Forget dried-up, yellowed Christmas trees on the sidewalk. There’s no sadder sight than a pumpkin in the Dumpster and empty Tootsie Roll wrappers in your trick-or-treat bag. The fun of shopping for Halloween, however, doesn’t have to end in November. After the seasonal pop-up shops have packed up and left, there are several Halloween stores open all year for your dress-up and decorating needs. Beyond the costumes (some already on sale), the specialties at Francisco’s Halloween Shop — a neighborhood mainstay for more than 30 years — include entire walls of Venetian carnival masks and fairy wings of every size and color, not to mention some really odd ideas for home décor (skeletal salad tongs) and even odder accessories, especially the abundance of cop and biker regalia (fake badges, leather wrist bands and bandanas). If you plan on going as a Rastafarian, your get-up wouldn’t look complete without a giant, plastic spliff that could double as a nightstick. And if you really want to look like death, show up in a body bag. You could be boring and come in only once a year, but Halloween Town, located in Burbank’s quaint Magnolia Park area, is both a hangout and a local attraction, with a Day of the Dead section; horror movie T-shirts galore; themed rooms, including a makeshift graveyard and replica of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion; and novelties from Edgar Allan Poe floormats to coffee mugs of Henry VIII’s wives (pour in hot liquid and watch their heads disappear). Traditions is one of those places Martha Stewart might wander into if she lived in L.A., and her chauffeur knew how to get to the Valley. No costumes, gore or plastic poop here; just dainty, handmade figurines, ornaments and other vintage and old-timey knickknacks, as well as dozens of Christmas trees decorated for all the major holidays. If the barking, animatronic dog at the entrance that pops out of a doghouse and retails for $3,000-plus is any indication, Halloween Club has everything. Part party supply store, it’s the size of an airplane hangar with more than a dozen aisles of children’s, plus-size, pet and naughty, adult-themed costumes just distasteful enough (walking vagina? sheep-humping farmer?) for West Hollywood. Francisco’s, 15834 Main St., La Puente, (626) 968-8340; Halloween Town, 2921 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, (818) 848-3644,; Traditions, 8039 Deering Ave., Canoga Park, (818) 710-9747,; Halloween Club, 7107 Telegraph Rd., Montebello, (323) 726-2226, and 13310 Firestone Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, (562) 407-3284, —Siran Babayan

LA Weekly