For such a short season, Halloween has created a pretty lucrative industry. From trick-or-treat candy and elaborate costumes to macabre decorations and party supplies, the holiday rakes in billions of dollars for retailers each year. While most companies simply run Halloween-themed promotions during October, these eight startups have built their businesses entirely on the season of spirits.
Dead Apple Tours
In 2009, history buff and native New Yorker Drew Raphael founded Dead Apple Tours, a sightseeing tour through Manhattan in which patrons visit the locations of famous and infamous deaths throughout the city in the back of a vintage hearse. Morbid? Perhaps. But you can bet that the Halloween season gives this business of death a lively boost. [Learn more]
Three Muses Clothing
Three Muses Clothing has been selling women's Halloween costumes and accessories online since 2005. Four years later, owner Candy Keane opened a retail boutique in Florida to sell her one-of-a-kind sexy (but not NC-17) outfits year-round. In addition to carrying popular costume brands like Leg Avenue, Three Muses also sells handmade items from local artists.
This online store features made-in-the-USA items and vintage collectibles from Halloween past. Vintage Halloween sells party supplies, ornaments, clothing and accessories, stationery and other products related to the holiday. While the Arizona-based retailer sells throughout the year, special sales and giveaways are reserved for October.
Larry Kirschner owned and operated several haunted houses in the 1980s and '90s before founding HauntWorld, the largest global database for Halloween resources and activities. Part discussion board and part directory, HauntWorld's website and magazine allows members of the haunted house industry to connect and share their insights, while haunt seekers can locate attractions like haunted houses and trails in their area. [Learn more]
The Horror Dome
For more than a decade, The Horror Dome has been providing animatronics, props, masks and costumes for homeowners and Halloween attractions. The online retailer's products have been featured on TLC, "Mythbusters," Jay Leno, and even in the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.
Ever wonder how to get unnatural-looking eyes like you see on monsters, vampires and other Halloween characters? Try ordering special effects contact lenses from Haunted Eyes. Based in Wyoming, this e-commerce startup sells high-quality prescription and nonprescription lenses in colors, special patterns and even full-eye black (sclera) for that spooky, theatrical effect.
Halloween Adventure is a year-round retail store for costumes and accessories. A landmark for all costume and Halloween enthusiasts in New York City's East Village, the two-story shop spans an entire block (it cuts through from Broadway to 4th Avenue) and sells a wide range of outfits, from pop culture icons to unique, offbeat characters.
This haunted house empire has been running for more than 20 seasons. SpookyWorld, which also owns Nightmare New England, operates seven attractions in New Hampshire, each more frightening than the last. Every year, SpookyWorld strives to change and refresh its haunted houses to keep its visitors terrified.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.