Halloween Data Visualizations!

It’s that time of year where everyone starts to enjoy all things spooky and scary – haunted houses, pumpkin picking, scary movies and…data visualizations! To celebrate Halloween, we have created a couple of data visualizations from a bunch of data sets. We hope you enjoy them!

Halloween Costumes

How do you decide what Halloween costume you wear? Halloween Costumes conducted a survey on this very topic. According to their data, the top way people choose their costume is based on what is easiest to make. Other inspirations include classic costumes, coordination with others, social media trends, and characters from either recent or classic movie or tv franchises.

Data on how people choose their Halloween Costumes. 39% of people base it on the easiest costume they can find, 21% on classic costumes (such as ghosts, witches, etc.), 14% on recent TV or movie characters, another 14% on couples/group/family coordination, 12% on older TV or movie characters, and 11% on social media trends.

The National Retail Federation also conducted a survey of the top costumes that adults were expected to wear in 2019 (there were no good data sets for 2020…). According to the survey, the most popular Halloween costume that year was a witch. Other classic costumes, such as vampires, zombies, and ghosts, ranked high too. Superheroes were also a popular costume choice, with many people dressing up as Spider-man or another Avengers character.

 

Data on the top 10 costumes of 2019. The top choice was dressing up as a witch, followed by a vampire, superhero, pirate, zombie, ghost, avengers character, princess, cat, and Spider-man.

 

Halloween Spending and Production

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending has significantly increased between 2005 to this year, with the expected spending this year surpassing 10 billion dollars! That is up from fifteen years ago when the estimated Halloween spending averaged around 5 billion dollars.

 

This is data on expected Halloween spending between 2005 and 2021. In 2005, the expected spending was 3.3 Billion dollars. In 2006, it was 5 billion dollars. In 2007, it was 5.1 billion dollars. In 2008, it was 5.8 billion dollars. In 2009, it was 4.7 billion dollars. In 2010, it was 5.8 billion dollars again. In 2011, it was 6.9 billion dollars. In 2012, it was 8 billion dollars. In 2013, it was 7 billion dollars. In 2014, it was 7.4 billion dollars. In 2015, it was 6.9 billion dollars. In 2016, it was 8.4 billion dollars. In 2017, it was 9.1 billion dollars. In 2018, it was 9 billion dollars. In 2020, it was 8 billion dollars. Finally, in 2021, it is expected to be 10.1 billion dollars.

With much spending invested in Halloween, it would make sense that the production of Halloween-related items would likely grow too to meet this demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture records each year the number of pumpkins produced in the United States. Besides one dip taken in 2015, it appears that pumpkin production has almost doubled in the past twenty years on average.

 

This is data on the number of pumpkins produced in the United States every year. In 2001, it was 8,460,000 pumpkins produced. In 2002, 8,509,000 Pumpkins were produced. In 2003, 8,085,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2004, 10,135,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2005, 10,756,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2006, 10,484,000 pumpkins were produced, in 2007, 11,458,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2008, 10,663,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2009, 9,311,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2010, 10,748,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2011, 10,705,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2012, 12,036,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2013, 11,221,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2014m 13,143,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2015, 7,538,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2016, 17,096,500 pumpkins were produced. In 2017, 15,600,600 pumpkins were produced. In 2018, 15,406,900 pumpkins were produced. In 2019, 13,450,900 pumpkins were produced. Finally, in 2020,, 13,751,500 pumpkins were produced.

Halloween Activities by Demographics

Finally, here are two statistics taken from the National Retail Federation again regarding how people celebrate activities based on age and region. As the data shows, younger people seem more likely to dress in costumes, visit haunted houses, or throw parties on Halloween. Meanwhile, older individuals are more likely to decorate their homes or hand out candy.

This is data about how people celebrate different Halloween activities by age. Those 65 and older are only 31% likely to carve a pumpkin (31%) as opposed to the 43-50% likelihood of other age groups. Those 55-64 are the most likely to decorate their homes/yard (58%) while 18-24 are the least likely (47%). Those 18-24 years old, however, are the most likely to dress in costume (69%) while only 18% of those 65 and older will dress in costumes. Those 25-34 are the most likely to dress their pets up at 30% with only 8% of those 65 and older doing the same. Those 65 and older are 81% likely to hand out candy, however, while only 51% of people 18-24 years of age will pass out candy. Those at ages 35-44 are 38% likely to take their children trick-or-treating, while only 13% of those 65 and older do so. The 18-24 year old demographic are the most likely to throw or attend a party (43%), while 11% of those 65 and older do the same. Similarly, 18-24 demographic are the most likely to attend a haunted house at 32% while only 3% of those in the 65 and older range do the same.

At the same time, there seems to be not too huge of a difference in celebrating by region, apart from those living on the west coast being more likely to dress up or those living in the northeast more likely to hand out candy. Other than those two differences, it seems that most regions celebrate the same Halloween activities in the same proportions.

