Gotcha owner shares his Halloween tales

Thursday, October 25, 2007 | 5:43 p.m. CDT; updated 6:48 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008
David Lagasse, left, and his nephew, Bryan Page watch as Aaro Froese demonstrates one of the magic tricks he sells at Gotcha Costume Shop. Gotcha has a variety of entertainment goods and is busy this time of year, renting out costumes for Holloween.

If you want to talk to Aaro Froese, you’ll have to wait in line. His customers at Gotcha, 27 N. Tenth St., are rattling off a list of requests: vampire fangs, colored wigs, smear-proof face paint.

None of this fazes Froese. It’s just another day at work.

Oddest costume request?

Someone wanted to be a piece of meat. I gave him the idea to use cardboard.

Most creative costume you’ve seen?

This year a girl rented a gangsta costume and a maid costume and put them together. Your most noteworthy costume in childhood?

I was the coolest Spider-Man in the world one Halloween.

What should someone look for in a costume that turns heads?

Find something you feel comfortable in and something you’re into. For instance, an engineer would make a good leprechaun.

Do you get a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween?

Oh yeah. We give out the real-sized candy bars, so trick-or-treating here is like a trip to Mecca for kids.

What’s the best last-minute costume you helped a customer throw together?

It was 9:25 p.m. on the first Halloween we were open. There were hangers and empty racks and just a few pieces left.

This man walked in and said, “You’ve gotta help me.” So we gave him this all-white, non-fuzzy bunny suit.

Then we added a big, gold sash, took a broken sword and tucked it into the sash and threw a turban on his head. Now he was Ali Baba!

He ended up winning first prize and 350 bucks that night in a costume contest.

Any costume requests that you just can’t fulfill?

All the time. “I need the exact four-feet-tall shoes Elton John wore.” Even though Elton John kept them. So that’s tricky.

Describe working at Gotcha during the week of Halloween.

Dickens said it best: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

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