Hey, you wanna hear something scary about Halloween?
Most adults will spend $60 to $80 each this year on Halloween parties, costumes and candy. An American Express report said 67 percent of adults rate Halloween as a popular holiday in their households, and Americans will spend as much as $80 each on spook night this year.
The National Retailers Federation projects Halloween sales to be $6.9 billion this year, denoting that adults are having just as much fun as the kids.
Many business staffs hold office Halloween parties, with employees encouraged to come in costume. The Colorado Springs Business Journal is among them. Adult costumes can cost $30 to $300 or more, one storeowner said.
One local company selling costumes is Zeezo’s Magic Castle, downtown. The store also sells wigs, beards, masks, clown supplies and magic tricks. However, the following disclaimer, from its telephone directory advertising, serves as its own warning: “We only sell fun.”
Zeezo owners Jessica and Mark Modeer, said adults account for much of the store’s revenue, and the public’s favorite costumes depend on what is happening at the time. A slight trend, Modeer said, is to less gory costumes.
“There haven’t been any great movie characters in a couple years, but Spiderman has been pretty good,” said Mark Modeer, a former street performer who purchased the store with his wife in 1993. Modeer said he started working at the store while in junior high.
Jessica Modeer said angels remain popular this year, even though she is sporting short red horns. Last year patriotic themes were popular, with the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam among the most requested. If you want a great costume, spring for a Zoot Suit ($300 and up), said Mark Modeer.
“In our house, it’s still Elvis for men and the Grease (from the movie) thing,” said Sharon Chatterton, a 20-year employee of Ivywild Costumes. “It is kind of a shame they (patriotic themes) aren’t as popular.”
She said women still like poodle skirts and “Pink Lady” jackets, which Grease made famous. Other costumes are the ever-popular Ronald Reagan mask, and for creatively challenged couples there is always Sonny and Cher.
Ivywild Costumes, also in Colorado Springs, rents many period – especially Victorian and Renaissance – costumes. It also specializes in providing attire for theatre groups and school plays, and can outfit entire casts in any of 100-plus stage shows.
Chatterton also believes adults are enjoying Halloween more.
According to the American Express survey, 54 percent of respondents said Halloween is becoming as much a holiday for adults as for kids – up from 48 percent in 1998.
Hey, here is a Halloween joke: What fruit do ghosts put in their cereal? Booberries. OK, so that one isn’t too funny. But this will crack you up: What do you get when you cross a vampire and snowman? Heh…heh… Frostbite!
Asked why Halloween has become so popular, one in four adults surveyed (24 percent) said it was because they enjoy being able to celebrate it with their children, as well as their friends. Other reasons adults give for the holiday’s popularity include how much kids enjoy trick-or-treating (42 percent) and that they like to dress up (22 percent).
Miniature candy bars – Reese’s peanut butter cups being the favorite – still rule. In addition, one association reports that October 30 was “candy corn day.”