GEARLAUNCH Selling Guides

Halloween Guide

It’s time to get spooky! Halloween is one of the most commercially successful holidays around. In this guide, we’ll teach you the origins of Halloween, the ins and outs of the Halloween market, and give you some print-on-demand Halloween product ideas.

Overview of Halloween

Halloween was created through a mix of holidays and changed its form a few times before becoming the Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, we’re familiar with.


Halloween’s beginning is connected to a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced Soo-when, So-ween, or Saw-wen). It’s held around the first of November and Samhain roughly translates to “summer’s end” in Gaelic.

The idea of Samhain is to come together at the end of the harvest every year. It’s thought that this day is when the veil between the living and dead thins out enough for people to communicate with the dead. People come together to gather resources, light bonfires, bring animals in for the winter, connect with the dead, and eat and drink together.

An early form of dressing up in costumes also originates from Samhain. People would darken their faces with ashes from the bonfires to protect themselves from evil spirits. This would later be called Guising and would turn into wearing masks instead of ash. If a person recognized a loved one, they’d wipe their face off and reveal themself.

People gathered around a large bonfire

All Hallow’s Eve

Once Christianity started to become the prominent religion, they started to take over and “sanitize” these pagan rituals. Samhain soon became All Hallow’s Eve, which was the evening before All Saint’s Day, a holiday to celebrate any saints that didn’t have their own holiday already.

The point of All Hallow’s Eve was to gather together to pray and fast in preparation for the next day when the saints are celebrated.

A form of trick-or-treating appeared with this holiday. Poor people in the area would knock on houses asking for soul-cake in exchange for prayers. The extra praying was to help those who died rise to Heaven.

Holidays Mixing Together

Samhain came to North America when the Irish experienced the potato famine and migrated over to America in 1845-1849. The Irish celebrated All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day, and All Soul’s Day, but each of these holidays was mixed with Irish folk traditions, like the jack o’ lantern.

During that same time period, October 31st became a day when anyone’s house or business could be vandalized.

Modern Day Halloween Origins

In 1913, a woman Elizabeth Krebs would start to shape what modern Halloween looks like. She was sick of her home and town being destroyed each year so she organized a party on October 31st. The goal was to tire out the kids that would don masks and going out vandalizing.

It didn’t work, the town was wrecked again.

The next year, 1914, she went all out. She got the whole town involved, brought in a band, held a costume contest, and even had a parade. This time her plan worked, people of all ages enjoyed the party.

As news of this success spread, other states started doing the same thing. This is where many of the basics of modern Halloween come from.

People dressed up in costume (skeleton, witch, zombie) at a halloween party

Market for Halloween

2020 was a rough year for Halloween, though people did try to find their own ways to celebrate. People hosted Zoom costume parties, dressed up with their pets, and left candy in baggies for trick-or-treaters.

This year, with the Covid vaccine in play, many are hoping to make up for last year. Here’s a chart showing how people planned to celebrate Halloween even with a lockdown in place. Imagine how much more they’ll want to do this year!

Graph showing how people celebrated Halloween

How Other Places Celebrate Halloween

Latin America

Some people may think that Día de los Muertos is the same thing as Halloween, but they’re mistaken. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is about honoring their deceased loved ones.

Instead, depending on the country, you see people celebrating just like Americans. They have parties, kids dress up and trick-or-treat, and decorate with traditional Halloween icons.


With Ireland, it depends on where you go. In many places, both adults and children dress up, go trick-or-treating, and party. There’s also a special Halloween Carnival held in Northern Ireland where thousands of people dress up and party. Parades and festivals are everywhere in this country!


Halloween is new to the Germans, they only started celebrating it in the 1990s. Because it’s so close to another holiday called St. Martin’s Day, it’s more of an adult holiday. St. Martin’s Day has children walk around singing for candy. So instead, adults attend different festivals that feature scary movies, general partying, or exploring ruins.


Celebrating Halloween in China really depends on who you’re talking to. Some people don’t celebrate at all while others go all out. Halloween seems to be celebrated more in urban areas because they’ve been more influenced by western culture. The usual celebrations involve going to bars, parties, and walking around in costumes. Though it seems scary costumes are not allowed on or near public transportation.


Halloween is a popular holiday in Japan among adults thanks to Tokyo Disneyland hosting its first Halloween event in 2000. Instead of trick-or-treating or scaring people, the main focus is on costumes and having fun. People love to dress up and go to parties. They will host parties at home or go out to nightclubs, bars, or amusement parks to celebrate,


Very similar to China, Halloween is an adults-only celebrated holiday in populated cities. You don’t see much celebrating in the countryside. Local businesses will set up face painting sessions to help people get into a spooky mood. Costumes and parties are the focus of Halloween in this country.

Halloween Product Ideas

Remember that while you can’t use specific characters, you can use classic Halloween monsters, like a ghost, vampire, werewolf, or witch.

Make sure to let your customers know about these products early on. Remember, these products have to arrive in time for Halloween.

Face Mask/ Neck Gaiter

Face masks are going to be the hot item this year. While vaccinations are on the rise, many people are still concerned about Covid and its variants. Use this opportunity to create fun and fearsome face masks so your customers can be spooky and safe!

