Halloween is traditionally a time when the barrier between the living and the dead is thinnest, and in the 21st century it still has a light side and a dark side.

On the light side

The coupon site RetailMeNot asked Angus Reid to survey Canadians on their Halloween spending earlier this month (notes on survey below). They found Canadians really like their candy.

Halloween candy

According to a RetailMeNot survey, 64 per cent of Canadians intend to hand out candy this year. (CBC)

  • Percentage of Canadians who intend to hand out candy: 64.
  • Percentage who intend to buy candy for themselves: 51.
  • Average spent on candy: $42.

And the spending didn't stop there.

  • Average costume cost: $52.
  • Average decoration cost: $43.
  • Average entertainment spend: $48.

Hosting a party? The average party host expects to spend $169.

Bumper crop


Canadian farmers grew more than $20 million worth of pumpkins in 2014. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

It's not just pop-up retail stores selling candy and clothing of questionable quality that get a boost from Halloween. According to Statistics Canada, farmers get a piece of the pie too (See what I did there?).

  • Marketed production of pumpkins in 2014: 64,736 tonnes.

  • Farm gate value: $23.2 million.

On the dark side

With treats there have always been tricks, and sometimes Halloween pranks go too far.

There were 4.5 per cent more criminal incidents reported on Oct. 31, 2014, than a week earlier, according to Statistics Canada.

And 1 fun fact

Halloween trick-or-treat children

The practice of children trick or treating has been going on in Canada since the early 1900s. (Shutterstock)

Dressing in costume and begging door to door on holidays, usually by adults, dates back to medieval Europe, but trick or treating as a specific Halloween activity may have started in Canada, according to author Nicholas Rogers, who wrote the book Coming Over: Halloween in North America, published in 2001.

In 1911, a Kingston, Ont., newspaper reported small children going out on Halloween between the hours of 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and homes asking for nuts and candy in exchange for rhymes and songs.

Notes on RetailMeNot survey

The online survey was conducted from Oct. 5-7 of 3,024 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists.