Halloween by the numbers: Whitman students reflect on the haunted holiday

By Jasper Lester

As students reflect on this year’s Halloween festivities, The Black & White conducted an informal survey of 46 Whitman students across all grade levels to collect information on the Vikes’ viewpoints on all things Halloween.


Witch and vampire costumes were popular this year, with 26.1% and 23.9% of respondents, respectively, selecting these two mythical creatures as their favorite “stereotypical” Halloween costumes. Over 26% of Vikes also named characters from “Stranger Things” or “Top Gun: Maverick” as among those they expected to see this year.

Nearly 70% of respondents indicated that they planned to wear a costume this year. 

Halloween costumes didn’t seem to come without contention among students, though. Nearly 9% of respondents selected Jeffrey Dahmer as the television or movie costume they expected to most frequently see. The Netflix series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”  drew mixed reactions after its release in September.

“I wish people wouldn’t dress up as serial killers,” one respondent wrote. “Victims’ families have asked people not to.”


When asked if they planned to trick-or-treat on the 31st, 28.3% of students sampled said that they would partake in the Halloween tradition, with students divided on the oldest appropriate age for trick-or-treating. The most common response was “never,” with 26.2% of respondents answering that students are “never” too old to participate in the popular door-to-door activity. Other common selections for the appropriate trick-or-treating age limit included age 15 —  at 19.6% —  and age 14, at 15.2%. 

“Just because you’re too old doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it,” one student wrote in the survey.

Movies & Candy:

Whitman students were deeply divided on their pick of favorite scary movies, with “The Conjuring” and “Scream” both each garnering 21.7% of responses. Other common responses were “It” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

When asked to select their favorite Halloween candies, 63% of respondents included KitKat in their choice of up to nine sweets, making it the popular Whitman candy among students. The two least popular Halloween candies, at 21.7%, were gummy bears and Snickers.