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How to enjoy Halloween without breaking the bank: some helpful tips


Lindsay Miller

It’s time for chilly nights, haunted houses and frightening costumes. The spooky month of October is finally here, and people are getting excited about Halloween.

Kim Herbert, an instructor for the School of Communication, always gets into the Halloween spirit. “My husband and I host an annual Halloween costume party for our friends and neighbors. It’s always a big hit! We decorate our entire house with scary décor, lighting and a lot of fog from our fog machine,” said Herbert.

Unfortunately, as college students, it isn’t always easy for us to purchase fog machines or decorate our entire home for this fun time of the year because of our finances. Luckily, there are some low-cost options to help us get into the Halloween spirit.

Decorating your home for Halloween can sometimes be a pretty pricey thing to do. Fortunately, with places like the Dollar Tree, Five Below, Michaels and Big Lots, we can buy creepy decorations at a low cost. The Dollar Tree and Five Below both offer lots of scary options for five dollars and under. At stores like Michaels and Big Lots, discounts are constantly offered, and both stores accept coupons which can make the total cost drop drastically.

Herbert also advises starting shopping for Halloween decorations the day after Halloween to catch the best deals. “Last year, I scored an animatronic zombie for 80 percent off at Home Depot. I rarely pay full price for any Halloween decoration,” said Herbert.

When the topic of Halloween arises, the main thing on everyone’s mind is what they are going to dress up as. With stores like Halloween City seasonally popping up, if you want an entire costume, you’re more than likely going to be paying around 40 dollars and up for the whole thing.

Everette Beaver, a Radford University senior, said that this year he is, “probably going to be the 1930’s, zombie gangster.” At stores like Party City, you will have to pay around 40 dollars for a gangster costume, and that doesn’t include the cost of zombie makeup. As an alternative, Beaver could get a similar costume at Walmart for almost half the price, or he might try visiting a local Goodwill for an even lesser cost to him.

If you are not someone who enjoys going to parties on Halloween, you can always go to one of the various haunted houses in the New River Valley area.

“Our party is an event in itself, but we also try to visit at least one haunted house. The Gallows is the scariest in my opinion,” said Herbert. The Gallows Dead Oak Hollow is located in Elliston and is only about 15 minutes away from Blacksburg, Roanoke and the Virginia Tech and Radford University campuses. It also only costs 15 dollars to get in. The Burgs newspaper said that the Gallows is, “Bringing the nightmares of others to life.”

Another option that works out even better if you are a Radford University student is the St. Albans Sanatorium. This terrifying haunted house is known as being, “one of the most haunted locations on the East Coast, but the most haunted location in Virginia,” according to the Ghost Hunts USA website. This option is only seven minutes away from the Radford University campus and is also only 15 dollars to get in.

Finally, if you don’t mind driving a bit further, you can try going to the Meek’s Manor haunted house. It is located in Salem and also only costs 15 dollars to enter. It is known as Virginia’s newest and scariest haunted house attraction and is supposed to make you feel as if you are in an actual horror movie.

For some people, feeling like you are in a horror movie is not as fun as actually watching a horror movie. Rikki Brown, a Christiansburg local said, “Since I have no friends that like scary things or places, I’ll probably sit at home and watch old horror classics.” As you might expect, the month of October is the prime time for scary movie lovers, and you can see them at a relatively low cost.

Frank Theatres Cinebowl and Grill and Regal Cinemas are both located in Blacksburg and Christiansburg and both offer six dollar movies every Tuesday. Now, you can see movies like Happy Death Day, It and Jigsaw for almost half the price of what you would have to pay on an average day.

If you are a huge Halloween fan like Kim Herbert, who even got married around Halloween and had a Halloween-themed wedding, but can’t always afford to go all out, there are various cheaper options to help get you into the scary spirit. From inexpensive decorations and costumes to low-cost haunted houses, you can be sure to have a spectacularly spooky Halloween this year.

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