Using a face mask or neck gaiter is also a low-maintenance way of wearing a costume.

Face Mask Details:

  • 100% polyester microfiber fabric
  • Single-layer
  • UPF 35
  • Stretch fabric cover binding
  • Bleachable with no color fade
  • Machine wash cold, tumble dry cool
  • Not medical grade

Neck Gaiter Details:

  • Quick-dry, fade-resistant, and has UPF protection
  • 100% polyester
  • Seamless breathable moisture-wicking technology
  • Machine wash cold, tumble dry cool
Woman wearing a neck gaiter that is showing the bottom of a skull

Marketing Inspiration

Focus on adults who don’t want to dress up, but have people in their life that pressure them to do so. An example being parents with kids who go trick-or-treating. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to show off your product.

Create images of people wearing your neck gaiter and plainclothes to show that it can technically be a costume. If you can use Halloween backgrounds even better!


What’s great about a tablecloth is that it can be used again and again. So, even if Halloween is just a day, your customers can use this product every year. A tablecloth is perfect for people who want to celebrate but are on a budget. Imagine how good a table will look with a Halloween-themed tablecloth on it.

Tablecloth Details:

  • 2 sizes (in inches): 58X58 & 58X102
  • Made of cotton twill
  • One-sided print
  • Finished hem edging
  • Machine washable
Green tablecloth with a skull in the center and spiderwebs all over the rest of the cloth

Marketing Inspiration

Target party throwers through emails and Instagram. Make sure to feature plenty of pictures of your tablecloth designs. Ask followers if they have any party plans, either throwing one or attending one.

If you’re using emails, use subject lines that focus on party planning. This will catch their attention because you could potentially solve their problem with planning their party.

After Halloween, ask customers for pictures of their party and the tablecloth in use. Have them tag you so you can give them a shout-out.


A t-shirt is another great way to wear a costume without a lot of effort. Create snarky sayings about costumes and put them on a short and long sleeve shirt that way it works for customers no matter the weather.

If you want to, you could even create matching shirts for couples who aren’t into wearing costumes.

You could cross-sell Halloween masks/gaiters if you choose to use both.

Short-Sleeve Details:

  • Unisex sizing
  • Solid colors are 100% combed and ring-spun cotton
  • Heather Gray is 90% cotton, 10% polyester

Long Sleeve Details:

  • Classic, loose fit
  • Made of preshrunk jersey knit
  • Double-needle hems and neck band for durability
  • Solid colors are 100% cotton
  • Charcoal Heather is 60% cotton, 50% polyester
  • Sport Gray is 90% Cotton, 10% polyester
  • Ash is 99% cotton, 1% polyester
Couple wearing shirts that say "I Like Tricks" and "I Like Treats"

Marketing Inspiration

Like with the face masks, make sure you specifically target people who aren’t interested in wearing a costume but still want to celebrate Halloween. As mentioned before, if you can create images of people wearing your mask and shirt, you can market both.

You can encourage people to buy by offering a treat aka a discount on these products. Create a code like Treat and make sure to let your customers know about it through social media and email campaigns.

Tote Bag

Not everyone wants to go all out or even dress up for Halloween, and a spooky tote bag is perfect for them. Make it spooky without necessarily being Halloween by using a creepy quote. There are plenty out there, just make sure to credit the author if there is one.

Plus, if they prefer, this idea lets people be spooky all year round.

Tote Bag Details:

  • Comes in 3 sizes (in inches): 13X13,16X16, 18X18
  • Exterior is made of 100% polyester
  • Interior is made of 100% polyester
  • Washable
  • Double-sided print
  • 1” wide cotton webbing straps
A dark red tote bag that says "The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we've come to need Halloween.-- Paula Guran

Marketing Inspiration

Focus on Pinterest and create a board highlighting your products. Make sure to share it on other social media platforms so people can add it to their boards. Halloween is the type of holiday that thrives on Pinterest because many people make creative crafts and show them off. People also like to find products from small to medium businesses like yourself.


People love to decorate their houses for Halloween. What better addition to the home than an adorable pillow for their couch or bed? Pillows are easy because all you have to do is place them somewhere versus having to put together something or hang up decorations.

Pillow Details:

  • Comes in 2 sizes (in inches):16X16 & 18X18
  • Made of polyester microfiber (burlap)
  • The outdoor version has a smooth and durable feel
  • The indoor version is a bit softer
  • Printed on the front
Black pill with "Boo!" and two ghosts in white

Marketing Inspiration

On social media, ask your followers what their favorite way of decorating their house is. This will start a conversation about interior design. You can then showcase your product with clear photos and a direct link to the product page in the post.

Spooky CTAs

  • Last Day to Order Halloween Products so They Arrive on Time!
  • Trick-or-Treat? We’re All About the treats, a Special Treat Inside!
  • Don’t Want to Dress Up? Check Out Our Halloween Themed Shirts!
  • Missing Out on This Collection Would Truly be Frightening!

Halloween Cut-Off Dates