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9 Spooky Small Businesses Cashing In on Halloween

9 Spooky Small Businesses Cashing In on Halloween
Credit: Klaus Kaulitzki/Shutterstock

Halloween might only be once a year, but some Halloween enthusiasts have figured out how to keep the spookiness alive all year-long. While most companies only cash in on the multi-billion dollar industry with a couple marketing opportunities in October, these nine companies have used Halloween to keep its door open for all 12 months.

Halloween Adventure is a retail store for costumes and accessories open year-round. A landmark for 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. Halloween Adventure also sells wigs, masks, props and décor.

Ever wonder how to get unnatural-looking eyes like you see on monsters, vampires and other Halloween characters? You can order special effects contact lenses from Haunted Eyes. Based in Wyoming, this ecommerce startup sells high-quality prescription and nonprescription lenses in colors, special patterns and even full-eye black for that spooky, theatrical effect.

Larry Kirchner 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 thrill-seekers can locate attractions like haunted houses and trails in their area.

For more than a decade, TheHorrorDome has provided 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.

PepeFx offers makeup and special effects makeup year-round. Owned and operated by Anthony Pepe, a special effects makeup artist in New York City, PepeFx creates scary characters perfect for any Halloween costume. Pepe has worked in the film and television industry for more than 18 years creating creepy characters such as Frankenstein and Medusa. He also has experience with injury and trauma simulation makeup and monster mask design.

"You have 60 minutes to escape the room. There is one hungry zombie chained to the wall. Every five minutes a buzzer sounds and the chain is released another foot from the wall!" That's the description of Room Escape Adventure's zombie-themed escape room. You'll have to gather the clues and solve the puzzle to avoid being eaten by the undead.

Candy Keane has been making costumes and crafts her whole life. She previously owned a large online store, which sold Halloween costumes and accessories online, and a retail boutique in Florida that sold outfits year-round. She closed both businesses after having a child and now runs Sew Geek Mama, a small online shop that sells handmade costume items, such as Wonder Woman accessories.

This haunted house empire has been running for more than 20 seasons. SpookyWorld, which also owns Nightmare New England, operates five attractions in New Hampshire, each more frightening than the last. Every year, SpookyWorld strives to change and refresh its haunted houses to keep visitors terrified.

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 items throughout the year, special sales and giveaways are reserved for October.

Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Adam C. Uzialko.

Saige Driver

Saige Driver graduated from Ball State University in 2015 with a degree in journalism. She started her career at a radio station in Indiana, and is currently the social media strategist at Business News Daily. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.

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