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Australia's Halloween hype down to US love

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Luke Costin

Social media, the film Mean Girls and increasing affection for America are behind Australians' embrace of Halloween.

That's according to American studies lecturer Rodney Taveira, who says Australians' resistance to the US is waning as our focus on the UK "ages out".

"Australians, especially younger Australians, are looking to the US with greater frequency and accessibility," the University of Sydney lecturer said on Friday.

"Halloween has become a part of Australian culture and has become normalised by its repeated appearance on American television, film and social media."

He attributes the trick-or-treat rise to:

* social media, both for increasing exposure to the US and demanding more content from users

* the uptake of all things American in Australia

* Mean Girls, whose impact "cannot be overstated" after a scene in the 2004 teen comedy featured a high school Halloween party.

Increasingly, communities are open to the idea of little ghouls and superheroes knocking on doors on October 31.

Research released by Woolworths suggests seven in 10 households with kids between five and 14 will celebrate the pagan event this year.

But some are taking measures to ensure Halloween haters are not disturbed.

Homes in the Melbourne suburb of Warrandyte have been invited to place a Halloween balloon outside their home if they wish to receive some trick-or-treaters.

The increasing popularity has also prompted NSW police to warn children it's safest to remain in groups and only approach houses in daylight.

The term "Halloween" comes from All Hallow's Eve, the evening before the Catholic Church's All Saints Day.

But the event itself is believed to date to the much older Celtic celebration of Samhain, a day in which the veil between the natural and supernatural worlds drops.

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