People Are Loving The Spirit Halloween Costume Memes, Here Are 30 Of The Funniest Ones
It’s early September, and it’s finally beginning to feel like autumn. The leaves are starting to change color, and Starbucks has rolled out their beloved pumpkin spice latte. You’re driving down the highway paying no mind to the giant warehouse on your right that you pass every single day when suddenly– you notice. That empty warehouse that is usually completely deserted has a massive truck outside. Can it be? You look again and see the famous huge yellow letters. That’s right, Spirit Halloween is moving in for their annual two-month pop up.
If you’re not familiar with Spirit Halloween, it’s a giant pop-up Halloween retailer that suddenly appears for a couple months at over a thousand locations in North America then vanishes seemingly overnight when spooky season comes to an end. If a grocery store or a furniture store has recently gone out in your city, you might be in luck. That location could soon be occupied with hundreds of costumes and decorations that will make celebrating October 31st much easier.
And while Spirit Halloween does offer almost every costume you could ever imagine, people online have recently started creating memes of some of the few costumes it does not carry. We’ve gathered some of the most accurate and hilarious Spirit Halloween costume memes below, roasting anyone from an “Unprepared Hiker” to a “Freelance Recruiter Who Ghosted You”. Be sure to upvote the costumes you get a kick out us, and feel free to share in the comments what costume you would love to see hanging up at Spirit Halloween. Then if you’re interested in checking out a Bored Panda article featuring hilariously bad Halloween costumes that actually are sold in stores, you can find that right here.
Spirit Halloween was created by Joe Marver in 1984. He opened his very first pop-up Halloween store in the Castro Valley Mall in California and grew the business to have 60 seasonal stores throughout the United States over the next 15 years. In 1999, Spirit Halloween was acquired by a larger company, and since then, they have expanded to having over 1,400 locations in North America. The concept of having pop-up stores on short-term leases and a massive variety of merchandise available was completely innovative, and unsurprisingly, Spirit Halloween is now the largest Halloween retailer in the world.
Despite the shift the world has seen in online shopping becoming the new norm, Spirit persists in their profitable in-person sales, bringing in about $8.4 billion annually. And although the store is full of spooky, gorey and frightening products, Spirit Halloween has a heart. They launched a program called Spirit of Children in 2006, to raise money for children’s hospitals, and have since donated over $29 million and held countless Halloween celebrations in hospitals, supplying costumes and decorations free of charge.
I remember taking my annual trips to Spirit Halloween as a kid, always thrilled when one of my parents finally said, “Let’s stop here” and pulled into the parking lot of the Halloween holy land. I marveled at the racks and racks of costumes, masks, headbands, candy baskets, dresses, makeup, props, fake blood, decorations and more. It’s hard to describe the pure magic that Spirit Halloween finds a way of creating, especially given their short stints in their stores.
According to NPR, each location that Spirit rents out for two to three months needs to be between 5,000-50,000 square feet (or 464-4,645 square meters). But aside from having space, there aren’t many other requirements needed to set up camp. “Spirit is pretty much a bottom-feeder business that works only at the expense of other stores; if there weren't vacant storefronts, this business wouldn't exist," writes Rachel Quednau, program director for Strong Towns, an urban planning advocacy group that emphasizes incremental city planning.
Despite the fact that Spirit’s physical doors are only opened for a limited time, the company requires a year-round operation, scouting locations and ensuring that the next season will be even more profitable. Representatives for the company told Vox that finding the perfect places to set up shop can be a challenge, but they have an “excellent real estate team that works year round to scope out and lock in the best locations available”.
“Pretty much November 1, the minute our door is closed, we are — or actually, before our doors close — we are prepping for the next season,” Frank Pacera, Spirit Halloween’s senior director of real estate, said on the Kimco Realty Blog podcast. “We literally are, 12 months out of the year, getting ready for this holiday. … Right after we close our doors, we have a field operation of people who are based throughout the country, and they basically scout their entire markets that they’re responsible for on a regular basis.”
Along with the issue of finding temporary locations every single year, Spirit Halloween also has to hire thousands of seasonal employees each year. They work to hire and train their staff over the summer and fly each district manager to New Jersey for a week-long training meeting. In 2016, the company hired 35,000 seasonal workers, but that number has likely only increased since. Americans are crazy about Halloween, spending about $10.6 billion on the occasion in 2022. And between costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards, $3.6 billion of that goes right to costumes. Suddenly, the success of Spirit Halloween does not seem surprising at all.
The massacre of many retail stores is great for Spirit Halloween’s business model, as they swoop into abandoned grocery stores, retail warehouses, shells of former Toys-R-Us stores and more, but they are simultaneously somehow immune to the plague of online shopping. “The big thing for a retail store is that there’s a sense of discovery,” Neil Stern, a senior partner at the real estate consulting firm McMillanDoolittle, told Vox. “There’s a bit of a treasure-hunt mindset associated with it. Like, ‘I want to decorate my house but I don’t know how I’m going to decorate my house, so I want to look around and be inspired. It doesn’t mean that the business isn’t going online, but it’s a category that lends itself particularly well to a physical store.”
Spirit Halloween is not opposed to doing online business though. If you don’t live anywhere near their locations or you can’t find a time to make the trek to the massive retailer, they do sell their products online as well. It’s hard to say what is more overwhelming, scrolling through pages and pages of their website or gazing at all of the products lined up in one place, but with both options, everyone has access to creating the spooky Halloween of their dreams. If one of your children wants to be a princess, one wants to be a doctor, your dog wants to be a detective, and you want to be a witch, you can find everything you need in one place without having to drag your children through the giant store.
While the costumes on this list are all jokes, they might be reminding you that you still need to choose the perfect outfit to wear this weekend. It can be so hard to decide whether you should wear something clever, funny, adorable or a tribute to one of your favorite characters or artists. When it comes to the most popular costumes that you can never go wrong with, there are the classics such as a zombie, a witch, Frankenstein’s monster or a famous film murderer. But there are also always some costumes that come into the spotlight for one year, based on what’s trending on Netflix or in pop culture at the moment.
Last year, characters from Squid Game seemed to be among the top Halloween costumes. The year before, the cast members of Tiger King were all popular options. This year, Stranger Things characters are likely to be all over the place. Famous superheroes and characters from classic films like Toy Story are always safe options as well. But if you really want to surprise your friends or get a laugh out of them, you might want to choose someone from this list. (That is, if you wouldn’t be dressing up as yourself.)
When it comes to the most popular Halloween costumes in the US, Reader’s Digest recently published a list breaking down the most common costume choices in each of the 50 states. In Texas, people appear to be fans of fairies, witches, Stranger Things, cheerleaders, pirates, angels and the 1980s. In North Dakota, horses and fairies take the cake. In Hawaii, Maui is the most popular costume, and in Minnesota, people love dressing up as renaissance characters and cowboys. If you’d like to find out what the most popular costumes in your state are, you can find the list right here.
The beauty of Halloween is that you can dress up as anything your heart desires, so if anything on this list has inspired you, why not make one of these costumes a reality? We hope you’re enjoying these hilarious memes about Spirit Halloween and that you’re feeling ready to go all out this Halloweekend. Keep upvoting the pics that you get a kick out of, and let us know in the comments what creation you would sell if you were in charge. Then, if you’d like to check out a previous Bored Panda article featuring comically bad knock-off Halloween costumes, look no further than right here.