Every September, it starts to happen — skulls and witches start to appear on the shelves at Target, that previously empty storefront in the shopping plaza now has zombies in the window display and there’s more candy corn than you can stomach in the aisles at the grocery store. It can mean only one thing — Halloween is back in Boston.
For some people, Halloween is a kids holiday and holds no appeal for adults. For others, it’s an event that requires celebration every year; for these people, there are plenty of costumes as well as props and decorations for every taste and budget within the greater Boston area. Here’s a sampling of Halloween stores in the greater Boston area:
Surprisingly, many of the big box stores in the area carry a large selection of both decorations and costumes. Target in South Bay Plaza in Dorchester carves out a whole section of their store for Halloween each year. The goods available range from melamine dishes with skulls to gothic candles of varying sizes to playful monsters and adorable ghosts. There’s something for everyone here.
At the other end of the spectrum there are stores like Spirit Halloween, which carries more elaborate props and decorations along with a vast array of costumes. Not only does Spirit carry costumes in many price ranges and quality levels, they also have a good choice of plus size costumes as well, something many retailers overlook. While the costumes alone would make Spirit a store worth visiting, the decorations really put it over the top. Every year they come out with new animatronics, and this year’s crop includes Regan from The Exorcist, a life-sized zombie and a killer clown. There are two Spirit locations in the greater Boston area, one at the Cambridgeside Galleria and the other on Mystic Ave in Medford.
While chain superstores and Halloween-specific stores have a lot to offer, so do many locally owned businesses. During most of the year, Pool & Patio Specialists in Westwood provides seasonal supplies to the area. During the months of the September and October, it becomes Spooky Town, where there are more offbeat items that the owners buy directly from the Halloween conventions that they attend. In Brookline, Party Favors always serves the area’s needs for delicious baked treats and party decorations, but this time of year the store brings in Halloween-decorated candies and cookies along with a variety of decorations and tchotchkes.
No list would be complete without mentioning the Garment District in Cambridge. Long a favorite among people in the area, the store has a range of costumes available, along with many offbeat accessories for more highbrow costumes. Here’s where you find your steampunk hats and goggles, your outfit for your Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer costume and anything else that’s outside the norm. Beyond the pre-made costumes available, there’s always the faithful Dollar-A-Pound for any costume imaginable.