The fainthearted should hole up indoors and stay away from drains next Tuesday as the streets fill with scary clowns.

If Trade Me figures are anything to go by, this Halloween will bring with it an explosion of Pennywise lookalikes as "sexy" costumes drop in popularity and "scary" ones rise.

"Scary clowns appear to be all the rage this Halloween with scary clowns being the most searched costume on Trade Me this month, fetching 2870 searches already," Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester said.

"Back in October 2015, scary clowns were barely on the radar with only a few hundred searches. Then came the 2016 killer clown phenomenon and this year's hit movie, It, which saw the number of searches for scary clowns sky rocket in the past two years."


Since the beginning of October there have been more than 48,000 searches for Halloween costumes on Trade Me, double the number of searches seen in any other month.

Silvester said there were 50,000 searches in October last year, and they expected the search numbers to rise to that level by the end of the month.

"Costumes are always really popular on Trade Me and we see a huge spike in interest at Halloween. Only the Sevens and Auckland Nines create a similar jump but they're no match for All Hallows Eve."

Along with killer clowns wandering the streets on October 31, people can expect to see a few other recognisable characters.

"Kiwis like to be on trend with their Halloween outfits - in previous years superheroes like Iron Man, Batman and Spiderman have been very popular when the films have been out and about while 'sexy' has trended in past too, this year Kiwis seem to be keener on the 'scare' element of Halloween."

Those inspired by the 2016 movie Suicide Squad will be out and about in Harley Quinn outfits with just over 2600 searches for the supervillain.

A few Disney characters might also be knocking on your door next week with over 2000 searches for Moana and Alice in Wonderland costumes.