Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Spencer Gifts is ready for the Halloween rush. Jenine
Lorenzo holds up one of the shop's offerings.


From ghastly garb to glittery gowns,
shops are stocked to get you ready
for the bewitching hour

By Stephanie Kendrick


GHOSTS, GOBLINS AND WITCHES, OH BOY! The spooky season is upon us and Hawaii retailers are ready and willing to serve your ghoulish needs. The "Scream," "Austin Powers" and "Star Wars" films have inspired demand for character costumes, as have popular children's shows "Pokemon," "Teletubbies" and "Batman Beyond."

While Disney movies usually dictate demand for children's costumes, this year's "Tarzan" has yet to be a big seller, according to Kristi Arrasmith, assistant manger of Party City in Waikele.

But that could change.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Danielle Crossland, wearing a wig, mugs with
mask-clad daughter Michelle O'Neill.

All the retailers we spoke to said Halloween tends to spark an end-of-the-month buying frenzy.

"Usually two weeks before Halloween is when the rush hits," said Grace Felipe, assistant manager at the Mililani Wal-Mart. "It's kind of a last-minute holiday."

Megan Enanoria, assistant manager at Spencer Gifts in Ward Warehouse, said makeup and accessories tend to be more popular early in the season, with masks selling faster the closer it gets to Halloween. "They come in panicked at the last minute," said Enanoria. "That's when the masks sell."

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Travis Okumura, wears a hat and fur-trimmed jacket
called the "Purple Pimp Jacket," a popular item at
Spencer Gifts, Ward Warehouse.

Spencer Gifts sells costumes and novelty items all year and has some unique products on hand. Costumes include: The Squirting Cow, complete with liquid squirting udder; and a But Mom I Don't Want to Grow Up costume; a blow-up mom makes up the front of the costume with the wearer appearing to be a papoose on her back. Enanoria wore this one to work last year and got positive response, mostly by intrigued customers who asked how she put it on.

"We sold out on that one," says Enanoria, "I even had to sell the one I had on my body."

Among its home decor items, Spencer offers The Bowl of Burning Blood candle ($14.99), which is reusable and refillable.

You still have time to get a jump on the crowds. We asked Party City, Wal-Mart and Spencer Gifts for a breakdown of their most popular items so you can follow the trends or buck them as you choose.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Masks tend to sell best as Halloween gets closer.
Michelle O'Neill holds a bleeding head mask
at Spencer Gifts.

Party City

Children want:

Power Rangers
Star Wars series

Adults want:

Austin Powers
Dr. Evil
Felicity Shagwell
Darth Maul

Popular accessories:

Ninja line
Darth Maul mask ($34.99 adult, $14.99 child)
Darth Maul light saber, $14.99
Cost: Costumes range from $15.99 to $59.99. Children's average $20 to $25 and adults' $30 to $35


Children want:

Furby, white and black
Darth Maul

Adults want:


Popular accessory:

Darth Maul light saber ($19.97)
Prices on children's costumes range from $9.96 to $16.96, on adults' $16.96 to $19.96.

Spencer Gifts

Children want:

Batman Beyond
Teletubbie, Po

Adults want:

Austin Powers
Purple Pimp Jacket
Dr. Evil
Darth Maul

Popular accessory:

Custom vampire teeth ($14.99)
Average cost: $29 for children's costumes, $40 for adults.

Country Living/Hearst
Luminarias -- paper bags filled with sand anchoring
a candle -- placed along a walkway can guide
trick-or-treaters to the doorway.

Light up the Halloween night
with candles you make yourself

For our craftier readers, here are two festive ways to illuminate the witching hour:


Gourd Candles

"Handmade Halloween" Hearst Books, Country Living series

Bullet Materials
Acorn squash, or others
Bee's wax or paraffin candle wax (about 1/2 pound for each candle)
Wax color tablets
Candle wicks
Wick tabs

Bullet Tools
Melon baller
Double boiler

Bullet Directions

1. Cut the tops off the squash and hollow out the insides. Scoop out the flesh, following the natural grooves of the squash, making the grooves as deep as possible and smoothing them with the back of a spoon.

2. Melt the wax in the top part of the double boiler over, not in, boiling water. As the wax melts, add color tablets. You'll need to melt a new batch for each color.

3. Meanwhile, cut lengths of wick a few inches longer than the squash are tall. Attach the wick tabs to the wicks.

4. When the wax is completely melted, carefully pour into a squash. Drop in one wick tab, with the wick attached, and let it settle to the bottom. Lay a pencil across the top of the squash and drape the end of the wick over it so it is as centered as possible.

Let the candles harden completely (5 to 6 hours), then peel the outside of the squash away from the wax.



Skeleton Luminarias

"Handmade Halloween" Hearst Books, Country Living series

Bullet Materials
Black, water-soluble block printing ink, such as Speedball
12 1/2-by-6-inch brown paper bags
Votive candles in glass holders

Bullet Tools
Styrofoam food trays (ask butcher for clean trays or thoroughly wash used ones)
Hard-tipped instrument such as thin paint brush handle, cuticle stick, dull pencil or end of spoon
Piece of glass or acrylic at least three-times the size of trays
6- to 8-inch wide ink roller, or brayer

Bullet Directions

1. Cut the styrofoam trays to 4- by 8-inch rectangles so they lie flat. With the stick, draw designs into the Styrofoam. This is a reverse process: The design you draw will be the non-inked part of the bag.

2. Squeeze about 1-1/2 inches of ink onto the glass. Roll the brayer back and forth to spread the ink (it may be sticky at first). Once the brayer is covered with an even coat of ink, roll it across a Styrofoam image.

3. Press the side of a paper bag onto the Styrofoam. Rub the paper bag with a large serving spoon, pressing the paper into the Styrofoam with a back and forth movement.

4. Carefully remove the bag and set it aside to dry (approximately 10 minutes).

5. Open the bag and fill an inch deep with sand. Light the candle in its glass and ease it into the center of the sand in the bag.

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