Halloween Central employee Melissa Coughlin with a plastic mask at the store’s Water Street location. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
Halloween more popular than ever says sales staff
SUMMERSIDE – Men were looking for beards – lots of beards.
“We sold out of beards in like the first week. So beards, long wigs and bandanas,” said Melissa Coughlin, an employee at Halloween Central on Water Street in Summerside.
Since the seasonal store first opened in the city a couple of months ago, Coughlin has become something of an authority on what’s popular this year in costumes.
Men wanting to be the colourful characters from the reality TV show “Duck Dynasty” has definitely been their quickest seller.
“We’re still getting people coming in asking for ‘Duck Dynasty beards.’ But we have to say ‘sorry’. The Charlottetown store as well,” she said.
Women wanted to go in a slightly less hairy direction – overall, many of them were looking for empowering superheroes like Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and to a lesser extent classic female literary characters like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.”
“Tonnes and tonnes of people looking for Dorothy. From little girls up to adult women. I have at least four people a day try on a Dorothy costume and if they can find their size they take it,” she said.
Another item that is universally popular amongst boys and girls, men and women are Morph Suites (a single colour full-body spandex body suite.)
“Especially amongst teenage boys – I’m not sure why exactly. But I mean we sold out of the kids version. Yeah, it’s a little strange,” laughed Coughlin.
Random inanimate objects like crayons, appliances and fruit were also popular amongst both sexes, adults and kids.
All the big trends Coughlin mentioned, except the beards, consist of a full costume.
“Most people want the whole package. They don’t want to have to run to different stores and find different pieces to put together – which is probably why the superhero costumes are so popular,” she said.
However, Kristen Jones, the store’s manager, said she’s noticed an upswing in people putting a lot of work into their costume – going so far in some cases as to use liquid latex to make their own prosthetics.
“A lot of people are doing their own makeup and going all out with scars and everything. Really intricate makeup and that type of thing,” she said.
Bottom line, more people are spending more money on Halloween, said Coughlin.
“Halloween is getting bigger every year. The more people get excited about doing their own thing or they see other people doing different things, the more they come out to see what’s around. And people spend loads of money of costumes – and they never did before,” she said.
Coughlin credits the rough economy of the last several years for the upswing in effort put into costumes and Halloween parties in general.
“Usually when the economy is down people try to celebrate more to be happier. It makes sense that Halloween is one of those times where you just don’t want to think about anything else – you just want to go out and have a good time and not be yourself,” she surmised.