Halloween is the perfect holiday for accidentally being unforgivably basic. So you watched Suicide Squad and thought Harley Quinn was a badass and her costume an easy enough outfit to recreate? Oh, you also thought nobody else would do Lady Gaga on Halloween 2009? We’ve all been there, and while it’s not the end of the world, sometimes it’d be good to know if your Halloween costume idea is as, let’s say, special as you feel it is.
Fret not, Google has a very wavy and majorly ‘80s-looking tool to help you find out if you’re letting your freak flag fly or if you’ve fallen prey to the zeitgeist. Google’s aptly-named “Frightgeist” is a stunning example of the power of the internet’s most reliable feature: search statistics.
Google has ranked Halloween costumes by search volume based on location. The higher on the list, the more people contemplating a given costume. And as they say on House Hunters, it’s all about “location, location, location.” Because it doesn’t really matter if IT is the most-searched costume, it only matters that nobody else in your town is planning on it.
The top-searched costumes of the last month overall are: IT, witch, Spider-Man, dinosaur, and Descendants. Also among the top ten are clowns, Fortnite, Chucky, and the 1980s, because nothing has really changed since 2017. And in another throwback twist, "unicorn" is the tenth-most-searched costume term from last month. But if you dig deeper into the rankings, you’ll start to find some worthy 2019 gems. For example, VSCO Girl, coming in at No. 74, has especially high search in Palm Springs, California and in a smattering of Mid-Western cities. So, unless you live in Palm Springs, you might just be the only VSCO Girl at the Halloween party. Or as Google puts it, “Maybe you’ll see another VSCO Girl costume at the party this year, maybe you won’t.” Either way, bring along your Hydro-Flask.
For more data, look to the upper right-hand switch that says “locally” and let Google use your location to tell you what are the most popular costumes near you. And if you really want to cut to the chase: Click on the ”Costume Wizard” and turn the “Uniqueness Level” all the way up and choose your preference on the Trend Meter (national or local) and on the Style Meter (classic to modern).
Halloween is a holiday for freaks. It’s designed for those who would feel like they’re in costume 364 days out of the year, but wear their normal clothes on October 31st. It’s the perfect opportunity to dress up like the leading characters in Ghost World or pay tribute to your favorite anime and revel in the fact that only two other people at the party caught the reference. But for the rest of us, who are looking at the calendar and realizing we have but mere weeks to decide on a decent costume, there’s Google.