This is data about how people celebrate different Halloween activities by region. 42-46% of people carve a pumpkin (with those in the Midwest on the higher end and the South on the lower end). 50-54% of people decorate their home or yard with the Midwest and Northeast on the higher end and the South on the lower end. 41-52% of people dress in costume with those living in the West on the higher end and the Midwest on the lower end. 19-22% of people dress their pets with those living in the West on the higher end and the Midwest on the lower end. 64-70% of people hand out candy with the Northeast on the higher end and the West and South tied on the lower end. 22-26% of people take their children trick-or treating with those living in the Midwest and South on the higher end and the West on the lower end. 25% of people throw or attend a party equally across regions. 17-19% of people visit a haunted house with the Midwest and South on the higher end and the West on the lower end.

 

We hope these data visualizations got you in the mood for spooky, Halloween fun! From all of us at the Scholarly Commons, Happy Halloween!

Scary Research to Share in the Dark: A Halloween-Themed Roundup

If you’re anything like us here in the Scholarly Commons, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here. It’s time to put on a costume, eat too much candy, and celebrate all things spooky. That’s right, folks. It’s Halloween and we couldn’t be happier!

Man in all black with a jack o' lantern mask dancing in front of a green screen cemetery

If you’ve been keeping up with our Twitter (@ScholCommons) this month, you’ve noticed we’ve been sharing some ghoulish graphs and other scary scholarship. To keep the holiday spirit(s) high, I wanted to use this week’s blog post to gather up all our favorites.

First up, check out the most haunted cities in the US on The Next Web, which includes some graphs but also a heat map of the most haunted areas in the country. Which region do you think has the most ghosts?

If you’re more interested in what’s happening on across the pond, we’ve got you covered. Click on this project to see just how scary ArcGIS story maps can be.

https://twitter.com/ScholCommons/status/1187058855282462721

And while ghosts may be cool, we all know the best Halloween characters are all witches. Check out this fascinating project from The University of Edinburgh that explores real, historic witch hunts in Scotland.

The next project we want to show you might be one of the scariest. I was absolutely horrified to find out that Illinois’ most popular Halloween candy is Jolly Ranchers. If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters tonight, please think of the children and reconsider your candy offerings.

Now that we’ve share the most macabre maps around, let’s shift our focus to the future. Nathan Yau uses data to predict when your death will occur. And if this isn’t enough to terrify you, try his tool to predict how you’ll die.

Finally, if you’re looking for some cooking help from an AI or a Great Old One, check out this neural network dubbed “Cooking with Cthulhu.”

Do you have any favorite Halloween-themed research projects? If so, please share it with us here or on Twitter. And if you’re interested in doing your own deadly digital scholarship, feel free to reach out to the Scholarly Commons to learn how to get started or get help on your current work. Remember, in the words everyone’s favorite two-faced mayor…

A clip of the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas saying There's only 365 days left until next Halloween

Spooky Photoshop Tricks

This coming Monday is October 31st, known to most as Halloween. Besides passing out candy and dressing up, Halloween can be a fun opportunity to learn some new effects for your Photoshop skill book. Below is a short tutorial on how to turn a relatively normal photo into a creepy, grainy one!

To start, I’ll take this photo of a photogenic Labrador Retriever and add a grainy film effect to it, so he’ll end up looking like he’s Nosferatu’s dog. The steps are as follows:

Spooky 1

  1. There are a few ways to create a black and white image, but for this image I’ll be choosing to just put a Black & White adjustment layer on it. From there, I’ll fiddle with the controls to find what looks best for my image. (So, for my dog, I adjusted the preset to Maximum Black so that the shadows really come through.)
  2. After that, you can add any other adjustment layers you think will improve the image. So I added a Brightness/Contrast layer, where I lowered the brightness to -45, and increased the contrast to 20.
  3. Create a new layer beneath your adjustment layer and name it something like “Scratches.” Select the brush tool and make sure that the size is down to 1 pixel, and hardness is up to 100%. Choose a mid-tone grey color, then create a few random “scratches” on top of the photo to give it an authentically old look.
  4. Once you’ve done that, select the layer with your original photo. Go to the Filter option on the top ribbon. From the drop down menu choose “Noise” and from there, “Add Noise.”
  5. From there, you will see a pop up screen with options for your Add Noise Filter. For this particular effect, I would suggest checking the box for monochromatic noise. You can choose either uniform or gaussian — I stuck with uniform. Play around with the percentage and see what works for you. I ended up with 38.07% for my photo.
  6. Crop however you’d like.

Spooky 2

There we have it! Your photo now looks older and creepier. Feel free to add some other effects, if you’d like. I decided to add a Hue/Saturation layer to the dog to make him green, use the burn tool on his eyes to make them darker, add and transform some text, and to add a little spider in order to make him Sparky the Zombie Dog!

Zombie Dog