Costume shops across Iowa are hopping with wanna-be goblins and ghouls. Halloween is Friday and parties are abounding where you’re required to come as your favorite monster. Melissa Hawk, at the Theatrical Shop in Des Moines, says there are a few big-sellers lately.

"Like most years, whatever the hot summer movie is tends to be a hot Halloween costume," Hawk says. There’s a lot of interest in ‘The Dark Knight,’ both Batman and the Joker, and Ironman. Hawk says any Disney princess is popular with the girls, as are the old stand-bys.

While costumes from the movie "Clone Wars" are popular, she says there are groups of six or more that still come in wanting to dress up as the cast of "The Wizard of Oz." Hawk says current events are helping to fuel more costume parties and gatherings where Iowans can be someone else for a while.

"People are wanting to step away from both the political and financial crisis by having a little house party and telling everybody to dress up," she says, calling it "escapism." Hawk says they’ve been selling an equal number of masks resembling presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, in addition to plenty of sets of Sarah Palin glasses.