Walmart unleashes a report on what’s hot for hHalloween, and superheroes are holding their own.

In the countdown to fright night, a peek into the Wal-Mart costume closet reveals America’s changing Halloween habits for 2007. In fact, with Halloween spending up 10 percent from 2006, the nation’s largest retailer serves as the best barometer on everything boo-ful: from the preferred garb of once-a-year ghosts and goblins to the continued popularity of pumpkins to the Fifi’s favorite frightful frock.

— The comic book costume craze continues as thousands of children across
the country have responded, “Spider-Man!” when asked what they’d like
to be this Halloween. Scream, Super Man, and Jack Sparrow also top the
list of most popular children’s costumes so far this year.
— Pumpkins are still the holiday’s hallowed icon, and sales at Wal-Mart
stores nationwide, show five states stand out as those where jack-o-
lanterns, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pies are fall faves. This year,
customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and
Massachusetts have purchased the most pumpkins consecutively (as of
October 19, 2007).
— Costume contests for pets? Maybe. Wal-Mart’s 2007 costume sales
indicate that dog owners who will parade with their pets this Halloween
prefer princesses, witches and rather than fangs, four-legged Dracula.

“Halloween is the second most popular decorating season,” said Andy Barron, Wal-Mart senior vice president, general merchandise manager for hardlines. “With that in mind, we’ve worked hard to have all the costumes, candy and creepy decorations customers want in our stores at unbeatable values.”

Wal-Mart has also watched “boo-ing” — a trend that started in cities like Atlanta, Cleveland, Sacramento and spread across the country this year, with more and more Americans using Halloween as the excuse behind random acts of kindness. “Boo bags” filled with Halloween candy and other treats have been secretly left on the doorsteps of neighbors or desks of co-workers, or even emailed to friends via sites like Those lucky enough to have been “boo-ed” display an “I’ve Been Boo’d” sign and pass the trend along by “boo-ing” their own list of friends.

Additional Halloween 2007 highlights from Wal-Mart include:
— Kids at heart can expect a plethora of pirates at costume parties this
Halloween. Pirates top the list of adult costume sales, followed by the
women’s fifties look, Grecian goddess, tigress and leopard girl
— The top ten states for pumpkin sales at Wal-Mart are Connecticut, New
Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, Maine and Idaho.
— More than 70 percent of consumers plan to stay home and hand out treats
this Halloween, while more than 25 percent plan to throw a spooky
gathering, according to the National Retail Federation.