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Happy spoopy season!

Whatever your feelings are about Halloween, don’t dismiss the potential for Spirit Halloween dates. The Halloween retailer opens from early August until November 2 across the United States and Canada in strip malls and shopping centers. With around 1,400 locations, Spirit Halloween is the largest Halloween store franchise in the nation, making over $400 million in sales every year. Not exclusive to North Americans, the general public rejoices at the appearance of Spirit Halloween stores. It’s hardly just for costume and decorations shopping: it’s also unexpectedly the best place to go on a date. It has unlimited potential. Just think about it — it has everything you might need for a chill date: close access to food, easy entertainment, and so many opportunities for conversation.

Of course, the franchise itself doesn’t sell meals; the most edible items you can get there would be candies and spooky snacks. However, the seasonal pop-up is typically located in a shopping plaza so you can get something to eat nearby either before or after. Whether you’re craving fast food, pizza, or a more romantic sit-down place, Spirit Halloween lets you make that spontaneous choice in seconds without having to drive around or scroll hopelessly through Yelp.

And that doesn’t even touch on the experience of actually shopping at Spirit Halloween. Once you’re at the store, there’s a myriad of things you can look at and do. It’s like an amusement park. The store is set up with interactive Halloween Animatronics in order to convince you into buying one for your home. Have fun goofing around with them! Might I suggest checking out the six-foot-tall Cuddles the Clown?

Some of its less scary items, like decor and costumes, are still enjoyable to look at and discuss. Touring the inventory allows you to gain insight into your date’s pop culture opinions. Which popular TV show references do they understand? Do they have the correct opinion on vampire-mania? (Pro-Twilight and pro-TVD are the only acceptable answers.) Are they aware of the appropriation certain communities face during the costume season? Do they have opinions about men in makeup? Ask them silly questions like who is your favorite Disney princess? Or for something more thought-provoking, Which would be the worst horror movie to be stuck in? The possibilities are endless.

With these opinions in mind, you can pass further quick judgement on them. You’re welcome. But seriously, you’re able to take note if the both of you laugh at certain things or crack similar jokes. This is your chance to find out if you have compatible senses of humor.

Spirit Halloween remains a beloved institution in September and October, and for good reason. If the stars align, you could end the hangout at Spirit Halloween with future date plans. Maybe you both decide you like a matching set outfit or potential DIY project — you could conceivably leave the store with a newly purchased couples’ costume and another date scheduled on Halloween. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s cheap.

You are what you love. In my case, it's riot grrrl music, healing reads, and bell hooks quotes. I am a national HC writer and a chapter editor at UC Irvine, where I study political science and social ecology.