As empty nesters, my husband and I don’t usually decorate at Halloween. Our neighborhood, however, goes insane. Every year the McMansions along Ocean Drive sprout four-foot spiders that crawl up walls, mummified corpses that hang from trees, even cemeteries with body parts writhing from the ground. It’s a tad off-putting, in my opinion. The whole Halloween gestalt seems to have gotten a lot more ghoulish since I was a kid.
Because we’re not festive and we have a long, shadowy walkway, many of the roving herds of youngsters assume our house is “dark.” So every year I wind up with tons of leftover Snickers and M&MS, most of which migrates inexorably to my hips.
This year I decided to set out a pumpkin, just to let the kids know we hand out candy. So late on Halloween afternoon, I pulled into the local pumpkin patch. The manager was already closing up shop for the season. For five bucks I walked off with a magnificent display pumpkin. This gourd was a masterpiece, an intricately carved goofy face that could have been created by Disney.
Once I set the pumpkin out and put a candle inside, I got inspired. I rummaged through the house for anything scary-looking I could find. I turned up a large stone raven, an iron candelabra, and a red candle in a hurricane lamp.
It worked. By 6 p.m. we had a steady stream of Trick-or-Treaters. The thing is, our house didn’t look faux scary like our neighbors’. With candelabra blazing and a giant stone raptor glaring out the window, I think we looked actually scary. I knew I’d gone too far when a kidling ventured up to the door by himself. He seemed to be rooted to the ground in fear as he peered inside the entry.
“Happy Halloween. Um, you look startled,” I said, handing him some extra M&MS for his trouble.
The kid fled down the walkway to his waiting mom.
“No monsters there. Just a witch,” he told her.
|Elvira signing books at ComicCon 2007|
I should have spent the evening writing, not trying to palm off my trigger foods on the innocent.
Next year, no pumpkin, and no inferno.
And definitely no fright hair.
What about you? Any Halloween tales for the year? What about you East Coasters? We heard Halloween got cancelled due to snow. True?