Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Memories

I just got off the phone with my Mom, I called to wish her a Happy Halloween and catch up on things. We reminisced about how we celebrated Halloween.

I mentioned how I'm disappointed with some people and how they decorate their homes.
Sometimes it's overdone or overly gross. It's all the pre-made things and effects you find at Home Depot or Walmart. Nothing original, just the same mass produced stuff everybody else plugs in.
There's animated witches and grim reapers, even a robotic skeleton that "plays" a banjo.
We didn't buy our Halloween effects, we created out own.

My favorite decoration was made using an old wood ladder. The frame was opened and the paint shelf pulled down. Sticks were tied to the paint shelf extending the "reach".
A sheet was draped over it to make that a running ghost. Paper eyes and mouth were taped on.
Small pumpkins were set on the steps down the ghost's back.
This was what you saw from the street through the big front window.

We had a 3M Wollensak reel to reel tape recorder. Real state-of-the-art stuff in 1966. My Sister and I recorded moans and groans at regular speed. Halloween night we played it back at slow speed. Those sounds alone scared off a few kids.

I tied a rope through the bushes in the long front planter. When a kid walked up to the house I'd tug on the rope from my bedroom window. The bushes would move just enough to raise the adrenaline.

My Mom handed out the candy, her home made costume was the kicker.
She wore a old Kabuki mask. Her long hair was always in a bun, except on Halloween. It hung down to her waist.
Kids would ring the doorbell. She'd open the door and not say a word.
As she slowly doled out candy her head would turn from side to side as if she was trying to figure out who these strange children were. It didn't scare the kids, that wasn't the idea. It might have creeped them out a little.
No rotting corpses, no blood curdling screams, no dismembered bodies.
Just Halloween.


  1. Well said. Halloween used to be spooky, not gory.

  2. Cool Decoration! Back in the days when I used to decorate for Halloween, I had a 'ghost' figure that I would set up in an upstairs window. It consisted of a styrofoam 'wig holder' head, painted black, then highlighted on the lower part of the facial features with green fluorescent paint. A sheet 'hoodie' was draped over the head and it was mounted in front of a blacklight. A pair of steadily glowing LED eyes completed the apparition.