Pittsburgh named top spot for trick-or-treating


By Emma Solak / Staff Writer

Don’t keep your light on during Halloween? Shame on you. Pittsburgh is now one of America’s most “trick-or-treatable” cities.

Zillow, a home and real estate marketplace that gathers and shares data on homes, real estates and mortgages, ranked Pittsburgh as the 12th best city for trick-or-treating this month. Pittsburgh lost out in the rankings to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, ranked one through four respectively. 

According to Alexa Fiander, a representative for Zillow, the marketplace considered four equally weighted variables of the top 75 most populated cities in the United States to determine the best city for trick-or-treating: the median estimated value for homes in a given area, population density, the walkability of the area and local crime data. Given the challenge of conquering an entire city for candy, Zillow also ranked the top five neighborhoods within each city.

“Using this index, trick-or-treaters can select a neighborhood with the most candy, with the least walking distance and safety risks,” Fiander said in an email. 

Fiander said Zillow chose the four factors to suit the needs of parents and kids. Parents want their kids to be safe, so Zillow analyzed the crime indexes of cities, and kids want candy, so Zillow looked at home incomes, assuming homes with higher incomes would be more generous in their candy supplying. 

“Lastly, for parents and kids alike, the walkability and density of a neighborhood is key,” Fiander said. “You want to cover the most ground, in the fastest time, to collect the most Halloween loot.”

The top five neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are Shadyside, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Point Breeze and Greenfield for trick-or-treating in Pittsburgh.

Not many trick-or-treaters come to Oakland, though.

Kyle Kaufman, a junior studying psychology at Pitt, said he only got one trick-or-treater last year who stopped by because Kaufman’s porch light was on at his house on McKee Place.

“It was around 7:30 or 8:00 [p.m.], and we had to rush around the house to try to find something to give him,” Kaufman said. “We found a couple pieces of candy to give him.”

Quinn Thomas, who has lived in various neighborhoods of Pittsburgh and currently lives on the North Side, said she has observed most people driving to the best trick-or-treating locations.

“Shadyside is definitely the nicest neighborhood,” said Thomas. “The candy bars are bigger and better.”

Thomas also said Pittsburgh is a rejuvenating city with safe areas and safe neighborhoods, which makes for a good trick-or-treating atmosphere.

Amy Strongosky, who lives in North Versailles outside the city, takes her 2-year-old and 7-year-old to Ross Park Mall on Halloween. 

“It’s indoors and controlled,” said Strongosky. “They [her kids] just care about getting a lot of candy.”

For $5, Strongosky can take her children to the mall and go store to store, instead of door to door, an option she prefers over taking a 2-year-old through the streets on a chilly night.

Sergei Matveiev, an architect and father, said he doesn’t get many trick-or-treaters at his home in Squirrel Hill.

“We have a pumpkin on the front porch,” Matveiev said. “And there has been an increase in kids in the area. We don’t give out any particular candy, just an assortment.”

Matveiev’s kids, however, prefer to walk to the business district in Downtown for all their candy needs.

“It’s a good neighborhood,” Matveiev said. “They [his kids] get a lot of candy, and it doesn’t take long.”