Alpine Butterfly Lodge

communal house journal

Entries by tag: halloween

Halloween Data!
Halloween stats continue! This year we judged each costume to be either "predator" or "prey". It was pretty evenly split between the two. We also weighed the candy bucket after each group of kids to arrive at an average amount of candy taken by each kid. The amount was reasonably consistent over time.

Our total kid numbers were back up to more normal levels compared to last year. We had tiki torches burning in the yard as well as a few strings of purple lights decorating the house, so that might explain the difference (no decorative lights last year, just the porch light; we only had 27 kids last year).

Here's the complete list of costumes, ranked from least to most predator-like:
rankings under the cutCollapse )

Happy Halloween!
This year we plan to categorize our trick-or-treaters into "predator" or "prey."

Along with the time of arrival, we will also be obsessively weighing the candy bucket, in order to estimate "average amount of candy taken" per kid throughout the night, when offered the bucket. This means we shouldn't be sampling out of the bucket... I guess we will set aside our own candy stash!

Halloween Data!
Halloween Data!

Halloween stats continue! This year we observed whether the kids' shoes matched their costumes or were just random comfy shoes. It was pretty evenly split between the two.

We got a small sample size of 27 kids. It wasn't quite the smallest ever - that was Saturday 2009 when we had only 23. We'd thought the low year might be day-of-the-week related, but Halloween was on a Wednesday this year and weekdays have usually been higher than weekends. Now our theory is that it's because we forgot to decorate. We haven't done a lot in the past - maybe something in the window or a few lights, but this year we did nothing and I think that kept some kids away. We'll decorate next year and see if that makes a difference!

We also weighed the candy bucket at the start and end of the evening; net candy distributed was 1.5 kg. Also noteworthy, as of this post there's no candy left in the bucket. I wonder where it all went …

Happy Halloween!
For those of you who would like to follow along at home...

Alpine Butterfly Lodge will be tallying how many trick-or-treaters have included shoes in their costume. In other words, did they make an effort to coordinate shoes with outfit?

We will also try to note group size, along with the usual time of arrival.

Happy data collecting!

Halloween Data!
Our quest for ways to quantify Halloween continues! This year we observed which hand the kids used to reach for the candy and sorted them into righties & lefties. We got observed 32% lefty which is higher than the expected 10%. Could it be our small sample size? Or is it that some kids hold their treat-bag in the dominant hand and then reach with the non-dominant hand?

We also weighed the candy bucket at the start and end of the evening; net candy distributed was 1.6 kg.


Halloween Data!
This year, Rob and Anna had to take all the data by themselves, as Dawn was out of town. 73 kids and five pounds of candy later...

more heroes than villains trick-or-treat.

Halloween data
By far, the lowest turnout yet for trick-or-treating.
What do you think might have been factors?
Time change was after Halloween.
It was Saturday.
Economic situation.
Other events on Friday.

We were ready, with the porch light on, at 5:45pm (despite it still being light outside). First kids didn't show up until 6:45. We were tallying how many costumes were handmade versus how many looked "like they bought it in a store."

6:45 -- 2 handmade
7:15 -- 2 handmade, 4 store
7:30 -- 2 store
7:45 -- 2 store
8:00 -- 7 store
8:15 -- 3 store
8:45 -- 1 store
Total: 23 kids

We didn't really have a column for "couldn't be bothered to put on a costume" so we decided they bought their clothes in a store. Handmade was supposed to be that they put together a costume with things they had or purchased separately. But we ended up putting anyone who had a store-bought mask in the "store" category. We finally gave up and turned the porch light off around 10pm. We still have many glow bracelets and lots of chocolate left.

Probably the most exciting costume bit was a pair of bat wings. The little girl pulled a string and they popped open! And then she had strings at her shoulders that ratcheted them back in! They'd gotten them at the thrift store. But her batman mask put her in the "store" category. I worry we were a little harsh on the handmade/store criteria, but there really weren't that many great costumes. But I suppose there also really weren't that many costumes, with only 23 kids. We didn't get the older kids, perhaps because they had different places to be on a Saturday.

After Halloween sales yielded some pretty fabulous things, including some extra fluffy petticoat dresses, a nice pirate coat and hat, a cute pair of ladybug platform heels, and many accessories. It's a good thing we have a costume room...


For comparison, here's a summary of previous years:
Day, year -- total # -- peak time start (1/2 hour increments)
Fri, 2003 -- 50 -- 6:30
Sun, 2004 -- 73 -- 7:00
Mon, 2005 -- 61 -- 6:30 & 7:30
Tue, 2006 -- 78 -- 6:30
Wed, 2007 -- 40 -- 7:30
Fri, 2008 -- 69 -- 7:00
Sat, 2009 -- 23 -- 8:00
And a link to the past journal entries:

Halloween data
Time for the annual Halloween statistics...

