Greetings, pathetic mortals. It’s that eerie time of the year again!

Halloween is not only a huge occasion for candy brands, marketers, and celebrities, but it’s a iconic holiday that’s has celebrated the faithful departed for centuries.

Over time, Hallow’s Eve has been further popularized by pop culture by cult movies such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, Scream, and more. These freaky films spawned notorious characters such as Jason, Freddy Krueger, the clown from It, and basically all of everyone’s worst nightmares as a kid.

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A lesson in scary history

But who was scaring us before these guys, and have been for centuries? Before Halloween slasher movie villains came along, there were the vampires, werewolves, witches, and zombies.

These are the classic characters that stood the test of time –  they’re still as popular today as ever. In fact, they have been the most talked about on the web for the last 30 days.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look what is being said about these characters, where the conversations are being had, who is the most popular, and more.

Let the Halloween social media showdown begin!

But before we start, let’s get to know our ghastly contestants a little better.

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Vampires

Let’s begin with my personal favorite, vampires.

According to ZME Science, “Even in the English language, the word “vampire” exists since 1734, but it wasn’t until Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula that the archetypal sophisticated vampire was established.”

Vampires are typically portrayed as beautiful, eternally young, seductive, and they don’t need to eat – what’s not to like?

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Vampires came back in a big way in modern popular culture. It started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer which brought the cult status of vampires back for a while. But it wasn’t until popular teen movies and series such as Twilight and the Vampire Diaries that gave vampires the comeback that they deserve.

However, they did make them sparkly and emotional….

Werewolves

You wouldn’t want to mess with a werewolf, trust me.

Once humans, they were cursed with the ability to transform into ‘antropomorphic animals’(usually wolves), triggered by the full moon. Also known as ‘lycans’, werewolves have the speed and strength of animals but as well the brains of human, making them a force to be reckoned with.

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Not nearly as popular as vampires throughout history, the Twilight movies and the tv series ‘True Blood’ brought werewolves back to popularity by casting hunky stars such as Taylor Lautner and Joe Manganiello – hey, we’re not complaining.

Witches

Witches have been around for a long, long time, as the concept of witchcraft derived from The Old Testament with ‘laws against witchcraft’. There have been stories from all corners of the world about different variations of witches such as wizards, warlocks, voodoo, shamans, and more.

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A witch is often portrayed as powerful and all-knowing. They can been seen in popular culture functioning in a ‘coven’, or an organisation of witches. #Girlpower

Zombies

They may be slow, dumb, and undead – but these gross creatures have really taken off in the last few years.

Originating from Haitian folklore, zombies have a fascinating heritage – with notable stories such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein making a name for them.

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Today, series and movies such as The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later made zombies cool again and popularized the concept of the ‘zombie apocalypse’.

Modern-day zombies only have one thing on their ‘minds’: BRAINS!!!

Now that we got to know a little about the most popular halloween characters, let’s look at how they stack up against each other when it comes to social media.

To conduct this competitive analysis, I created separate alerts for each of the characters. Then I compiled a competitive report from them, which you can learn how to create here.

Want to see the full report live? Click here.

Volume of Mentions

First we’ll look at which character was the most mentioned across the web and social media in the last 30 days *drumroll …it’s witches!

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As we can see, witches were mentioned significantly more than the other characters. I wanted to know why, so I dug a little deeper into my ‘witches’ individual alert and created a ‘Listening Report’ to find out what happened.

It turns out, there were two key events that caused the sudden spike in its volume of mentions: #TheWitchesBall in New Orleans, and Netflix’s revival of the Sabrina The Witch series.

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Once I clicked hovered on the highest spike, I was able to click and see the messages that were related to it.

Witches 1. Everyone else 0.

Reach

Witches may have been mentioned the most, but which Halloween character was ‘heard’ the most? It’s zombies!

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Zombies were able to reach almost 600 billion people over the last few days. Not bad for a herd of slow, brainless corpses!

This doesn’t come as a surprise as the popularity of zombies has really grown in the last decade.

Trailing behind zombies are vampires, werewolves, and witches.

Top Locations

Now that we know how much was said and heard about these characters, let’s look at where in the world these conversations took place.

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What is really interesting is that vampires are talked about way more in countries such as Greenland and Russia, who would’ve thought! Could ‘Twilight’ just have started to take off the the far north and east?

On the other hand, Asia, North and South America and most of Africa talks almost exclusively about witches. Perhaps Netflix cast a spell on most of the world with the new ‘Sabrina’? I think so.

Other than that, zombies and werewolves were mentioned very little in the rest of the world. Go team witches and vampires!

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So where online were most of these conversations being had? Twitter was the clear platform of choice with over 800k of mentions taking place there.

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There wasn’t a clear character dominating one particular platform though. This might change, however, since it’s not the eve of Halloween yet. We’ll likely see an increase in images later tonight as people upload photos of their costumes on Instagram – I couldn’t wait, so here’s mine!

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Competitive analysis matters, even to the undead

So there you have it, the most popular classic Halloween characters, according to the internet. Which character is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Remember it’s always important to benchmark yourself against your competitors, even if you don’t have a brain(or a soul). Learn how to do it by clicking below.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Sandra is a content marketer at Mention. She hails from Vancouver, Canada, and keeps her pulse on all things digital marketing. She's also really into Game of Thrones and cats. You can find her writing cheeky tweets @sandrogynous