Snickers, princesses and pillowcases: A look at Halloween statistics

Published: Sunday, Oct. 28 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

Dads were more likely to say candy is what makes Halloween fun, at 86 percent vs. 77 percent for moms. Nearly nine out of 10 kids said they'd still like the holiday if it wasn't candy-focused, but instead was geared to other types of fun.

The parents of kids who have had multiple teeth fillings pine for non-candy treasures more than other parents.

The best part

Ask the kids and the best part of the date is trick-or-treating (75 percent), dressing in a costume (71 percent) and getting lots of candy (66 percent).

Younger moms and dads, those under 35, like dressing up in costume more than older parents do.

The survey also asked parents how childhood had changed since they were kids and found that most believe that it's not as safe as it used to be (61 percent) and that fewer households participate (52 percent). Coming in a close third is that Halloween has lost some of its innocence (47 percent). About one-fourth of the adults believe there are more activities for adults, more to do than just trick-or-treat and more social atmosphere. Only 23 percent believe it's "all about the candy now."

They also found that the views on Halloween didn't seem to have any geographic bias; they were pretty much the same across the board.

Covering ground

Back to the pillowcase project. The "researcher" noted that an ambitious kid who wanted to fill that pillowcase would be required to get candy at every house in a .42-square-mile, pretty densely packed neighborhood in Campbell, Calif. That's based on a 50 percent success rate and about 2.5 pieces of candy each time, with doorbell ringing at 1,352 houses.

In the Midwestern town of St. Peters, Mo., the assumption is that more people are giving out candy, so the success rate goes to 75 percent and they're more hypothetically generous, too, each giving an extra piece. But the houses are further apart, so it would require .6 square miles to fill that pillowcase.

Knock knock. Who's there? Open the door and find out.

EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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