Best Halloween stores in NYC for costumes, makeup and decorations

Whether you want to transform yourself into a hideous zombie, or a leopard-print sex kitten is more your style, these Halloween stores should do the trick.

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Many of NYC's haunted houses have already opened, and excitement is building for one of Gotham’s favorite holidays. Unless you’re one of those enviably creative people who can make a papier-mâché alien bursting out of a T-shirt, you’ll probably be shopping for something scary, sexy or silly to wear on October 31. We’ve rounded up the best Halloween stores in NYC for costumes, decorations, makeup and more, including Halloween superstores, vintage stores and thrift shops, and other specialist emporiums you might not have thought of for cost-effective, unique outfits. Pop-up Spirit stores around the city are also good for picking up last-minute gear. As the night approaches, many stores operate extended hours to accommodate the hordes, so call to check. And once you’ve chosen your alter ego, you can strut your stuff in the resurrected Village Halloween Parade.

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  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Hudson Magazine & Party Store

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Performance Dancewear and Halloween Warehouse

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Mummy costume

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field skeleton costume

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Wildcat costume

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Ricky's

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Ricky's

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Village Party Store

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC:Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Firestore

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Gothic Renaissance

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: The Leather Man

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: O.K. Uniform Company

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Screaming Mimi's

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Trash and Vaudeville

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

Big Halloween stores in NYC

Abracadabra Superstore

Squeamish types may not want to look too closely at the contents of the "deli counter" just inside this cavernous, three-level space, but the haunted house vibe will put you in the Halloween spirit. Though the place stocks a wide range of prepackaged costumes, the real gems are in the downstairs rental department. Rentals usually start at $35 for three days, but if you want to secure a popular new ensemble, such as Kick Ass ($85 plus $150 security deposit), you can pick it up now and return it by November 10 for no added charge. The 10,000-plus inventory includes an exclusive line made in house by designer Jen Hebner; channel Charlize Theron as the evil queen from Snow White in a black feather cape ($350 plus $900 security deposit); or transform yourself into the original Wonder Woman—instead of a flimsy bodysuit the costume comprises a corset appliquéd with gold lamé and a sweeping stars-and-stripes cape ($250 plus $600 security deposit). The extensive prop selection includes a portable hospital intravenous drip ($75, plus $150 deposit) and a wide range of weaponry (various firearms, swords, daggers, axes)—but it's probably best not to walk around the city with the faux bomb in a briefcase ($45 rental, $150 deposit). Makeup artists are on hand to create a complete look—ambitious transformations have included an Avatar makeover (face and body); fees range from about $35 into the hundreds for body painting, and it's advisable to book your slot in advance.

  1. 19 W 21st St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
More info

Frank Bee Costume Center

Opened in 1957, this family-run operation sprawls over three storefronts brimming with costumes for all sizes, from babies to 4X adults. In addition to the usual superheroes, sexy nurses/maids/police officers, vampires, and assorted movie and TV tie-ins, you can go kitsch as a tiki cocktail, complete with umbrella hat and a stylish twist of orange on the shoulder ($80), or turn yourself into the party entertainment and come as a dartboard ($50 including six Velcro-headed darts). Owners Wayne and Doug Baker claim to have the best prices on new costumes in NYC (and they'll give you 15 percent off when you mention TONY), but you can also rent elaborate getups, such as Star Wars' armor-clad Boba Fett ($600 plus $1,000 security deposit for three days). A comprehensive array of accessories runs from hairy gorilla feet ($30) to a feather showgirl headpiece ($20). During the two weeks leading to Halloween, makeup artists will be present every day to transform you into the werewolf or zombie of your dreams (simple makeup starts at $35 and goes into the hundreds for prosthetics and body painting).

  1. 3435 E Tremont Ave (at Bruckner Blvd), 10465
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Halloween Adventure

A visit to this massive costume, prop and magic mecca can be overwhelming—luckily, the store provides a handy map of its two-level space. Off-the-peg costumes are conveniently organized by theme, so you can navigate your way from "Devils, Priests, Nuns" to "Hula," "Hippies" and "Horror." Manager Tony Bianchi, who opened the store in 1996 after a series of pop-up locations, has noticed a recent uptick in demand for medieval getups  from fans of Game of Thrones. The huge stock means you’re bound to find something, whether you need an easy last-minute costume for a party (throw on a "Sex Instructor" lab coat, $19.99) or want to rent an elaborate ensemble such as a full suit of armor ($350, plus $2,000 security deposit). Accessories are equally comprehensive; the range of masquerade masks alone spans from throwaway $3 eye masks to elaborate $2,000 limited-edition Venetian styles. Get outfitted from head to toe—there are wig, hat and shoe departments—and complete your look with professional makeup application (from $10 for simple wounds to hundreds for a total transformation using prosthetics). Fangsmith (and former dental technician) Father Sebastiaan is available on site through October 24, plus October 30 and 31, to create custom vampire gnashers (from $100; call 646-233-3105 for an appointment). If you're hosting a party, creep out your guests with an illuminated Bates Motel sign ($30) or a life-size Regan figure with glowing eyes and a fully rotating head ($300).

