You would think that, as a writer of (among many other things!) horror, I’d be a fan of Hallowe’en — and you’d be correct; I AM a fan of Hallowe’en. In fact, the decorations didn’t get put all the way away in the basement: the bins are still in the garage where they ended up last year. A favorite pre-Hallowe’en ritual around our place is to visit all the various specialty holiday shops (you know, the ones that pop up in large empty storefronts in August and are closed and empty again by November 2) to see what’s new this year. We can also get a pretty good indication of what themes are most popular, as usually there’s a deeper stock of those than anything else.
Last year, we bought something new: it’s a light that you shine on a wall. The light shows various, brightly-colored ghosts and has the word “Boo!” picked out in a garish, day-glow color. It swivels a bit, so the images move. I aimed it at a wall outside our front window, and it was bright enough (and large enough) that it could be seen from the street. I had to do a little bit of creative thinking to get it to work out, but in the end I was pleased with the outcome. It attracted quite a bit of attention: several times I heard neighbors outside at night, commenting on it as they walked their dogs or walked to the parking lot.
Trick-or-treaters have been a disappointment over the last few years. The neighborhood I live in seems to have fewer teen and pre-teens than in the past; we only had six trick-or-treaters last year, in two groups – barely worth bothering to buy the candy at that rate.
With new-ish cats in the house, there are some decorations we can’t put up. We have a big plastic window covering showing two huge cat’s eyes, but with our cats still in the late kitten stages (they still like to chew on random things) and the fact that it’s plastic, so it makes an oh-so-alluring crinkly noise, we can’t put that up this year. Things with lit candles are also a no-go. Besides the danger of active kitty inspections, we’ve learned that our new smoke detectors are a bit too accurate in detecting even the slighted bit of smoke or excess heat; candles will set them off if left burning for more than half an hour.
Halloween has always held a certain fascination for me. It’s fun to dress up and pretend to be someone–or someTHING– different once in a while. We were invited to a Halloween party one year, and only us and the kids were dressed up, which made me sad. As adults, we’re too quick to declare things childish, and therefore unworthy of being an adult activity. Costume parties for grown-ups have a long history, and I think the world might be a better place if more adults would loosen up a bit and dress up for Hallowe’en. I look forward to Hallowe’en every year, and I hope you do, too.