The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 15, 2013

Pop icons are hot Halloween costumes

— SHAMOKIN DAM — For Halloween-enthusiasts who want to wear Miley Cyrus’ now infamous teddy bear onesie, decorate their home with a life-size zombie child swinging or pay homage to their favorite television show through costume, there’s a place to get it all.

The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $6.5 billion on Halloween this year, and according to Shamokin Dam’s Spirit Halloween assistant manager Michelle Beaudoin, sales in the Valley are strong.

The seasonal store, along Routes 11 and 15, has been buzzing with activity, as costumes in all shapes, sizes and themes are available. It’s even hard for Beaudoin to figure out which is her favorite.

“Every time you think you know what you want to be for Halloween, you see something else,” she said. “What do you do?”

Among the most popular costumes are the Despicable Me 2-themed get-ups, with selections like Agnes and the Minions.

“We’ve been running out of those,” Beaudoin said.

Superheroes and military-themed costumes are also top-sellers locally, Beaudoin added.

Nationally, Cyrus’ twerk-tastic get-up and the minions are also among the top searched-for Halloween costumes, according to Google. Other popular choices include “Duck Dynasty”- and “Breaking Bad”-themed costumes, Batman and costumes inspired by “The Great Gatsby” are also popular.

Some costumes that aren’t selling so well? The Walking Dead-themed costumes, despite the show having a highly anticipated season premiere Sunday night.

Twelve-year-old Aaron Keeler, of Sunbury, was in the store Monday shopping for a “scary” costume, he said.

“I just like being scary,” he said.

But the Halloween-themed store doesn’t just sell costumes. For those that are looking to deck out their home with the creepiest decor available, the store provides a treasure trove of creepy clutter, including life-size animatronics of zombies and ghosts.

“We sell a lot of animatronics,”  Beaudoin said.

Some of the popular choices are a swinging zombie child that hums a creepy tune and a nearly eight-foot Jack-O-Lantern “Corn Stalker.”

But for those looking for some low-tech ways to scare their friends there are some unique ways to do so, Beaudoin said.

Spirit has toilet covers featuring spiders crawling out of the toilet bowl and microwave stickers showing a severed head roasting. And people “absolutely” buy these items, Beaudoin said.

“I wouldn’t have believed it before I worked here,” she said. “Now I want to go to some of these Halloween parties!”

While the National Retail Federation expects spending to be lower than last year’s $8 billion, overall spending is up by 55 percent since 2005, according to the New York-based industry tracking group.

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