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Spirit Halloween clarifies meme costumes are not sold in stores after concern

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Spirit Halloween clarifies meme costumes are not sold in stores after concern

Spirit Halloween has turned into more than just a destination for Halloween costumes this year, as the annual retailer has also found itself the focus of a viral meme.

As the spookiest day of the year approaches, social media users have begun imagining the costumes that the ubiquitous store might sell, but does not, with people joking about everything from a “social media manager” costume to a “man in DC” outfit.

The meme, which Know Your Meme notes originated in 2019, saw a resurgence in popularity this season as people used the format of the packaging of a Spirit Halloween costume to create the parody costumes.

According to Know Your Meme, the trend originally featured Guy Fieri, with the costume packaging edited to read: “Governor of Tasteville.”

However, the trend has since progressed, with fake Spirit Halloween costumes now created for nearly everything, including New York City’s 432 Park Avenue skyscraper, which the meme imagined would be packaged as “an abomination” costume.

In another iteration of the meme, the Halloween superstore sells an “unprepared hiker” costume, complete with flip flops, a cotton T-shirt, sunburn, an empty energy drink and “delusions of grandeur”.

Someone else imagined what a costume for “girl that went viral on TikTok once” would entail if it were to be sold by the store, with the costume description including “got 10k views and won’t shut up about it” and “complains about how she isn’t verified yet”.

Spirit Halloween even joined in on the meme, with the official Twitter account for the Halloween retailer sharing a “Spirit Halloween Store” costume for its own version of the meme.

According to the edited packaging, the costume includes “a store sign for the abandoned building you take over,” the “hopes and dreams of everyone whose childhood store you replaced” and “the will to exist for only three months”.

“Is this too meta?” the store’s Twitter account joked.

However, despite the company’s involvement in the meme, it has also made an effort to inform customers that the meme costumes aren’t real, especially in regards to the controversial versions, such as “gay guy”.

On 23 October, the company clarified that its packaging was being subjected to a meme on Twitter, after an individual shared a photo of the costume in question and tagged Spirit Halloween. “Seriously @SpiritHalloween?” the tweet read, with the user clarifying that they hadn’t taken the picture, but instead found it online.

In response, Spirit Halloween assured the Twitter user that “this is not an officially licensed costume from our company” while noting “Photoshopping our packages seems to be trending at the moment”.

“We will be passing this to our review team,” the retailer added. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

The retailer offered a similar response to another user who questioned the same photo, with Spirit Halloween adding: “Photoshopping our packages seems to be trending at the moment, and unfortunately we can’t control what Twitter users create.”

In response to another tweet from a user horrified by the meme costume, which they claimed was “disgusting” and “offensive,” Spirit Halloween reiterated that the costume is “not something we have previously or currently sell”.

The Independent has contacted Spirit Halloween for comment.

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