The most terrifying store in town! Spirit Halloween outlets appear every October to provide shoppers with all their costume needs — and this year, there’s going to be a movie about it.
Titled Celebrate HalloweenThe action/adventure movie will follow a group friends who spend the night in one of the seasonal shops after they become too old to continue their traditional plans.
“When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night,” the movie’s logline reads. “But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”
When the film was announced in April 2022, producers surprised fans by revealing that filming had already wrapped, meaning the wait for the premiere won’t last very long. In fact, the studio plans to release the film in October 2022 — just as real Spirit Halloween stores start popping up all over the country.
Joe Marver, who later sold Spencer Gifts the business, founded the first version of the seasonal shop in California in 1983. As customers know, the stores don’t stay open year-round, but in 2018 VoxIt was reported that there were over 1,300 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Spirit Halloween stores often occupy abandoned retail spaces that were once home to big-box stores. Sometimes, this happens so quickly that it has become a meme. When Facebook briefly covered its California headquarters entrance sign in October 2021 one Twitter user shared a doctored photo of Spirit Halloween taking over the tech giant’s building with the caption, “Woah that was quick.”
The chain isn’t the only Halloween-focused pop-up store out there, but Marver once said that he believes it’s the most successful because of the sheer variety of products on offer.
“I didn’t invent temporary sales. But I feel like I invented temporary Halloween,” he told the Seattle TimesIn October 2000, he pointed out fake blood as an example of where his store had a monopoly on the market. “[We have] the fake blood that coagulates, the thin runny blood, the semi-thick blood and the one that just lays there like a slug,” the CEO explained.
Keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know Celebrate Halloween.