Halloween popularity follows silver screen


Riley, Avery and Kaylee will dress up for Halloween as their favorite characters Elsa, Olaf and Anna from the movie “Frozen.”

For Quest Elementary School student Riley Perkins of Viera, the choice of a Halloween costume this year was clear. She’s Elsa from the movie “Frozen” through and through.

“I watch it every day. I know every word to all the songs. I know all the poses she makes,” said Riley, modeling her costume with hands elegantly raised princess-turned-queen fashion, hands motioning a freezing curse across the land, hands cuddling her real-life best friend and sister just like in the movie, with Kaylee Perkins dressed as Anna.

Video games are also a popular inspiration for costumes.

Bryce Thompson is Skull Commander, plucked from his Xbox 360 Call of Duty game.

“It’s awesome,” he said, changing from machine gun to an automatic pistol, crouching low, standing tall, changes he normally makes to his avatar via hand-held remote with a flick of fingers and thumbs.

Ava Hensley picked neon zombie, a generic character whose origins were born with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” from director George A. Romero. The movie spawned a genre that has picked up steam and gory detail through the years. The neon treatment gives horror a girly hue.

“I like to look scary, but I still want to look pretty,” Ava said.

While zombies have taken over popular culture in television, movies and video games, they don’t have as much to do with the continued popularity of dressing up for Halloween trick-or-treating and adult parties as one might think.

“It’s really about the movies. Children and adults want to dress up as their favorite characters from the screen,” said Kristyn Perkins, manager of the Spirit of Halloween Store at The Avenue Viera. 

The store is located between Addy Rose Hair Salon and SportClips Haircuts, two stops on the popular Viera Voice Scarecrow Stroll Oct. 1 through 15. The most popular scarecrow creations will move to the Harvest Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 19 at Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Conference Center and Viera Beach. Spirit of Halloween is sponsoring a door prize package to kick off the festival and anyone arriving in a costume gets a ticket for the drawing.

In response to the growing popularity of dressing up and decorating for Halloween, Spirit expanded its store base from 63 locations to more than 1,100 for the 2014 season, becoming the world’s largest Halloween specialty store, now in every state and Canada.Bryce picked Skull Commander from his favorite Xbox 360 video game, “Call of Duty,” while Ava will be a neon zombie for Halloween.

In Viera and Suntree, the festivities blend trick-or-treating with child and adult parties courtesy of the golf course community staple: golf carts.

“We ride around in our decorated golf carts and compete for who can get the most candy,” Jeanette Thompson said.

Many of the homes across the Viera/Suntree area are set far apart and are accessible only by a road with no sidewalks. Trick-or-treaters all but ignore some of the communities that don’t have a lot of children, and hit others hard with homes that go all out for horror décor, built closer together and accessible by sidewalks.

Golf carts enable children to cover the most ground possible, remain safely with parents, and allow for socializing with other families who set up parties in their driveways where passers-by can slake their thirst with a sip from a steaming cup and cauldron.

While the festivities of the night are many faceted, the main point remains singular, Thompson said.

“It’s really all about the candy.”