Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween Report 2017

The Moon adds a ghostly glow to the Duncan Street Halloweenscape.

21st Annual Report: Halloween at Duncan Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

I have tracked Halloween trick-or-treaters at my doorstep in West End Halifax since 1996. This year's numbers were up significantly with some dramatic shifts in popular costumes with the dominant vampires, zombies and princess costumes all but disappearing, pushed out by skeletons and ninjas.


Past Totals-
2016: 81; 2015: 101; 2014: 97; 2013: 80; 2012: 50! 2011: 80; 2010: 88; 2009: 99; 2008: 103; 2007: 125; 2006: 168; 2005: 187:  2004: 184; 2003: 187; 2002: 193; 2001: 152;   2000: 171; 1999-175;   1998-160; 1996-215

First Caller:  6:05 p.m.      Peak: 6:45         Last Caller:   8:47 p.m.

Costumes by type:

Addams Family (Wednesday): 1
Angel (TV show): 1 
Archer, Robin Hood era: 1

Basketball player: 1
Bat: 1
Beaker (Muppet show), great homemade costume: 1
Bear: 1
Bees: 2
Butler (great vintage outfit): 1

Cake (elaborate, tiered costume): 1
Cats: 4, including 1 boy cat, a first
Cat Vampire: 1 
Cowboy (sheriff): 1
Cowgirl: 1
Crayola Crayon (turquoise): 1

Doll: 1

Dead Doll (beautiful make-up): 1
Dragons: 5

Elephant: 1

Fire truck: 1
Fullmetal Alchemist character (Anime TV series): 1

Gryffindor student (Harry Potter): 1
Goldilocks: 1 (and three bears, adult helpers)
Ghoul masks, generic: 2
Ghoul mask, with light and sound effects: 1

Green Lantern: 1
Groucho Marx: 1

Harley Quinn comics character: 1
Halo character: 1
Hey Arnold! characters (TV show): 2

Invisible Man (camouflage costume): 1

Jelly Belly bag of Jelly Beans: 1

Ladybug: 1
Lion: 1

Mad Hatter: 1
Medusa (great illuminated snake hair): 1
Minecraft (video game): 1
Mummy: 1

HMCS Nelson, Independence class littoral combat ship with working propeller: 1
Ninjas: 10
Ninjas, Teenage Mutant Turtle variety: 2

Olaf (Frozen character): 1
Old Man: 1

Pikachu: 1
Plaque Doctors: 2
Princess Lea in Empire Strikes Back Endor outfit: 1
Power Rangers:3

Queen Elizabeth (young) great vintage outfit: 1

Robot, illuminated! with grandmother also as robot: 1

Scarecrow: 2
Shark: 1
Skeletons: 10
Skeletons (Book of Life, Day of the Dead style): 3
Spider: 1
Sponge Bob Square Pants: 1
Stormtrooper (Star Wars): 1
Strawberry: 1
Superowl: 1

Terrorist: 1

Unicorn: 2

Wasp: 1
Witches: 2
Wrestler (John Cena): 1

Zombie Doctor: 1

Halloween on Duncan Street: Candy and survey clipboard!
Best Overall Costumes:
1) Dead Doll - impressive vintage clothes and terrific make-up.
2) Beaker, the Muppet character, perfect expression and hair.
3) Robot, with coloured lights, escorted by Mom, also in robot costume.

Costume Trends:

1) Most popular costume:Skeletons, in many forms.
2)  Ninjas were a close second, also in many sizes and colours.
3) An increase in insects: 2 bees, 1 wasp, 1 hornet & a ladybug.
4) Dramatic fall in vampires, merely a single vampire cat compared to 6 last year.
5) A hearty increase in pirates, with a lot of impressive pirate weaponry, always good to see for an author of a history of Canadian piracy.
6) Zombies dying off, only a couple.
7) A fall-off in superheroes: no Batman, no Superman, only a few Spidermen.
8) No princesses, aside from one Princess Lea and a young Elizabeth
9) A lot of vintage TV characters.

My thanks to survey helpers: Patricia Acheson, Mary Louise Conlin, Anna Wedlock and Craig Stamp.


  1. Is the pirate book any good? ;-) I've always loved Maritime history and read Farley Mowat's "The Black Joke" as a kid. I'll have to get a copy! :)

    1. Given your taste I think you will enjoy "Pirates of the Atlantic". I worked to separate the pirate facts from the pirate myths and deliver some good stories about the pirates who actually came to Canadian waters. I think you will find the real pirates every bit as villainous and interesting as the familiar mythical ones.

  2. Thank-you for doing this. Our family finds it interesting to read and to be frank, my kids often wonder if they'll get best costume and can't wait to get to your house, so they can be counted.

    1. Thanks you very much. I couldn't ask for more sincere interest. Can't wait to see what they come up with next year!