190817_local_spirit

Spirit Halloween might not open a store in St. Joseph in 2019. A spokeswoman for the chain said Spirit Halloween's real estate team was not able to find a suitable rental location. She was unable to provide details why last year's location at 3705 N. Belt Highway, pictured above, was unavailable.

St. Joseph fans of a popular Halloween store might have to drive to Kansas City to shop at the chain for the first time in almost 10 years.

Spirit Halloween carries costumes, accessories and decorations in seasonally operated stores. The company has opened a store in varying locations in St. Joseph every year since 2010.

This year, Spirit Halloween’s store locator lists 501A N.W. Barry Road in Kansas City as the closest location.

“I drove by the location that was there last year and a couple rumored locations just to see if there is anything up and I haven’t seen anything,” Tyler Pettyjohn, who worked at the St. Joseph store last year, said. “I was like ‘Oh, this is different. This is kind of odd.’”

A spokeswoman for the chain said it’s not for a lack of trying that St. Joseph might not have a store this year.

“For the 2019 season, Spirit Halloween has been unable to identify a space that fits store requirements,” senior manager of public and media relations Erin Springer said.

While Spirit’s real estate team hasn’t been able to find the perfect location so far, the chain still hopes to find a spot and return to St. Joseph in 2019.

“If there is knowledge of a location or landlord with 10,000 square feet available, please give us a call and we’d be happy to vet the location,” Springer said. She asks anyone who knows of a suitable rental location to call the chain’s real estate team at 609-645-5447.

Fans of the chain were quick to voice their disappointment at the prospect of no Spirit Halloween store in St. Joseph.

“If we don’t have one this year I’ll be super upset,” Angela Dickinson said. “It has been a tradition to take my three sons there every year to see all of the new set-up scary decorations and animated monsters.”

Many retailers carry a selection of Halloween decorations and costumes in the fall, but Halloween fan Holleigh Jolene said it’s not the same.

“I do not like the Halloween stuff ... simply because it is too cute,” Jolene said. “I do not think the selection of costumes holds up at all.”

Ellie King and her 5-year-old son Korbyn have a year-long Halloween countdown and enjoy going shopping for spooky accessories.

“I kind of hate that, I really wish there was one,” Korbyn said of the nonexistent store.

The two already have gone to the nearest Spirit Halloween in Kansas City.

“It was pretty busy for the first day, there was quite a few people there,” King said.

Jessica Kopp can be reached at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com or you can follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp