Economy spooking Halloween spending

Households expected to spend $75 for costumes, candy

Adara Pierce was getting into the Halloween spirit Tuesday, modeling a blood-red vampires costume.

"It's my favorite holiday," she said. "You get to dress up and have fun."

It may all be in fun, but the annual creepfest is serious business to retailers like Gibson's Costume Shop.

"We had people coming in Oct. 1 trying to get ready for Halloween," said Jasmine Kersey, who works the costume rentals at Gibson's.

But there are signs uncertainty about the economy may be spooking folks.

A survey for the National Retail Federation shows consumers are expected to spend less this year.  Spending on costumes, candy, and ghoulish decorations is expected to hit $6.9 billion compared to last year's record $8 billion. That breaks down to about $75 per household.

Amanda Nino was perusing the elaborate medieval costumes at Gibson's, prepared to scare up cash for a killer costume.

"It's fun," she said. "You're never too old to dress up for Halloween."

As for what's hot this year, think video games like Assassin's Creed and movies.

"What's big in the rental department so far has been the flappers and the Roaring Twenties," Kersey said.

For children, princesses still rule, as do superheroes.  

The top costume, according to the retail industry survey, the classic Halloween witch.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.

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