By David Newman
I love Halloween. Maybe it’s because it provides an opportunity to wear a cape or pretend I’m a unicorn, or scare the cannelloni out of folks and get away with it, but, however you slice it, I love it. I especially love Halloween in Seattle.
No matter how well-dressed you are and no matter what candy’s in your bowl, you’ve still got questions:
Where should you show up dressed as Uncle Fester on this darkest night of nights? Which Seattle ‘hoods are best to pack in the booty? What are this city’s greatest Halloween secrets? Here’s my rock-solid short-list of Seattle’s Halloween insider info that will completely rock your ghoul.
1. Creepy Capitol Hill
Have you experienced the trick-or-treating scene on 16th & 17th Aves E between Roy & Aloha? The neighborhood just south of Volunteer Park blocks off the streets so there’s no car traffic, and people of all ages have a blast! The houses on these streets work hard to outdo one another (i.e. a haunted carnival next door to “The Bates Motel”) and we are the beneficiaries (victims?). While you don’t have to be a little kid to have fun here, it is family-friendly.
2. Where to Buy That Wicked Scythe
If you’re looking to purchase that pirate get-up or chest-wig, there are two ways you can go: the true costume supply stores or the second-use establishments. By far, my favorite place to get new, pristine Halloween supplies, decorations and quality costume supplies is Display and Costume Supply in Northgate on Roosevelt Way. Just look for the animatronic gargoyle statues outside the store. But be warned: I’m not the only one who loves this place so if you don’t like crowds, you may want to steer clear if you’re a late Halloween shopper. My favorite second-hand stores include the Value Village on 11th Avenue & Pine on Capitol Hill and the Goodwill on Dearborn Avenue, off of Rainier Avenue South. With so many options you can be anything you want on the cheap: from a classic witch to “Ed Rutabaga, vinyl siding salesman.” Hit it!
3. Rubber Chickens or Necco Wafers?
Sure, you can go with the old standards: miniature chocolate bars and gobstoppers. But why not mix it up this year? Give out glow-in-the-dark bugs or gooey glowing eyeballs. Do you really want to slip more sugar to the throngs of neighborhood children pounding on doors like zombies on the search for brains?! Now that sounds terrifying. Instead, hop on the Metro 25 north and get off at the corner of 45th and Stone Way. You can’t miss Archie McPhee – Seattle’s oddball shop with the bright yellow awning and an outside mural advertising “spectacles beyond belief.” Step inside and scoop up bacon-scented air fresheners and finger monsters by the handful. Drop these into those overstuffed pillowcases and you’ll be a hero. I promise.
If you’ve been living under a rock and you didn’t know this already, you should: Seattle is home to a giant troll that resides in Fremont. Under a bridge. He eats cars, but is fine with you climbing on his head and you may even search his nose for goodies, as many are want to do. So, what better place to honor the haunted and the hair-rising on All-Hallows Eve? Take a break from trick-or-treating this Halloween to join the hundreds of performers and people who get their freak on in the shadow of the Troll at Trolloween beneath the Aurora Bridge at N 36th St. and Troll Ave.
Now that I’ve listed my Seattle favorites, what about you? Tell me your favorite Halloween hang-outs, costume supply secrets or spill the beans about what you’ll be dressing up as this year!