Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, painstakingly-crafted Halloween costumes now live on in viral glory long after the night has ended. For people who measure the success of their Halloween in Instagram hearts, the holiday outlet store Halloween Express has put together a map of the app’s most-liked costumes from the past four years.
The spooky data was compiled by searching posts from 2012 to 2015 with the tag #halloween and combing through the captions for costume mentions. The most popular costume posts have been organized by state, so you can see how your area stacks up against the rest of the country on October 31.
There are a handful of classic costumes that crop up year after year, like ghosts, zombies, skeletons, and cats. Others reflect pop culture trends: Marvel superheroes were popular in California in 2014 while Star Wars characters are beginning to make a comeback this Halloween. Surprisingly, E.T. has remained the most consistently liked Halloween costume each year, despite being based on a 33-year-old film.
Then there are the oddball costumes that appear in one state for a year only to vanish the next. For Halloween 2014 in Massachusetts, Where’s Waldo? was unusually popular, while narwhals experienced an inexplicable hot streak in Utah in 2012. To see what each state’s most popular costume looks like in the filtered flesh, we've gathered together some of this year's creepiest, funniest, and most adorable #halloween posts from Instagram.
Ghoul earned the top spot in North Carolina.
An artist is this year's most liked costume in Wisconsin and Connecticut.
This classic costume nabbed the number one spot in New Hampshire.
Elf costumes are a favorite among Iowa residents this year.
5. WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman is an especially popular costume choice in Nevada.
E.T. is the most popular costume in not one, but seven states this year including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, New Mexico, Mississippi and New Jersey.
7. CORPSE BRIDE
Corpse Bride is the top choice in Colorado.
This year, the majority people in Georgia are dressing up as this topical Marvel character.
Residents of Maryland know you can't beat the classics.
10. HARRY POTTER
Harry Potter costumes are still going strong in Oklahoma.
11. FOOTBALL PLAYER
Even if they don't have an NFL team of their own, there are plenty of football players in Utah come Halloween.
12. THE FLASH
This superhero costume is popular in Hawaii.
This costume takes first place in Arizona.
An abundance of Pennsylvanians are going goth this Halloween.
Monsters take the top spots in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Mermaids are this year's most popular costume in South Carolina.
It shouldn't be too hard to spot puppy costumes in Oregon, Washington and Ohio this Halloween.
Michigan is channeling their inner punk rocker for Halloween this year.
So far, scarecrows are Maine's most popular costume of 2015.
This cinematic villain is the costume of choice in Rhode Island.
This year, witches account for the most liked costumes in Alabama, Nebraska and North Dakota.
Spider-man is the most popular costume in the superhero's home state of New York.
23. STAR WARS
The new movie isn't coming out until December, but that hasn't stopped residents of Kansas, Massachusetts and Florida from getting in touch with their inner Star Wars nerd for Halloween.
This is Texas' most popular costume of 2015.
This year, Kentucky residents are breaking out their spookiest skeleton outfits.
Be on the lookout for werewolves in Louisiana come October 31.