Halloween’s Most ‘Spirited’ Cities

boston_halloweenPlenty of Halloween music out there only gets played once a year, like the mighty Monster Mash.

We love those perennial Halloween jams, and no Halloween would be complete without them. But more than any other holiday, Halloween is also a good excuse for fun-loving people of any age to dress up and throw a party.

This started us thinking: Which cities across the United States stay up the latest on Halloween listening to Spotify? The results surprised us, and they might surprise you, too. Boo:

Halloween Night: Out and About

Across the board, we found some things we didn’t expect:

  • The Halloween effect isn’t very pronounced in terms of music listening, but it is there, especially in certain cities.
  • On Halloween 2013, listening in most cities was down relative to five other Thursdays. In cities across the land, people are apparently trick-or-treating instead of cranking up the tunes.

One anticipated finding was that the biggest boost in plays happened on not Halloween, but the next night, Friday, November 1. As for the most “spirited” cities on Halloween last year, three cities listening the most relative to other Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:

Biggest Boo Boost: Boston

Out of all of the cities, Boston showed the biggest listening bumps on both Friday and Saturday nights, the biggest party nights for last year’s Halloween, by virtue of not being weeknights. Boston is a big college town, of course, but across the whole city, Spotify listening showed a bigger increase in Halloween listening than in any other large city, as compared to the average listening on its previous five Friday and Saturday evenings.

San Francisco Saturday

On Halloween 2013, San Francisco listened slightly more than usual early in the evening, and then slightly less in the later part of the evening. Friday is par for the course, but then on Saturday, San Francisco’s listening spikes far above normal during the day, perhaps in preparation for the big night ahead.

Los Angeles Saturday

Much like San Francisco, Los Angeles’ Saturday Halloween listening is way up, relative to its previous five Saturdays. In California, for whatever reason, Spotify listening is way, way up on the Saturday following Halloween in its two most influential cities.



We looked at listening in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, in the United States (where the majority of Halloween playlist listening happens to happen). For each city, we looked at listening on Thursday (Halloween 2013), Friday, and Saturday (10/31-11/2) compared to five other Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


(Boston terrier Halloween image courtesy of Flickr/Don Hankins)