With Halloween a week away, local stores are ready to help customers find everything they need, from big puffy clown feet and outrageous wigs to creepy masks and ghoulish make-up.
On Sunday afternoon, on Larkfield Road was doing a brisk business in costumes. Store clerks Annie White and Dan Boccard said super heroes were popular with the younger set, while adults tended to go with a pirate theme. Almost on cue, one mom came by with her three-year-old daughter who was planning on being Wonder Woman, while her one-year old brother was going to be Robin (five-year-old Batman was home).
Boccard said some pirate costumes had already sold out but there were still plenty of choices to be had. The store will extend its hours until 9 p.m. through Saturday.
Over at on Veterans Memorial Highway, the aisles were jam-packed, with customers having to form a line just to speak to a clerk. When asked about popular costume choices, a store manager named Melissa said she wasn’t allowed to answer any questions or allow any photographs to be taken.
In the same shopping center, the atmosphere was much friendlier and the aisles more spacious over at Halloween City, which has temporarily taken over the space formerly occupied by Border’s Bookstore. A clerk named John agreed that pirates were definitely popular and said he thought it was because there were so many costumes available to choose from. He also waxed a bit philosophical, wondering at all the women and girls who tended toward the skimpier outfits. “Is that what Halloween has become?” he asked rhetorically. “A time to show more skin?”
Patch found several customers who seemed to be more interested in covering up than baring all. The mask section of the store was jumping, with many customers modeling the latest in ghoulish faces while others snapped pictures with their phones.
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try Halloween City's "morph suits" -- body-hugging, solid-colored spandex suits that will make you look like you're ready to audition for the Blue Man Group. If looking like a celebrity is more your thing, try Lady Gaga and Charlie Sheen. Other costume ideas include the Smurfs, the Glee characters, Alice in Wonderland, and the Jersey Shore.
More interested in getting in touch with your dark side? Then Darth Vader, the Joker, V from Vendetta, Scarface, and of course, Freddy Krueger and Jason are for you.
Another clerk also named John said weeknights are a good time to shop as the store is noticeably less crowded. Halloween City will be open until 10:30 p.m. this week through Saturday night. On Sunday the store will close at 9 p.m.