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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

The September 11th attack
Halloween mood toned down

 •  Retailers scramble to meet demand for patriotic wear
 •  Red, white and blue flowers

Advertiser Staff

Terror is taking the horror out of Halloween.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorism, some customers are spurning grisly Halloween costumes in favor of patriotic and nonviolent themes.

Kmart and Wal-Mart are predicting strong demand for firefighter and police outfits like those worn by the rescuers in New York and Washington.

"Anything to get away from violence," said Jamie Golliher, a Martinsburg, W.Va., mother of three, while looking over the Halloween merchandise at a Hagerstown Kmart last week.

Golliher said she wasn't sure how she would dress her 4-year-old, Luke, after rejecting his first choice, a gunslinger, and his second, a pirate. "When I see anything to do with blood, gore, violence — I don't want to deal with it and I don't want my kids to see it, either, because that's all you hear about right now," she said.

Red, white and blue face paint has been selling well at craft stores. Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty will probably be popular costumes, along with George W. Bush masks.

"I think it will be a time for flights of fantasy, escaping into what makes you happy, not what makes you sad, and I'm thinking blood and gore might be out this year," said Doris Ballard, co-editor of The Costumer, the trade journal of the National Costumers Association.

That could be a problem for large retailers, who bought their Halloween merchandise six months to a year ago.