Crime Rates During Halloween


Photo by Curtis Perry

When you think of Halloween it probably brings back memories of costumes, games and your parents who suspiciously didn’t know where all of your candy went. However, Halloween is also gaining a reputation for raised crime rates during the holiday.

A study done by the Boston Globe recorded crime in the city of Boston over a period of four years and the results showed that crime went up about 50% on October 31. According to The Trumpet, it said, “This same spike in violent crime occurs in cities and towns around the world where Halloween is celebrated. And it happens despite the fact that police forces are generally bulked up to maximum capacity that night.”

But why do we see a spike in criminal activity on Halloween? In this article, they broke it down to a couple of things. One main reason for the increase in criminal activity is said to be the consumption of alcohol. The only problem with this theory is that on other holidays like New Year’s Eve and Christmas, there is an even greater amount of alcoholic beverages being served yet there aren’t nearly as many crimes being committed as there are on Halloween.

The article proceeded to take it back thousands of years to when Halloween was first being celebrated. There were many stories about how evil spirits would turn into animals and come begging for food at people’s homes. If they did not have food to feed them, they would haunt the locals. If this doesn’t sound familiar, just think about how little children dress up in disguises and go door-to-door asking for candy. There is no scientific answer as to why crime rates spike so dramatically on Halloween night, only theories. However, Halloween has always been affiliated with darkness and evil so some people believe this is the cause for increased crime.

Officer Russell, a member of the South Jordan Police Department, is stationed here at Bingham and I interviewed him about his perspective on the holiday. When I asked him if he sees an increase in criminal activity on Halloween, he said, “Yes, we get a lot of criminal mischief. Kids want to smash things and break things. Sometimes in the city, we get a jump in crimes due to people wearing masks. Bank robberies can increase because people wearing masks becomes a normal thing so people can essentially walk around in public and commit crimes.” The fact that during this time it is acceptable to be wearing a mask out in public makes it much harder to catch someone committing a crime.

As I said before, there is no clear-cut answer as to why crime spikes on October 31st. It may have to do with the alcoholic beverages, the ability to conceal one’s identity with a simple mask or just that creepy evil connotation that goes along with the holiday. Regardless of the reasons, the charts don’t lie. Crime spikes on Halloween, and I’m not talking about parents stealing their kid’s candy.