This is a super-special post in honor of October 1st. I’m not planning to chat this much on a regular basis.
Halloween is coming and I’m already saving money for treats. We live on one of two streets affectionately dubbed “Candy Alley” and while we’re definitely not at our peak anymore since so many people have moved and non-Halloweeny folk have taken their places, there are still several houses that participate and it’s enough to be a draw. Last year we had more than 250 kids, some of whom came from 20+ miles away. We strongly feel that if they’re going to make the effort to get to us, we need to make their effort worthwhile. Our plan for this year is as follows:
The first weekend in Oct, we’ll decorate indoors and out. Thanks to the 3 How To Haunt Your House books that I just found (HOW did I not KNOW about these?), we’re going to have some exciting new props this year. Murderface & Jethro will be out again; they scare the heck out of people in the daylight hours mostly because Murderface has that humany shape and the neighbors forget he’s there so he always comes as a surprise. Good fun all around. For us. Not so much for the neighbors and their weak hearts. We’ll have all our old standbys at hand, as well, and the place will positively gleam (gloom?) with sinister creepiness.
On the evening of the 30th, we’ll carve a bunch of Jack-o-Lanterns.
This year, we plan to have some good ones from the farm and we grew one ourselves that I might not actually be able to cut because it is like our baby.
Most important, though, are the tricks. This is Gabe’s tradition; the first year we were together, he offered kids a choice between cans of baked beans and stewed tomatoes when they came to the door. Their reactions were delightful (some not quite so much) and the monsterlings with the better senses of humor wound up with more candy. I don’t know why we weren’t TPed or egged, especially by the older kids, but we weren’t and that convinced Gabe to make tricks his specialty.
The following year was the first in our own house so Gabe decided to kick things up a notch. In addition to offering canned goods, he also offered apples, the most shiny red apples we could find. You know how parents always tell their kids to throw away any fruit or homemade goodies that wind up in the loot bag because they’re all full of razor blades, poison, and meth? Gabe used that as his inspiration and filled the apples with scary nails so that they looked dangerous. He even carved evil little eyes into the fruits. We wanted to be honest about our attempts to kill children.
And you know what? The kids LOVED it. So did many of the parents and Gabe’s apples are out there on Facebook pages everywhere. Probably.
Because Gabe got called-out on doing the apple trick two years in a row (who knew the kids were paying attention?), we had to do something different last year. We still had the canned food (for the smaller, more sensitive critters) but we augmented our tomfoolery with bits of dog hair rolled up in small balls and covered with pepper flakes, calling it “hairballs and fleas.” Also, Gabe had his own trick-or-treat bag and when he opened the door, he shoved his bag in kids’ faces and trick-or-treated them. Neither of these tricks got the reaction that the first year of apples received, but each still went over well.
It doesn’t end there, though. Come November 1st, we’ll have to start planning for 2013.
UPDATE! November 1:
Trick-or-Treaters: 240 ; Friends who hung out at our house to experience our weird Halloween: 7 ; Cat box cake: disgusting and successful ; Jell-O worms: unsuccessful ; Overall evening: FABULOUS!