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Discussion Starter #1
I'm relatively new on the forum, and have been on a bit of a thrift store kick here of late. I haven't (as yet) found any really exceptional Halloween/horror sorts of deals during the off season, but I think a lot of it comes from one's mindset, and how creative a person can get with things for decorating.

So, I was just curious if anyone has had their own remarkable finds sifting through the rubbish bins at their own local thrift stores?
 

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I shop Goodwill regularly and often find everyday items to reuse in my home display. But in my area, the thrift stores hold all Halloween related items until late Aug early Sept. There is a guy ( I don't know his name) on here who has his own YouTube channel called TheBestThings, he posts his thrift store hauls quite often.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, it's the same with the thrifts here. No specifically Halloween-related gear out until early September or so. And even then, it's usually pretty grim for fun finds.

The most I found the other day was a bright yellow softball. How is that handy? Well, I attach a safety pin to the threads, then 80 pound test fishing line to the ball, then hurl it high over the branches of the tall pine trees in the yard and hang things. Like this guy! [see attached pic]
 

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In my area, the Goodwill store is in the same shopping center as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I rarely find anything at the Goodwill store (it's mostly clothes), but I do find things at the ReStore. They're mostly things I can use to make props, as opposed to a Halloween specific item. They're usually cheap, and the profits go to Habitat.
 

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I have found several plastic Jack O' Lanterns at the local thrift store.
I have bought an old microscope, Porthole windows, battery operated candles, test tubes with holder and big specimen jars for my Mad Scientist display. I also got rubber snakes, giant bugs and a toy Sponge Bob Square Pants to put in the specimen jars.
 

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Here is a frame from a video of my Mad Scientist Lab. a Mad Lab.jpg
The dials in the background, the lamp on the left, the rocking chair and the table on the right also came from the thrift store. I would go to the thrift store almost every week, looking for "Halloween" stuff. Oh, all the clothing for the skeletons also came from the thrift store.
 

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Do a search for "thrift store" and you'll find a number of threads listing some of the members' finds.

I've had good luck over the years - you just have to check it early and regularly during the season. I've also heard of people talking nicely to the a manager trying to get early access - I personally don't know if it works but it may be worth a try...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Do a search for "thrift store" and you'll find a number of threads listing some of the members' finds.

I've had good luck over the years - you just have to check it early and regularly during the season. I've also heard of people talking nicely to the a manager trying to get early access - I personally don't know if it works but it may be worth a try...

Thank you for the observations. I guess I was thinking more about finding items during the rest of the year that might serve for Halloween decorating. You know, sheets for ghosts; cheap wigs; or perhaps a tattered bridal gown you could place on a skeleton. Maybe old dolls you were able to mess with and turn into something creepy. Old gas masks, helmets or uniforms that might work well with a themed display. Just anything not necessarily connected with October 31st that you managed to utilize in a previous haunt.
 

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I've found quite a few things at thrift stores like goodwill and the salvation army as well as st Vincent depaul it's true, but another unmentioned source is places like tj maxx, Marshall's, etc. In fact theres quite an amazing story behind my most recent acquisition.
(So sorry for only having the stock photo, currently I have almost all my Halloween stuff packed away)
I found this little guy at gabes just before christmas, sitting in one of the clearance isles. I was so shocked no one had bought him yet since he only had 25$ on his price tag(I had seen him only going for over 100$), but I was afraid he was broken since he didn't work and I had no way to test his batteries. Still I put him in my cart and asked the checkout girl if she had batteries I could test him with. She said no, but also said if I took him home and he was broken that I could return him. So I figured I'd give it a shot, and bought him. To my complete surprise though he rang out for exactly one dollar. I was shocked and so was she, she even joking said "now don't you bring him back now" to which I agreed. Anyway, took him home, gave him some fresh batteries and voila! He worked perfectly! No box or instructions and a little dirty from being on the floor but otherwise perfect! I was ecstatic, definitely my best find to date.
 

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