A Patriotic Halloween

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Is the Halloween costume any indication of a national trend? "You bet," says Majdoch. He says he has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1980. "Go back and look at my press releases," he says.

"I said at Halloween last year that Bush would win a close election. Slightly more people went wore Bush outfits. I could have saved this country a lot of time and money if only people would listen."

A Tough Time for the Fright Industry

The Sept. 11 attacks couldn't have come at a worse time for the Halloween industry. Commerce drew to an abrupt halt for the next two weeks, when folk traditionally think about fright night.

"There was really no time to react," Majdoch said. "We start thinking about Halloween a year ahead of time."

Some are saying that business is returning to normal, and that trick or treating is the sort of all-American distraction this country needs as folks try to get back to normal. Majdoch spoke with The Wolf Files as he was opening a third Halloween Express store in Milwaukee. So Halloween will go on, even though people aren't in the mood for pretend shock. You probably won't see as many Grim Reapers knocking on your door, asking for candy.

For the little kids, the hottest costumes are Power Rangers and princesses, according to Disguise Inc.

About 13 percent of girls under 9 years old plan to be princesses this Halloween; 7 percent will dress up as Barbie and 6 percent will be Power Puff Girls. Six percent of boys will dress up as Power Rangers, 5 percent as Pokemon and 4 percent will be pumpkins.

Saddam Hussein: Funny. Osama bin Laden: Not Funny

Some costumes are in exceedingly bad taste. Halloween Express and other stores have traditionally sold gas masks and Arab garb. "That stuff is being downplayed," Majdoch said. "But it's still for sale. If your wife is going to a party as Cleopatra, you want to be a sheik."

Majdoch's gas masks are actual government surplus. They don't work as well as the newer models, but they're functional, he says. "It's incorrect to say we've had a run on them," he says, "even though I see stories like that all the time."