The United States presidential election is affecting how some people celebrate Halloween.
Halloween takes place on the last day of October. Many people celebrate by wearing costumes and masks to make themselves look like somebody else.
This year, popular masks include those that look like the two major candidates for president -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Spirit Halloween is a company that sells Halloween costumes. It paid for a survey of 2,000 adults. It reported that 55 percent said they would choose the Trump mask and 45 percent the Clinton mask.
Spirit Halloween said the number one reason people gave for choosing a Trump mask was to be funny. The top reason people gave for choosing a Clinton mask was because they liked her.
Some stores are selling a Halloween set with one Clinton mask and one Trump mask. The set sells for about $38. It is being marketed as the perfect costume for husbands and wives or people undecided about who to vote for in the November 8th election.
The “political masks” will be competing with masks and costumes that look like characters from popular culture.
According to the Google website Frightgeist, the most popular for Halloween 2016 is a “Harley Quinn” costume. Harley Quinn is a villain in “Batman” movies and comic books. No. 2 on Google’s “Frightgeist” list is “Joker,” another Batman villain.
Children and adults, who never quite grew up, will go door to door on Halloween to collect candy. Most will be in costume.
Lots of candy will be handed out Monday
The National Confectioners Association represents candy makers. It says Americans will spend $2.7 billion on Halloween candy this year.
According to the association, more than 75 percent of American adults buy Halloween candy.
Seventy-two percent of adults say they will take some of the candy collected by their children, according to the candy association. Most will ask their children for some of the candy they collected on Halloween.
But one in four adults admit they will help themselves to candy when their children are not looking.
What is the most popular candy on Halloween? It is no mystery. Chocolate has been and likely will remain No. 1 on Halloween for years to come, according to the National Confectioners Association.
Daniel Kelly teaches philosophy at Purdue University in Indiana. He has become an expert on why people like to dress up in frightening costumes and watch frightening movies.
Kelly said Halloween is fun for people of all ages because everyone knows it is all about people dressing up to look frightening.
“You’re not actually in danger,” Kelly said. “The guy with the axe isn’t actually going to kill you.”
Some people add frightening things to their homes -- such as the zombies in the front yard of the Buffaloe family in Alexandria, Virginia.
“You can let your imagination run wild,” said Will Buffaloe. “It’s the one time of the year where you’re allowed to sort of let loose and be kind of crazy.”
I'm Bruce Alpert.
Bruce Alpert reported this story for VOA Learning English, based in part, on a video story by the VOA’s Deborah Block. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in this Story
costume –n. costume – n. the clothes that are worn by someone who is trying to look like a different person or thing
mask –n. a covering used to hide or disguise your face and, for Halloween, to make you look like someone else
survey –n. an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
character –n. a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show
comic book - n. a magazine that is made up of a series of comic strips
villain –n. a bad person in a film or book
candy –n. a sweet food made with sugar or chocolate
axe –n. a tool that has a heavy metal blade and a long handle and that is used for chopping wood
zombie –n. a dead person who is able to move because of magic.