Need inspiration for any October galas? Google Trends has released its annual Halloween Frightgeist roundup of the most popular seasonal searches, and on top of being well-designed and purely entertaining, the portal offers a window into the bizarre foods and drinks other people are searching this time of year. Some of them are indeed spooky.
If you’re attending any Halloween parties this year, you may very well encounter a dough-wrapped mummy hot dog. The popular, delicious, easy-to-make Halloween finger food, which involves wrapping a hotdog in crescent roll dough until it looks “mummified,” is listed as a “breakout search.” That’s Google-speak for when a search term rises by more than 5,000% within a given timeframe.
Also on the rise? Spider-themed foods of all kinds. Searches for spider deviled eggs and spider cookies each doubled in popularity, and “spider web taco dip” is ranked number two among all trending Halloween foods.
Speaking of trending foods, numbers one and three are both related to Hocus Pocus, surely due to a renewed focus on the Halloween classic after Hocus Pocus 2 came out last month. (The film surely got an inadvertent boost from one Texas mom who went viral for claiming the film would “unleash hell on your kids and in your home” because it features witches who want to eat children.) Plenty of non-children-eating people apparently want to eat Hocus Pocus–inspired food, specifically Hocus Pocus buns (the top trending food) and Hocus Pocus charcuterie boards, which came in at number three and seem to commonly feature wheels of brie dressed up to look like each of the Sanderson sisters.
“Hocus Pocus” is also a big search term in the drinks realm, as is a bunch of other really creepy stuff. Witches brew, which seems to be purple or green depending on whose recipe you follow, ranked number one overall. The gratuitously named “brain hemorrhage shot” ranked number two, followed by Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, and black magic margaritas.
But maybe you don’t want to drink from a boring old glass. Perhaps you prefer your booze served inside some medical equipment. Who doesn’t? Searches for “How to make jello shots in syringes” are up 350%.
You might think the most common search related to jack-o’-lanterns involves pumpkins, but you would be incorrect. It’s... turnips. Which may seem unlikely, but there’s actually quite a bit of history related to turnip jack-o’-lanterns, and they are truly terrifying to look at. (Not to say that turnips are going to overtake pumpkins as the most popular seasonal produce—it’s likely that, since pumpkin jack-o’-lanterns are the default, users probably aren’t specifying the “pumpkin” part in their Google searches when they want to see a classic version.)
Of course, we do also need to talk about candy, as it is the star of Halloween. As The Takeout reported last week, the price of candy—like the price of everything else—is on the rise. Search terms reflect that, with “best deal on candy” up 2,100% this season. And it seems people are leaving the pandemic-era candy chute behind, opting instead for a cute candy bowl to display on the front porch. Searches for “Halloween candy bowl for porch” have more than doubled. (No judgment if you just want to use a metal mixing bowl!)
Most of the US, it seems, is tackling the season head on, with most of the country searching for haunted house opportunities on top of costume and appetizer ideas. But not in New Hampshire. Granite Staters will let you pry the candy from their cold, dead hands. It’s the only state in the nation where searches for trick-or-treating opportunities outweigh those for haunted houses.
Good on you, New Hampshire. Don’t let anyone tell you frights are more important than tiny, individually wrapped bits of of free candy.