Belfast Telegraph

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

By Sophie Inge

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."

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.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph