Halloween is an Autumn event that is celebrated by the villagers of the town in the Animal Crossing series. Jack, a character wearing a pumpkin on his head, appears at 6:00 PM until 1:00 AM (5:00 PM until midnight in New Horizons). During this time, villagers around the town will dress up like him. The event happens in every game, excluding Wild World.
Throughout October, candy is stocked and sold in Tom Nook's Store (or the Nookling stores in New Leaf and New Horizons) taking the place of either tools or flowers (except in New Horizons where they overwrite nothing). There are four types of candy, but Tom Nook's only sells orange. During the 31st when Jack appears in the town, villagers and Mayor Tortimer will wear a pumpkin head. Villagers will chase the player and demand candy, with the outcome depending on the game in question. In contrast Jack won't chase the player and won't forcefully speak to the player. Giving candy or lollipops (New Leaf and New Horizons) to Jack is the only way to obtain pieces of the Creepy Series (New Leaf) or Spooky Series (other games, though he will give this in New Leaf for candy only). After receiving an item Jack will disappear and teleport to another random square and the process repeats.
As any inventory item in the player's pockets will be transformed regardless of value, it is recommended to store rare furniture, clothing and other items in a drawer, keep them in letters or drop them on the floor to avoid their transformation. Villagers in New Horizons, however, are unable to transform items in the player's pockets as their tricks instead target the player's face, changing their skin and eye color and painting a Halloween-themed design on their face.
The usual music changes to the Halloween theme, and rain and clouds won't spawn during the event.
In GCN games
In Animal Crossing and other Gamecube games the event starts from 6:00 PM and ends at 1:00 AM. During this time villagers with pumpkin masks much like Jack's will be around the town and chase the player if nearby. If the player is caught they ask for candy. If given, the candy is eaten by the villager and the player is free to go. Otherwise, a random inventory item is transformed into junk items (old wall for wallpaper, patched shirt for shirts etc.) or exclusive Jack-o'-Lantern and Jack-in-the-Box items.
Tortimer, also wearing a pumpkin mask, will give the player a Katrina's Tent Model. Jack can be spoken to as many times as the player desires, in order to receive furniture from the Spooky Series, but he will move each time he is spoken to.
In City Folk
Halloween was absent from Wild World, but returns in City Folk. Unlike the original, not all the villagers go out on Halloween night, and those who remain in their houses can be tricked by the player. To do this the player will need to wear a costume which is made up of a 'Look' - in GracieGrace, the witch's hat and cloak are sold throughout September and October, which make up a 'look'. Costumes don't necessarily have to be spooky, as long as they meet the requirements for that villager.
As in previous games, villagers outside will bump into the player and ask for candy. If the player doesn't have any on them, they can use other items which will then be turned into Jack-in-the-boxes. Refusing to give candy results in the player's clothes, accessories and any other items the player has in their pockets being changed. Villagers will chase the player, however, Jack won't, making him easy to distinguish.
Though Jack himself won't follow the player, he will walk around causing a slight confusion at first glance. Jack is easily distinguished between townsfolk by the fact that Jack won't chase the player as he walks around.
The Halloween event ends at 12 a.m.
In New Leaf
“If you don't want people to play tricks on you, you should have some candy ready, <catchphrase>!”
― Jock villager, advising about Halloween approaching
Similar to City Folk, only some villagers are out at any one time during Halloween, while the ones remaining in their homes have to be scared by wearing the mask of something they're afraid of. These masks are sold throughout October at Able Sisters for 1,031 Bells. Villagers who are outside chase the player on sight, when caught, the player is given the choice of either handing over candy or being tricked.
If the candy option is chosen, the villager will take one of the player's candy in exchange for hints at what other villagers are scared of; if the trick option is chosen, the player has to play a game of charades or rock-paper-scissors. If won, the player receives candy, if lost a random carpet/wallpaper, furniture or clothing item (both worn and inside pockets) will be replaced with old flooring/wall, Jack-o'-Lantern/Jack-in-the-Box or patched clothing respectively. After the trick selection, villagers will occasionally give out the pumpkin mask they are wearing in place of the previous options, but only if this equivalent space on the player isn't occupied. There are a total of four unique pumpkin masks to collect during the event, not including the one obtained by Jack detailed below.
