Hairstylist summons smiles with ‘Hocus Pocus’ costume

T-R PHOTO BY TREVOR BABCOCK Hair stylist and owner of Cut Above hair salon in Marshalltown Brandy McKibben is celebrating the spooky season by cutting and styling hair dressed as Winifred Sanderson from the movie “Hocus Pocus.”

A local hairstylist puts a happy spell on her clients while cutting hair in full costume.

After working in other salons and cutting hair for 27 years, Brandy McKibben decided to become her own boss. For the past five years, she has owned and operated Cut Above out of her house, where she is the sole stylist.

Each year for Halloween, McKibben decorates her salon for the spooky season and adorns a costume while cutting hair. In previous years, she has dressed as a beauty school dropout from “Grease,” and this year, she chose Winifred Sanderson from the Disney movie “Hocus Pocus.”

“I just love ‘Hocus Pocus,'” McKibben said. “I was a junior in high school when it came out, and I’ve just loved it ever since.”

She said she’s not into the horror and gore side of Halloween, but prefers the lighter, more fun side. By now, McKibben can quote “Hocus Pocus” word for word. Over the years, she has collected memorabilia from the film, and owning her own salon has allowed her to decorate however she wants.

“It just makes everyone smile (from) ear to ear when they come in,” McKibben said. “If it puts a smile on somebody’s face, then I’ve done my job.”

Some days, she’s run to the grocery store or taken her child to school in full costume.

“People will see me and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I love you,’ and it makes everyone’s day,” McKibben said. “It’s just nice to do something fun and to bring a smile to someone’s face. It seems like everywhere I go, everyone is like, ‘I just love you. Oh my goodness, that’s fantastic.’ Everything is crazy, and everything is hectic. So it’s nice to make a person smile. If I make them smile and make their day and they remember it, and then they go and tell somebody else and they get excited and it makes them smile, then it becomes contagious.”


Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today