It might come as a surprise to learn that the single day, well night, of Halloween rakes in $7 billion dollars for businesses and entrepreneurs a year.
That’s big business!
There are many different ways that you can grab a slice of this pumpkin pie and earn some money, some are easy, some require a bit more effort.
Here’s my top 16 ways to make money this Halloween.
#1 Haunted House Tour Guide
Is your locality known for its haunted houses and mysterious locations?
If there’s a few, you could easily make money as a tour guide.
The costs can be quite low as well, especially for a walking tour, but make sure to check local regulations especially in regard to insurance.
If you’re wanting to increase your visitors value, why not hire some people (friends for example) to get dressed up as ghosts and gremlins, or local flavored beasts to surprise and scare your tour group?
#2 Run a Haunted House
If you’re not keen on all that walking, why not run your own haunted house?
There’s two broad options here.
First and probably the most cost effective in the short term, is to hire a local haunted (or just plain old) house and set up some decorations and “monsters” inside.
Secondly, you could create your own Scare Factory! This is a much bigger, long term investment as you would need permanent locations, equipment etc. Renting as much as possible would be the way to go here, and make sure you get that insurance!
The people behind Fear Overload for example make around $200,000 in profit in and around October each year. It took them several years to get off the ground though and they only started making a profit on the 3rd year.
#3 Custom Halloween Costumes
Let’s face it, most Halloween costumes kind of suck. From raunchy maids to random hotdogs, there’s a lot left to be desired for in commercial costumes.
As with anything there’s a market for custom Halloween costumes, crafted with love and attention to detail.
These don’t even necessarily need to be unique to each customer, Dark Creations ATX for instance sells custom costumes between $500 to $1,000.
Unique pieces can go for much more than that.
This sort of costume creation doesn’t have to be just for Halloween. There’s plenty of other options available including LARP, Cosplay, Film costuming and more.
#4 Sell Off-the-rack Costumes
Not everyone has a spare $500 to spend on a costume to be worn one night a year, so selling off-the-rack costumes can appeal to those with less disposable income.
Drop shipping is an option here, and so is buying up costumes in bulk after each Halloween and storing them for sale on the next years Halloween.
You can sell these online, at a market stall or even at a popup Halloween stall. If you have enough merchandise you could sell directly to Halloween shops.
#5 Sell Pet Costumes
Animals lovers dote on their furry family members, and a certain subset also love to dress up their pampered pooches.
That means there’s a market for selling pet Halloween costumes, either custom works or off the rack
#6 Make and Sell Halloween Treats
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for 100% sugar and coloring candy, but there’s a market out there for higher quality, healthy and gourmet treats.
You can sell these online, at a market or even by going door to door in more affluent areas.
Check your local regulations, as catering and food can be highly regulated, especially when it comes to food that might cause allergic reactions.
#7 Grow Pumpkins
If you have some land, and a green thumb why not grow some pumpkins?
These can easily be sold for both carving and making delicious foods like pumpkin pie… mmm pie!
For pumpkin carving, often the larger the better, and locally produced foods are often better received than foods trucked in from who knows where.
#8 Custom Carved Pumpkins
Not everyone is skilled at carving pumpkins. Mine often end up looking like they have been mauled by a seriously disgruntled troll.
If you have an artistic flair and know which end the pointy bit of a knife goes you can most likely make some money selling custom carved pumpkins.
A pre-carved pumpkin at Masterpiece Pumpkins ranges from around $60 to $100!
Highly detailed carvings can go for even more than that.
#9 Halloween Party Planner
Party planning is big business, and Halloween is just another party!
You can offer services such as:
- Arranging venue
- Arranging costumes
- Spooky food services
- Organising a music playlist/musicians
People hire party planners because they don’t have the time or patience to get all the details right, so you need to be organised and detail oriented.
As mentioned, you can take any skills learnt here and apply them to part planning for anything beyond Halloween, including birthdays, weddings, Christmas and New Year, etc.
#10 Halloween Make-up
If you’re good with make-up then why not try your hand at Halloween make-up?
Creating gory and realistic body effects isn’t something your average person can do, so why not set up a stall on a popular trick or treat rout and tempt in kids and their parents with your devilish designs?
You could even send out some flyers locally to promote your work and get some bookings. Or why not approach local businesses to see if they want to have their staff made gruesome?
These sort of skills can be applied outside of Halloween as well, for example for theater or film productions, LARP and Cosplay and at theme parks, etc.
#11 Craft Custom Decorations
Just like at Christmas, commercial Halloween decorations can be garish and plain ugly.
Why not sell custom designs instead: Etsy is a great choice here, your own website, or even a local market.
#12 Decorating Homes & Businesses
Talking of decorations, why not hire yourself out to decorate a home or business ready for Halloween?
A lot of businesses don’t have the time to spare staff to do this type of work, and it’s often cheaper for them to hire someone than to use their own staff’s time to get it done.
You can canvas local businesses, and send out flyers to local homes.
#13 Kid’s Trick or Treat Tours
My worst nightmare is trailing after 10 screaming kids all on sugar highs.
If that’s OK by you then why not set up a trick or treat tour for kids. You can either take over the reins from the parents or have them in tow as well.
You can guide the kids around the best trick and treat tours, introduce some “scary” characters and tell them “spooky” stories. Remember to be age appropriate!
Also, check you local regulations regarding insurance and tour licences.
#14 Halloween Videos
YouTube videos are insanely popular, and as humans we often like to see bad things happen to other people.
One idea is to wander around town on Halloween and recording people getting scared.
These recordings could then be put up on YouTube and if they go viral, could net you some cash in advertising fees.
Obviously, this method of making money on Halloween is hit and miss.
#15 Halloween Affiliate Marketing
If you’re more into digital dealings than face to face, why not learn affiliate marketing and promote Halloween related things online?
You could promote a wide amount of things, or focus on specific elements like masks and costumes.
Affiliate marketing for Halloween products is obviously seasonal, but the skills learnt could be used for more general products too!
#16 Halloween Related e-Books
If you’re a writer why not create some Halloween inspired e-books?
You could write about:
- Crafting Halloween decorations
- Create a recipe book full of Halloween treats
- A make-up techniques books
- Costume creation
- How to do Halloween on a budget
- A guide to haunted houses in the US/State/city
E-books like these can be sold on Amazon’s Kindle marketplace, your own site of digital product marketplaces like ClickBank.
The Bottom Line
There’s many ways that you can turn this scary day into a scarily profitable day!
You just need to look at the celebration like an entrepreneur and find the ways that you can apply your skill set to make money with Halloween.