UPDATE, AUGUST 28TH: The owner and operator of Tuscaloosa's Spirit Halloween will indeed open in University Mall sometime next month. 

Spirit Halloween, the ubiquitous purveyor of costumes and all other spooky season accouterments, may not open a store in Tuscaloosa this year.

As the seasonal giant prepares to open more than 1,400 stores across the United States and Canada, the Druid City is conspicuously missing from the Store Locator on Spirit Halloween's website.

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The corporation's official public relations contacts have not yet responded to inquiries from the Thread about the status and future of the Tuscaloosa location, but a customer service representative on the site's Live Chat feature said "the closest store opening near Tuscaloosa is in Hoover, AL."

"We do apologize for any inconvenience," the employee wrote. "Since our stores are seasonal, there is always a chance it may not come back next year."

For years, Spirit was a seasonal fixture next to the McFarland Mall on Skyland Boulevard, but last year the store left its longtime home and opened instead inside University Mall in the spot formerly occupied by Sears.

Management at the mall said they do not directly manage that part of the building, and referred questions about whether Spirit would return to Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates on the store's future in the city -- if Spirit's public relations staff returns our request for comment, we'll let you know here.

If the bad news is true and the store will not return to Tuscaloosa this year, there are still Spirit Halloween locations opening soon in Hoover, Birmingham and Meridian, Mississippi.

For residents trying to stay local, the Halloween WOW store that opened on Skyland Boulevard last year is moving into the old Stein Mart in McFarland Plaza -- they're hiring now and set to open soon.

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