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  • Writer's picturehenryfarleyjohnson

Spirit Halloween

There's no surer sign of the season than Spirit Halloween's triumphant return to our nation's strip malls. The chain truly embodies the Spirit of Halloween: letting storefronts wear a costume for a spell; feeding, zombielike, on the remains of decrepit retail spaces; then vanishing into thin air, with a haunting pledge to return again, perhaps on a night much like tonight. It's delightful.


Spirit Halloween's business model has generated countless newspaper profiles and snarky memes, every one of which I'm too lazy to link. And Spirit doesn't hide their habit of moving in where some doomed business moved out. Just look at how their website describes store locations:

So to see which spaces Spirit Halloween most frequently takes over, we can write a little code to scrape their online store locator. Not every location lists the former business, but of those that do (~830), here are the top 10 most common:

The most interesting one in my opinion is Party City, which is essentially a less specific version of Spirit Halloween. This would seem to indicate that, as a competitor, Spirit is taking a bite out of Party City's business and then, once PC goes belly up, moving in on its turf. This is ruthless! Kill a man and marry his widow!


In case you're curious, here are the top 20:

(Note that this is actually the top 22 because there was a 3-way tie for 20th. Spooky!!!)

2 Comments


Curtis Swartzendruber
Curtis Swartzendruber
Oct 07, 2021

how about keeping the climbing wall at the Dick’s locations? Would be a fun climb in costume!

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henryfarleyjohnson
henryfarleyjohnson
Oct 08, 2021
Replying to

Put a take one trick or treat bucket at the top

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