exist in the future?

AND as far as newspapers goes, at least around here anyways, They would rather take pictures of someone's porch with a few Dollar Tree decorations than someone that STILL decorates to the hilt.

Sorry, just ranting... but the closer Halloween gets, the more depressed I get. I think I'm just gonna give up.
 

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I've also noticed that the retail stores are selling less and less Halloween stuff. Take Lowe's for instance. One end cap with Halloween stuff. but when it comes to Christmas, you will see isles and isles of stuff.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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It could be down in your particular area, but nationwide it appears to be getting bigger every year. In my case, once the kids grew up, there was less incentive to do a haunt. But now I've got a second family and we are rolling strong. Most people raise one set of kids.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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The big spending goes into the pro haunts.

We have one around here called "Night of Terror." It has been running for 18 years. They went around distributing their annual batch of $5 discount coupons and bragged about how they were generating $90,000 a day in revenues (and they operate only 18-20 days each season). This year they will be making significantly more, since they added a paintball Halloween attraction this year.

So a single pro haunt can easily be sucking $2 million+ out of that annual Halloween spending, and there are literally hundreds of them around the country. And there are thousands more fundraiser haunts as well. And then there are all the pumpkin patches, hay rides and corn mazes. Haunts other attractions probably suck 1/3 to 1/2 out of that $7 billion+ America spends on Halloween.
 

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As far as home haunts go, I think its all about area. Around here, I've noticed that twice as many people have decorated this year compared to last year. Not only that, but some of them began much much earlier than ever. One fairly elaborate yard display actually went up at the end of August. Based on attendance last year, my haunt, Rose's Haunted Graveyard will be bigger, more elaborate with interactive props and more scarers. On the other hand, the place I used to live which was much closer to down Orlando never had any decorations at all. If you saw a jack o' lantern outside, that was elaborate.
 

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I've also noticed that the retail stores are selling less and less Halloween stuff. Take Lowe's for instance. One end cap with Halloween stuff.
I do not know if this is the exception, but Lowes stores around here have always had about that amount (makes sense, considering they are more of a do-it-yourself hardware place than a regular type of retail store).

As far as home haunts go, I think its all about area.
I am inclined to agree. Many of the folks who decorated have moved, and with less kids, Halloween is not celebrated as much in this area; miles away, on the other hand, there is a massive, block-wide Halloween setup.
 

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Lately, I've noticed more home haunts in my area. Good news! The house across the street is also putting out a fair number of decorations. Very kid friendly whereas mine is spooky but it's great to see someone else on the street making an effort. Also, I know they have kids so maybe I'll get more TOTs this year with their kids and their friends.
 

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Here to burgle your turts
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I'd normally say it's just the area, but it seems like wherever I drive this year there's fewer houses decorated. Maybe here it's due to the bad weather last year and people leaving it until the last minute so it doesn't get damaged. Might also have something to do with it falling on a Thursday this year - hopefully it'll bounce back next year with it being on a Friday.
 

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Around here, home decorating seems about the same - maybe a slight increase. My sense is that more of the money and effort may be going towards costumes for grown-up Halloween parties.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Who knows...lots of people are just doing the set-up tear-down on Halloween so I don't see them because I am busy with my own haunt that day.
 

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I've seen one house with some decorations outside in my area ( a driving distance of about 2-3 miles) I always look when I drive around going places or just killing time ( my son is disabled and likes to just ride) 2 houses that have decorated the past few years have not this year at all, it's usually up well before now ( maybe they moved...both of them:eek: ) Every year it confuses me because I know the decor is being bought, I go into the stores enough to notice things gone, sold out, so someone has to be using it....but where??? I think I might go for a loooong ride this weekend , up into neighborhoods you wouldn't normally turn into and see if thats where all the action is.
 

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The Haunting Girl
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It is the area. As someone who has moved around a bit in the past few years, I can tell you that some areas are better than others. The whole set & tear down trend is in response to people (usually teens) coming through and either stealing or destroying peoples decorations. Neighborhoods go through cycles too. If the neighborhood is young (lots of kids and teens) people tend to decorate more, but as the neighborhood gets "older" people will decorate less and less.
 

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I feel the same, disembodiedvoice. Everything sells, but you can't find anyone using it.

I've started looking just this year to see which houses are decorating, and actually a lot are. More than I thought did. :)
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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In my sons neighbourhood, Lakewood, WA., there is a definite uptick in decorating for the big night. He started three years ago, and it's started to catch on. His 'hood is al older homes, built in the '60's, with massive yards and mature trees. The original occupants are slowly moving on and the next generation has kids. The cycle repeats...
 

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There are more homes where I am decorated. But we had a lot of new people move in this year. The lady on the other end from me has a huge display up. Sadly she also has a for sale sign so she won't be here next year. As it stands she was only here 6 months so no idea what that was about. But she is decorated for Halloween, huge cemetery and JOLs. The lady directly next store has 'cute' Halloween decorations out, but her daughter is only one so she's still too young yet. My decorations are out for lighting and some JOLs ect

I am not turning on the really creepy things on Halloween day until she brings her little one over. I will just plug in the misting JOL. She said she'd bring her little daughter early around 1pm, I don't want to traumatize the poor thing with a Grim Reaper leaping out at her or ghosts chasing her lol
 

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Never try to eat a zombie
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After starting my haunt more houses in the neighborhood are decorating. It used to be just me, but now alot of my neighbors are jumping on board!!! :)
 

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Seer of All
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In all honesty, I never knew of anyone who decorated to the extent that I do until I found this forum. The ones that decorate mostly use some bagged webs, hanging ghosts and a jack o'lantern or two, and that seems to be the same as it's been for quite a few years. When I was a kid, all anyone ever did was some paper cutouts and pumpkins, and I thought they were the coolest people alive, since my family did nothing at all.

I'm really not so sure about Halloween being second to Christmas as far as retail revenue. I've heard that back to school actually is a much higher grossing season. I guess it depends on who you ask.
 
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