Earlier this week, the Dow Jones dropped to record levels it hasn't seen since 1987, but you'd never know it walking into costume shops around Amarillo.
The stores are packed and costumes are flying off the shelves. The Retail Federation is actually predicting people will spend more money this Halloween than last year. Americans are expected to spend to just under six billion dollars this year on halloween. For some, it invokes more fear than Freddy Krueger. For others, it's scarier than Frankenstein. No, it's not the latest horror film... It's just Wall Street. The dark economic times aren't casting a shadow on Halloween sales, though.
Halloween Bootique Manager Kelli Edgar says "It's wonderful. Looking around, we can't keep enough in. We are waiting on a huge shipment to come in just so we can make it through the rest of the season with enough stock." Allesandra DiTomoaso says "I'm looking for a pirate one for me and they had a half devil half angel one for [my daughter]." Thomas Weise is dressing up as a banana. "I just wanted to be something I've never been before."
Costume Castle owner Patricia Rhyne thinks her customers are buying costumes as a way to escape their own nightmarish scenarios. "They are tired of hearing about all this political stuff. They're tired of hearing all the bad news. They want to lighten up and party." DiTomoaso couldn't agree more. "It's fun to dress up and not have to be in the real world for a little bit."
So, what are people buying? "McCain and Obama have been big this year. And they sold like hotcakes." Obama might be ahead in the polls, but in the costume aisle, it's a dead heat. "Both even even even. I can't even say who is there." Any Sarah Palin wannabees? You betcha. "They haven't come out with the Palin mask yet but we've been dressing women up in soccer mom type shirts and the glasses and long brown hair."