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    Wal-Mart Unmasks Shoppers' Changing Halloween Habits

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart yesterday offered a peek into its shoppers' changing Halloween habits for 2007.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart yesterday offered a peek into its shoppers' changing Halloween habits for 2007.

    Here are the top Halloween trends the retailer observed:

    -- The comic book costume craze continues, as thousands of children plan to dress as Spider-Man this Halloween. Scream, Super Man, and Jack Sparrow also top the list of most popular children's costumes so far.

    -- Pumpkins are still the holiday's hallowed icon, and sales at Wal-Mart stores nationwide show five states stand out as those where jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin pies are fall faves. This year, customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have purchased the most pumpkins consecutively (as of Oct. 19).

    -- Wal-Mart's 2007 costume sales indicate that dog owners who will parade with their pets this Halloween prefer princesses, witches, and rather than fangs, four-legged Dracula.

    Wal-Mart said it's also keeping an eye on "boo-ing" -- a trend that started in cities like Atlanta, Cleveland, and Sacramento and spread across the country this year, with more and more Americans using Halloween as the excuse behind random acts of kindness. "Boo bags" filled with Halloween candy and other treats have been secretly left on the doorsteps of neighbors or desks of co-workers, or even e-mailed to friends.

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