Here's a scary thing about Halloween: We may spend $9 billion on it

One forecast projects record spending and candy's not the big ticket item.
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Black and orange are the traditional colors of Halloween, but maybe we should put green in there, too. 

American consumers will spend about $9.1 billion on the holiday, according to this year's survey from the National Retail Federation

That would break the spending record (which has been in place since last Halloween) by more than 8 percent.

The company that does the annual survey for the retailers says the number of people planning to celebrate Halloween in some way is 8 million more than last year. Plus the amount we're spending on costumes, candy, and decorations is going up. 

Where does the money go? 

Handing out candy to trick-or-treaters is the most widespread way to observe Halloween and for some people that's as far as it goes. 

But the biggest chunk of spending goes not to candy, but costumes. Nearly half of the adults surveyed (48 percent) plan to dress in costume, the Retail Federation says, and those in the 18 to 24 age range are the most likely to dress up and go to Halloween parties. 

Costumes make up more than one-third of the projected spending ($3.4 billion). Ten percent of the people surveyed said they even plan to dress up their pets in costumes. 

There's also a gender gap in the cost of costumes. According to the survey, men will spend an average of $96 getting dressed up while the typical women's costume will come in at $77. 

It's far less spending than another holiday 

We'll confess to a little sticker shock at the $9.1 billion spending figure. 

But the financial website The Balance suggests one reason Halloween seems to be getting more popular is that it's actually more affordable than the holidays that follow it. 

There's no big feast to pay for. And even if the average household spends the record $83 that the Retail Federation is projecting – that's a far cry from the $882 the average American spent on gifts alone at Christmastime in 2015. 

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