Red Deer dad Chris Walters was shopping for Halloween costumes and decor with his daughter Zoey. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer gets in the spirit of Halloween

Danielle Perry is a Pinterest mom.

When the Red Deer resident’s children come up to her asking, “Mommy, can I be this for Halloween?” she has no hesitation in saying yes, because she is always able to make it work.

If not, she heads to the local stores looking for costumes. That’s what she was doing Wednesday at the Spirit Halloween store at Bower Place. The Perry family, including the three children, 3, 7 and 8, goes out trick-or-treating every year.

“I think it’s the hype that surrounds the holiday and it gives kids something to look forward to and they get to go out and get some exercise while getting to know their neighbourhood,” said the mom.

The children have opted for trick-or-treating at the local malls in the past, but prefer to keep the tradition alive the old-fashioned way. But if the weather gets too cold, they like having the indoor option.

“You also do pumpkins, and the decorating. We don’t go all out with the scary gore, because it terrifies them at times, but I think there’s something to be said for getting in the spirit.”

At the Walters residence in Red Deer, it’s all about the scary, dark Halloween. Chris Walters, a dad and a huge The Walking Dead fan, dressed up as a zombie last year. On Wednesday, he was shopping for a costume and a bit more Halloween home decor.

Thanks to the dad, his children, 13 and 18, are also big on Halloween, and go trick-or-treating every year.

“They still get excited about Halloween and they still like to get candy, and I still go out,” he said with a chuckle. “I really like to scare people and I have always liked darker stuff.”

The family has also decorated their home, including carving pumpkins.

“I buy decorations every year and build on it, so it’s quite a little haunted house,” explained Walters.

Both Walters and Perry agree Halloween can get expensive.

But the children in the family do reuse their costumes throughout the year, Perry added.

“I think it goes with the territory. You can go as ostentatious or as minimalistic as you possibly can, but at the end of the day, it’s about creativity.

“My daughter last year dressed up as a crazy cat lady, so all I had to do was buy a bathrobe and sew cats to her costume. So it depends on how far out you want to go,” she said while thanking Pinterest for helping her.

Halloween Alley district co-ordinator Deborah Lawless said people who are on a budget are opting for the basic fog machines, spiderwebs and lights this year. But those who don’t mind spending on Halloween go all out, decorating tiny haunted houses in their homes.

Costumes selling well at Halloween Alley include clowns (both funny and scary), inspired by IT: Chapter Two, released this year. People also choose ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s costumes, because they can use those for parties year round, added Lawless.

Classic costumes from Friday the 13th and Texas Chain Saw Massacre are always a hit, she added.

“Having masks this year, both masks and makeup, have really stepped up for us, because people really want to get creative with their costumes.”

Spirit Halloween Red Deer store spokesperson Gina Mackay said the store’s bestsellers every year are witches, police and military costumes, because they’re fast, easy and recognized.

“This year Fortnite (videogame) is very huge. Last year, we carried a small section. But this year, it was huge,” explained Mackay.

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Sylvan Lake dad Dennis Martin was looking showing his children Sam and Eva Halloween decorations in Red Deer Wednesday. His two children get more excited about Halloween more than Christmas. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

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