RUTHERFORD, N.J. (PIX11) — For Cliff Witmyer, this Halloween season is bittersweet. He opened the Fun Ghoul Costume Company 37 years ago in Rutherford, N.J. But soon, he will be closing the shop for good.
“It was a lifelong dream to be in business for myself and that’s a fulfillment that a lot of people don’t have,” said Witmyer. “No one has ever given me a paycheck. I create my own business and make my own money.”
But the money isn’t as good as it used to be. Online retailers, seasonal pop-up shops and big box stores have made it hard for this small business to continue.
“People say why are you closing, and I say where’d you get your Costume last year, and I say that’s why we are closing,” said Witmyer.
The store has several rooms with just about any costume, headpiece, mask and accessory you can think of.
Paulette Moody came into the store for the first time after seeing that all the merchandise is on sale for 50 percent off. An attempt by the owner to sell as much as he can to people hunting for costumes.
Some customers said they have special memories of coming here and are sad to see it go.
“I love dress up, and this is a very, very special store. It’s dear to my heart. It’s sad to see something you have history with. It’s like a piece of history is gone,” said longtime customer Carolyn Sekas.
The retail shop will close, but Witmeyer will keep the costume rental business next door open for now. It’s a favorite for people in the theater and production industry.
“You should’ve came here more often and patronized the store a little bit more,” said Witmyer.
The absolute last day to shop here will be New Year’s Eve to give people time to buy any holiday-themed costumes and accessories.