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10/26/2006
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Online Metrics Service Predicts Pirates, Sexy Women Will Be Popular Halloween Costumes

Hitwise looked at the popularity of Internet search terms to predict which costumes will be big this year. Among the winners: Pirate costumes, Tinkerbell, Wonder Woman, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Playboy bunnies.

Pirates and sexy women will soon roam the streets, if online activity is any indicator.

"Pirate costumes" was the leading costume-specific search, while Tinkerbell, Wonder Woman, Jack Sparrow and Playboy bunnies also ranked among the top five in the four weeks ending Oct. 21, according to Hitwise, an online intelligence and metrics service.

Searches for "adult costumes" were up 209 percent from the same time last year, as visits to Halloween retailers rose by 39 percent. Searches for "sexy Halloween costume" were up 400 percent. On Google, those searches yield lingerie shops and regular Halloween retailers.

One of the top sites to come up offers a "Wizard Wanda" costume, complete with a school-girl-style dress and tie, though it's doubtful the length would meet private school standards. The cape probably wouldn't go over well either. Then, there is a "Playboy Hipster Witch," who looks like she will be hanging out in New York City's East Village, though she may be looking for the 80s. For a Euro-flair, there's a "Candy Corn Witch," with a peasant top gartered dress with bright orange and white thigh-high socks.

According to Hitwise, the most visited Halloween costume site was BuyCustomes.com, which features a "Seductive Evil Queen," holding a bright red apple and wearing fishnet stockings. The site drew 30 percent of category visits for the week ending Oct. 21. Annie's Costumes, which takes a more family-oriented approach on its home page, followed as the second most popular costume Web site with 7.01 percent of the traffic. Spirit Halloween, another site featuring plenty of school girl costumes to "heat up the party" was close behind, with 7.0 percent.

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