Where do people get most excited for Halloween?

New Hampshire, Maine and Utah, according to our Terror Tally

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    father and daughters carving a pumpkin

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team ranked the most Halloween-obsessed states based on seasonal data, online trends and other factors. Read our full methodology for more on how we calculated each state’s “Terror Tally.”


    Key insights

    • Most haunted attractions per capita: Kentucky, South Dakota and Indiana
    • Most Spirit Halloween stores per capita: New Hampshire, Utah and Delaware
    • Most online searches for Halloween movies: Utah, West Virginia and North Dakota
    • Most online searches for Halloween costumes: Kentucky, West Virginia and Utah
    • Most pumpkin patches per capita: Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island
    top five states Halloween infographic

    Halloween hot spots and dead zones

    Halloween is a big deal to a lot of people. For some, it’s the fun-size nostalgia of mask-wearing and doorbell-ringing. For others, it’s the thrill of haunted houses, scary movies and the all-around eerie ambiance.

    Most festive

    1. New Hampshire
    2. Maine
    3. Utah
    4. Idaho
    5. West Virginia
    6. Kentucky
    7. Vermont
    8. Indiana
    9. South Dakota
    10. Montana

    Least festive

    1. Washington, D.C.
    2. New York
    3. Florida
    4. Georgia
    5. Hawaii
    6. Maryland
    7. Texas
    8. Washington
    9. California
    10. Mississippi

    Top 5 most festive states for Halloween

    For New Hampshire, it’s the costumes. Maine likes its pumpkin patches, and Utah is all about horror films. For West Virginians, it’s the Halloween decorations, haunted attractions and candy. In Idaho, it’s a little bit of everything. (See the full list below to find your state.)

    halloween us map

    1. New Hampshire: In the Spirit (Halloween)

    New Hampshire has the most Spirit Halloween stores by population: 1.147 per 100,000. This might have something to do with the lack of sales tax — people from nearby states likely come to New Hampshire for seasonal shopping.

    Considering its size, New Hampshire is packed with corn mazes, haunted hayrides, ghost tours and costume stores, and you can find Halloween-related events almost every day in October. Highlights include the Spookville Haunted Trail in Nashua, the Haunted Winnipesaukee cruise in Laconia and the graveyard tour at Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. The pumpkin festivals in Keene and Milford also draw quite the crowds.

    • 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
    new hampshire halloween headquarters infographic

    2. Maine: Pumpkin patches galore

    Maine is often associated with scary stories, largely due to its association with the famous horror author Stephen King, who sets many eerie stories among its dense forests, rocky coastlines and lighthouses.

    “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too,” King said. “They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” For one month in Maine, those monsters and ghosts roam free and revel in the state's innate creepiness. And residents happily oblige by fully indulging their love of all things Halloween.

    Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."
    — Stephen King, Maine native

    Maine has the most pumpkin patches per capita and the most online searches for Halloween crafts — both signs its residents embrace the season’s spirit. Throughout October, you can find haunted history tours, frightful scavenger hunts and more.

    • 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 
    maine halloween pumpkin patch

    3. Utah: Scary movie fanatics

    Utah, known for its religious and conservative values, has a surprisingly deep love for Halloween. This might be because Halloween lets people safely explore a “rebellious” side within society's boundaries, the former owner of the Rocky Point Haunted House in Salt Lake City told the Standard-Examiner.

    Google search data shows that Utahns search “Halloween movies” more than any other state’s residents. This might have something to do with the fact that some of the “Halloween” movies were filmed there, as well as “Halloweentown High” and “Return to Halloweentown.” The state also has the second-highest number of Spirit Halloween stores per capita.

    • 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
    utah halloween scary movies banner

    4. Idaho: Terror with a side of taters

    In Idaho, people seem to like a little bit of everything related to the spooky season. Compared with the national average, people there look for more Halloween decorations, movies, music, crafts and candy on the internet.

    Considering its population, there are also lots of pumpkin patches and haunted attractions. You can find Halloween festivals, parades, ghost tours, hayrides, paranormal events and more.

    • Number of haunted attractions: 20
    • Number of pumpkin patches: 24
    • Number of Spirit Halloween stores: 13
    • Most popular Halloween decoration: Ghosts
    • Most haunted town: Twin Falls

    » TIPS: How to prepare your home for trick-or-treaters

    idaho halloween terror banner

    5. West Virginia: Appalachian horror story

    Cue dueling banjos: People in West Virginia search “Halloween music” on YouTube the most, and they search the most for “Halloween decorations” on Google, according to Google Trends. They also have the second-highest online interest in Halloween costumes and Halloween movies, after Kentucky and Utah, respectively.

    The Mountain State has a lot of haunted attractions — more than any other state in the top five. Highlights include the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum haunted house in Weston, Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm in Lewisburg and Fear on the Farm in Winfield.

    • Number of haunted attractions: 22 
    • Number of pumpkin patches: 9
    • Number of Spirit Halloween stores: 8
    • Most popular Halloween decoration: Skeleton
    • Most haunted town: Harpers Ferry
    west virginia halloween banner

    Most festive Halloween states, ranked

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team considered the number of haunted attractions, pumpkin patches and Spirit Halloween stores in each state relative to its population, plus search data from Google and YouTube and other factors to calculate “Terror Tallies.”

    » MORE: How to keep your dog safe and happy this Halloween

    Bottom line

    Across the United States, Halloween is a great time to celebrate our darker interests. It’s the night we welcome our shadows out to play — the one night we celebrate what scares us by staring it in the face.

    But, as the ConsumerAffairs Research Team discovered, some states are more festive this time of year than others. If you're looking to relocate to a more Halloween-obsessed place, be sure to get quotes from top-rated moving companies to make the transition a little less scary.

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      Methodology

      To determine the top Halloween hot spots, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team analyzed 10 metrics related to Halloween-themed online activity and local Halloween attractions. We used population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate per capita stats in each state.

      For each metric, we gave each state a score out of 10. The state with the most online activity or attractions in a given metric received a 10, and others received a relative score. The scores were weighted and added to create a Terror Tally, which we used for our rankings.

      Halloween-related local attractions in each state made up 60% of the score:

      • Number of haunted attractions per capita: 20%
      • Number of pumpkin patches per capita: 20%
      • Number of Spirit Halloween stores per capita: 20%

      Halloween music searches on YouTube were weighted at 15%, and each Halloween-themed search over the past year, sourced from Google Trends, comprised 25% of the total ranking. The search terms we looked at were:

      • Halloween decorations: 4.17%
      • Halloween costumes: 4.17%
      • Halloween movies: 4.17%
      • Pumpkin spice latte: 4.17%
      • Halloween crafts: 4.17%
      • Halloween candy: 4.17%

      Article sources
      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. The Scare Factor, " Haunted House Directory ." Accessed Oct. 2, 2023.
      2. PumpkinPatches.com, " Pumpkin Patches By State ." Accessed Oct. 2, 2023.
      3. United States Census Bureau, “ State Population Totals and Components of Change: 2020-2022 .” Accessed Oct. 2, 2023.
      4. House Beautiful, “ These Are the Most Haunted Towns and States in America .” Accessed Oct. 2, 2023.
      5. Lombardo Homes, “ Most Popular Halloween Decorations by State 2022 .” Accessed Oct. 2, 2023.
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