Sour Patch Kids are Maine’s favorite Halloween candy, followed by Starbursts and M&M’s, according to a recent survey of sales data by But little taste buds would disagree.

We did our own survey of students at the Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School in Portland, and Sour Patch Kids and Starbursts weren’t mentioned once. But we got an earful about M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and we learned more than we wanted to know about Gummy Boogers.

Superheroes come and go, and Halloween costumes go in and out of fashion, but some things about the scariest holiday of the year never change: Kids still like sugar. They’re wary of ringing the doorbell at that spooky house down the street. And the act of sorting and sharing candy is still a fine art carried out among siblings.

Here’s a look at what today’s little ghosts and goblins have to say about their favorite time of year. Happy Halloween!

George Gay, 9, plans to be Willy Wonka for Halloween.


HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “Willie Wonka. The original Willy Wonka, not the new one.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “I get all the candy I can swipe on Halloween. I’m also pretty lucky to, like, get some Reese’s. I even get some Skittles on Halloween, and M&Ms, and I get lots of other candy I like. I mostly like all the candy, except for spicy and cinnamon. I also like chocolate bars. They’re, like, my wickedest favorite.”

LEAST FAVORITE: “The only thing that I don’t like is people swiping my candy. Those would be candy stealers.”

WHO DOES THAT? “Not nice people.”

YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS? “No, but my dad usually does it sometimes. Or he does it when I’m gone, and I always just know.”

ANY NON-CANDY HALLOWEEN TREATS? “I have gotten coins before. And I’ve also gotten vampire teeth, which I like.”

Xayden Wen, 8, plans to be a vampire for Halloween.



WHY A VAMPIRE? “Because it’s old school, and I like old school stuff.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “One of my most favorites are the Reese’s, and sometimes if I’m lucky enough there’s like small bags of M&M’s or Skittles.”

LEAST FAVORITE: “If I get a Butterfinger in my Halloween thing, I just give it to my sister. She loves Butterfingers. I hate them.”

DO YOU AND YOUR SISTER TRADE CANDY? “Basically we don’t have our own candy. We always, like, share it with everyone in the house. If I get something that my sister really wanted, I’m not going to eat it myself unless my parents pack it in my lunch box, but usually we just share candy.”

ANY SCARY HOUSES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD YOU’RE AFRAID TO VISIT? “Sometimes, because they have these creepy decorations, but I ask my parents if they can do it for me. But then they say, if you want the candy, you have to get it yourself.”

DO YOU COUNT YOUR CANDY WHEN YOU GET HOME? “I like to, but then I have to count my sister’s for her, and then lose track of how much I have and I have to recount mine.”

DO YOU GET TO EAT ALL YOUR CANDY? “If we don’t eat all of it, sometimes (our parents) just put it in the candy box. We have a candy box in our cabinet – a big container filled with candy. Sometimes later in the year, or other years, they’ll give it to us if we’re, like, good or something.”

Phoebe He, 8, plans to be a policewoman for Halloween.

PHOEBE HE, age 8


FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “Not much, but I do like Hershey’s white chocolate.”

LEAST FAVORITE: “Twizzlers. It doesn’t really taste good. It tastes like rubber.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING A PENCIL OR A TOOTHBRUSH INSTEAD OF CANDY? “Pretty happy because after you eat candy your teeth get all, like, cavities, and you can use a toothbrush to brush it clean.”

DO YOU EVER COUNT YOUR CANDY? “I actually don’t, but I do look at how much there are and see if every day I can eat it little by little so it won’t take a short time to eat it all.”

DO YOU GET TO EAT ALL YOUR CANDY? “I don’t get to eat it all because, like, the candy gets expired. We don’t even eat that much, but after my parents will throw it out because it always gets our cavities. We have the most cavities on Halloween. Our parents doesn’t really like the candy because it’s too sweet. So after she (Phoebe’s mother) would take a little candy and put it on the table, and then the rest goes in the garbage so we won’t have cavities.”

Ani Ademi, 9, hasn’t decided what to be for Halloween, but is leaning toward something silly.


HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “I’m actually not sure yet. I don’t know if I’m going to be anything, but if I am, something silly – like, not a lot of makeup, and I don’t want something too wild. Just a little thing you can slip on, maybe.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “For some reason, I really love chocolate, all chocolate. So different kinds of chocolates are fine with me.”

LEAST FAVORITE: “I have to say Twizzlers … Not a big fan.”

DO YOUR PARENTS TRY TO SNEAK ANY OF YOUR CANDY? “My mom has a sweet tooth. All her teeth are sweet teeth. So she can eat some candy sometimes.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING A PENCIL OR A TOOTHBRUSH INSTEAD OF CANDY? “I’ll not say I’ll be thrilled, but I guess it’s fine.”


WHAT HAPPENED? “I don’t know. Once I start eating a little, I’ll get carried away and eat a lot and then the tummy ache comes and I get sick. But sometimes I can control how much candy I eat.”

Elliott Schmitt, 6, plans to be a scarecrow – his whole family is going trick-or-treating as characters from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Elliott Schmitt, age 6

HALLOWEEN COSTUME: A scarecrow “because ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is our theme. I chose my little brother to be Toto because he’s small enough to be a dog, and my dad to be the Cowardly Lion, although it’s switched around some. My brother’s going to be the Cowardly Lion because we got a lion hat.”

SO WHAT WILL YOUR DAD BE? Toto. My mom is going to be Dorothy. My grandma and grandpa are going to be Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. My 3-year-old brother is going to be the Tin Man.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “Milky Way. Just because I like it. It’s my mom’s favorite candy to get. Her least favorite is Kit Kat. I don’t have a least favorite chocolate candy because I love every candy.”

DO YOU TRADE CANDY WITH YOUR BROTHER? “No, we just share it along the way. My mom sometimes skips when we go from house to house because she likes to go on the Yellow Brick Road.”

DO YOU COUNT YOUR CANDY? “No, I just eat it. I just do it like musical chairs. I eat some candies and save one for my little brother at home.”

WHAT DO YOU SHARE WITH HIM? Particularly any chocolate candy except Whoppers and bubblegum because Whoppers are too hard and bubblegum is too soft, and we’re not allowed to have it.

DO YOUR PARENTS EVER SNEAK INTO YOUR STASH? I don’t make a stash. I just eat them along the way from house to house. I save one. We have two pieces, one for me and one for my little brother.

SO YOU DON’T EAT YOUR CANDY SLOWLY IN THE WEEKS AFTER HALLOWEEN? I don’t draw it out. When I was little I used to hide my candy stash in a banged-up old closet that was up far away in an attic, and my parents never got to it. My dad did the same thing when he was little, and my dad’s parents always never used the attic that he hid it in the banged-up old closet.

BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU DON’T KEEP A STASH ANYMORE: “Yeah, because I found (the candy) would get older and older. It gets 69 years old in a day. One year old in the night, 69 years old in the morning.”

Elliott ended our conversation with a riddle. “What do young turkeys usually like to watch? Gizzard of Oz.”

Lynn Wen, 5, will be Owlette from the “PJ Masks” television show.

LYNN WEN, age 5

HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “An owlette. And my brother’s a vampire. Our costumes came in a few days ago. And we both got vampire teeth. My brother got one, and I got one because owls have sharp teeth, too.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “Suckers. Because I like eating lollipops, and the other word for it is suckers.”

LEAST FAVORITE: Cotton candy. I do (like it), I just don’t like them when it’s Halloween. And one of my friends, Cassidy, she has her birthday on Halloween.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CANDY YOU DON’T LIKE? “We try them and then we start liking them.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING A PENCIL OR A TOOTHBRUSH INSTEAD OF CANDY? “One time I got a pencil for Halloween, and I saw it in my bag. Good. And I got glow sticks from another person. We could make bracelets and necklaces.”

ANY SCARY HOUSES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD YOU’RE AFRAID TO VISIT? “Near my neighborhood this year I saw where you clapped your hands, and a witch made the witch noise. And I did not like it. Now I’m going somewhere else to go trick or treating.”

Kjeld Nelson, 10, plans to be The Flash for Halloween.


HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “The Flash. I’m a huge Flash fan. Me and my family watch it. My sister doesn’t, though. She’s 5, turning 6 in November. Actually, the cool thing is she’s turning 6 on Nov. 6.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: Milky Way. “They’re, like, caramel-ish inside, and I like how they’re chocolate. I really like chocolate, but I favor milk chocolate over dark chocolate.

LEAST FAVORITE: “I hate M&M’s. The only ones I like are peanut (butter) M&M’s, but other than that, I just hate M&M’s.

DO YOU TRADE CANDY? “I sometimes trade candy with my sister. My friend Josh goes trick or treating with me every year, and I trade with him a lot. He really likes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and I really like Milky Ways. There’s this person in my neighborhood who gives out really big packs of candies, and I always give him my big bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and he gives me his big Milky Way.”

DO YOU EVER GET THINGS LIKE PENCILS OR TOOTHBRUSHES? “Yeah, definitely. I feel it’s kind of cheesy to give someone something on Halloween that’s not candy, but I definitely can use the erasers. Sometimes you get erasers with your pencil.”

ANY SCARY HOUSES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD YOU’RE AFRAID TO VISIT? “There have been in the past that I was like ‘Eww, I don’t want to go in those,’ but I feel like this year I’m going to be a little bit braver since I’m double digits.”

DO YOU COUNT OR WEIGH YOUR CANDY? “I count mine. Last year, I got somewhere around 81 pieces of candy. I have a big neighborhood.”

DO YOUR PARENTS EVER GET INTO IT? “Not much, but normally I give my mom and dad a couple of things. My dad absolutely loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so I have to split mine between my friend Josh and my dad.”

KJELD ON GUMMY BOOGERS: “It might sound gross, but they’re just so good that it doesn’t seem gross after you’ve eaten one.”

Sophie Michaud, 5, plans to be a skeleton witch for Halloween.


HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “I’m going to be a witch and a skeleton at the same time. The pants are going to be skeleton-themed, and then the shirt is a skeleton. And then there’s a big puffy skirt and a witch’s hat, and we bought a broom.”

IF YOU HAD A WITCH’S MAGICAL POWERS, WHAT WOULD YOU USE THEM FOR? “I would make candy fall from the rain.”



DO YOU GET TO EAT ALL YOUR CANDY? “My mom puts it away. Also, my candy basket, it’s purple, and it’s up in the attic at our house. No, wait. It’s actually down in the basement.”

DO YOUR PARENTS EVER TRY TO SNEAK SOME OF YOUR CANDY? “Only my dad. My basket is a pumpkin one, and my dad comes up and steals a chocolate because that’s the favorite thing he likes. And he starts to eat it, and the next day I go ‘Phew, that chocolate’s gone’ because I hate chocolate.”

Emma Pingree, 6, will be Skye from “Paw Patrol” for Halloween.


HALLOWEEN COSTUME: “I’m going to be a character in ‘Paw Patrol,’ and her name is Skye.”

WHY? “Because she flies in an airplane, and I like to do it, too, but I’ve actually never tried it before, and the best thing is I am definitely not afraid of heights.”

FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY: “Candy corn. It’s usually yellow, orange, and white at the very very tippy tippy top. I like it because it has a lot of sugar and it tastes really yummy. It’s just like brownies except way more sugar. Even only one little tiny candy corn can be twice as much candy as eating a thousand candy bars at one time.”


DO YOU EVER GET THINGS THAT AREN’T CANDY, LIKE PENCILS OR TOOTHBRUSHES? “I have gotten a toy circus before, but it was fun.”

DO YOU TRADE YOUR CANDY? “Once I only got eight pieces of candy and I gave four to my sister, three to my mom and one to myself.”

THE MOST YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN? The most I ever got was, like – you won’t believe this, but 70 pieces. But my least was one piece of candy.”

DO YOU GET TO EAT ALL YOUR CANDY? “We usually eat it when it’s next Halloween. Either dessert next Halloween or a special party that we’re having at our house and all our friends come, or either my birthday is happening.”

HAVE YOU EVER EATEN SO MUCH CANDY IT MADE YOU SICK? “Yes I have, and it made me feel so sick that it feels like I might have exploded already, and my mom might have gave me yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky yucky medicine. (Pause) Yucky medicine. One more extra.”

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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