What began as an ordinary every day trip to the local drug store, ended in an extraordinary episode of fright and terror for the Hott brothers. Just one year apart, Isaac 7 and Levi 6, enjoy an occasional adventure to the community Rite Aid for Transformer toys and Pokemon cards just about as equally as a trip to Disney World itself.
Except for this one particular Monday afternoon in late August…
Yes, I did say late August.
As we entered the double automatic doors, both boys stood frozen in their sneakers. The diagonal aisles of merchandise were draped for the upcoming holiday. Above our heads, staring straight at us, were enormous and grueling creatures for none other than (cue sound effect—duh, duh, duh….) Halloween!
One witches face with cracked eyes, warts, and wild hair. Another monster with stitches, blood, scars, and gore. Both boys grabbed my hand. “It’s alright guys. They are only pictures.” (Pretty gross pictures, at that.)
That was when Levi, who just began first grade the previous week, read the banner:
“Welcome to Fright Aid!”
“Mommy! What’s that mean? ‘Fright’ Aid?” he said. “Well Levi, I guess Rite Aid is celebrating Halloween earlier this year. Let’s head on over and see what they have for Transformers.” You see, Isaac was hot on the trail for the new blue truck thing-a-ma-jig that turns into some sort of machine. Wonder where Violet went?
As we passed as far away from the banners as possible, we headed to the center section behind the greeting cards and turned the corner. The moment we entered the toy aisle, both boys jumped and hid behind this 5 foot tall mom. As I was checking out the picture frames, I noticed an object placed alone at the opposite end.
It was a decapitated head! Yes,… complete with eyes drooping and blood stained neckline. Yuck!
But, it sure freaked out Isaac and Levi! Finally, I convinced them that it wasn’t real and we continued to the Transformer toys. Hummmm… Funny how the body-less head was directly in front of the Transformer selections.
“Has anyone seen Violet?”
Well, we managed to roll that thing away and parked ourselves in front of the toys. As we searched for the newest models, Levi literally climbed up my leg and grabbed me around the neck. Without saying a word, he pointed to the end of the toy section and whimpered. There… Floating in mid-air, was a dismembered monster hand. It turned over and, slowly…. Ever sooo sloooowly motioned for the three of us to follow.
W.H.A.T. is going on? By this time, Isaac completely cleared the toys hanging as his arm swung around and he screamed, “RUN FOR IT LEEEEEEEVI!” Both boys took off toward the door faster than a horse running the Triple Crown!
That’s was when I heard the giggles! Violet.
“From Rockin’ Gobblins to Spine-Chilling Skeletons, Rite Aid is Fright Aid this Halloween.”
Since Rite Aid is nearly the only place to shop locally in our little town without traveling 40 miles to a larger store like Walmart, we have needed to return several times since this happened. Imagine how silly I look covering both boys’ eyes as we enter the store to avoid seeing the creepy banners. So, here’s my question: Does Rite Aid really need to be so graphic in all this Halloween merchandise? And….. why do they need to begin marketing this holiday so early?????
Maybe my kids are the only ones bothered by the graphic and gory stuff. Are yours?
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:6-8
Hey… Rite Aid! “With us, it’s personal.”
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
Angie Hott says
“Take them on”? You know, I really didn’t realize I was doing that! But one never knows! Maybe Rite would consider adopting a much tamer Halloween marketing campaign if they knew how much it turns off so many of our younger children AND their mommies!!!!
Thank you for reading and sharing!
Roger Williams says
If you need fright go to somewhere you pay admission and know what to expect. It doesn’t need to be displayed openly for young kids to view. Keep it in a plain brown wrapper on the shelf for those who shop for that stuff.
B Smith says
Halloween is big for lots of people. Perhaps it would have been better if you told your boys that the stuff wasn’t real & it was nothing to be afraid of. Instead of wanting a store to change what they sell. You see, the market for all the cute Halloween stuff isn’t there, however the cool stuff: monsters, witches, gore has a big market.
I do have one question for you. Do you complain when the stores bring out Christmas decorations in July? You see they market Christmas 5 – 6 months before the holiday, yet you are complaining that a store is putting out Halloween 2 months before?
Just a big Halloween fan