The National Retail Federation says Halloween will be an $8 billion industry this year, with seven in 10 Americans celebrating and spending an average of nearly $80 per person on costumes, candy and decorations.
Shoppers were already on the prowl for costumes and home decorations on Oct. 18 at the Party City store in the Anneslie Shopping Center on York Road, where Michael Jackson's "Thriller" blared from speaker.
Shelves were stocked with wigs, light-up skeletons, clown costumes, gun holsters, lab coats, neck and arm shackles, oversized sombreros — even "Zombie crossing" signs.
"We're looking for a rapier for a Puss In Boots," said Friends School voice teacher Rebecca Rossello, of Rodgers Forge.
Rossello said her son, Nick Lane, 3, wanted to dress up as the title character from the animated movie "Puss In Boots," about the adventures of a swashbuckling, sword-wielding cat.
Rossello's daughter, Ana Lane, a fourth-grader at Friends, wants to be Anne Boleyn, the queen of England who was beheaded by King Henry the VIII.
"But you need the accouterments," Rosselli said.
Lindsay Ayers, 29, works in business development for Valley Motors in Cockeysville. But she admits to being somewhat Halloween-obsessed, and loves turning her home on East Lake Avenue into a local haunt.
"That's one of the reasons I wanted to buy a house, so I could do Halloween," said Ayers.
Scariest of the them all in the Towson area? Send us photo ....
Do you embrace the spirit of Halloween with frightful house and yard decorations?
Residents of Towson, Timonium, Lutherville, Cockeysville and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to snap a photo of their decorations and email it to the Towson Times, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name and a contact number, and we'll add it to our photo gallery of local Halloween hot spots.
The deadline is Sunday, Oct. 28. Happy haunting.