Consumers spend big bucks on Halloween

By Lauren Freeman - Anchor

HOUSTON - These days, Halloween means more than just candy and costumes. Today, families fill their yards, porches and even trees with spooky decorations. In fact, the average person is expected to spend just under $80 this year totaling $8 billion.

Approximately 170 million people are expected to take part in Halloween this year, which is 7 in 10 Americans. That's the biggest number since the National Retail Federation starting tracking Halloween spending 10 years ago.

Halloween may be the new Christmas when it comes to outdoor decorating.

Chuck Gossett and his wife Andrea love to decorate their yard for Halloween. They have hanging giant goblins in their trees, life-sized scary characters, giant spiders and even a zombie baby on their porch. They admit Halloween has become a fun social event in their neighborhood near Kirby Drive, even for adults.

Andrea Gossett says she looks forward to it, "For me it's like childhood again! I get to dress up and the kids are fabulous!"

Her husband Chuck says they've been decorating their front yard for years, "Every year the Halloween decorations and Christmas decorations get bigger and bigger."

They want their home and decorations to make a memorable experience for the neighborhood kids.

Families decking the halls for Halloween means big business for stores like spirit of Halloween in Montrose. Halloween spending is expected to hit a record this year!

Kerry Jernigan, a manager at The Spirit Halloween in Montrose, says $8 billion worth of Halloween-related items are expected to be sold this year and they're hoping for a percentage of that. She also says while costumes are still a big seller, the outdoor decor is where they're seeing their biggest increase in sales.

What are the most popular outdoor decorations? Jernigan says tombstones, jumping spiders and zombies are flying off shelves.

"We've had people spend upwards of $3,000 in one setting," Jernigan said.

For the Gossetts, when they take down their decorations next week, they say they'll start getting ready to put up the Christmas decorations.

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