Jessai Flores

The coming of fall is heralded by some magnificent changes — the gracious changing of leaves, the ambrosial scent of pumpkin spice and the overnight takeover of that one abandoned Sears down the road by a Spirit Halloween. 

Every October, Spirit Halloween resurrects shuttered strip malls and grocery stores across the country, transforming these spooky spaces into emporiums for the Halloween shoppers. These stores vanish at the end of the month as mysteriously as they appear. Yet, have you ever wondered what happens to Spirit Halloween for the rest of the year? Here are some of my most convincing theories: 

1. Business as usual in other universes 

I wholeheartedly believe in the multiverse theory. I also wholeheartedly believe that there are multiple parallel universes out there where they celebrate Halloween at other times of the year. Somewhere in the vast expanse of spacetime, there is at least one universe where trick-or-treating in the unrelenting blizzards of winter is a time-honored American tradition. There are an infinite amount of universes out there, and that means infinite opportunities for Spirit Halloween to make profit. That’s probably why they leave so quickly — there are universes out there that they have to warp into. 

2. Backing the the gay agenda

Who would buy a skeleton hooded dress outside of Halloween? That’s right, Phoebe Bridgers and her sapphic fans. What happened to the faux leather lace-up boyshorts from last fall? Sold out by the time Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour started this past summer. Spirit Halloween has been working overtime to supply the closets of Lil Nas X’s backup dancers and concert-going Charli XCX fans. They’re probably one of the biggest backers of the gay agenda — I’m surprised they haven’t made their work public yet. It’s like they want to be the gay version of Hobby Lobby or something. 

3. Placed back into The Freezer 

As November inches closer, Michael Buble and Mariah Carey are carefully carried out of The Freezer to defrost in time for Christmas. The Queen of Christmas’s mighty whistle notes and five-octave range, in particular, take up tons of storage space. The defrosting should be underway now, leaving enough space for Spirit Halloween, Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, UGG boots and other fall fan favorites. 

4. Orchestrating the timely closure of businesses around the country 

Ever noticed how stores that have done well for years conveniently run their course by September? This is no coincidence. I’m pretty sure Spirit Halloween spends the rest of the year executing mind control campaigns to get people to stop shopping at targeted stores from coast to coast. In fact, I’m convinced that the location scouts at Spirit Halloween plotted the retail apocalypse to free up space for their spooky seasonal stores and complete their ambitious takeover of suburban America’s most middle-of-the-road strip malls. 

5. Staffing flights for Spirit Airlines

Where do Spirit Halloween employees get transferred to after Halloween? To their sister company Spirit Airlines, duh! I’m pretty sure the flight attendant on my flight to Key West last spring break picked out the sexy cowboy costume I wore for Halloween the year before. 

There is no mystery greater than the mystery of Spirit Halloween. No one knows what this ghastly enterprise is up to before and after October. There is only one thing one knows for sure: No commercial space between 7,000 to 10,000 square feet is safe from the haunting specter of Spirit Halloween.