A spookier season: These 10 states are the most Halloween-obsessed in the US, survey shows

A spookier season: These 10 states are the most Halloween-obsessed in the US, survey shows

Mary Walrath-Holdridge

What makes a truly festive Halloween season? Is it the elaborate costumes, the stashes of candy, the thrill of haunted houses, the glow of a carved jack-o’-lantern? Or maybe the chilling decorations, horror-movie watch parties and the thrum of the Monster Mash playing on repeat.

Whatever your favorite part of the spooky season happens to be, there is no shortage of places to visit and get your ghoul on. If you’re a huge Halloween aficionado, however, you may have already exhausted all the corn mazes, haunted hayrides and costume parties in your local area.

You may have even explored all the epicenters of local lore and sneaked through an allegedly haunted house or tunnel or two. With some time still left in October to make the most of All Hallows Eve, thrill seekers may look outward for a few fresh experiences. The truly dedicated may even ramp up for a haunted road trip for some nearby scares.

If you’re looking for the best spots to swing by and celebrate before the skeletons come down and the candy corn is packed away, check this list of the top 10 Halloween-obsessed states in the U.S.

The Halloween Spirit: How the retailer shows up each fall in vacant storefronts nationwide

Top five Halloween hotspots of 2023

In a report compiled by ConsumerAffairs researchers, Halloween cheer is put to the test through a series of 10 different metrics. The methodology, which can be read in full on ConsumerAffairs’ website, took into account Halloween-themed online activity and local Halloween attractions.

Using population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate per-capita stats in each state, they gave each a score out of 10. Halloween-related local attractions in each state made up 60% of the score, including scores for number of haunted attractions per capita, pumpkin patches per capita and number of Spirit Halloween stores per capita.

YouTube and Google Trends searches accounted for 15% and 25% of the scores, including inquiries for Halloween music, Halloween decorations, costumes, movies, candy, crafts and pumpkin spice lattes. These scores were all weighted and added together to create a total Terror Tally for each state.

Read More:   Two Thermal schools & CVUSD office briefly placed on lockdown due to police activity

#1. New Hampshire

With states like Massachusetts (hello, Salem!) and Texas (with a huge list of ghost sighting) on the map, the location of the 2023 Halloween headquarters may come as a surprise.

New Hampshire topped the list with a huge number of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, ghost tours, haunts and costume stores. In fact, Spirit Halloween seems to have turned the state into a sort of mecca, with 16 stores serving the state’s 1.4 million residents.

Pumpkin festivals in Keene and Milford, the Spookville Haunted Trail in Nashua and the graveyard tour at Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough are among the most beloved attractions.

  • Number of haunted attractions: 12
  • Number of pumpkin patches: 29
  • Number of Spirit Halloween stores: 16
  • Most popular Halloween decoration: Bats
  • Most haunted town: Claremont

#2. Maine

If you’ve read or watched a few Stephen King works in your time, you’ve consumed something spooky set or written in the state of Maine. New England is known for old structures and historic locations thanks to its significance in American history and Maine is certainly no exception.

Maine embraces this reputation and so do its residents, according to ConsumerAffairs’ research. Mainers love to celebrate with Halloween crafts and their home state boasts the most pumpkin patches per capita.

Classic horror fans can visit the house of the king himself with tours of Stephen King’s Derry, Maine (a real tour for King’s fictional interpretation of Bangor). You can even stop by King’s house itself. Of course, with such a rich history, there are also plenty of haunted walking tours that meld fun and a little bit of education.

  • Number of haunted attractions: 11
  • Number of pumpkin patches: 59
  • Number of Spirit Halloween stores: 5
  • Most popular Halloween decoration: Black cat
  • Most haunted town: Sanford 

#3. Utah

In Utah, it’s all about the scary movies. This makes sense, considering several of the “Halloween” flicks were filmed in the state.

Google search data shows that Utahns search “Halloween movies” more than any other state’s residents. Those looking for costumes of their favorite horror villains and heroes will likewise have no issue, since Utah also boasts the second-highest number of Spirit Halloweens per capita.

Read More:   Hundreds killed in explosion at a crowded Gaza hospital

Utah also boasts a number of unique haunted houses and attractions, including the Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus, the Fear Factory in Salt Lake City and Kuwahara’s Pumpkin Patch & Thriller Park.

  • Number of haunted attractions: 28
  • Number of pumpkin patches: 24
  • Number of Spirit Halloween stores: 27
  • Most popular Halloween decoration: Bats
  • Most haunted town: Midvale

#4. Idaho

Idahoans indulge in all of the most iconic components of the holiday, showing a love for Halloween decorations, movies, music, crafts and candy at a rate higher than the national average.

Idaho goes in extra hard on the paranormal side of things, filling the state with festivals, parades, ghost tours, hayrides, paranormal events and more.

Ghost hunters can visit the Haunted Mansions of Albion, the Old Idaho Penitentiary or the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital in search of proof of the great beyond.

#5. West Virginia

Rounding out the top five is West Virginia, a state delighted by decorations. West Virginians search for “Halloween music” on YouTube the most of any state and likewise search Google for “Halloween decorations” at a higher rate than any other state.

They also have the second-highest online interest in Halloween costumes and Halloween movies, after Kentucky and Utah, respectively.

West Virgina is home to one of the most infamous haunted locations in the U.S., the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, which does offer tours. Other notable attractions include Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm in Lewisburg and Fear on the Farm in Winfield.

Haunted road trip: Top 10 most popular haunted US locations to visit for a Halloween road trip

Rounding out the top 10 spooky states for Halloween lovers

These states didn’t quite make the top five, but they still placed in the list of the spookiest locations.

  • Kentucky scored high in searches for Halloween candy, decorations and costumes. Kentuckians sure love a good dose of holiday shopping!
  • Vermont is known for beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, so it may come as no surprise that there are an abundance of pumpkin patches to visit here. Vermonters also enjoy setting the spirit with Halloween music and candy.
  • Indiana likes a little bit of everything, especially some good ol’ fashioned dressing up.
  • South Dakota is full of haunted houses and pumpkin patches, two Halloween classics. The state’s residents also like to make merry by throwing on some mood music and getting to work on crafts.
  • Montana hopefully has an abundance of coffee shops, as the state is full of pumpkin spice latte lovers. Montanans also relish the sounds of the season with some music while sipping their sweet coffee treats.

html a.nsb-link,html .primary-content a.nsb-link{box-shadow:0 0;cursor:pointer;height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-right:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);text-shadow:none;width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}a.nsb-link span{max-width:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;visibility:hidden}.nsb-svg{height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}.nsb-twitter-button{fill:var(–social-twitter,#4099ff)}.nsb-email-button{fill:var(–color-dove-gray,#787878)}.nsb-facebook-button{fill:var(–social-facebook,#3b5998)}.nsb-sms-button{fill:var(–color-ui-green,#008c33)}.nsb-svg.gallery{fill:var(–color-ui-white,#fff)}FacebookTwitterEmail