Spirit Halloween was founded sometime in 1983 by Joe Marver. Marver opened his first location in the Castro Valley Mall that very same year. By 1999, the store had 60 seasonal locations across the United States and was purchased by Spencer Gifts that same year. Since then, the number of Spirit Halloween stores has expanded to 1,100 locations across North America, making Spirit's network of pop-up stores larger than any other specialty retailer of its kind.
Spirit Halloween serves a Halloween consumer market estimated to be around $8.4 billion dollars yearly. The retailer's website is open year-round, offering its in-store products online. The store carries animatronics manufactured by companies such as Tekky Toys, Gemmy Industries, YJ Toys and Crafts, Seasonal Visions, Crazy Create, Pan Asian Creations, NewRaySun Electronics, Tailuxe Artware, Magic Powers, Party Time Costume, Wo Yu, and Morbid Enterprises, among other, lesser known, companies which have produced a few props in the past. Nearly every decorative prop or animatronic sold by Spirit is exclusive to the store.
About June-July of every year since 2009/2010, Spirit Halloween has typically put out very short clips of animatronics on social media and YouTube to create excitement for new items. The full videos can be found on the Spirit Halloween website.
The flagship Spirit Halloween store is based in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, former Circuit City building. Spirit typically makes use of vacant retail space such as Toys R Us, Babies R Us, any Sears stores, hhgregg, Sports Authority, and others were vacant as type as retail space. The stores will likely operate for 60 to 90 days, with most opening sometime in August 1 and usually closing on November 3 after Halloween.
In 2006, Spirit launched a program called Spirit of Children to raise money in-store for children's hospitals. The program annually celebrates Halloween at hospital locations, supplying both costumes and decorations for the events. Since 2007, Spirit of Children has raised over $29 million dollars in donations.
- Spirit has also been targeted for raised prices for their animatronics during the 2018 Halloween season.
- Fortunately, Spirit Halloween regularly promotes 20%-off coupons, as well as shipping discounts, yearlong.
- Perhaps the most common complaint is the quality of Spirit's animatronics. A lot of them are infamous due to the tendency that they break easily, especially ones produced by Tekky Toys and Pan Asian Creations.
- Fortunately, Spirit Halloween's Customer Service is very helpful and will send you new parts as long as you have proof of purchase.
- Although certain Spirit Halloween products are sold on Amazon every year, they are of a very limited quantity and many animatronics sell out within weeks.