To help you avoid walking into a Halloween party only to discover four people are wearing the same costume as you, AT&T used Google’s top Halloween costume list from 2016 and Google Trends from this year to suss out the most popular costumes in all 50 states. The list is full of topical (Stranger Things!), timeless (Star Wars!), and surprising (Poison Ivy?) costumes but perhaps the most interesting development is Midwest trick-or-treaters’ apparent aversion to dressing up as anything too spooky.
While the rest of the country pretty much opted for costumes that were scary, bloody, and violent, Midwesterners preferred to suit up as classic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse (the most popular costume in Indiana and Illinois.) Other absurdly wholesome costume choices from the Midwest include a pumpkin (the top choice in Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska), Tinkerbell (Ohio), and notorious do-gooder Superman (Iowa and Kentucky). Wolverine — the most popular costume in Michigan and Kansas — is about as dark as the Midwest was willing to get. In the case of Michigan, the costume seems to have less to do with scares and more to do with a certain college mascot.
Unsurprisingly, the list also reveals that kids are much less likely to dress up in scary costumes than adults. Of the top 10 most popular costumes for kids, only two are even kind of frightening (witch and ghost) while adults favored vampires, zombies, witches, and slasher-movie villains.
Compared to the Midwest, the rest of the country makes a real effort to embrace the darker, more violent side of Halloween. A trio of anti-heroes — Deadpool, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn — are among the most popular costumes this year, with the three representing eight states on the list. Pennywise the killer clown was the most popular costume in Alaska because apparently living in a freezing, sparsely populated state where the sun disappears for months at a time wasn’t already creepy enough for some people. And sure, there’s still room for more innocent costumes in the rest of America: Unicorn is the top costume in California, Montana, and Vermont. But, as this list confirms, nobody does wholesome quite like the Midwest.