As Thanksgiving memories fade into the mist, thoughts of Halloween emerge, taking shape into dark, haunting creatures. Night falls as the beasts fester, transforming into monsters that creep into your soul, ferrying you into the realm of ghostly Gastown!

With the big scary weekend about only a week away, Gastown is the place to get outfitted, painted and decked out in deliciously goulish garb and makeup. There are some fantastic stores that come alive, particularly at this time of year.

Summon your creative spirits from within and go to town on the neighbourhood. Costumes, accessories, vintage, latex, masks, wigs, weird stuff, sharp nails and professional full makeup sessions can all be found in Gastown.

Deadly Couture is for those who wish to delve into the netherworld of Halloween costumes. One of the most unique shops in the neighborhood, Deadly Couture is stocked with a diverse mix of alternative and gothic styles, suitable for Halloween or dressing to show your darker side. On the upper floor, you’ll find walls of frilly costumes, intricate lace and printed tights, tutus & crinoline skirts, and wigs of practically every colour. Deadly Couture’s lower level houses more fetish-inclined merchandise from latex costumes to neon pigmented makeup and hair dye.

Community Thrift and Vintage is like opening up an old trunk that one has discovered in the attic. It’s full of treasures – weird hats, neckwear, retro frocks, sequined tops, body suits, leather pants, rustic leather bags, and old-fashioned shoes that you can choose from to create your own vintage inspired costume or character. The prices are fair and everything is a one off, so dig deep and leave no stone unturned. All profits go to support lower income residents in the DTES.

Uniques Collectibles, on West Cordova, is almost like a film set right out of a Hitchcock movie or Twilight Zone episode. The  terribly interesting shop houses a treasure trove full of things that are bizarre, rare or odd, perfect for the witching hour to come. You’ll also find a pleasant assortment of vintage and antique jewelry; adornments that may just add that sparkling finishing touch to your costume.

Kimprints is not only a custom framing shop but, oh so much more! This floor to ceiling stuffed shop is loaded with tons of awesome gifts and Halloween items. They sell many different rubber, paper and plastic masks (with such characters as unicorns, zebras, and black horses!) including fun fake mustaches, zombie t-shirts and other fun, weird things. If you plan on sprucing up your space or buying seasonal gifts, the shop also carries funky hanging décor, greeting cards, kids jewellery and other Halloween knick-knacks like mini pumpkin holders, spider stands, spooky toy eyeballs and slinky glasses. For Halloween makeup: the talented students at John Casablancas are now taking bookings to transform you into whatever character you choose. Check out their site for previous work.
Contact: with a detailed description of what you would like to get done.

For an idea of what JCI students are creating right now check out #JCI31DaysofHorror as the wicked countdown continues!