Spooky garb waiting for Parkites | ParkRecord.com
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Spooky garb waiting for Parkites

Dan BischoffOf the Record Staff
Jon Allen, owner of J.W. Allen and Sons toy store, dons his madman costume.
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In Celtic mythology, the coming of winter, a season of the dead, brought a night in which the spirits of the deceased could freely roam about with humans, according to ezinearticles.com.

"Some of theses spirits would inflict suffering and violence upon man," it reads on the Web site.

To appease the spirits, the Celtic people would place their best food offerings and sometimes sacrifices on the doorstep.

"Often the Celtics would wear dreadful costumes, hoping to fool an evil spirit with the disguise," the Web site reads.

The tradition began before Christ and still continues today in some fashion. Although most Parkites probably don’t have the same fears as the ancient Celts, some may still be searching for that perfect costume to wear while prowling Park City on Halloween night.

Costume shoppers shouldn’t wait much longer to purchase their bloodcurdling outfit. The Halloween garb at Wal-Mart will be gone soon.

"Probably 80 percent of it will be gone in about a week," said Marilyn Williams, an employee who oversees the seasonal section at Wal-Mart. "Kids will all be having their parties at school and these will all be gone soon."

Wal-Mart still has a wide selection of traditional costumes, pumpkin-carving kits, holiday candy, and home Halloween décor. They also have costumes for pets.

Petco at Redstone Center also carries a load of costumes for beloved pets.

"We have fantasy wings, we have a bride suit, a groom suit, a convict suit, a devil sit. We are having a Halloween costume party on the 28th for dogs and cats. We have T-shirts, little hats, anything," said Sara Bundy, the manager at Petco.

But, if looking for something off the beaten path and original, look no further than J.W. Allen and Sons Toys and Candy store, also at the Redstone Center. There, owner John Allen has beefed up his Halloween selection from a year ago.

"We bought more costumes," Allen said. "We wanted the costumes to be a notch up this year."

Allen wanted to offer an outlet for people to buy unique costumes that are beyond the traditional.

"I wanted to get out of the same type of stuff," he said. "We have much higher end, adult costumes. We have kids’ stuff too but we’re focusing on teenager and adult costumes."

Some residents are finding Allen’s store a pleasing break from the norm.

"There’s a lot of cool costumes here, a lot of costumes you could only find online," said Jenna Davis a 16-year-old Park City resident who wants to dress as a peacock for this Halloween.

Choosing costumes was a family affair.

"My three boys helped me pick out the coolest masks," Allen said.

While the Allens’ store has costumes in all price ranges, most of his gear is on the high-end.

"Some costumes are theatrical and beautiful, pricey but beautiful," Allen said.

Prices range from $40 to $150 for a complete adult or teen costume. Kids’ costume prices range from $20 to $35.

Allen, who moved here about a year and a half ago from Long Island, New York, comes from a culture that loves Halloween. In New York, the city holds one of the largest Halloween events in the country, the Village Halloween Parade.

"Back east I used to run a huge Halloween party every year, they were good parties. I have three boys and it’s one of their favorite holidays," Allen said.

Allen opened the store to sell toys and found an opportunity to bring his love for the holiday along.

"In knowing and hearing that Halloween was big (in Utah) and it’s typically not the biggest time of year for toy buying, we took a stab at Halloween."

Last year, many of his items sold out, especially the higher quality masks, so he ordered more this year. His store also carries a wide selection of hats and gloves.

"We have lots of wigs, a larger selection of wigs than you’ll find anywhere around," Allen said.

Pirates, Allen said, are the hot item for this season and he has plenty of pirate hats and clothing to look like Captain Jack Sparrow or Elizabeth Swann.

Allen isn’t only selling foreboding attire and gnarly pirate fashions, however. He is also carrying pink gorilla suits and Rosta Imposta costumes.

"They are very funny costumes," Allen said.

People can buy costumes to dress like the Jolly Green Giant, Wonder Bread, a milk carton, Spam, and a fart-o-meter. Couples can also find matching Rosta Imposta costumes such as a salt and peppershaker, a margarita glass with a lime and an electrical outlet.

"We also have a lot of pixies and princess costumes, a lot of girls like those," Allen said.

Brantley Bull, 12, who is dressing up as "a guy that was attacked by a werewolf," was tempted to change his decision to a Rosta Imposta.

"There’s a funny one where you are dressed up as a costume where you’re a baby in a high chair," Bull said.

This previous November, Allen expanded his store, which provides more Halloween costumes for Parkites.

"We tried to offer what you can find in Salt Lake," Allen said. "It’s a little easier with the extra room."

Allen is hoping that Parkites will start preparing for their Halloween parties and visit his store.

"We’ve been so well received by the locals here," Allen said. "They’ve supported us through holidays, birthdays and hopefully it’s the same through Halloween. Hopefully a lot of people will have parties here."


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