We were all home by 6pm and turned on the porch light, although it wasn't quite dark. It was pretty windy, but no rain. We sent Rob out to get food while Anna and I lit the torches. Our plan was to finish voting while we waited for kids. We would tally trick-or-treaters by gender in fifteen minute increments. Here is what we found:

6:00-- 0 F, 0 M
6:15-- 0 F, 0 M
6:30-- 2 F, 0 M
6:45-- 10 F, 14 M
7:00-- 3 F, 1 M
7:15-- 13 F, 11 M
7:30-- 0 F, 2 M
7:45-- 1 F, 2 M
8:00-- 0 F, 0 M
8:15-- 2 F, 2 M
8:30-- 1 F, 0 M
8:45-- 2 F, 1 M
9:00-- 0 F, 0 M
9:15-- 2 F, 0 M

It seems that trick-or-treating is not gender biased, however, they are still at the age where they travel in single gender groups, and we would get a pack of all boys or all girls.

After turning out the light around 9:30, Anna and I got dressed up to go to the Steampunk Ball... 1st annual steampunk convention, right here in Sunnyvale! There were some fabulous costumes, including a 19th century ghostbuster, and several boy corsets. I am lucky that I live with Anna, and she has several Victorian bustle dresses we were able to wear.

I wore a different brightly colored wig and a different set of wings to work each day this week. I was feeling a bit costumed out, so just used things I had... but I suppose not everyone has a costume room to pick and choose from, and a trunk full of accessories. :)

After Halloween sales didn't yield too much... some brain and heart shaped gelatin molds, some cute gangster shoes, a glow-in-the-dark Pez witch... I think we have a lot of stuff already...


Halloween Data: Pirates vs. Ninjas
This year was by far the smallest turnout.  A number of theories were presented, including but not limited to:
later time change weekend,
not having torches lit in the front yard,
the earthquake we had the day before,
not getting the word out we had cool monster lollipop rings,
parents getting more paranoid.

Estimating age in the past has been difficult, so we went for height this year.  Rob made a nice ruler on the door frame, just like in convenience stores.  We had half foot marks, and classified each trick-or-treater by the closest mark.
We have also had trouble in the past determining people's costumes, so this year we decided to categorize by "pirate" or "ninja."  We had a few guidelines (hat=pirate, mask=ninja), but mostly it was up to whoever answered the door.

Lights on at 5:30 pm.
6-6:30:  stroller, 3.5' x2, 4':  Px2, Nx2
6:30-7:  5':  N
7-7:30:  5.5':  N*
7:30-8:  stroller, 2.5', 3' x3, 3.5' x5, 4' x3, 4.5' x2, 5' x6, 5.5' x3, 6' x4:  P x13, N x15
8-8:30:  3.5', 4', 5':  P, N x2
8:30-9:  5.5' x2:  P*, N
9-9:30:  4':  P
Lights out at 10 pm.

Here are some graphs Anna made:
Height distribution graph
Pirate vs. Ninja distribution

Past years data:


Another year of Halloween Data!
Apparently this Halloween data we've been collecting is becoming famous... or at least referenced by others. Maybe it's because whenever people start talking about Halloween statistics, I pull up records of ABL's past data:

We decided not to ask what costumes everyone had, and chose to make up what we thought they were. So some of the descriptions below are perhaps more creative than originally intended by the wear-er.

Lights on by 5:30pm or so.
6:20pm, first (3) kids show up: sponge bob, zombie, army ninja (and costumed parents!)
6:25 (2): superman, cheerleader (originally we thought she was dressed as a winnie the pooh pillowcase, but that's just because she was holding out her bag in front of her, and she could have fit entirely inside.)
6:30 (1): power ranger
6:40 (5): witch x3, gnome x2
6:45 (~20): (I opened the door to the first door bell, and a steady stream came by the door... I had a hard time counting, noting costumes, and replying "you're welcome" and "happy halloween"... and this is the one time throughout the whole evening that Rob and/or Anna didn't come by the door to help. So the end result for this data point is, no costume data, and no exact number.)
6:50 (~10): Spiderman x2, Superman, witch, kung fu guy, slumber party girl, teenager x2, 2 others
6:55 (3): Indiana Jones (nice costume, assembled from parts, not bought as a set... maybe around 6 years old?), boyfriend and girlfriend pair (or homosexual teenagers dressed as "heterosexual couple")
7:00 (5): witch, Belle, the color red, thug, gangster
7:10 (6): football fan x3, dirt bike rider, race car, the color blue
7:20 (6): tiger, fay ray, commando, cat girl, punk kids x2 (not to be confused with punks)
7:25 (7): Batman, Spiderman, 50's girl, cat, cop, duck, little devil
7:30 (2): Spiderman, the color green
7:40 (2): Lightning McQueen, dalmatian (plus 3 costumed adults)
8:20 (1): Skeletor
8:40 (5): ladybug, ninja x2, goth princess, regular princess
9:00: hoodlum kids ringing the doorbell and running away
9pm: Lights out.

There was a good bit of glow on kids this year (necklaces, or light sticks in bag). Mix of ages throughout the night. We went through over 8 pounds of candy. But perhaps we were generous because I had gone a little overboard in buying it...


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