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Corona del Mar Today: Halloween arrives early at Roger's Gardens

September 04, 2010
  • Gourmet candies and cookies on display at Roger's Gardens' Halloween boutique.
Gourmet candies and cookies on display at Roger's… (CdM Today )

Halloween arrives early at Roger's Gardens

Hundreds of Halloween aficionados waited in line this week for an invitation-only chance to shop the grand opening of the 2010 Roger's Gardens Halloween shop.

"It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye — then it's hilarious," screeched "Mischievous Mort," the ventriloquist's dummy host of this year's "Funn & Gaems" Halloween shop who greeted all the customers.

Every year Roger's Halloween shop has a theme, and this year Mort is the star after he took over and twisted his bosses' factory to reflect his own peculiar ideas. Mort is seen blowing things up, jamming an assembly line — and of course, Mort dolls are on sale.

"We wanted to be more whimsical this year and less scary," said Eric Cortina, Roger's Gardens' creative director, who develops the themes each year.

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Shoppers quickly grabbed items including "screaming mirrors" that moan when picked up, revealing a skeleton's face, fake spiders and rats, robots, candies, upscale black-lace table linens, skeleton-and-spider-themed vases, decanters and cake plates.

Wills Johnson, 13, of Newport Beach, immediately fell upon a silver chair shaped like a hand.

"I love the chair and need it for my room," he told his mother, Lisa Johnson. "There's like 100 things here I want, but I want this chair most of all."

His mother asked the price — $250 — and raised her eyebrows. Then she admitted that she, too, saw a ton of things she wanted.

Donna Buckley of Fullerton had grabbed four black resin witches' boots.

"I shop, and then I get inspired," she said. "At first I thought I'd fill the boots with black roses. But now, I'm going to make an invisible lady with them, using white gauze hanging down over them. I'll hang it in my picture window."

Kathy McSorley of Santa Ana clung to a wall hanging of a crescent moon with a sparkling black cat inside.

"Would you spend $80 on this?" she asked, unsure whether to take the plunge.

"I found it over there, and already three people have asked if I'm buying it because they wanted it," she said. She shook her head, then wandered back through the crowd.

"Things were selling out," said Rochelle Cunard of Downey, showing off a black twig basket that looked like an evil's bird's nest. "These were totally gone. They went really fast."

Roger's Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road. Call (949) 640-5800 for more information.

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