First Halloween Store Outing of 2011

Ok, so me and the wife just got back from my first real trip around the area to scope Halloween stores and pop-up shops for the season. We managed to get find a few cool things. As always, the stores we discovered will be added to The Greater Boston Halloween Store List. I’ll also give my impressions of each store we went to, so hopefully my review of these Halloween shop will help you on your own outings this year.

Halloween Extreme

So the first place we went to was Halloween Extreme, located where the old Borders store used to be at Legacy Place. I first became familiar with this chain last year, where they had a great selection of both costumes and props.

Unfortunately, while their costume selection was decent, the prop selection this year left much to be desired. Also, as I found last year, this particular store has the strange distinction of some items being great bargains, while others are insanely overpriced. I contemplated getting a vacuformed skull and rubber brain while I was there, but ultimately left empty handed.

Spooky Town

Next up was Spooky Town in Westwood MA. Known officially as Pool & Patio Specialists, this place transforms into a Halloween haven every year around this time. Certainly a step up from Halloween Extreme (at least so far), there was a good selection of costumes, and a few larger props, which always makes me happy. I saw some sweet severed heads and a huge zombie ground breaker, but they were a bit pricey. I did get an awesome deal on two all black jumpsuits (Only $14.99 each, a bargain) that I will be utilizing in my yard display this year. I picked up some other knicknacks as well, including a couple foam gravestones and a zombie hand, all of which will be used in my yard haunt.

Spirit Halloween

After Spooky Town we headed further on down the Boston-Providence Turnpike to my old standby, Spirit Halloween in Norwood MA. Spirit is by far my favorite dedicated seasonal Halloween shop, and with good reason. While they tend to be a little pricey (as all stores of this type are) they have a great selection, and gems a plenty can be found in between all of the typical consumer junk, so I highly recommend this place to all Halloween enthusiasts. If you don’t have a location near you they have an even more extensive selection on their website at www.SpiritHalloween.com.

With all of this high praise you would think I’m on their payroll, but alas I am just a fan of the franchise (as of the moment, Spirit personnel, feel free to get in touch to discuss a sponsorship deal), and they happen to be damn good at what they do, so I will give praise where praise is due. Anyhow, I didn’t actually pick up anything because I’m intending to go back tomorrow to get 25% off for their Facebook only Columbus Day sale.

AC Moore

After Spirit we backtracked to A.C. Moore so my wife could pick up some crafting supplies for the sweet snake wreath she’s making. They were still setting up their main Halloween display, so sadly there wasn’t too much to be found. I did end up getting some sweet 28″ stone columns that were on sale, and I plan on spraying a stone-texture grey to put some of my gargoyles on.

Jo-Ann Fabrics

Once we left A.C. Moore we were famished, but after a quick stop at Taco Bell (Nothing spooky there), we headed over to Jo-Ann Fabric. For a fabric/craft store they have some pretty sweet Halloween items. Most of the sticker prices are shockingly high, but a 60% discount on pretty much everything coupled with a 20% Columbus Day weekend coupon meant we walked out with a couple bagfuls of stuff for only $40. Some of the highlights were some sweet LED bat lights, twin metal spider web candle holders (over a foot tall each) and some nice metal spooky tree centerpieces.

Savers

On the way back into Boston we stopped at Savers. This thrift shop has an ok costume selection, and a few cool props. We got a couple pictures that transform from 18th-century portraits to horror imagery, right up our alley, as well as some clothes to dress up the mannequins we’ll be using in our yard haunt. I was disappointed that there were no foam heads for displaying masks, as they had a ton last year (and of course I cleared them out).

Goodwill

After dropping the wife off at home, I continued on the thrift store circuit and found myself at the Goodwill store in Boston, down the street from my house. It was the first time I’d been in there and I was duly impressed. They have a great selection of second hand costumes, perfect for my needs in having to dress both a zombie apocalypse and the military response.

iParty

After Goodwill I headed down the street to the iParty at South Bay Center. Last year this was one of the iParty dedicated Halloween pop-up shops but they have since turned it into a full-fledged iParty location. Sadly this means the selection is a fraction of what it was before, and I didn’t see anything that impressed me too much. I will probably end up back there at some point to get some random knickknacks like a couple body bags and a walking hand prop, but overall I feel it is a bit overpriced, and best left to November 1st to get some good deals on the clearance merchandise.

Target

My final stop of the day was Target, also at South Bay. I’m very pleased to say that they have one of the finest selections they have in years, and while I didn’t get anything this time, I made a mental list a mile long of things to get when I go back, including some sweet stone gargoyles.

Well, that’s it for now, hopefully you found my reviews of these places helpful. I’ll be sure to post updates here and o The Greater Boston Halloween Store Listas I continue on my search for all kinds of Awesome Stuff™ Also, feel free to leave comments about your favorite haunts to shop for the season!

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