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Americans to spend billions on Halloween fun

Reported by: Katherine Underwood

Videographer: B. Sanders
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Updated: 10/08/2012 7:51 pm
Even through the worst of the economic recession, the National Retail Federation says Halloween sales have gone up.

Some say it could be because more people are trying to escape reality.

Spending is expected to hit record highs this year, totaling about $8 billion in the United States.

Parents in the Capital Region are out spending three weeks before the holiday.

“With my three kids, probably about $100,” said Menands mom, Dorthea Medina.

Lucky for Rebecca Wallin of Ghent, her grandfather is buying her $48 costume.

But as for Medina’s youngest, Joel, well he couldn’t make up his mind between a police officer and a warewolf.

“Both!” he yelled when we asked which one he would choose.

Joel and his mom kept shopping and joined other families at The Costumer in Colonie to find what's hot this Halloween.

“We’ve got what we call a skin suit, it’s a basic suit, one color that covers the entire body,” explained The Costumer Vice President of Operations Eric Zenner. “You can breathe through it, you can drink through it.”

And while you can choose from eye-popping masks, goons and goblins, movie characters, monsters, and vixens - it turns out this year more people are going political.

“We obviously have Obama and Romney,” Zenner said showing us the masks of our two Presidential candidates. “We can tell you right now that the mask sales are similar.”

The average person will spend just over $28 on a single Halloween costume this year, but if you want to do it on the cheap, Zenner said the answer is to accessorize.

“If someone wants to do something fairly inexpensive you could just grab a hat and put it on with some old gym shorts and a t-shirt and kind of go out for the night,” Zenner said as he donned a hat with fake long hair attached.

The do-it-yourself costume was exactly the idea when Elena Ferrari of East Greenbush decided to be a mime.

“I have white face makeup and black, and gloves, and the beret,” Ferrari said. “It's a lot less money and it’s more fun to be creative.”

And for parents, an excuse to escape reality.

“Life is stressful enough, I mean, that one day we can be somebody else,” Medina said.

More than 170 million Americans are expected to celebrate, which is seven in every ten people.

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