Halloween shopping on Martha’s Vineyard

Need an identity change for Halloween? Visit Shirley's Hardware for wigs. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Fall marks the start of the holiday season. While many say Thanksgiving is the beginning of it, parents and those who love scariness might disagree as they have Halloween to prepare for and celebrate. Preparing for the Halloween agenda of trick-or-treating, costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, and possibly even playing some harmless pranks, you might need a trip to the store for supplies.

Three of the Island’s Halloween centrals are Rose Bud Balloons, Shirley’s Hardware, and the Toy Box.

In Oak Bluffs, you can visit Rose Bud’s, located at 30 Circuit Avenue next to Phillip’s Hardware. Rose Bud’s has long been known for their vast supplies for any party or holiday celebration, and they do not disappoint. You will first be drawn in by their colorfully ghoulish window display, which leads you through the door into a Halloween wonderland.

If you can take a moment to focus instead of letting your eye wander to the festive balloons and displays, you will find a shelf set dedicated to your task. Decorate your lawn and home entrance with the eight-foot light-up inflatable pumpkin or think a little smaller with the spider web light set that is three-feet wide. There are also paper lanterns, “Beware” signs, and even a jumbo rusty chain. Lest your doorway and windows feel left out, you can dress them up with their own costumes such as the Door Gore or window posters depicting the Halloween season. Have you started to rake your leaves? Why not put them into a pumpkin-designed lawn bag that you can use for display.

There is more than an entire wall dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect costume. Choose from a plethora of costumes for the entire family and for any size. Kids might like the Winnie the Pooh outfit or Glinda the Good Witch from “The Wizard of Oz,” while young adults could lean to the set of “Harry Potter” accessories. Men might like the simplicity of the Blues Man costume or the Computer Nerd accessory set, while ladies will look fabulous in a Wonder Woman costume or a Hula Dancer outfit. Everyone can enjoy their large accessory lines to complement an existing outfit or make their own completely new, unique costume. They have wigs for rock stars, the 70s, Super Fro, and even Mrs. Santa, along with capes in many different styles. Other accessories include angel wings, feather boas, gloves, beards, glow swords, and even light up devil horns. Masks include the Burger King king, Obama, Clinton, Mr. Six from Six Flags, and Football or Baseball Head (looking like they are in much pain). Round out your costume with some artful makeup. Rose Bud’s has everything from fake blood to face paint and a full vampire makeup kit.

In Vineyard Haven, Shirley’s Hardware, at 374 State Road, has many of the aforementioned Halloween selections, plus a few surprises. Some of their specialties include a large selection of outside lawn and house decorations that start at $1.99. They have the Hal Gravestone to Bones-A-Glow full-sized skeleton and nine-feet strings of lights with such attachments as spiders, ghosts, and pumpkins to a full array of lighted scenes depicting a witch, a pumpkin, a ghost, or a bat.

Costumes for little ones range from cowboys to a Baby Pumpkin or a Lil Lady Bug, and older kids to adults will find special costumes like the Devil Lady or a Roarin’ Red Flapper Girl to a Monk/Ghoul Robe or a Devil Lord. All these outfits or your own creations can benefit from their accessories and make-up selections. They go from the simple nose attachment in the shape of a werewolf, a toucan, a duck, or a pig, to 15 different Halloween-themed press-on nail sets. Their full spectrum of makeup colors is a site to behold and they even have a package of Spirit Gum adhesive and remover set to attach those special pieces.

A third shop is the Toy Box in Vineyard Haven. They are currently unpacking boxes of costumes and accessories, many for adults.

Whatever you decide to be or do, a visit to one of the Island’s great Halloween stores is highly suggested. With Halloween only a week-and-a-half away, you better not delay. Remember it is okay to get your decorations up now so you and your neighbors can enjoy them for more than one night. Happy Halloween!