  1. 104 Fourth Ave (between 11th and 12th Sts), 10003
More info

Hudson Magazine & Party Store

  • Price band: 1/4

This three-year-old shop, co-owned by Helen Wong (whose brother operates sister party supply destination Village Party Store), did such great business selling Halloween costumes in its debut season, it’s utilizing its 1,500-square-foot storage space as a retail area in order to stock more affordable prepackaged costumes ($20–$60). Peruse the two packed walls for ensembles that are appropriate for couples (ketchup and mustard bottles, $35 each), fearmongers (zombie duds streaked with fake blood, $35–$49) and jokesters (Angry Birds suits, $40–$60). Creepy accessories such as Eyecon colored contact lenses ($30–$40) and Sexy Bite thermal plastic fangs ($20) will finish off your look to hair-raising effect. You can also get the party started at home with polyester spiderwebs ($2–$6) and pumpkin carving kits ($4–$15), which include a pick, scoop, carving knife and stencils for creating your own jack-o’-lantern.

  1. 513 Hudson St (between Christopher and W 10th Sts)
More info

Patricia Field 

  • Critics choice

You don't have to dress up as Carrie Bradshaw to find a spectacular Halloween getup at the iconic Sex and the City designer's namesake store. Though it's a year-round repository of eclectic, kitschy and over-the-top fashion, Patricia Field goes all out for Halloween. Make an impact without sacrificing style in chic outfits that straddle the line between fashion statements and full-on costumes, such as a two-piece gauzelike mummy suit with matching fingerless gloves and headband ($68), a glow-in-the-dark skeleton on a black bodysuit ($75) or a metallic leopard catsuit with ear headband and wired tail ($165). Staff can help you add accessories such as top hats ($88), ammo belts ($30) and assorted masks for a unique look. The onsite hair salon is offering complete makeovers (starting at $150) using Temptu airbrushing for a variety of effects and hairstyling (from $75 for cut or color). Though some walk-in slots are available, it’s a good idea to make an appointment (212-925-2741). Or opt for one of the outré wigs such as a long black-and-crimson mohawk ($38) or a big blond tribute to NYC drag queen Lady Bunny ($315).

  1. 306 Bowery (between Bleecker and E Houston Sts), 10012
More info

Performance Dancewear & Halloween Warehouse

Even if you don't live on S.I., it’s worth hopping on the ferry to peruse a mix of more than 3,000 high-end and affordable costumes for petite, regular and plus-size bods. Bypass the scarily dressed teenagers posing in the windows as mannequins and head to the costume section, which takes up 70 percent of Ronald Shatilla’s 23-year-old dancewear shop. Invest in a Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow outfit ($370), consisting of a linen knee-length coat, vest, shirt, boot covers, hat, wig-attached bandana, belt and loose-fitting pants, or opt for more budget-friendly picks such as prefabricated Captain America ($65), Catwoman ($60) and Black Widow ($63) ensembles. Alternatively, you can take advantage of Performance Dancewear’s year-round stock by donning a Body Wrappers short-sleeve leotard ($19) and baggy cotton sweatpants ($33), plus Leg Avenue knitted knee-length leg warmers ($15), for a bona fide Flashdance getup. Top off your number with a chic wig ($13–$32), or complete ghoulish looks with tubes of Mehron stage makeup, such as fake blood ($4) and face paint ($4).

  1. 2951 Arthur Kill Rd (between Grille and Shore Sts)
More info

Ricky's

With 45 Halloween Superstores all over the city, Ricky's is a reliable option for cost-effective, fun gear and keeps up with the zeitgeist with reality-TV- and pop-culture-referencing costumes. This year, you can don a ZZ Top–style beard-and-camo-cap combo ($12) to channel the redneck tycoons in the A&E show Duck Dynasty. If you have the balls, slip on an Anthony Weiner mask ($25) and a pair of skimpy briefs to morph into a cellphone-toting Carlos Danger. Or perhaps, in a nod to Franz Kafka, a giant cockroach ($46). For something more elaborate, you might want to try Ricky's new Costume Concierge service ($25–$1,000), available at several locations including Tribeca (379 Broadway at White St), midtown (1412 Broadway between 39th and 40th Sts), Long Island City, Queens (5-29 50th Ave between Vernon Blvd and 5th St) and Williamsburg, Brooklyn (378 Union Ave at Powers St). The entry level entitles you to a personal consultation and individual outfit/accessory selection, but the $75 Ghoulish Gold level seems like the best deal—in addition to makeup, prosthetics and wig styling, your concierge will rip, stitch and/or paint your getup for a custom look. Visit rickyshalloween.com for more info. The service even extends to pets ($20 or $35 for a double animal/owner consultation). But for the best selection of costumes for four-legged fancy-dressers, head to Ricky's Upper East Side PUP-UP Shop (86th St at Lexington Ave), where you can transform your pooch into a Doginatrix in a corset and studded collar ($12), among other canine characters.

  1. rickyshalloween.com

Village Party Store

  • Price band: 1/4

Although the original Greenwich Avenue location of this beloved party-supply store burned down in 2010, the Wong family quietly reopened a 7,000-square-foot space just six months later. The relaunched digs carry the same massive collection of prepackaged costumes ($20–$150) and decorative goods ($1–$100) for all holidays and occasions. In addition to a diverse selection of more than 2,000 getups, including gorilla suits ($120) and Gatsby-esque flapper frocks ($80), there are also quirky add-ons such as multicolored Afro wigs ($7–$30) and sparkling butterfly wings ($6–$50). Also look for decor that will make your All Hallows’ Eve fete truly festive, such as ghost and pumpkin piñatas ($13), bone candles ($8) and edible skull or knife cake decorations ($6).

  1. 13 E 8th St (between Fifth Ave and University Pl)
More info


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