Every person I know who runs a vintage-goods store reports the largest sales boost comes not at Christmas but in October. Costumes are big business, especially vampiric and witchy duds like capes and peaked hats. But the money's much bigger than that. Sometime in our lifetimes, October became an orange-and-black juggernaut: "Shocktober." Elvira plugs everything from Halloween beer to flashlight batteries. And under-rented parts of shopping malls become "haunted houses," which saturate teen-demographic radio and roadside billboards. (Seriously, folks, if you've really got the spirit, go to the animal shelter and adopt a black cat -- they're... More >>>