For Kayla Hall of Cheyenne, preparing for Halloween in August means she’s actually getting a late start.
“I’m one of those people who, once Halloween comes and goes, I’m usually already preparing for next year’s Halloween the following day,” she told Cowboy State Daily.
She was months behind schedule late Thursday as she joined other Halloween diehards filtering into Cheyenne’s Spirit Halloween store right after the doors opened at 11 a.m.
Raised On Horror Movies
Hall said Halloween has been her favorite holiday since she was a child.
“It’s just the way I was raised,” she said. “I grew up watching horror movies. And my dad, who owned a motorcycle shop, turned it into a haunted house every year.”
Ryan King, who was visiting the store with his sister Codi King and her daughter Madison, summed it up simply as he stepped into the store’s main lobby with a huge grin: “It’s just fun!”
“I love the masks and the costumes and the animatronics,” he added. “Halloween is my favorite.”
The Kids Love It
The store’s large animatronics — including a huge evil clown and a shrieking lady with a broken neck — are already a huge hit.
The Kings all jumped, then laughed in delight as the latter let out a wailing scream.
Nate and Kim Bowie smiled as their four children — Jordan, Payton, Fallon and Christopher — bounded about the store checking out all of the ghoulish delights.
Nate said the children love Sprit Halloween, and the family never misses opening day.
The youngsters especially love the animatronics, he said.
“They watch a lot of YouTube videos posted by animatronic creators,” he said, so finally getting a chance to see the mechanical jump scare gadgets in person is a huge treat.
“Mister Dark’ is my favorite,” Jordan said during brief pause, before scampering off to check out another scary attraction.
His dad said Spirit Halloween is regular haunt for the family.
“We’ll probably be in here at least once a week,” he said.
No Shortage Of Business
As the trickle of customers coming through the front doors grew into a steady stream, store manager Jennifer Turpin said it looked to be shaping up for another brisk season.
This is her sixth season running the Cheyenne store, and she told Cowboy State Daily that her own love of Halloween is what keeps her coming back.
“I like it better than Christmas,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s different.”
Halloween fandom is widely shared, she added. The store never has a shortage of business, even when it opens during the height of summer.
“We opened in the middle of the week this year, so it’s not too crowded,” she said.
A couple of years back, during a weekend opening, “We had people backed up behind all the doors waiting for us to open,” Turpin added.
While the early season Halloween fanatics will mean steady business for the remainder of the summer, Turpin said she and her staff are gearing up a massive rush as temperatures cool, the leaves start to turn and Oct. 31 looms imminent.
“We start getting slammed as September rolls into October. It gets to where you can’t hardly breathe,” she said.
Mark Heinz can be reached at email@example.com.