Horror movie hounds scoop up scare-your-pants-off genre year-round

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Scary movie sales skyrocket near Halloween, but some are plucked from the shelves regularly.

Fright films make up about 40 percent of the Movie Trading Company’s business during October, said store employee Eric Shirey.

“We’ve already refilled this, like, three times,” he said, gesturing toward an array of classics covered in cobwebs.

“It” by Stephen King is without a doubt the store’s No. 1 seller among the horror genre, Shirey said, and when people see the movie in the store most say "‘I saw that as a kid, and it scared the crap out of me.’"

“We sell “It”, I swear, at least two copies a day year-round,” he said.

Coming in No. 2, Shirey said, is “Hocus Pocus,” which according to Rottentomatoes.com, is a 1993 film about three Salem witches who were executed and return after 300 years to wreak havoc.

Halloweentown, a Disney movie, would fall in at No. 3, and the “Chucky” movies are probably fourth most popular. Fifth on the store’s hot list is “Walking Dead” and the whole zombie genre, Shirey said, adding that the zombie popularity doesn’t wane post-Halloween.

Shirey said collectors browse store shelves for vintage horror films such as “Psycho,” The Birds” and old “Frankenstein” movies.

“And I’m into that stuff,” he said.

Among the most prized items in Shirey’s collection, he said, are a “Friday the 13th” Blu-ray collection, a “Chucky” collection and a “Leprechaun” collection.

”I’m about to get the “Halloween” collection,” he said. “It’s actually coming in today.”

Davin Mitchell, a horror movie buff who also works at the store, said the characters in Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed” make it his all-time favorite scary movie because “it has a good variety of monsters.”

Trick-or-treaters 12 and under can snatch a free $5 gift card at the Movie Trading Company, 4604 SW Loop 820, on Halloween.

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