A Visit to the Fun-Ghoul

I’m not huge on Hallowe’en but I do dig the spirit of dressing up however you please, celebrating the joyful acceptance of the morbidity of human existence, and pillow cases full of terrible candies. It’s the closest some of us get to cultural anthropology, wondering where the heck your neighbor found Zagnut bars and who actually enjoys Necco wafers. (Harlan Ellison, for one. I think he likes the chocolate ones. I remember him writing about the first time he found entire rolls of just chocolate flavor, as if he’d discovered alien life). My favorite candy? I like fake peanut butter. So, Whatchamacallits and Goldenberg’s Peanut Butter Chews (not Mary Janes, those are abominations). Not that I’d turn my nose up at a Twix or a mini Chunky with raisins (good luck finding those anymore).

But enough about candy. The Fun-Ghoul Costume Store has been a New Jersey landmark for decades. In a county where real estate kills off most interesting stores, they’ve expanded. Because they have a great selection and enthusiastic employees. I chatted for half an hour with them about The Thing after buying a t-shirt and a top hat. And they are open year-round, renting professional quality costumes and selling everything from Videodrome t-shirts to skulls and platform ruby slippers.

The name is a joke on an Italian-American pronunciation of a very profane exclamation… Va fa’nculo. Google if you like… Fongool also works.

The Fun-Ghoul Costume Shop, 155 Park Avenue, Rutherford NJ.

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