Five facts about . . . Halloween – a monster mash of data

As Halloween is descending upon us this coming Monday – we present some spooky stats and frightening facts for you to sink your (vampire) teeth into.

1. Sabrina and Salem were both names given to babies in England and Wales in 2015

This first fact honours the classic 1990s/2000s programme “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”.


This programme holds a special place to us here in the ONS as Melissa Joan Hart (the actress who plays Sabrina) is one of our Twitter followers!

Other witch names making it onto the baby names list are Piper (Charmed), Ravenna (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Hermione (Harry Potter).


Download the data.

2. How many witches do you think you know? The census reveals 1,276 in England and Wales

There were 1,276 people with a religion classed as Witchcraft on the 2011 Census – with a further 11,766 people with a religion classed as Wicca and 502 people with a religion classed as Occult. There were also 56,620 Pagans and 4,189 Druids.


Download the data.

3. Ever watched a werewolf wed a witch? Or seen a pair of pumpkins tie the knot?

There were over 9,500 Halloween weddings in England and Wales between 1995 and 2013 – an average of 510 per year.


This is not particularly higher or lower than the days around Halloween –  476 was the average number of weddings on 29 October, 570 on 30 October, 574 on 1 November and 489 on 2 November.

To see how Halloween weddings compare to weddings at other times of the year you can use our interactive tool.

4. Expecting your own little pumpkin this Halloween?

An average of 1,803 babies were born on Halloween in England and Wales between 1995 and 2014 – making it the 197th most popular day to be born on.


Download the data.

A Halloween birthday can be a blessing and a curse though, as one Halloween baby told us:

On the one hand it meant people making tired jokes about you being a vampire and friends asking if your birthday party was going to be Halloween-themed but on the other hand it meant that as well as getting presents from friends and family you also got a bucketful of sweets from neighbours.

5. Spooky spending stays steady

You may feel as though Halloween has a much higher profile these days than in the past, and there is evidence from Mintel and Conlumino (retail analysts) that sales of Halloween products have increased substantially.

But data from the ONS retail sales bulletin shows that the percentage of annual retail spending taking place in October has stayed steady since 1986 (at around 8.4%).

Download the data.

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More in the ‘Five facts about …’ series:

Five facts about …housing
Five facts about…strikes
Five facts about…cars

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