A recent email from a local dad jogged my memory about the Spirit Halloween stores that have popped up in strip malls across the Triangle in the last few weeks.
Those places are scary! Or, as my husband put it after a recent visit: "There's nothing child friendly in those stores."
Here's what my correspondent wrote:
I just wanted to let you and readers know that the SPIRIT Halloween stores that are in the Triangle area have some really frightening costumes and statues. I took my five-year-old son in last weekend and they had some fun little kid stuff in the front, but as we got further back things got bloody and gory. He has had nightmares a couple of nights this week about it so I hoped to warn other parents to stay in the front of the store if they go shopping there with younger children.
My family, on the hunt for some friendly ghosts to hang in our yard, stopped into the location at Pleasant Valley Promenade Shopping Center in Raleigh over the weekend. A portion of the store is dedicated to children's costumes. The costumes for young children were adorable, though I didn't see anything that I'd want my grade schooler to wear in the older girl's section. Too short and skimpy.
But you don't need to go too far back in the store before you hit the scary stuff. We were greeted by scary-looking animatronic clowns, which are pretty impossible to miss from the entrance. And at the very back of the store, there was a series of haunted scenes, often involving dead or zombie children. Apparently, in the spooky decorations category, there's a thing with babies gnawing on their limbs right now.
I will give some credit to Spirit here. You will need to stomp on a button to get the decorations to move and make noise.
As for my kids, they weren't too bothered by it. But neither wanted to stay in there for very long and were happy to explore just the section with the costumes for kids. If you go, I'd recommend checking it out without your kids first.
And, thankfully, my own kids are happy with costumes we can make at home.