In an NYU study of Halloween trends since the start of the economic downturn, a disturbing trend has been found. The study has revealed that young adults have been spending more money each year on Halloween costumes, while having less of a disposable income. On average this most recent Halloween has seen many young adults spending between $80 and $150 on costumes, which is equal to the amount of money many of these young adults spend on clothing over the course of 6 months to a full year. Many of these costumes include extensive make up, hair styling, in addition to clothing and clothing accessories that are purchased solely for one house party or night of bar hopping.

What makes this situation worse is the lack of people impressed by these efforts. Costume goers polled the day after Halloween reported on average a mere 4 people total showing positive or very positive reactions to their costumes. One disappointed Halloweener, Jon Green, shared his experience with us. “I knew since last March that I wanted to be Spider-man for Halloween,” he stated. “I did everything right. I hired a cosplayer to design my costume, I started hitting the gym hard to build muscle mass to look the part, I dyed my hair in case I had to take off the mask so I looked more like Peter Parker. I did everything right.” When asked how it was received, “Everyone, and I mean everyone at the party went all out like I did. Everyone was too into their own costumes to want to compliment anyone else’s. It was like performing at an open mic.”

Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight. The study has shown despite similar experiences over the past three years, young adults are making the same investments with no boost in their self esteem. For many, Halloween is seen as a chance to show oneself off, feel attractive, and look clever without having talk or perform other socially involved tasks. Though this may seem dismal for many, perhaps one day this will force people to become more creative. People making costumes that really speak about the world we live in or wish to live in. Not overpopulated with whatever was a box office smash the previous summer, or steam punk zombies or similarly bad ideas. A spokesman from NYU stated, however, “We sincerely doubt that will ever be the case.”

Joe Corallo