Successfully scaring the villagers inside their homes rewards lollipops instead of candy. These are currency for trading exclusive Creepy Set furniture with Jack. Giving Jack candy will most often net the player pieces of the Spooky Series (which also can be purchased from Nookling Stores), though there is a slight chance the player can also receive a piece of the Creepy Set or one of the Able Sister's Masks this way as well. If the player has no candy or any mask or hat, Jack will give the default orange pumpkin head apparel.
In New Horizons
In New Horizons, players can purchase candy before Halloween day at Nook's Cranny for 120 . During October 31st, from 5pm to midnight, players will meet Jack and be able to give him candy in exchange for spooky rewards. Players can also give candy to fellow villagers similar to past games. Newly added body paint and eye colors can be exchanged for Nook Miles to alter the player's appearance. Villagers will also give the player special pumpkin inspired DIY recipes. Also, the Able Sisters will have limited edition costumes for the duration of the event. Kicks will sell Impish Wings that are to be worn as a set with the Impish Horns that can only be obtained at the Able Sisters.
Some places will be decorated for Halloween, including outside of Town Hall. Three days before Halloween, Mable, Timmy and Tommy, Tom Nook, and Isabelle will be wearing Halloween themed accessories as part of the celebrations.
If the player gives their villagers a piece of candy they'll give the player either a special spooky item or a lollipop. If not, the villager will personally rearrange the player's appearance with a new skin and eye color. Villager's can be spoken to numerous times, however, they'll only approach the player to ask for Candy. Jack will provide the player with numerous tricks if the player refuses to give him a piece of Candy too. The tricks come in 4 variations of a custom design but cannot be saved by the player.
When giving Jack a Lollipop, he may gift the player Jack's face or Jack's robe. When both are obtained, the player can dress up as Jack. They can then speak to the dressed-up villagers, who, thinking the player is Jack, will give them a piece of Candy. The villager will then realize that "Jack" is actually the player, and will act as normal from then on.
Villagers inside their homes will also give the player candy if they’re wearing a costume when interacted with. This can be done again after some amount of time. There will usually be 3 villagers in their homes at a time.
When giving a villager a piece of candy, the Player has a chance to obtain one of the spooky DIY Recipes if they weren't learned previously, which can apply to every spooky DIY Recipe excluding the Spooky garland and Spooky table setting recepies that are only obtainable on Halloween itself. Nook's Cranny will sell one of the 14 obtainable spooky items on display for each day of the month excluding the table setting, garland, and carriage. These items can be catalogued, however they cannot be repurchased with the Nooks Shopping App.
Lollipops obtained through the event will have higher chances at obtaining a recipe. The spooky wand can be obtained from Jack himself. Candies will come in only one variation unlike in City Folk.
Villagers will sometimes gather at the Plaza and make spooky Haunt and Scare reactions with each other. Making these reactions at the villagers will either cause them to make the same reactions back, react in fear or make a sad face. This depends on the villager personality. Making the Haunt or Scare reaction at Jack will have him laugh in return.
Special characters in the game will also be in costumes of their own. For instance, Isabelle wears an orange-and-black witch hat.
New Leaf masks
|Bug mask||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Ghost mask||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Monster mask||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Mummy mask||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Skeleton hood||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Werewolf hood||1,031 Bells||Able Sisters (during October)|
|Pumpkin head||N/A||Jack (no candy without a mask or headgear on)|
|Green-pumpkin head||N/A||Villagers (losing trick without any headgear)|
|Purple-pumpkin head||N/A||Villagers (losing trick without any headgear)|
|Red-pumpkin head||N/A||Villagers (losing trick without any headgear)|
|Yellow-pumpkin head||N/A||Villagers (losing trick without any headgear)|
- It was possible to access Halloween 2020 in Version 1.5.0 before the event officially began in October 31st 2020.