Shoppers were let in a few at the time, but the soon the rooms were crammed with customers — some in costumes — whose baskets were filled with toads, masks, pumpkins, jewelry, black cats, rusty-looking key chains and more.
“It’s the beginning of my fix for the fall, autumn season,” said Sheila Hammer of San Juan Capistrano, who said she loves Halloween so much that she visits Salem, Mass. each year dressed in a witch costume. “It’s wonderful. It puts you in such a different mood.”
Every year, Roger’s Gardens creates an elaborate Halloween boutique with a unique theme created by Eric Cortina, Roger’s Gardens’ creative director.
This year, the rooms were transformed into the “Blackstone” Back-Alley Theater, with a main stage, dressing room and prop storage rooms. Top hats adorned with feathers, masks and sparkling jewelry were for sale, along with traditional pumpkins and skeletons.
This year, Cortina visited prop warehouses and auctions and worked with artists to decorate the rooms with enormous statues, dragons and moving spiders. Many of the props sold within minutes — some for as much as $2,500, Cortina said.
Today’s event was invitation only; the Halloween boutique will open to the public on Sept. 2. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.