Put down your jack-o-lanterns. Halloween might be taking this year off.

Hershey’s is preparing for a big, spooky drop in candy sales.

When Kit Kat released its pumpkin-pie-flavored wafers this month, I thought Halloween 2020 couldn’t get spookier. I was wrong.

It’s not even August, but based on a series of frightening headlines, Halloween might already be over:

  • Only ~27% of parents are planning to take their kids trick-or-treating, according to a new poll.
  • The sweets specialist Hershey’s racks up ~10% of its annual sales from the holiday. But it’s bracing for an exodus of Halloween buyers.
  • Universal Orlando canceled its annual Halloween Horror Nights, a month after Disney World kicked its own Halloween festivities to the curb.
  • Even the studios are spooked: Horror films like Halloween Kills and The Forever Purge are running scared to 2021.

It’s a wicked turn of events for the candy, costume, and decoration companies that rake in almost $9B — including $500m from outfits for pets — every Halloween.

If your costume-making friend looks like they’ve seen a ghost, those numbers might be why.

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