EDITORIAL: Adults taking over Halloween

Number of children trick-or-treating is on downswing, adult costume purchases up

Iconic imagery of Halloween tends to be ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns and all things creepy and frightening, but it’s also the sounds of little kids at the door shouting “trick-or-treat” and collecting candy.

But our favourite non-statutory holiday is changing, for better or worse, from a kid-centric night to a big party weekend for adults to blow off steam as an alter-ego.

For people that think there are fewer kids coming around their neighbourhood to collect candy, they’re probably right. Kids of trick-or-treating age peaked more than a decade ago and has steadily declined (about 3.7 million now versus 4.1 million in 2002, according to Statistics Canada).

Instead, places like Value Village and innumerable Halloween pop-up stores are seeing steady year-over-year growth in ready-made adult Halloween costumes and spooky paraphernalia. A Scotiabank poll estimates on average B.C.’ers will spend more than $80 per person for Halloween get-up and candy, making the scariest night of the year a popular and healthy business.

Candy sales in October across Canada are the clear winner at $360 million last year, but costumes sales and rentals nearly doubled over the past few years to a $40-million business.

Like the evolving nature of Halloween, annual mayhem and property damage has largely gone down across Greater Victoria thanks to many municipalities regulating and imposing safety courses on people using fireworks, or banning fireworks altogether.

Police departments maintain a heavy presence on the roads during Halloween and its closest weekend (Saanich police say Halloween beats out New Year’s Eve for call volume), but fewer fireworks and stronger enforcement has meant a drop in fire department callouts.

Some people may grumble about a nanny state and taking their explosive fun away, but taxpayers benefit when their emergency services aren’t spending the night chasing spot fires from Roman candles.

Thursday night little ghouls will be walking the neighbourhoods, but Halloween only really becomes scary when the big ghouls misbehave.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary District 5020 president Rod McKenzie (in chair) agreed to test out the CVCDA ramp and experience it from the perspective of an individual who relies on a wheelchair to get around. McKenzie is being prepped by Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports Society president Stephane Roy. Submitted by CVCDA
Accessibility the focus of Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon

The Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon will look markedly different this… Continue reading

Calling All People: The Story of TemPeSt Grace Gale is currently in the post-production phase. Screengrab photo
‘A beautiful, inspiring person’: Hornby artist featured posthumously in film

The Island’s only murder continues to be a cold case more than 10 years later

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Work at Cumberland Lake Park is one of the areas Cumberland’s council wants to target with some grant funding. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland prioritizes economic recovery plans

Village is applying for grants that could help Bevan industrial site, park at lake

Comox Valley Unhoused executive director Sam Franey, right, is pictured at the Comox Valley Art Gallery with Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, BC NDP candidate for the Courtenay—Comox riding. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley man forms non-profit after five years on street

Sam Franey has steered clear of pills and booze, choosing instead to… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Comox Valley RCMP’s Insp. Mike Kurvers noted crime in Comox was up minimally throughout the quarter compared to the same time last year. File photo
Crime up minimally in Comox during second quarter of 2020

There was a two per cent increase in the number of calls for service within the town

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Most Read