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New Halloween looks embrace maximum spookiness

Denver’s local costume and antique shops are perfect for Halloween supplies.
Photo: Katrina Silbaq · The Sentry

The best costume shops in Denver

Perhaps because of the recent horror revival generated by Stranger Things and It, Halloween retailers are vying for much darker imagery this year. Disney princess costumes have seemingly disappeared in favor of more traditionally “scary” getups. There’s still a variety of costume options for those celebrating Halloween in Denver, though shoppers might want to consider embracing the spookiness with their costume that Halloween retailers are now highlighting.

The Wizard’s Chest, which normally features toys and games, also sells costumes year-round but adds an additional costume wing to the first floor in September and October. This year, Harry Potter costumes are the most prominently displayed followed, interestingly, by pirates. The Wizard’s Chest divides their costume racks by category, including whole science fiction racks with multiple Star Wars characters.

Despite the vast costume selection, probably the most impressive aspect of the store’s Halloween merchandise is the counter in the back of the store dedicated to face paint and makeup. This would be very helpful for someone needing to utilize complicated makeup techniques as part of a costume.

Crimson Rose Masquerade is a more unconventional option for costume hunting. The boutique displays hundreds of corsets and skirts of multiple styles and colors. While women are the main clientele, male customers might be interested in the collection of waistcoats and top hats.

A store associate said that while many costumers come for Halloween, some also search for Renaissance Festival costumes.

Based on the series of Venetian masks displayed throughout the store, it’s also the ideal place to find a Phantom of the Opera-style masquerade outfit.

The boutique happens to be near a series of vintage and antique stores, which might be convenient for someone looking for old haunted house décor for Halloween.

The Wizard’s Chest is full of creative costumes, perfect for Spooky Season.
Photo: Katrina Silbaq · The Sentry

One such place is The Annex Antiques & Interiors, which features both a series of jack-o’-lantern lawn ornaments and some impressively creepy vintage masks. Even if one isn’t looking to purchase anything, it’s fun to do some window shopping in antique stores on this area of Broadway.

Finally, Spirit Halloween, with 1,325 stores nationwide, has multiple locations in and around Denver. Spirit made headlines earlier this year when they announced a partnership with Disney to create costumes for the three witches from Hocus Pocus.

Perhaps this is a response to the fact that 90s kids have now reached adulthood, because otherwise, highlighting costumes from a 25-year-old kids’ movie is an odd choice.

In a similar vein, character costumes from The Nightmare Before Christmas, another 25-year-old film, are also prominently featured.

Spirit, a nationwide retailer that calls themselves “The World’s #1 Halloween Store,” has a warehouse full of costumes at their locations, though interestingly not as much variety as might be expected.

There are character costumes from Stranger Things, It, and American Horror Story. Superhero costumes are also popular, but there didn’t seem to be any Disney character costumes. This is surprising given how popular Disney princess costumes have been in the past.

If one doesn’t want to participate in the spookier Halloween theme this year, Spirit also has an online store with seemingly everything including, for example, a costume for three friends who want to dress up as a marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate bar.

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