Restless Spirits: What Do People Do on Halloween?

‘Restless Spirits’: What Do People Do on Halloween?

Have you ever wondered what people do on Halloween?

Location data, when turned into location intelligence, can be used for powerful consumer insights. By analyzing foot traffic data at millions of places and events on Halloween, we can pinpoint past changes in consumer behavior, and predict what might happen next. To do so, Gravy analyzed consumer foot traffic at thousands of U.S. locations on October 31, 2018, and compared it to daily average foot traffic between October 30 and November 30, 2018.

Here are a few places that saw their foot traffic spike on Halloween 2018, and can expect to see a boost in foot traffic again this year. 


Molecular gastronomy restaurants received 56% higher foot traffic on Halloween. Why? On Halloween, molecular gastronomy restaurants often craft spooky cocktails and hair-raising concoctions right out of a mad scientist’s lab. The chemical reactions, such as the fog-like effect created with liquid nitrogen, can be absolutely spooktacular.

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurants


On Halloween 2018, foot traffic to psychics and mediums was 52% higher than average. It’s not surprising that people flock to see a psychic or medium on a day that’s synonymous with the paranormal and supernatural. With plenty of customers already seeking answers from the spirit world, spiritual and psychic businesses can give their marketing tactics a rest on All Hallows’ Eve.

Psychics and Mediums


Guides and sightseeing destinations saw 44% higher foot traffic on Halloween than average. This boost is most likely due to the popularity of ghost tours and dark tourism. Guided ghost tours thrill locals and tourists alike with scary stories, while dark tourism invites thrill-seekers to explore haunted sites tainted by death and tragedy on their own. (We’ll stick with the tour guide.)

Guides and Sightseeing

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Where don’t people go on Halloween? A few places shocked us…


Halloween is a big time for horror movies, but movie lovers don’t go to the theater on Halloween night.  Foot traffic was 39% lower than average in theaters on Halloween 2018. It could be that moviegoers prefer to watch old favorites at home while waiting for trick-or-treaters to arrive.

Movie Theatres


Wholesalers, like Costco and Sam’s Club, are popular among party planners, but foot traffic was 32% lower than average on Halloween. Savvy party hosts likely stocked up early and avoided any last-minute shopping. Another reason for lower-than-average foot traffic? People are more likely to eat out in restaurants during Halloween week. Location data lets us discover positively spooky trends in foot traffic.


Halloween 2020 is another year away, but location data and the insights it provides can be used year-round. From New Year’s Eve, to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, location intelligence gives your holiday marketing campaigns an extra edge.

Already working on campaigns for the New Year? Explore all of Gravy’s holiday audiences with the  Gravy Audience Finder.

Location intelligence gives insight into your competition. Get ahead of your competitors by connecting with a Gravy Analytics sales representative today.

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