40 ■ January 2017 ■ Selling Halloween
Circle No. 116 on Product Card
As we did in the Selling Halloween section,
we calculated the ratio of haunted house
visitors in each age segment using NRF/
Prosper Insights data for 2014 through 2016.
The data indicates that a whopping 30%
of haunted house customers are age 18 to
24. Almost one-quarter, or 24%, are in the
25-to- 34 age range, and 21% are between 35
and 44. This means that 75% of U.S. adults
visiting haunted houses are aged 18 to 44, as
compared to 61% of U.S. adults celebrating
or participating in Halloween.
When comparing the four geographic
regions identified in the NRF/Prosper
Insights research, you can see a shift
beginning to emerge. In 2014 and 2015, the
Northeast region had the highest percent of
Halloween participants saying they would
visit a haunted house, which is reflected in
an average of 13.8% of U.S. adults in the
Northeast planning to visit a haunted house
for the 2014-to-2016 period. In 2016, the
Midwest captured the top spot.
Haunted houses didn’t lose popularity in
the Northeast, according to the data. Rather,
Midwesterners gained enthusiasm. In 2014,
14.0% of adults in the Midwest planned to
visit haunted houses; in 2015, it was 12%.
In 2016, the percent of Midwesterners
planning haunted house visits shot up
three percentage points to 15%, overtaking
Northeasterners, who came in at 14.7%.
Relatively speaking, haunted house visits
also became more popular in the West.
TAPPING THE PSYCHOLOGY
While marketers across many disciplines
explore consumer psychology to
better understand their customers and
prospects, understanding psychology is
essential for a haunt business. How do
you scare the customer without making
him or her too uncomfortable? How
do visuals, sounds, smells and other
sensory experiences create the feeling of
fear? What psychological factors draw
consumers to haunted attractions and
what brings them back?
How the psychology of fear works in a
haunt attraction is a lot more complicated
than the physiological fight-or-flight
SHARE OF HAUNTED HOUSE
VISITORS BY AGE
based on 2014-2016
Insights & Analytics)