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Inside a Lancaster County costume shop with more than 25,000 pieces, plus the top costumes trends

It may feel like there are few more tricks than treats this year, but there is certainly no shortage of Halloween costumes at Millersville University's Rental Shop.

Halloween is going to look a little different for everyone this year. 

The pandemic is not only impacting how some people plan to Trick-or-Treat but also how shop owners get costumes to customers.

It may feel like there are few more tricks than treats this year, but there is certainly no shortage of Halloween costumes at Millersville University's Rental Shop.

There are 25,000 hangers and counting. Priscilla Kaufhold is the keeper of them all with 36 years experience running the place.

"36 years! It's fun. It's a lot of fun," said Priscilla Kaufhold.

Every costume can be customized to a customer's liking, and they can be altered to fit how a customer wants it. There is Renaissance-era attire, southern belle dresses, and soldier uniforms.

"20's, 30's, 50's, 60's, 70's is pretty popular," added Kaufhold.

There are also plenty of costumes fitting for the pandemic.

"Doctors, straight jackets, nurses," laughed Kaufhold. 

There are even some Hazmat suits.

"We have to build weird things for plays sometimes, and then, we got it," she explained.

She has even helped customers create their favorite characters from Game of Thrones.

"I had never seen it, and I felt like such a dummie," she said. "I loved it because I am getting educated when people ask for things I never heard of."

She says she is not seeing as many people this year.

"Other years, 20-30 on a day," stated Kaufhold. "Now, probably 10 or more."

Kaufhold says it's too soon to tell how business will be impacted. With fewer people hosting parties and less local theater, she says the shop just isn't as busy.

"I am just glad theater isn't dead," said Kaufhold.

New movie releases are also few and far between.

"Whatever those characters would be could be popular, but they're not necessarily now," explained Kaufhold.

The shop is by-appointment only, and customers can't exactly try on a ton of outfits for obvious reasons.

"They can do that, but we just have to wash everything they try on," she said.

Kaufhold says they dry clean everything. 

For more information on the shop, follow this link.

You can also view some of the categories of costumes.

Meantime, for customers at Spirit Halloween in Lancaster, it's their favorite time to eat, drink, and be scary.

The Spirit Halloween World With around 1,400 stores open across the United States and Canada for the Halloween season, Spirit is the largest Halloween store franchise in the nation. Open since 1983, Spirit Halloween offers a unique, frightfully fun experience unlike any other stores in the business.

"You get to be someone you're not for one day, and you get to dress up," said 

Customers stop in for a spell at Spirit, but this year's bewitching hour looks different for many families. They must prepare.

"Definitely doing social distancing, making sure everything is clean," said Dawn Coover. 

Coover says her grandkids will go Trick-or-Treating this year.

"This is like our favorite time of year, even we dress up, so we ain't giving up Trick-or-Treating," said Coover.

Meanwhile, Eileen Chiatello and her grandkids, Elliott and Paxton, are on the hunt for costumes without masks because the boys have to wear traditional face coverings and shields at school.

"There is always a good selection at these kind of stores," remarked Chiatello.

A cowboy costume and sheriff's uniform are the final selections.

While certainly cute, those outfits aren't this year's top trends, according to Spirit Halloween. Hazmat and plague doctor costumes are. Then, you also have DIY "Karens", the self-proclaimed king of the jungle himself, and something for all you 'cool cats and kittens.'

"Elsa, Frozen, and all of them is what I'm seeing everyone going for," stated Coover.

"I have seen a lot of Fortnight," remarked Coover's nephew.

Fortnight is a top trend for Spirit, and it's also on Google's Frightgeist top 50 costumes for 2020. 

Costumes so good it's scary. Check out Frightgeist, a GoogleTrends experiment.

The top three nationally are witch, dinosaur, and comic book character Harley Quinn in that order.

Whether you're a ghoul or a goblin, friend or foe this Halloween, we witch you all a fang-tastic night.

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