The Sunny Side of Darkness

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Halloween has taken such a beating it’s barely recognizable these days.

I have great childhood memories of Halloween.  I was one of four children and mom helped us make our costumes every year.  We were ghosts, cats, superman, whatever we could dream up and put together with a minimal amount of sewing.  One year my brother begged and begged to go as a gorilla.  Of course, he wanted to use mom’s fur coat as his costume.  That didn’t happen.

As teenagers, he and I rigged up a great scare experience for trick-or-treaters.  We lived in a two story house.  My parents’ bathroom window was right over the front porch steps.  There was a small roof ledge there.  So we made a ghost and tied a rope around its neck, long enough for the ghost to hang almost to the top of the front steps.  Then we brought the portable record player into the bathroom.  We hooked up a small speaker and put that on the roof ledge just outside the window.  Mom had a great Halloween sound effects album – creaking door noises, moans, screams, etc.

With the lights out, record player on, and the window open we waited for our prey.  As little children would come up the front walkway, we’d put the needle on the album, turn up the volume and then, just as they got to the first step, we’d throw the ghost out the window and it would land right in front of them.  They’d scream and turn and run back to their parents waiting at the curb (nursing their mixed drinks).  We had a blast!  I think we had candy left in the bowl that year.

I have a co-worker who loves Halloween and she has gone all out this year decorating her office.  As she explained to me when I asked her, “Why?” – her home is in the woods and she has a long dark driveway.  Her children are grown and out of the house and no one comes for trick or treating anymore.  So she is celebrating at work.

There are spiders, 18 skulls of various shapes and sizes, gravestones, bats, ravens, a hanging lady, webbing, and scary people pictures on the walls.  Best of all, there are 3 cauldrons of candy – one with candy corn, one with mints and one with mini candy bars.  Staff love it!  They have brought their children and grandchildren by to see the decorations.  Coworkers who never poked their heads in her doorway come by to say “hello’ and get a piece of candy.  It has been a much needed morale booster.

Do you do something fun or crazy for Halloween?  Share!  We still have time left for fun before November 1.

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