It's a little creepy just how much Halloween is for grown-ups now.
Kids still go trick or treating. But adults have increasingly taken over at the costume shop. Spending on costumes for adults will top $1.38 billion this year, compared to $1.06 billion for kids, according to a National Retail Federation report.
The number of costumes bought is also higher for adults. While several privately-held costume stores declined to share sales figures, online costume super store BrandsOnSale estimated they're selling 40 percent more adult than kid's costumes. At the 30,000 square foot Halloween Outlet in Worcester, Massachusetts, the ratio is 3 to 1.
But isn't Halloween the time for the little ones to use their creativity and earn some candy? Not anymore, it seems.
“Halloween isn’t all about kids dressed up like cowboys, cute pirates, Disney princesses and ghosts going door to door with a pillowcase to collect candy," said BrandsOnSale CEO Jonathan Weeks. "Halloween is all about the parties and drinking. Who doesn’t love socializing when you are dressed up as a zombie, sexy bunny, a famous celebrity or something downright inappropriate or scary looking?"
But adults aren't just dressing up as sexy bunnies. They're also buying sexed-up versions of other icons of innocence and childhood. These go well beyond the familiar "sexy french maid" and "sexy cop" costumes. We also have sexy versions of hit characters from the "Frozen" and "Despicable Me" cartoons. Also, a sexy slice of pizza and a sexy kid's happy meal item, to name a few.
Can't the kids just have one thing for themselves without someone slapping a miniskirt on it?
"The world was a better place when Halloween was for kids and every other day was for adults #priorities #growup," tweeted comic Joe Bartnick.
So why do adults have to stomp on in? Experts say grown-ups are more apt to be looser with their wallets because it's the one holiday most everyone takes part in where there's very little responsibility. There's no gift to get. There are no relatives to visit.
"It's really the only stress-free holiday for an adult where they don't have to do anything but have fun," said Halloween Outlet President Chirstine Arvanigian.
That sounds like being a kid. So in some ways, adults are really dressing up as children. Spooky.