The start of November should be a time of celebration and rest for those in the business of making Halloween a bit more entertaining. However, Covid-19 played yet another cruel trick on local businesses.
The pandemic took its toll on people selling and renting costumes.
Costume Fun House up in Oklahoma City is now out of business due to the pandemic. The business is selling the few costumes left in their inventory, such as the Easter bunny and some animal costumes. Once those costumes are gone, the business will close its doors for good.
Halloween Warehouse in Oklahoma City is in a slightly better financial position. They do not rent any costumes, but do sell them. This year they saw a marked decrease in the number of costume seekers.
An employee at Halloween Warehouse said people were not buying costumes as much this year, rather they were making their own or going without due to the pandemic.
For those who did make the trek into the store, they could not try on anything or open the packaging. The store had a cloth tape measure and measurement guides from the different costume manufactures for customers to help decide on sizes for their costume purchase.
For those seeking just a mask, Halloween Warehouse would measure the customer’s head and compare it to a mannequin head to show how it would look.
Other pandemic measures included offering masks and hand sanitizer at the door and using social distancing signs. An employee said customers were generally pretty positive about the precautions and changes this year.
Another factor hitting local Halloween stores was the drive towards online shopping.
Lauren Smith, 15, said she only rents costumes for her dance classes. “For other costumes I either make them or buy them cheap,” she said. This year, Laurnen’s Halloween butterfly costume arrived via Amazon.
Sophia Ekpenyong and her sister Karis both tend to make their own costumes, but will spend some money to help accent their outfits. “I spend about 5 to 10 dollars not including the stuff I mainly use which is what I already have” Sophia said of her 2020 elf costume.
“I have never rented a costume,” Karis said, “For making or building a costume, I spend anywhere from $15-$50, depending on how good and/or elaborate I make it.” This year she is making her own homemade costume inspired from the game, “Among Us.”
These teens said they still wanted to get in the spirit of Halloween without putting themselves at risk and even hosted their own outdoor gatherings that followed safety recommendations to ensure everyone stayed safe during what might be one of the scariest Halloween nights yet.