Halloween thrillers: Michael Jackson, other celebrities will be popular costume inspiration in 2009

Spirit Halloween’s list of top costume predictions for 2009

Michael Jackson
Jon and Kate Gosselin
Sarah Palin
Bernie Madoff
Robert Pattinson from “Twilight”
G.I. Joe
Pop stars like Britney Spears and Rihanna
“High School Musical 3”
“Star Wars” and “Star Trek”

Michael Jackson Halloween costume

Don’t be surprised if you see Michael Jackson, Bernie Madoff or Jon and Kate around town this month.

Or, perhaps, multiple Michael Jacksons, Bernie Madoffs, or Jons and Kates.

Spirit Halloween, which operates a store at 3140 S. Iowa, recently released its top Halloween costume predictions for 2009. This year, the most popular costumes are taken from current events in entertainment and news.

“It’s natural that people take cues from pop culture when deciding on a Halloween costume,” says Heather Golin, Halloween expert at Spirit Halloween. “Scandals, break-ups and spoofs are often the most comical.”

Kyle Billings, owner of Fun and Games, 1601 W. 23rd St., says popular movies from the year usually spark trends in Halloween costumes. He says he anticipates seeing a lot of vampire costumes because of the popularity with the “Twilight” movie and book series. The store is stocked with vampire capes, fangs and fake blood. However, because accessories usually don’t get purchased until right before the holiday, Billings hasn’t noticed one costume that’s getting looked at more than anything else thus far.

“So far people are being pretty creative, so I haven’t seen a theme in costumes,” he says.

While popular costumes change from year to year, the types of costumes men and women buy usually stay the same. Men often choose comical costumes. They want to be unique, creative and funny. On the other hand, women typically want a costume that looks attractive and will get them noticed.

“Guys want to be silly,” Billings says. “They want a laugh out of their costume. Girls want their costume to be recognizable right away and want it to look good. They want the ‘ooh’ effect of the costume.”

Children tend to choose costumes based on their favorite character from cartoons, movies or sports. Though Halloween is popular among kids who enjoy dressing up and trick-or-treating, adults shouldn’t be afraid to embrace the spirit of the holiday as well, Golin says. Costume parties and bars provide an outlet for adults to enjoy the night in a mature environment.

“Halloween brings out the kid in everyone,” she says. “Halloween is popular among people of all ages because it allows us to escape reality for a day or a few hours. It’s always fun to dress up and take on a new character.”

Both Billings and Golin say their stores start to get busy around mid-September. That’s when the biggest Halloween enthusiasts or those who don’t have any costume ideas will start shopping. However, don’t worry if you haven’t thought of the spookiest, funniest or hottest costume yet. Golin suggests drawing inspiration from your life, such as favorite movie, singer, athlete or childhood memory.

“Halloween is the time of year where people can fulfill their wildest fantasies, and this holiday evokes pure creativity,” she says.