Halloween Spending Down From Last Year

Paducah, KY – Tomorrow children of all ages will drape themselves in ghostly, ghoulish and witty outfits. According to a study by the National Retail Federation, total spending for Halloween this year will reach 4.75 billion dollars. Caleb Campbell has more on how people are spending for the holiday in our area.

When a costumer walks into Halloween Express in Paducah, they could be overwhelmed by all of the possibilities for their costume. Located in a huge room filled with hundreds of different accessories and outfits, this is the place where many people come to create their alter-ego for All Hallow's Eve. There's fake blood, masks, yard decorations, and plenty of makeup to transform an innocent face into an evil entity.

While the economic impact of the Halloween industry is in the billions, signs of the country's financial slump are still popping up. Nationally, people are spending less on the holiday this year than they did in 2008. The recent National Retail Federation survey says "nearly one in three consumers say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans."

But, locally it seems many people aren't changing their habits too much. Charles Beringer is the assistant manager at Halloween Express in Paducah.

"Well, we're actually five percent above what we were last year. We're not hurting any."

Beringer says people are not only coming in for costumes, but different accessories too. Halloween Express has even had trouble keeping their most popular items in stock.

"Right now, we have sold out of the Robin Hood's three times, and that's the men and women's. And we do a lot of good sales on the Michael Jackson materials. Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers. We've actually sold out of the Michael Myers' original masks that we've had three times."

Some folks are coming in, but with belts tightened. A mother with her two children is on a last minute costume search on a shoestring

"In fact, I brought a coupon with me. Hoping to find something."

New surveys show people that normally celebrate aren't celebrating this year. Because of spending cuts at home, only one-third of people will dress in costume. Fewer people will throw or attend a party, visit a haunted house or hand out candy.

Those who do decide to spend money this year are expected to spend an average of around fifty six dollars on a costume, down from around sixty six dollars last year. Regardless of what you spend on Halloween, remember be careful, it's the one night of the year when the lines between the living and the dead get hazy.

For WKMS News, I'm Caleb Campbell.