A Patriotic Halloween

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You probably won't find people dressing up as terrorists. No major company is selling an Osama bin Laden outfit, even though Saddam Hussein masks were a big seller, even in the tense months leading up to the Gulf War.

"Oh we had a lot of fun with Saddam back in the Gulf War," said Peter Blum, owner of the Abracadabra costume store in Midtown Manhattan, less than 3 miles from the World Trade Center.

"We sat a Saddam doll in an electric chair right in the front window," Blum said. "People would come by and have their picture taken flicking the switch and giving that guy a jolt. The media ate it up."

But the mood now is much different. Blum says there's no demand to play such games with bin Laden. Maybe it's too soon for such jokes. Maybe his store is just too close to what was the twin towers. Maybe the situation now is just more grave.

"I'll tell you this much," Blum says, "It's been very bad since the attacks, and even before that there was the threat of a recession looming over people's heads.

"Now, it's up to us to prove that some hostile foreign nation can't scare us out of a little Halloween fun." Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.