1st Quarter Progress Report

This post was originally intended to be multiple tiny posts, but I guess it works better to lump them all together. In the past few days I’ve conveniently found myself winding up in stores that normally have exceptional Halloween sections. You know, accidentally. I certainly didn’t make up an excuse to go to these places just to see how their Halloween aisle(s) were progressing. Perish the thought.

Walgreens was first. I dropped in on Friday because on September first they were just starting to replace sections of back to school supplies with orange boxes of candy and hanging ghoulish wares. I figured one week later it would have to be in full force. It kind of was. I’d describe it as 90% complete.

All the expected stuff was there, but there was still a small section of leftover summer supplies at the very end of this aisle, which you can kind of see in the picture. Also, they usually have something BIG on display here, like a 12′ hanging ghoul or a huge inflatable black cat. There was nothing like that. To be honest, I couldn’t help but feel like less effort was put into the Halloween section this year. I must preface that with a huge disclaimer that I’ve only been to this one Walgreens so I should really not pass judgment yet. But I can’t say I saw a single decorative item that I really wanted this year. I’m gonna check out a nicer Walgreens. Today.

Next up there’s Tar-jay. I was so excited when I walked in the front door on Saturday. Their hanging banners announcing that Halloween was officially here, were up! Stylized silhouettes of trick or treaters, ghosts, dead trees, the moon…. very cool theme. These hanging banners made a path back to the seasonal area, where, heart heavy with anticipation, I saw…..

Back to school supplies. Drat.

Besides some candy they didn’t have anything out yet. No matter. Target deserves to take extra time since they always have a great Halloween section. It’s lost a step or two in recent years but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Now a place that never, ever disappoints is Party City. I wandered in on Saturday just as they were putting the finishing touches on transforming a good 80% of their store into a Halloween wonderland.

I love Party City’s layout because it is somewhat labyrinthine, encouraging you to explore. They have an assload of costumes yes, but they also don’t slack in the decòr department. There’s plenty of lights, fog machines, props, wall and window coverings, severed limbs and heads, animatronics… they’ve got it all. And just look at this makeup wall.

Bravo. I’ll be coming back here. The last few years they must have figured that their Halloween ambition was too much to fit into regular Party Cities so they opened up a few “Party City Costume Warehouse” stores. It doesn’t appear they are back this year, which is honestly fine with me. I noted when I originally discovered one that they seemed redundant, since they still Halloweened out regular Party Cities. When you extract Party City’s Halloween section and transplant it into a large, open space, it winds up looking like a slightly subpar Spirit. So, I welcome the old ways.

Moving on.

I mentioned this in my review of The Haunting haunted house, but the last Halloween Express store in AZ on I17 and Bell seems to have finally thrown in the towel, and their haunted house along with it. But don’t mourn because a NEW haunted house is opening in that very location this year. The 13th Floor. I am very excited about this because as good as The Haunting was, two trips is enough to see what it has to offer. Based on the quality of The 13th Floor’s website, this looks to be quite good. Opens on the 23rd, and I plan to be there (possibly not on that exact day).

Also, Chambers of Fear! That’s more than one chamber! Yeah, I don’t know anything about this attraction but I’m baffled I never checked it out. Looks pretty legit. Possibly even too much so, making it difficult if not impossible to quit. For some reason today their site only seems to bring up the mobile version. It was working fine yesterday. Ah well. Opens the 29th.

So right now on the docket I’ve got 4 haunted houses to go to this year. Not too shabby.

Oh by the way, there will be a 2011 mix, distributed free of charge on an old-timey CD-R just like my pappy used to do. I just can’t quit you, Halloween CD.

They made sure to lock their doors and windows tight by sundown, they felt safer that way even though they knew in their heart of hearts they weren’t, it was for the childrens’ sake, so they could sleep

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