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Northern Ireland's top Halloween outfit (and it’s not a killer clown)

By Sophie Inge

Published 29/10/2016

Aine Fivey outside Elliotts
Aine Fivey outside Elliotts
Kirsten Fowler at Elliotts
Mum Grace Coates and Lily outside Elliotts
Party-goers line up outside Elliotts in Belfast

With just days to go before Halloween, party-goers are dashing to the shops to snap up spooky costumes.

And as ever, many of Northern Ireland's would-be witches, ghosts and superheroes are lining up outside Elliott's Fancy Dress shop in Belfast - established by James Elliott in 1886.

So what's the top costume choice this year? Mr Elliott's grandson - also called James - says it's Harley Quinn, the Batman character made famous in the film Suicide Squad earlier this year.

"There's big demand, not just here but just about everywhere," said James (66). "We got three deliveries in all and sold out in both sizes. Then we got a final delivery in - and it sold out online before it even got to our door.

"It's sequin-y, it's sexy - it's a hit."

What about clown costumes - has demand been triggered by the strange new global phenomenon of the 'killer clown'?

"Clowns are a big hit this year - not just with men but with women, boys and girls," he said. "We had a great selection of masks of nasty clowns, gruesome clowns, or just not-so-funny clowns, which have sold out.

"We've had one or two people who brought costumes back saying: 'Look I just can't wear that, bearing in mind what's going on out there."

Is he concerned that his evil clown costumes could be used by criminals or at least for unpleasant purposes?

"It's like everything else," he said. "You put a kitchen knife in the wrong hands, but it's still a kitchen knife. It's what you do and how you do it that's the important thing."

Pretty crazy: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc in Suicide Squad
Pretty crazy: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc in Suicide Squad

Kirsten Fowler (21,) was just one of dozens of people lined up outside the shop on Thursday afternoon.

"I just got a superhero mask and cape because I'm the leader of a kids' club and we're having a Halloween Superhero party tomorrow night," she said.

This evening though, she'll be a zombie Snow White for a night out with friends. Other customers had darker aspirations - David McCrudden (19), purchased an executioner's hood and axe.

George Wray (22), meanwhile, had bought a black robe as a base for putting together his own costume. "I'm going as a demonic assassin from the video game Assassin's Creed," he said. "I've already bought a mask with a skull on it."

Taylor McConnell (7), who was shopping with mum Kelly, bought two costumes: a Matilda and a Beetlejuice costume for two events this week.

Lily Coates (5), who was out shopping with her mother, Grace, said: "We're having a party at school and I'm going to be dressed up like a superhero," she said.

Grace explained: "She wanted to be Bat Girl, but we couldn't get her size so we went for Super Girl instead."

Aine Fivey (21), from Enniskillin, bought a rag-doll costume "because it goes with my hair". She bought a robber costume for a separate event because her sister is going as a policewoman.

Megan O'Brien dressed as Harley Quinn from Batman
Megan O'Brien dressed as Harley Quinn from Batman
Alannah Ashcroft as Harley Quinn with Eli Mottram also as The Joker
Stephanie McEwen as Harley Quinn with baby Luna as Poison Ivy
Aoife Kelly (19) from Belfast as Hermione from Harry Porter with Sara Sedrati (19) from Belfast as Harley Quinn from Batman. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Alannah Ashcroft (18) from Dublin as Harley Quinn from Batman. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Jade Beresford from Glengormley as Harley Quinn from Batman. Pic: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX.
Kayleigh Clarke dressed as Harley Quinn from Batman pictured with Hannah Spearritt from S Club 7

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