Halloween ranks fifth on the list of holidays on which Americans spend the most money, behind Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. According to studies done by the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade organization, Americans spend upwards of nine billion dollars between August and November on Halloween. BILLION! That’s more than I make an entire year! And that figure has nearly doubled in the last decade. I mean the amount we spend on Halloween, not my annual salary. Whew – now I need some candy.
In fact candy is the most purchased item, especially in the South. It speaks to the generous nature of the American Southerner, doesn’t it? An article on Southernkitchen.com reports that South Carolinians will buy in excess of fifty-seven tons of candy corn this year. However, this is not going to be a candy review blog unless I encounter something truly unique. That said, I’m a fan of the limited edition M&Ms “Cookies & Screeem” that the chocolate giant releases each year since 2017.
They can be found at the big box stores like Walmart, Target, and CVS, but you’ll have to be fast – they sell out quickly. Also now I am thinking about a giant made of chocolate.
Second in shopping dollars spent, and not even really close behind, are home decorations, then costumes, party items, and entertainment (haunted attractions, movies, music, games, etc.).
Any day now you’re going to see a SPIRIT HALLOWEEN store appear, like an apparition, in a once-vacant retail space. The pop-up store is a chain that operates between September and November nationally, but here in South Carolina, local treasure HALLOWEEN HIGHWAY is open all year to satisfy folks like us! Located at 333 S. Pleasantburg in Greenville, the warehouse sized facility has costumes, decorations, and every day in October – A HAUNTED ATTRACTION inside – for FREE! What a gem! I make a point to attend every year, and the walk-thru maze is packed with creepy atmosphere and animatronic frights! There are no live actors to jump out at you, but there are some genuinely spooky moments in it – and of course all items feature can be purchased in store.
In the weeks to come, I will showcase other haunted attractions that populate the Carolinas, several of them regular features among the Top 10 Best Haunts in the nation!
All photos by Todd Livingston
Photo by Todd Livingston
Do you suffer Post Halloween Depression? When you get a new wall or desk calendar, do you immediately turn to October and circle the 31st? On the first hot day of summer are you already over the heat and ready for Autumn’s chill and falling leaves? If so, I bid you welcome.
Haint Misbehavin will be your one-stop entertainment guide for the Carolinas: From haunted attractions, both professional and amateur, to Halloween-related events and spook-tacular products, we’ll find them, review them, and share them!
I’ve spent my life being enamored of Halloween and the season leading up to it. When I was a kid I would beg my mom to let me stay up late and watch the weekly monster movie on TV. I grew up to forge a niche in the horror genre, becoming a best-selling and award-winning author, and film & television writer/producer/director. I collect classic horror movie art and memorabilia. I am never too far from the macabre.
Haint Misbehavin will showcase the best the Carolinas has to offer and extend the Halloween season from a few weeks in the Fall to all-year round!
Do you have a favorite haunt that you don’t see here? Let me know!