Cribsy’s Halloween Shopping Primer


There’s a chill in the air and a spring in my step. Today is October the first, the “official” start of the Halloween season!

If you’re like me, there’s no such thing as only celebrating Halloween for a measly 31 Days. The diehards like myself decorated and began shopping last month.

Each year in early to mid September, a variety of temporary large Halloween retailers pop up all over the country in abandoned store locations. These places are magically transformed into elaborate and massively stocked wonders of transient huckstering.

Because most of you out there aren’t devoted to living on the dark side and making your home look like a haunted brothel, I’ve decided to use my extensive knowledge of Halloween decor retailers and products, for good. See, by breaking down to BEST places to score scare swag, I’m saving you time, trouble and disappointment.

Avoid at all costs (unless you’re workin’ the ho-stroll.)

First Up is Halloween City or as I like to call them, Halloween Sh*tty.

Sure, you’ll find a few overpriced coffins and witches’ cauldrons, but mostly you’re going to be wading through a a slew of slutty costumes.

Slutwear high and low, this is the place for all of your hookery clothing needs. So much so, that every time we walk through the aisles of a Halloween City, Lover Fo’ Life gets real”grabby” with yours truly and does everything in his power to get me to buy one of everything in my size.

40 bucks to see her “Rabbit Hole.”

While we’re on the topic of slutty costumes…

Here’s a WTF question for the ages: Why in the HAIL do they make “sexy” costumes for little girls!? Here’s the SAME costume pictured above, only specially sized for GIRLS.

No Ma’am.

Anydecayofinnocence, moving on to the next makeshift Halloween seasonal chain, Halloween Express!

You could do worse.

Halloween Express This place is a  hearty mix of costume and decoration. They don’t always have the BEST stuff, but each season I find myself purchasing at least a few items.

For example: I’ve fallen in love with this year’s new addition, the Lampshade cover. It reminds me of a Victorian funeral parlor making out with a lace doily.


Last but certainly, not least…it’s my GO-TO Halloween Temporary Merchant


Spirit Halloween Store: This place rules. I’m not just saying that because the fine folks at Spirit hooked me up with a pair of the LATEST Sunstash glasses back in early September (before they hit the streets for sale!)

Awww Yeah!

I really mean it.

Spirit has a good array of costume crap, but as any TRUE Halloween aficionado knows, the decorations are where it’s at. Spirit delivers year after year in the realm of creepy, yet quality decorations. In the Big Box Halloween Store game, nobody beats ’em.

But that’s not all.

Sure, the limited edition Halloween garb shacks are interesting at this time of year, but by NO MEANS are they the ONLY place you can procure awesome creepy goodies, I’ve come to rely on a bevy of regular stores to carry top-notch Halloween treats!

Places like…


Target: embarrassingly enough, every year around mid-September, I become a bit of a local celebrity at my nearest Target retail locations. Your pal the Crib Keeper stalks and hounds each store manager for the exact date when their particular store erects its “Halloween Section.” At various Targets around the area I can be spotted sharking the best spooky stuff for sale.

Truth be told, Target is one of the best places out there for quality Halloween accents. I bought pieces that have remained part of my “everyday decor,” for almost a decade. Classic, cool and creepy, it’s all waiting for you at Target! Just last month I procured this awesome Tablecloth for a steal of a deal.


Crib Keeper’s Note: In real life the tablecloth is way cooler. It’s not black and white, it’s a cool black and ecru heavy cotton that fits right in with my “Haunted Mansion Dining Room” decor. PS: The Haunted Dining room is a year-round installation.

Next up is a relatively newcomer to my stable of Halloween haunts, Home Goods!

They’ve got the goods.

Home Goods is an offshoot of the TJMAXX brand. I ‘ve never shopped at a TJ Maxx, but in the last few years I’ve been introduced to Home Goods, a place where I find some of the BEST top-notch and SUPER CHEAP Halloween lovelies.

For example, back in August, I purchased a Bone Collector Cup for 4 bucks, I’ve carried this thing everywhere. It’s my go-to pimpcup.


Matter of fact, I went back to my nearest Home Goods and bought out the stock. In the event I break, mar or ruin one of my tumblers, I now have several identical backup cups. And just because I LURVE to brag about bargains… Boston Warehouse is trying to peddle the very same cup for 10 bux!

The following choice for “hidden gems” of Halloween stuff is the Cracker Barrel

Cute hoot!

Yes. I’m talking about the same chain restaurant Memaws and Pepaws everywhere love eating at as a family. The Cracker Barrel is synonymous with obese Americans who insist upon dining amid nostalgia wrapped in the guise of good country livin’. But an often overlooked  bonus to each location is the “Country Store,” portion of the restaurant.

Time and time again I have found incredible bargains for cute and creepy items. One need not stuff themselves with hastily prepared vittles to enjoy all that the ‘Barrel has to offer, simply scan the “seasonal merchandise,” after 4th of July and you will be rewarded with an outstanding array of Halloween decorations. One of my favorite finds at the cracker barrel was the department 56 paper mache collection I tumbled across a few years ago.

And rounding out my special list of Halloween decor shilling places that can’t be missed is, Z Gallerie.


Every year L4L and I make a pilgrimage to the nearest Z Gallerie to peruse and procure their finest creepy decorations. One of my favorite scores from this place is the metallic Skeleton Hand L4L surprised me with a few years ago.

And there you have it. My tried and true guide to the realm of Halloween Decor purveyors. Happy hunting, and more importantly, Happy Halloween decorating!

Here’s some music to create by!


Cribsy’s Halloween Shopping Primer — 3 Comments

  1. One of my students was talking about your beloved Cracker Barrel today. Apparently they have a seasonal pumpkin custard, and she says it’s amazing.

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