Halloween businesses gear up in East Tennessee

10:43 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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Halloween spirit-- or at least Halloween stores-- have arrived in East Tennessee.

Several temporary shops have opened up over the past week ready to cater to early enthusiasts.

But Ramona Didier's shop is one of the few open all year round. She runs the shop named for her late father-- Big Don the Costumier.

She says she's ready for a busy season. Her appointment-only bookings have already begun.

"They ask me what I'm going to wear, and I say, 'I'll be a tired costumer,'" said Didier.

From showgirls to Chewbacca, her thousands upon thousands of costumes cater to all tastes. But she says it's quality that creates repeat customers.

"I costume them from head to toe, I pick out for them because of the way they are, their look, their coloration," said Didier.

She also designs for school and professional productions and estimates Halloween adds up to about 25% of her annual business.

And this year it's starting as early as ever. A trend also noted by Frightmare Manor owner Chris Wooden.

 "It's time for haunted houses when that temperature starts to drop," said Wooden, or in this case even a little bit earlier.

"We've realized people are crazy, they want haunted houses now," said Wooden.

They've been terrifying their visitors-- or victims-- for four years.

The Talbott, Tennessee haunted house says they've upped the fright factor this year.

"If you've been here years past, you're not going to recognize a thing. It's going to be a lot of fun for everybody," said Wooden.

And he estimates this year will be their biggest yet.

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