What happens when you really need to get in touch with your inner Pennywise?

For the past four Halloweens, creepy clown aficionados have driven to Merrill, Iowa's Almost Antique and The Costume Shop to see some truly blood-curdling apparel.

While the 126 Main St. store still feature many fiendish frocks, owner Jason Visvikis has also opened a Sioux City location at 409 Floyd Blvd.

Jim Lee, The Weekender
Nope, this isn't the catch of the day. Almost Antique and The Costume Shop's John Visvikis said wearing an octopus mask can be an interesting way to spend Halloween. We bet you'll get plenty of candy with eight tentacles.

"We have more room for costumes in Merrill, we wanted a place in Sioux City as well," Visvikis said. "But like the Merrill store, our Sioux City location will be open all year round."

Visvikis decided to get into the costuming business after purchasing inventory from Dowry Costumes & More, a Sioux City business that closed in 2012 after 36 years in business.

"I figured the Dowry had a pretty impressive run," he said. "We figured even more costumes will bring in more customers."

Jim Lee, The Weekender
Almost Antique and The Costume Shop's John Visvikis said his shop is one of the few places where you can pick up a half mask representing Pennywise from Stephen King's "It."

That seems to be a winning strategy since Visvikis' shop has costume in all sizes and designed for people of all ages.

"We have plenty of children's costumes," he said. "But who said Halloween was just for kids?"

According to Visvikis' brother John, All Hallow's Eve is more fun when you're an adult.

That might explain the abundance of sexy nurse, witch and Oktoberfest wench outfits.

"We have sexy get-ups for gals and guys," John Visvikis noted. "We even have them in plus sizes."

Jim Lee, The Weekender
Freak yo' freak with this freak! Press the on button and her red eyes will light up. If you see her in the dark, your eyes will probably turn an even brighter shade of red.

Since costumes are purchased from suppliers across thee country, The Costume Shop has many oddball outfits.

Wanna go as your favorite kitschy 1970s sitcom character? Well, they have perfect vintage duds from "The Brady Bunch"'s Peter Brady sitting on the shelves.

Did you go through puberty lusting after Judy Jetson from the legendary Hanna-Barbera cartoon, "The Jetsons?" C'mon, who hasn't! The Costume Shop has it in stock.

With the store being open year-round, you can buy a lot more than just Halloween costumes.

"We have everything from Santa suits, flapper wear from the 1920s to ballerina tutus that you cant get anywhere anymore," John Visvikis said.

Jim Lee, The Weekender
Unlike chain stores, Almost Antique and The Costume Shop has costumes in all sizes, including plus-sizes.

Well, we don't necessarily want a Santa suit, flapper wear or a tutu, but thanks for the suggestion.

Regardless of that, John Visvikis said his store is a perfect place to mix and match costume pieces.

Perhaps with a Santa-slash-evil clown-slash-ballerina-level of mixing and matching?

"Maybe," he said. "You can buy something that will cost a few dollars or something that costs a few hundred dollars."

Plus you'll have a much better selection at the Costume shop than you would at some chain store.

"Well, we have pretty unusual tastes," John Visvikis said, going into a shoe section that features platform shoes covered with real peacock feather and a stiletto high heel shoes adorned with actual beetle wings.

Jim Lee, The Weekender
There's something fishy going on at Almost Antique and The Costume Shop. According to John Viviskis, the taxidermy of the fish is very real and and os is its teeth.

OK, we had to ask. What scares a Halloween costume monger anyway?

Does the sight of a demon, a zombie or Donald Trump send a shiver down John Visvikis' spine?

"To be honest, I'm hard to scare," he said. "Maybe it's because I'm around stuff like this all the time, I don't find costumes frightening." 

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