Turns out, the holiday of "boos" and spooky spirits is also one of the most popular for booze and tasty spirits: The period around Halloween is the second only to the Super Bowl for alcohol sales in the U.S., according to Arthur Shapiro, head of AM Shapiro & Associates LLC, a strategic marketing company that specializes in the alcohol industry.
"People used to joke about Jose, Jack, and Johnnie as the perfect Halloween guests," he said. "People ask, 'What the hell is this all about?' Halloween has become a time when you change your persona in a fun and exciting way ... and that goes hand in hand with partying and getting sh*t-faced."
Clearly, the holiday isn't just about candy and trick-or-treating anymore.
"Halloween has become somewhat more adult-oriented in recent years as the alcohol industry uses this holiday as a major promotional season," according to Mintel Market Research.
As a result, the alcohol industry has been focusing heavily on promoting its products during October. Diageo, maker of Captain Morgan rum, used Halloween 2009 as the basis for a major marketing initiative, according to Adweek.
"Captain Morgan was a cartoon costume figure, and [the Captain and] Halloween always went well together because of the nature of the character," Shapiro said.
Retailers and distributors now take full advantage of this first major opportunity of autumn for revelry.
"Things have been pretty dry since Labor Day," Shapiro said. "At liquor stores, if you could capture that sheer degree of the retail space on Halloween ... you could sustain momentum through to Thanksgiving. It would be all all right."