Hot Halloween costumes come from pop culture, classic horror flicks
MIDDLETOWN — This year’s Halloween trends reflect popular gaming guises and classic killers, according to Spirit Halloween’s 2018 annual report, which places the world’s most popular online video game Fortnite, horror film villain Michael Myers, and “Hocus Pocus” movie characters at the top of the hot costume list.
The wicked witches from the 1993 cult movie classic “Hocus Pocus” are one of the most popular costumes this year as the Sanderson sisters (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) celebrate 25 years, according to Spirit Halloween, which has a pop-up store in the Staples Plaza at 848 Washington St.
Gamers will have a tough time deciding on a costume with an array of character skins to choose from. While Fortnite takes the candy in the gaming world, there’s no shortage of costumes from popular games such as Minecraft, Kingdom Hearts and Halo.
As the sequel to the 1978 film “Halloween” is set to release this month for its 40th anniversary, so have Michael Myers costumes, which have returned in popularity. Other classic killers such as Freddy and Jason have also been resurrected.
The hype has not died down much after Stephen King’s movie remake of “It” last year, as killer clown costumes are trending for another year. Pennywise may take the popular vote, but Twisty the Clown from the hit television series “American Horror Story” is sure to be roaming area neighborhoods.
For those feeling nostalgic, the ‘80s are making a comeback with costumes from “Ghostbusters” and classic video game characters such as Zelda and Mario Brothers. For those who want to travel back from the future, there are mullet wigs, Madonna-style fishnet gloves or totally rad sweatsuits in costume stores. Politics doesn’t stay clear of Halloween this year, with President Trump, the first lady, and Vladimir Putin masks on costume store shelves.
Halloween trends are not just found in stores, but in church parking lots and open fields, as more parents are opting for community events rather than traditional trick-or-treating. Trunk-or-treating has become the popular choice among parents seeking safer alternatives than going door-to-door collecting candy from strangers.
“I think it is what trick-or-treating has evolved into,” said Bill Perkins, president of the Knights of Valhalla Auto Club, which will hold a trunk-or-treat event for the fourth year at Macdonough Elementary School on Spring Street. “Children still go out on Halloween, but not like I did when I was a kid,” he said.
Adults who want to participate in such events with their vehicle should register with the organization holding the event before attending and handing out candy to children.
For the second year, Fellowship Church, 1002 Saybrook Road, will offer a Halloween celebration. Connections Pastor Rich Pancoast said trunk-or-treats are often safer for children. “This will take place in the daylight, it will be on our field with no traffic or cars going through. The volunteers for each trunk are attenders here at our church, so we know who will be giving out the candy,” he said.
Jeremy Hamel, co-owner of Vale Fields + Courts at 1280 Newfield St., explained why the sports center gets in on the action: “The main reason we are hosting the event is to bring the surrounding communities together and provide a fun and safe place for families to enjoy Halloween.”
Middletown resident and mother of four Celestina Perez plans to attend her first trunk-or-treat this year at Vale Fields. “It seems safe because it’s local people you know. I love Halloween, but it seems to be fading away more and more every year,” she said.
Plantsville resident Amy Wernicki plans to travel to Middletown with her two children to host a trunk at the indoor facility. “I love that Vale is offering this for the community. You don’t have to worry about the kids crossing traffic,” she said.
Some parents bring their children trunk-or-treating for reasons other than safety. East Hampton resident and mother of two Shannon Turner said she will be opening her car’s trunk at Catalyst Church, 720 Newfield St., this year. “The trunk or treat at Catalyst gives our family a chance to have fun planning and decorating together, and the best part is, we get to serve families in our community and the kids can be involved in giving rather than getting,” she said.
Here is a list of upcoming Halloween events in the area:
Trunk or Treat held by Vale Sports Club and Vale Fields + Courts and Training Center, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., 1280 Newfield St., Middletown
Halloween Hulabaloo held by Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate, 1 to 4 p.m., 421 Wadsworth St., Middletown
Halloween Family Movie Night held by YMCA Camp Ingersoll, 5 to 10 p.m., 94 Camp Ingersoll Road, Portland
Trunk or Treat held by Catalyst Church, 6 to 8 p.m., 720 Newfield St., Middletown
Trunk or Treat held by Knights of Valhalla Auto Club, 6 to 8 p.m., Macdonough Elementary School, 66 Spring St., Middletown
Trunk or Treat held by East Hampton Parks and Recreation, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Center Elementary School, 7 Summit St., East Hampton
Trunk or Treat held by Fellowship Church, 4 to 5:30 p.m., 1002 Saybrook Road, Middletown
Trunk or Treat held by Alien Youth and Hope Church, 6 to 8 p.m., 230 East High St., East Hampton