Story by Franziska Witte
School of Journalism and New Media Student
Halloween is around the corner but many people are still figuring out what to wear. Searches for the term “Halloween costumes” have increased steadily for the past 90 days, according to Google Trends data.
If you’re one of those last-minute types, Jo’s Costume Shop in Oxford may be your salvation. Store manager Norma Prewitt says her experience confirms that procrastination is an annual trend.
“The two weeks before Halloween are the busiest time all year,” Prewitt says.
Of course, online shopping has surged in recent years and plenty of costumes are purchased via a computer.
Susanna Smith, a student at Ole Miss, likes that she can search for any possible costume on the internet from the comfort of her own home. However, she does see the advantages of shopping at a store.
“You can try stuff on to make sure it fits you and don’t have to wait for delivery,” she said.
Prewitt says internet shopping has not affected their business and she thinks it could be because people just enjoy the chance to play dress-up. Her mother-in-law and owner of the shop, Jo Prewitt, has always described a visit to the store this way.
“It’s like playing in your grandma’s attic,” she said.
Who dresses up and who doesn’t?
Worldwide, interest in the search term “Halloween costumes” is highest in English-speaking countries such as the U.S., Ireland, United Kingdon and Australia.
According to History.com, the roots of Halloween can be “identified in ancient Celtic festivals, early Roman Catholic holidays, medieval practices—and even British politics,” which could help explain where the celebration is most popular.
Within the U.S. itself, different parts of the country seem more interested in the topic than others. On Oct. 16, West Virginia was searching most actively for Halloween costumes while Hawaiians seemed to have the least amount of search interest.