Ghouls Night Out

Posted on October 30, 2013

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(The Cubbyhole Writer has been juggling a few projects in the air of late, so regular posts have been a difficult task. I hope the calendar will finally allow me more time to re-connect with my readers and followers. Thanks for hangin’ in with me!)

Mountain ash berries

Branches are loaded with mountain ash berries.

Somewhere between being mesmerized by the glorious autumnal displays of early October and the sudden, dramatic collapse of foliage to the ground in the last two weeks, Halloween has once again crept up on me like a bony hand clawing at a tombstone.  (Already I’ve had more hours than I care to count doing raking and bagging of leaves, so the impressive splash of colour has certainly worn off.) It’s time again to haul out the ghoulish displays for that one-night affair that brings a smile to young and  old alike.

It’s too bad really that Halloween has been marketed to death, right behind Christmas for sales. Frankly, I don’t get the romanticism of vampires and werewolves lurking in a shrouded forest, no matter how ruggedly handsome the character transforms. I’d be freekin’ busy running and screaming outta there if I figured anything bigger than a squirrel was approaching! Logically, it’s a bad idea to hang around waiting for these dark souls to say hello. I once was spooked royally by a swooping owl as I attempted to shortcut through a wooded area at twilight (not a good idea on a couple of levels). I nearly loaded my pants as it stealthily whooshed past my head on its way to an early buffet no doubt. I raced out to a clearing, only to hear my sweet Hubby roar with laughter coming from behind me. I like owls, but I don’t want to be between them and their snack time.

With Halloween hi-jinks popular with teens and adults, It depends on which end of the fright attack you’re on. TV talk-show celeb, Ellen DeGeneres, nailed it on the head recently giving her producer an unexpected, nightmarish trip through a maze of zombies. Personally, I find it funny to watch a grown man rationalize his plan before he enters the ghoulish walk, and then hides behind a woman the whole time. Poor guy’s gonna have a tough time holding his head up after that encounter!

One crazy lumberjack and his chocolate moose

One crazy lumberjack and his chocolate moose!

As a kid, there was no such thing as a store-bought costume for Halloween. Frugality and creativity determined whether you were a gypsy, mad scientist, scarecrow, princess or bag lady. Rummaging through closets and the odd thrift store always presented the coolest ideas (still does). There were no Sexy French Maid, Pirate Vixen or Improper Schoolgirl with Cleavage – at least not in my neighbourhood, and certainly nowhere in the vicinity of the local convent. You never, ever went trick-or-treating dressed up as a priest or nun – that would mean certain death by a bolt of lightning and the wrath of Mom on top of it! We would make the circuit then head home to check out the loot bags. That smell of burnt pumpkin and candles always takes me back.

Halloween props

Just the right amount of scariness.

Nowadays, it’s the little ones at the door trick-or-treating that makes setting up our Halloween props worthwhile. Some parents check out our little cemetery with tombstones as a photo-op, others groove and sway to the eclectic mix of songs and music (everything from rain storms to Black Sabbath to Thriller to organ music) coming from speakers outside. Eventually all the props, etc. will be passed on to our grown kids when they have yards of their own to decorate. For now, as long as the creativity keeps flowing and silliness is afoot, there’ll be more howls and giggles from our piece of Nightmare Alley. Happy Halloween!

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Posted in: Traditions