America's Favorite Halloween Traditions

Published August 15, 2022
Children trick-or-treating as a Halloween tradition in United States

Halloween in the USA is a big deal. It's one of the biggest holidays of the year, with kids in every state looking forward to the flow of candy. Learn a few Halloween traditions that are uniquely American. While Halloween might have roots in Europe, the United States does have its own fun Halloween traditions.

Haunted Houses and Corn Mazes Are an American Tradition

children visiting corn maze as a Halloween tradition

Who doesn't enjoy a good haunted house? Walking around with your besties waiting for the scares to happen has become an October tradition. Haunted houses aren't a new thing or even an American tradition; the origins of the haunted house started in Europe. However, America has made Halloween haunted houses an October pastime.

The author of Trick or Treat - A History of Halloween, Lisa Morton, discusses how Halloween haunted houses became an American tradition to tame tricksters during the Depression. But Walt Disney made them an icon in 1969 when he created Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Now, people across the U.S. love to spend the month of October getting their wits scared out of them wandering around haunted houses.

Candy Corn Craze of USA

candy corn in bowl Halloween tradition in United States

You can't go anywhere in America around Halloween without seeing a little candy corn. It's a uniquely Halloween candy. In fact, October 30th is National Candy Corn Day in the U.S.

The National Retail Federation points out that Halloween is a billion-dollar business. Part of that billion-dollar business is the purchase of candy corn.

Commercialized Costumes Are an American Halloween Tradition

children in commercial Halloween costumes

One of the fun parts of Halloween is becoming something else for one night, from your favorite princess to a ghoul. Typically, countries around the globe that celebrate Halloween include costumes. However, in the United States, costumes are more commercialized than in other countries. While you might see the occasional traditional ghost or wonky witch, more often, the U.S. opts for non-traditional costumes. You typically see little kids running around as their favorite movie characters or superheroes.

You can also find the "sexy" versions of costumes available in stores. According to History.com, "sexy" versions of costumes became an official version in the 1990s. Rather than commercialized costumes, Europeans might stick with a more traditional costumes like ghouls or goblins, states Insider.

Home and Business Halloween Decorations

outdoor Halloween decorations

When it comes to Halloween, go big or go home. With a simple drive in the month of October, you can see dozens of houses decorated with zombies, vampires, and witches, oh my. Some people even create unique graveyards within their front lawns. The Halloween decorations are spooktacular.

However, decorations aren't as big around the world. According to Insider, the UK doesn't have a lot of excessive Halloween decorations. Most people just keep it simple on this spooky night. Additionally, many other areas of the world that celebrate Halloween aren't as elaborate.

The Tradition of TP-ing

TP house as a Halloween tradition in United States

When it comes to Halloween, lots of people think of the treats but not the tricks. But tricks are still a big part of the holiday. Toilet papering (TP-ing) houses is a common Halloween tradition, often done by mischievous teens. More common on October 30th than on October 31st, it's still a unique U.S. Halloween tradition. Since toilet paper isn't used in a lot of other countries, it makes sense that TP-ing is typically a U.S. thing.

Dressing Pets Up for Halloween

dog in Halloween costume

Who doesn't love to see a dachshund in a hotdog costume or a schnauzer running around as a spider? Dressing up your pets has become a fun trend in the U.S. According to Statista, in 2021, over 20% of people were dressing up their pets in the U.S. for Halloween. Additionally, Canine Journal states that over half a billion dollars are spent on pet Halloween costumes. Much like their human companions, pets are making statements in fun superhero and witch costumes.

Pumpkin Spice Anything During the Halloween Season

Halloween pumpkin spice pudding dessert

Halloween is a special time of year. Beyond the decorations and the costumes, you know what else consumes the month of October? Pumpkin spice. While pumpkin spice has been around since the 1700s, according to Smithsonian Magazine, it wasn't until Starbucks got into the pumpkin spice action in 2004 that it blew up. Now come autumn and Halloween, you can find pumpkin spice everything - from lattes to Oreos to dog biscuits. It's a sign of the spooktacular season of Halloween.

Is Halloween an American Holiday?

Americans go all out on Halloween. And it's one of the biggest holidays of the year. But Halloween isn't strictly an American holiday. It is celebrated all over the world and has origins that go back to the Pagan festival of Samhain. However, the U.S. does have a few traditions that are unique to them.

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America's Favorite Halloween Traditions