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Costume shop puts campus in Halloween spirit

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If you haven’t thought about what ghoul, celebrity or humourous pun will inspire your Halloween costume, there’s no need to fear.

A new store near campus, Spirit Halloween, carries a large number of items including costumes, accessories, decorations and games dedicated to the holiday. 

The company is owned by Spencer’s, a mall retailer known for its gag gifts and clothing. Spencer’s has been opening the Halloween-themed stores for 31 years, according to Spirit’s website, and setting up shop in normally vacant buildings.

“Business has been great so far,” said Amanda Flowers, store manager of the campus Spirit Halloween. “We have been steady each day from open to close.”

Spirit opened for business Sept. 5 and is set to be open until the first week of November.

There are many costumes to choose from, ranging from a clown to a doctor, and even a full “Ted” costume from the 2012 Seth MacFarlane comedy of the same name.

“The Ninja Turtles is definitely one of our most popular costumes this year,” said Diane Murczkiewicz, the district sales manager of Spirit Halloween. 

Murczkiewicz said a couple of men came into the store who seemed to be drunk and each bought a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. They changed into them, and ran out as turtles.

“It’s the time of year they can be anything they want to be,” Murczkiewicz said.

Spirit Halloween also has a licensed agreement partnership with HBO and Disney, which includes original “Game of Thrones” and “Frozen” costumes. 

The store is separated into different sections, catering to different ages and genders. Murczkiewicz said customers generally spend between $30 and $50 at the store. However, Spirit Halloween’s top-selling adult costumes range from $29.99 to $99.99, with an average price of about $57, according to a sample of the website.

Spirit cashiers encourage customers to donate to the Spirit of Children, a program that has funded Halloween activities for children in hospitals since 2006. The program also throws Halloween parties that the company coordinates with other vendors.

“We want to make hospitals less scary for kids,” Murczkiewicz said.

The events come from donations outside of an actual purchase. All of the proceeds from this store benefit the Child Life Services department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. 

Spirit is only open seasonally around Halloween, and this is the first time in this location. If the campus location is profitable, it will definitely be back next year, Flowers said. 

There are more than 1,100 locations opened every year in all 50 states and Canada. There are currently nine other stores in the Columbus area, including ones in Hilliard and Dublin, Murczkiewicz said. 

“Everyone gets excited about costumes,” Flowers said.

Catherine Fabian, a first-year in biology, usually makes her own costumes but has to buy materials and said she plans on checking the store out. She said she’s thinking of being a gumball machine this year.

Sam Moody, a fourth-year in computer engineering, has made his costumes in the past, but plans on buying one this year and plans to check Spirit out.

The store is located at 1624 N. High St. That space was previously occupied by Finish Line, an athletic apparel and shoe retail store that closed in January.

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