Only a few more days until Halloween! So let’s talk costumes. What costume do you think is the most popular? Well, this awesome graphic I found on the NPR website shows the trends in costumes from 2009 to 2013.

Zombies – How I Dislike Thee, Let Me Count the Ways
I can’t seem to escape the brain-eaters! I don’t even watch the ‘Walking Dead’ and I’m still traumatized just from the media coverage. When it comes to costumes, zombies, to my dismay, have risen from 13th place in 2009 to 4th in 2013. If that trend continues, I am not going to get a reprieve from those terrifying zombified kids on Halloween. (Shiver rakes down my spine.)


We’re #1!
But, at least I can take some solace in the fact that zombies have not reached #1 status. In fact, if this graphic has any merit, the #1 costume seems to be pretty entrenched in our American culture and holds pretty from year-to-year. I’m not surprised either. If you are a female, raise your hand if you’ve ever dressed up as a witch for Halloween. My guess is everyone has a hand raised right now. We’ve all been witches at some point. And, if you haven’t dressed up as one, you’ve probably been called one. (That gets you into the club too.)

Why the Love of Pointed Hats and Black Clothes?
Halloween does generally seem to be synonymous with witches. So perhaps it’s just so associated in our brains it manifests in costume form. However, I hope it’s something more. My love of the witch stems more from a “take back the broom” mentality. Witches historically were always women and vilified. Some men were persecuted in Salem. But, the overwhelming burned at the stake, drowned, or tried were women. This extended into our media culture in stories (Snow White comes to mind) and movies (e.g. Ursula the sea witch if we’re sticking with the fairy tale theme). To me, that reeks of sexism. Therefore, I love that in the modern era we’ve seen the witch turned into a symbol of strength, independence and positive power. Think Charmed, Hermione Granger, Willow Rosenberger, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Feel free to comment and list more!) Even the bad witches, like in ‘American Horror Story: Coven’, aren’t just pure evil. Like most people and things, it’s complicated.

Maybe other people agree and that’s why the witch costume is so popular. Or maybe people just like to wear black and I’m over-thinking it. I tend to do that.

Happy spell casting my fellow witches (and warlocks who respect us)!