There are people who like Halloween. And then there are people who channel their inner hoard of hellions to turn their home into a goblin-filled embodiment of Halloween mischief and mayhem.
No matter which you are, you probably enjoy visiting the big seasonal Halloween stores that pop up each year. While they undoubtedly have the most extensive selection of spooky home decor and accessories, they’re not the only place you can source items for your haunted mansion. Here are six ways to shop local this Halloween without sacrificing any of the scare factor.
No fall decor is complete without pumpkins. From palm-sized varieties to gourds big enough to fit a grown man, pumpkins are the symbol of the season. There are many ways to incorporate pumpkins into your Halloween decor. Paint them solid colors, create spooky stripes, or glam them up with glitter. Paste on faces or stick them with other pieces, Mr. Potato Head-style. And of course, they’re fun to carve into a variety of creepy faces or shapes.
BUY LOCAL: Pumpkin patches abound in Western North Carolina! We love to visit Grandad’s Apples in Hendersonville with the whole family. Local churches, like Grace Episcopal in North Asheville, often sell pumpkins to support great local causes. And if you’re looking for something just a little different, check out the pumpkins outside Fleetwood’s in West Asheville.
Fall Flowers/Garden Ornaments
If blood and gore aren’t your thing, it’s easy to create a welcoming Halloween entryway with a few fall flowers. Potted mums come in a variety of colors, from vibrant yellows to soft purples. Incorporate a few of the pumpkins you purchased and some dried elements, like sunflower pods, and you have a wonderful planter! Halloween garden ornaments range in their spookiness, too. Pick up a zombie lawn gnome or skeletal flamingo to round out the look.
BUY LOCAL: Local garden centers, like B.B. Barns, are great places to purchase your plants. In addition to finding what you need, they’ll offer advice on when and how to plant. And they may even have a few extra ideas to enhance your yard.
At its core, a wreath is a ring that hangs on your front door. That leaves a lot of room for creativity! Go for a traditional fall look with burlap and dried flowers. Or spook up your door with purple velvet and spiderwebs. The only limit is your imagination! Pro tip: Think ahead, and you may be able to use the wreath through Thanksgiving. Just plan to swap out a few small Halloween elements on November 1 with items that will last the remainder of the season.
BUY LOCAL: Your local farmers are pros at making the most of their crops. Visit your favorite local farmers market and see what’s available this season. We’ve spotted dried chili pepper wreaths that would make any Halloween guest break out in a nervous sweat!
Arguably, the best part of Halloween—no matter your age!—is trick-or-treating. Dressing up in a creepy costume, wandering around the neighborhood, and scaring the socks off of strangers. What’s not to love? And at the end of the night, you have a bucket of sugar-laden sweets that may or may not last until dawn. (No judgements.) Whether you hoard it, swap it, or make it a full meal, Halloween candy is the holiday gift that keeps giving.
BUY LOCAL: WNC has a number of great chocolate shops. We have our favorites, but we also recognize that you may not want to load up on gourmet chocolates just to give them away! In that case, we recommend buying in bulk from Mast General Store. They have barrels of classic candies that you can mix and match and purchase by the pound.
Halloween is a great family holiday, but not all parties are kid friendly. If you’re heading to a party where all the ghouls and boys are over 21, don’t forget to bring a magic potion to keep the night going. There are countless Halloween cocktail recipes online, from festive sangrias to witches brews. For an added touch, premix the cocktail and store it in your favorite spooky bottles or vials. Bonus points if you show up with a flaming cauldron!
BUY LOCAL: With a burgeoning distillery scene, WNC offers plenty of local liquors for your potion of choice. We love the botanical flavors of H&H gin, as well as howling good taste of Troy & Sons moonshine. More into boos than booze? Bring a bottle of local wine instead!
A Black Cat
You may be familiar with seeing black cats around Halloween. With their glowing yellow eyes and pointy teeth, they’re the cutest spooky decor you can add to your home. Find yard signs you can prop around your mailbox. Plush or tinsel cats can be positioned in trees or rigged to dart across the paths of trick-or-treaters. With the help of a little paint and construction paper, you can also transform your pumpkin into a black cat.
GIVE LOCAL: Real cats are more than just seasonal decorations. But if you’ve been thinking about adopting, why not do it now? Black cats are typically among the least adopted felines, but they need forever homes, too. Contact your local shelter to meet the animals available now. If you’re not in a position to adopt, consider donating to an organization like Asheville Cat Wierdos that helps animals in our community.