It's bigger than Christmas, and almost as big as Thanksgiving.
Considering that I live within spitting distance of Plymouth Rock, geologically speaking, this should give you a pretty good idea just how big Halloween is in New England. Salem sets off fireworks on Halloween Night, fer Christ's sake!
Not for nothing is Stephen King from Maine, Nathaniel Hawthorne from Massachusetts, and H.P. Lovecraft from Rhode Island. Hell, New England Horror Writers have their own writerly association.
I mean, the online version of The Boston Globe has an entire online section just for Halloween. While other parts of the U.S. have there "XX days of shopping before Christmas", we've got the "XX days of shopping before Halloween" countdown.
Most people I know (at least those who are lucky enough to have jobs) have Halloween parties where they work, as opposed to other parties for other holidays.
*dreams of my company Halloween party and the delicious food everyone's going to bring while we completely shut down the company from lunchtime until close*
To prove my point about the awesomeness of Halloween in New England, I present to you a picture of the grave of Mercy L. Brown, Rhode Island's last vampire.
Okay, it was Mercy's corpse that was accused of being a vampire, which resulted in it being exhumed, the heart removed, burnt, and the ashes mixed with water. The slurry was then fed to her brother, whom everyone believed was a victim of Mercy's blood-sucking ways, as a cure. (It didn't work, in case you're wondering.)
Ummm, did I mention that this happened in 1892? As in "less than 8 years before the start of the 20th century".
Just to remind everyone, less than 12 days of shopping before Halloween!
Or in my case, less than 12 days to come up with something yummy for the company holiday party.