Expect an intense holiday, if the merchandise available is any measure.
By VIRGINIA LINN
New Halloween stuff this year can be summed up in one four-letter word.
"The gorier, the better," says Terri Hirt, a manager of Halloween Adventures, a Philadelphia-based specialty chain.
They run from the high-end, life-size animatronic Freddy Krueger from "Nightmare on Elm Street" ( 249) to simple vinyl sheets -- "Scene Setters" -- that turn your living room or front porch into a haunted house or gorefest ( 6.99- 19.99).
Not to be missed in the latter category is the "Bloody Border Roll" ( 9.99) that will have your dining room walls dripping blood for that all-gruesome Halloween party.
As far as hot costumes, pirates are the rage for all ages, riding on the success of this year's No. 1 hit "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." (They're far more popular now than after the original Pirates, "The Curse of the Black Pearl" in 2003.) In other trends, costume makers have expanded their plus-size and teen lines as they try to capitalize on the growing Halloween market that's expected to top almost 5 billion this season.
The average adult costume costs 49.95, but pricey accessories (glossy stiletto boots are big this year for that pirate costume) can push the cost into three figures.
Here's a sampling of new stuff available.
Scare the daylights out of your little trick-or-treaters with this authentic looking "Floor Gore" ( 6.99).
How about adding some ghouls to your mirrors? The "Wall Grabber" also sticks on walls and peels right off ( 6.99).
Unfortunately for the faint of heart, severed limbs are everywhere this year. Especially appealing are these "Cannibal Meat Market" products, that include shrunken heads and dismembered hands and feet ( 12).
Airblown inflatable lawn decorations are getting more elaborate every year. You can continue the pirates theme with this design from Kmart ( 59.99).
A great alternative to candy give-outs is this "All-Treat, No Sweet!" bowl of Play-Doh one-ounce cans ( 10.99); also available in 20-can bags for 4.35 at discount and toy stores.