It’s that time of year again! What time? It’s time to disguise yourself and flit about your neighborhood, brazenly asking for free candy and treats. What are we talking about? Halloween, of course!

Do you enjoy dressing up for Halloween? What costumes have you worn in the past? Which one was your favorite? What do you want to dress as this year?

Dressing up for Halloween is one of the most popular traditions in America. You might be surprised to learn, though, that it’s still a relatively-new tradition.

The tradition’s roots come from the Scottish custom of “guising.” Wearing costumes, masks or other forms of disguise began in Scotland in the late 19th century. Scottish children hoped to prevent evil spirits from doing harm by dressing like them.

Dressing like evil spirits explains why so many Halloween costumes are on the scary or creepy side. At first, Halloween costumes were exclusively homemade.

By the 1930s, however, mass-produced Halloween costumes began to appear in stores as trick-or-treating started to become more popular. In addition to scary ghouls, costumes based upon popular characters in movies and books began to appear.

At first, Halloween was mainly promoted as a children’s holiday. Early costumes were targeted at children. Over time, though, adults came to love the holiday as much as children. It wasn’t long before the types of available costumes began to expand to include a wide variety of costumes for adults, too.

Today, custom Halloween costume stores offer thousands of options for those who want to play dress-up on Halloween. You can be a ghost, a werewolf, a vampire, a pirate, a fairy, a clown, a superhero or any one of a myriad of other characters.

Why so many choices? Halloween is big business! How big? In 2011, Americans spent over $6.8 billion to celebrate Halloween. That’s an average of over $72 per household! Some of that money goes to buy candy and treats, but a significant portion goes to purchase costumes.

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