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Crowds Flock To Fantasy Costume Before Halloween

Fantasy Costumes

(Credit: Fantasy Costumes)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — If you want to know what’s hot this Halloween, just look at the most prominent world headlines over the past several months.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, the masks that were selling the fastest at Fantasy Costumes, 4065 N. Milwaukee Ave., included recently-slain Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports


“His popularity has just peaked right now,” said Fantasy Costumes manager Cathy Bunger.

Other hits include a mask of a deceased Osama bin Laden with a bullet in his head and a missile coming out of the side, and another of bin Laden prior to death.

“We’re selling them so fast, we can’t replace them,” Bunger said, adding that popularity for the living and dead bin Laden masks is “about 50-50.”

But heavy world news headlines are hardly the only inspiration for costumes. So are old “Saturday Night Live” skits with a Chicago-centric focus.

“I’m looking for a Ditka-style mustache,” said Joshua Bruen, who is going as one of the Bears Superfans. “I’m going to have some Polish sausages around my neck.”

Kevin O’Connor was remembering what worked before.

“I was a penguin once. It went over pretty well,” he said. “You laugh now, but a penguin actually works out well, believe it or not.”

Even in the wee hours of the morning, in the last few days before Halloween, Fantasy Costume is open and often crowded, says Bunger, who loves her job.

“I mean, how bad of a job could this be? Halloween year round? I’ve been here 17 years so it has to be some fun, right?” Bunger said.

And at Halloween, Bunger says, a costume shop like Fantasy is almost recession-proof.

“The average of what somebody spends is probably between $70 and $120 a costume,” she said. “That’s one person.”

Fantasy Costumes is open 24 hours through Halloween.