Owners of Mesa Halloween shop hanging up their (witches') hats

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Halloween is a multi-billion dollar industry, but that may not be enough to keep one local costume shop open. 

A longtime Mesa retailer is going out of business after this season. 

Groovy Ghoulies Costumes has been in business for nearly 40 years.

Denise Horn has been working there since she was 9 years old when her parents ran the store, then a balloon and costume shop called Bubbles of Joy.

When her parents retired, Horn and her husband, Larry, took over, changing the name to Groovy Ghoulies, and switching to costumes and make-up full time. 

"This is my life," she said. 

So it's hard for her to think this will be her last Halloween here. 

"It's been a decline the last four years or so. I knew that if it didn't turn around that this day would come," said Horn.

Americans will spend $9 billion on costumes and decorations this Halloween. But the Horns say fewer customers have been going to local businesses. 

"A lot of it has to do with internet sales, I believe," said Larry.  "With the economy, everybody's looking to save as much money as they can."

They've also had some brick and mortar competition. Pop-up Halloween shops have been increasingly successful. 

"They just divide the pie up a little bit more," said Larry.

There are 20 Spirit Halloween shops around the Valley this year. 

"With the temporary shops, too they don't have overhead or rent the rest of the year; they only are around for two months while we're here all year. And even though we do well on Halloween, we're kind of hurting the rest of the year," said Larry. 

Though Larry remembers one particular year there was a temporary shop nearby. He says its advertising seemed to draw more customers into his store too. 

But that wouldn't last. So their biggest day of the year, Groovy Ghoulies is winding down its operation. 

"It's sad, it's sad," said customer Angelina Delci, who has shopped at Groovy Ghoulies for Halloween costumes half a dozen times in the past. 

Now the Horns are trying to sell off everything before shutting down for good. 

"It's those people that we're really going to miss and have supported us throughout all the years and we want to thank them," said Larry.  

They plan to close by the end of the year or sooner if they sell all their items. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio