The season of ghosts and ghouls is nearly here and many Iowans will be heading off to Halloween parties over the next two weekends.

Juanita Cameron, a clerk at The Theatrical Shop in West Des Moines, says plenty of adults are mimicking their favorite movies for costumes this year. She says guys are channeling their inner Tom Cruise while gals are mirroring the “Hocus Pocus” witches.

“The all-time Top Gun is number-one for men. For women, believe it or not, the Sanderson Sisters are back,” Cameron says. “For children, the Encanto line of Disney costumes are just so popular with those children nowadays. If they’re not going with that, they’re going with something warm and fuzzy, like an animal, or still falling back on Winnie the Pooh.”

After two seasons of COVID, Cameron says Iowans are getting back to their usual activities associated with Halloween this year.

“I’ve noticed a big uptick in theme parties,” she says. “Since COVID is winding down or people are getting used to it being around, they are going back to their theme parties and their own private parties, so that’s really big this year, and a lot of the businesses are having company parties.”

A survey by the National Retail Federation finds total Halloween spending this year is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion, topping last year’s record of $10.1 billion.

(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)