Downtown store owners got an early treat Sunday when the work of some spirited artists materialized on shop windows like Halloween apparitions.

The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce sponsored its first Halloween Window Painting Contest, and while turnout was small, some of the artwork was spook-tacular.

"My mom told me about it because she knows I like art," said Nina Barandiaran, 12, of Westport, who completed three shop windows before the day was done, gilding the windows at Williams-Sonoma, Allen Edmunds and Oscar's Deli.

"We've got three windows today," said her partner, Lauren Seto, 12, of Westport.

Both students are in seventh grade at the Hopkins School in New Haven.

"I think it's great," Yvonne Seto said of the window contest. "I think they should do it for Easter, too.

"It's a lot of fun," said Jocelyn Barandiaran, Nina's mother.

A few others young artists learned about the event through Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

"Our youth leader told us about this," said Claire Quigley, 17, a senior at Staples High School.

"We thought it would be fun to be in the Halloween spirit," said her partner Hannah Pemberton, 17, of Fairfield.

"The wind is tough," said Claire, fighting to keep the tarp down and the paints from blowing away in front of The Brownstone, one of the three stores they decorated.

"I think we just decided we're going to do a candy corn theme," she said, noting the abundance of autumn colors in their collection.

"We love this community," said Dana Barnes, general manager of Williams-Sonoma, "and it's a community program and Williams-Sonoma wants to be as much a part of the community as we can."

"Any time we can loan a window to a community program, we do it," she said.