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
Bonnie Weber says
I agree, what happened to a fun and silly Halloween? I know it’s marketing to the older crowd, but what about the younger ones. Do we have to fill their brains with all of the gory images? Regular life for them can be scarey enough. Take them on, Angie!!!!!!
Jennifer Lewis says
Thank you so much for sharing this. I dread Halloween every year. My son who is now 8 hates Halloween and always has. I have to plan my shopping trips to avoid the Halloween aisles. Have to take detours to avoid homes decorated too gruesome. I even have to keep him out of school on that day because he has been so traumatized by his classmates in scary costumes other times. It is nuts. What happened to cute costumes, pumpkins and scarecrows? Why do they have to make things so ugly, gruesome and scary? And why do parents buy their young children ugly, scary costumes to wear? On the other hand, my 5 year old daughter loves Halloween and is not bothered by it at all. Personally, we could just skip the holiday all together and I would be more than happy. :)
Love it, just love it!
Angie Hott says
I never thought about it but I guess maybe that is why Rite Aid puts the prescription counter all the way in the back! I know exactly what you mean; we have taken many LONG routes around stores with the scary Halloween merchandise, not just Rite Aid. I am sure to look pretty silly covering the boys eyes everytime we attempt to slip pass the spooky stuff.
You mentioned “visited the US” this summer? Welcome and thanks so much for reading! Summer? Last time I checked my calendar, Halloween comes at the end of October!
Angie Hott says
I was thinking about your experience at the pumpkin patch. Oh my goodness! You know what? Rite Aid claims that the Halloween merchandise is second next to Christmas marketing. I wonder if they ever considered the amount of customers turned away from the gory marketing plans. That would be missed revenue, right? I bet a whole new campain toning it down would appeal to lots of moms like us! Kinda like our local elementary school. They only allow dressing up as story book characters. No gore. I LOVE it!
Thanks for reading and sharing your comments!