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What We're Searching For This Halloween in the Bay Area

You don’t have to have lived in San Francisco very long to realize that Halloween is this city’s idea of a pretty good holiday.

And it’s not necessarily just for kids, either–although most of them make out like bandits (or whatever else they’re disguised as) by visiting the stores along our neighborhood commercial strips, as well as houses on the specific blocks in various neighborhoods that specialize in goblinery.

Thanks to the wonder of search technology, we now have new metrics to measure some of the impact of Halloween on Bay Area residents.

Yahoo, for example, reports that among the search terms trending this season are Vampire Diaries, zombie games, ghost adventures, Halloween makeup, and Halloween trivia.

While these may not differentiate our demographic from others around the country, it turns out that we do diverge in our candy-eating habits, at least as far as search terms are concerned. 

Here, for example, are the top five Halloween candy searches overall during the past month at Yahoo:

  •     Airheads
  •     Dots
  •     Candy Corn
  •     Jelly Belly
  •     Nerds

And here are the top five candy searches in the Bay Area:

  •     Lemonheads
  •     Fireballs
  •     Bazooka Bubble Gum
  •     Gumballs
  •     Airheads

At least five other candies – tootsie rolls, salt water taffy, rock candy, gobstoppers, twizzlers and smarties appear in the top 15 Bay Area searches but not in the national data.

Now, I’m not sure what any of this data means, but Halloween habits around here, from costumes to candy, apparently diverge from the norm.

Who would have it any other way?

Meanwhile, Peter Hartlaub has put together a nostalgic photo gallery over at  SFGate of Halloween costumes in San Francisco over the past sixty-five years, many from a pre-commercialized era that seems only a distant memory today.


Thanks to Alisha Moore for help with this post.