Love it or loathe it, Halloween splits British opinion, according to research from Saga Home Insurance. Whilst over a quarter say they enjoy a bit of ghoulish fun, 43% say they dislike the fiendish festival, and yet despite this 46% say they actively do something to get involved, whether it's handing out sweets, carving pumpkins or simply watching a scary movie.
Key objections to Halloween are that it's too American (63%) or too commercial (77%), but this does not stop a third of us buying sweets to dish out to trick or treaters. In fact, a fifth of those who say they don't like Halloween say they still buy treats to give out to ghoulish guests.
While it's true that Halloween is more popular amongst the young, half of 18-24s say they revel in the fun - older age groups are not to be found cowering behind the curtains at Halloween; a game 15% of over 50s say they enjoy the festival and a third still get involved, handing out sweets or carving pumpkins.
Some of the biggest differences of opinion when it comes to Halloween come across the regions; 40% of those in the north east enjoy it compared to just 15% of those in south west. Whilst people from the East Midlands are the most likely to say they enjoy receiving trick or treaters (23%), it's people in the north west who are most likely to give out sweets (40%). Trick or treaters in the south west are most likely to come home disappointed as just 23% of people there say they give out treats, the lowest in the country.
Mini witches and wizards should focus their attention on women if they want to bag the most bounty at Halloween, as they are much more keen to get involved than men. Over a third of women say they will give out sweets, compared to under a quarter of men.
Celebrating some holidays can be expensive but it seems that people can still enjoy Halloween on a tight budget. While half of adults plan to spend some money on Halloween this year, more than a quarter of people (27%) will spend under £10. However, on average those who are planning to actively take part in Halloween this year will spend around £19.33.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: "Halloween is clearly not to everyone's taste, however it can bring about a sense of neighbourliness, which I imagine is why so many people get involved even if they're not too keen on the festival itself."
Saga offers the following tips for those who don’t want to take part in Halloween this year:
1. Place a friendly sign in a window or on the front door so trick or treaters will know to move on to the next house.
2. Leave a pot of sweets by the front door so trick or treaters can help themselves to sweets and not disturb your evening.
3. Avoiding trick or treaters could be a good excuse to get out of the house and catch up with family or friends.
Saga Home Insurance can offer some peace of mind if trick or treaters get out of hand this Halloween. If spooky visitors take their tricks too far Saga customers are covered for any damage caused by malicious acts or vandalism.
Notes to Editors
• *Populus interviewed 2,041 adults online between 19th and 21st October 2012. 997 respondents were over 50. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
| Adults of all ages
||Most likely region
||Least likely region |
(Men 22%, Women 33%)
| North East
|Do something to celebrate Halloween
(Men 41%, Women 52%)
|Give trick or treaters sweets
(Men 26%, Women 36%)
| North West
| South West|
| Carve pumpkins
(Men 13%, Women 19%)
|East Anglia and South West|
|Objections to Halloween
|| % |
|Those who dislike Halloween
| Those who dislike Halloween but still do something to celebrate it
|Those who dislike Halloween but still handout sweets
|Those who think Halloween is too American
|Those who think Halloween is too commercial
||% of over 50s |
|Over 50s who enjoy Halloween
|Over 50s who will do something to celebrate Halloween
|Over 50s who will handout sweets to trick or treaters
|Over 50s who will carve pumpkins
Saga Home Insurance
• Saga Home Insurance is designed for the over 50s and provides:
• Cover for damage caused by malicious acts or vandalism
• New for old replacement of contents
• Full protection when home is unoccupied for up to 60 days in a row.
• Up to £500,000 buildings and up to £50,000 contents cover as standard
• Higher levels of cover available through the Saga Home Insurance TailorMade policy
• Up to a 15% discount when people buy a combined buildings and contents policy online **
• For more information about Saga Home Insurance please visit www.saga.co.uk.insurance
** 99% of people who had a buildings and contents quote received a discount of at least 15%. Saga survey of quote May 2012