Civic News

Spooky data: These Halloween ideas are trending in Philly and nationally

Plus, data showing what costumes to avoid if you want to stick out in the crowd.

Happy Halloween.

(Photo by Pexels user Pixabay, used via a Creative Commons license)

If you’re scrambling this week to think of a creative, last-minute costume for some Halloween festivities, you might just turn to data to inform your choice.

Google recently released a snapshot into trending costumes, movies and activities at the regional level, based on what its users have been searching for. The Frightgeist site, a microsite developed by Google, breaks down what’s popular nationally and locally.

Frightgeist … zeitgeist … get it?

“From beauty, to trending costumes, to a 350% increase in interest on ‘how to make jello shots in syringes,’ this data definitely is a treat,” a Google spokesperson said.

You might be surprised by Philly’s top costume — a rabbit — which is trending nationally as the seventh most popular in the US. The furry friend has spiked recently, but reached its peak popularity at Halloween 2010, Google Trends shows. Overall, animals make up 11% of the costume searches.

When you widen the scope to the whole state, you find quite a mixed bag: In the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region, a princess is the top searched costume, while in central Pennsylvania, “Stranger Things” costumes are reigning supreme. If you’re heading out on the town in Erie, you’ll probably spot their top costume, a pirate.

The Frightgeist site also lets you do a bit of playing around with costumes, with a “costume wizard” feature that will serve up ideas based on the spookiness level, classic or modern style and how unique you’ll be based on the data in your area. If you want to be spooky and unique, for example, the tool will suggest Jack Skellington of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or a zombie cheerleader.

And the company released a list of some of its top search trends during Halloween. Some topics that spike every year include “spider web,” “skeleton,” “witchcraft,” “vampire” and “cat eye contacts.”

Play with Frightgeist here
Companies: Google
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