We were recently delighted to discover that a Spirit Halloween store had temporarily popped up next to Shaw’s in Auburn.
And then we went inside.
Make that delight on steroids.
The store’s amazing, full and fleeting — we can’t imagine it’ll still be here in another month, which means it’s to be savored now, like a Ouija board breath mint, which actually exists and can be purchased at said Spirit Halloween alongside your Ouija board hand towels and potholders, fake chains, fake blood, loud plastic chain saws, brooms, bat headbands, steam punk bustiers, life-size animatronic Jack Skellingtons, angel wings, jumping spiders, cockroach magnets and what had to be more than 200 costumes.
Hey, we said it was full.
Bag Lady and Shopping Siren picked five favorite costumes each, and, full disclosure*, it was difficult to keep it to just five.
* If you’re comfortable with your own personal full disclosure this Halloween, forget dressing as a short-skirted cop or nurse. You can now become a scantily clad, fluffy green or blue shower loofah, string and all. That’s just the way Spirit Halloween rolls.
Concerned about cost? Snag a 20 percent-off, printable coupon online and bring it with you to the store.
Don’t like the location? Spirit has also set up seasonal shops in Augusta, Biddeford and South Portland.
Don’t want to go to your neighborhood Halloween party as a loofah? We’ve got you covered.
Bag Lady’s picks:
• Deadpool, $12.99-$59.99
Talk about unlimited ways to be the Merc with a Mouth: You’ve got tights, socks, two belts, a face mask, car decals, T-shirt or full body costume (guys or girls) to choose from. Be as much or as little Deadpool as you want to be! Just bring the ‘tude to match.
• Chewbacca kids’ costume, $44.99
Teddy bear-soft, neck-to-ankle length and perfect for fitting a pair of long johns underneath. Chewy is timeless, and mom or dad can go as Han Solo, Rey or an uncooked Porg, family choice!
• Fox kit, $16.99
Included in the kit are bushy orange ears on a headband and a bushy orange tail, both tipped with white. It’s a very cute low-muss, low-fuss costume that’s a step up from being a cat. Again.
• Sugar skulls face decals, $5.99-$7.99
Red, black, blinged or a mix. Bag Lady is never getting a face tattoo, but for a day, I can pretend. Can’t be bothered to artfully sticker your face? There’s a sugar skull bandana that can be pulled up over your nose ($5.99). You’re welcome, lazy Day of the Dead’er.
• Go as one of Riverdale’s favorite couples, prices vary
Snag Jughead’s knit gray hat ($16.99), Archie’s letterman jacket ($49.99) or Betty and Veronica’s cheerleader practice outfits ($39.99 for a baseball-length shirt and super short shorts). Great way to geek out and honor a hot comic book-based show without being the seventh Supergirl on your block.
Shopping Siren’s picks:
• Bob Ross, $39.99
Yes. That Bob Ross. The soft-spoken, afro’d painter from 1980s public television Bob Ross. Costume comes with a wig and facial hair, button-down shirt, paint brush and palette. You have to come up with your own Peapod the pocket squirrel. And pants. You’ll probably want pants.
If you’re looking for a couple’s costume, pair Bob Ross with the Bob Ross Painting costume for $29.99. It’s basically a landscape painting with a hole for your face. Seems potentially unwieldy for eating and mingling, but don’t worry if you spill something on the canvas. It’s a happy accident.
• Ghostbusters, prices vary
You absolutely need a light-up deluxe replica proton pack ($69.99). You also definitely need an officially licensed ghost trap that opens and closes, lights up, makes sounds and clips to your belt for easy access ($49.99). But you’re dressing as a clown this Halloween, you say? Doesn’t matter. You still need these in your life. Your 8-year-old self agrees with me.
• Yoda toddler, $24.99
For young Padawans age 18 to 24 months, this costume includes a cozy cream and brown robe and a green fabric headpiece with Yoda’s signature ears. Warm, comfortable and adorable enough to make strangers stop and squee, the baby costume trifecta.
• Anything … plus a chain saw, $49.99
Plastic animated chain saw that moves and cackles murderously when you activate it. Pair this with absolutely any costume — clown, fairy, fuzzy bunny — and instantly take your Halloween from eh to oh-my-God-run-for-your-life. In a good way.
• Fortnite Rex for kids, $44.99
Plush kid’s costume based on a character skin in Fortnite — a hugely popular online game that I know nothing about except that it exists and, apparently, includes a green and orange lizard? Fans of the game will love this. Grandparents will think little Alfred is a cute dinosaur. Everybody wins.
And, really, that’s the true spirit of Halloween.
Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are wearing orange these days to avoid hunters) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
Plastic chain saw from Spirit Halloween, $49.99. Screams Halloween.