FACT CHECK: Did Spirit Halloween Announce Its Stores Likely Won’t Open In 2020?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a statement from Spirit Halloween announcing that the brand’s stores are likely not opening in 2020.

Verdict: False

The announcement appears to have been fabricated as a joke. Spirit Halloween has said it plans to open stores this year.

Fact Check:

Founded in 1983, Spirit Halloween operates temporary Halloween costume and decor stores across the U.S. and Canada, according to the brand’s website. Its physical stores are typically open from late August to early November, the website states.

The image being shared shows an announcement, purportedly from Spirit Halloween, addressing its “Loyal Patrons and Fans.” (RELATED: Viral Post Conflates COVID-19 Antibody And Viral Tests)

“It is with heavy hearts that the Spirit Halloween team must issue a notice regarding seasonal store openings in 2020,” reads the alleged letter, in part. “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the lack of international commerce at this time, it is likely that our stores will not be opening for the 2020 season.”

In reality, there is no record of Spirit Halloween making an announcement to that effect for 2020. The statement doesn’t appear on the brand’s website or in any of its social media posts. An internet search turned up multiple media reports and other fact-checkers debunking the claim.

When reached for comment via email, a spokesperson for Spencer Spirit Holdings, which owns Spirit Halloween, sent Check Your Fact a statement refuting the rumor about the brand’s holiday stores not opening this year. The statement was also posted on the brand’s official Facebook page on June 26.

“We heard you’re crushed, disheartened, and downright sad. Well, don’t worry, the rumors aren’t true,” the statement reads. “WE ARE BACK & WE GOT THIS COVERED. We are safely preparing the best in-store experience possible and can’t wait to welcome you back at our 1,400 locations Nationwide – popping up this August!”

The fake Spirit Halloween letter appears to have been created by YouTuber Mak Ralston as an April Fools Day prank for his channel Haunt Former. In a June 28 video, Ralston said that he fabricated the letter as a joke.

“I never meant for this to get out other than my video and my community,” he said. “I thought it was a funny joke, and obviously people have stretched it, so I want to apologize to anyone that this has upset or Spirit Halloween, if this has gotten you into any media frenzy.”

The store locator on Spirit Halloween’s website shows that some of its physical stores have already opened – in Maryland, for instance – and others are scheduled to open soon.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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