Most people like Halloween. But not many LOVE Halloween. I guess it’s because I grew up in a hallowed, creative family. Aside from wearing my mother’s makeup, the highlight of Halloween was visiting my grandparents. You never knew how both my grandmother and especially my grandfather decorated the outside of their home. It was common to see several dummies displayed in some form or fashion. Cotton was used for webbing around the porch and hay bails completed the look. But on the night of Halloween, it transformed into Fayetteville’s own outdoor haunted arena. People came from all over to partake in the trick-or-treating.
I wish I had pictures of the contraptions my grandfather had as I cannot do it justice in words. One year, I remember he had a fake body lying on the table with his head placed next to it, as if it was amputated. He had cut a hole and perched himself underneath. He wore white make up and dusted his hair with powder. Whenever someone came up to the porch, he would let them linger for a bit before he hit the button which was connected to the body to make it jump. He then screamed at the trick or treaters that he had lost his head. As you ran inside the home, with the fog machine going, you would see my grandmother, a nurse, dressed in her attire, stabbing a body behind a white sheet with a black light. My cousin often ran the chainsaw and the very, very loud truck horns were always being played by touching wires to a battery.
Other times, my grandfather was one of the dummies displayed outside. However, you didn’t know which was him. He would then lurch at you while you passed, scarring you for life. Our goal at the end of the trick or treating in my neighborhood was to go partake in the scene at our grandparent’s. My brother and I always, always enjoyed the trick in trick or treat.
I’m not one to purchase ready-made costumes. My mother was resourceful growing up, so we were normally “rock stars” for our early years. Check out that mallard…
As we got older, our taste grew into more gruesome. Here, I am some sort of zombie person who had a hand amputated which I carried in a shoebox to display to the naïve (we used a lot of shoe polish for face paint back in the day).My cousin Katt and I often enjoyed dressing up together. One year, we teased our long hair, donned our white shoe polish and black eyes and pretended to be “electrocuted”. Darn if I don’t have that photo. But I do have this one, where we were a pair of die (white shoe polish, yet again).
The year my friend Shannon and I dressed as Don Juan Demarco, yes the Johnny Depp movie.
While working at a restaurant, we were allowed to dress up for the night. Here I was Marilyn Monroe, however, people assumed I was Dolly Parton, even with a nametag.
The following year might have been the last time Long John Silvers let their employees dress up. Here I am a lumberyard worker who has been impaled by spikes (I don’t think the picture does it justice). Would you like fries with that?In college, I fancied mobsters, so I became one for Halloween. My street name was “Trigger Happy”. My grandpa offered me his finest, complete with cane. Because gangsters had canes. And Robin as a friend.
Sometimes I had to wear the same thing twice (gasp) because I didn’t have anything else to wear on short notice (I keep costumes readily available at all times). Also, her cheerleading outfit was mine too!
I’m lucky enough now to be able to wear my costumes to work for our annual costume contest. The first year I dressed up as my boss, complete with pie plate belt buckle, a small box used as a cell phone, and a horrible mask.
Here I am as “Farmer in the Dell”.
The next few years, I got a little more creative. Here I am as Superman, complete with the “Kaboom” and “Bam” signs. Although some thought I was farting since the signs were rigged to be in my pants. And the sign didn’t help. It read “The chili cookoff was going well until…”.
Then one of my favorite costumes: ZZ Top. The heads were on swivel.And another favorite, the Costco Sample lady. I rigged the table where it fit around my waist and didn’t need me to hold it up. I had free samples and a hairnet to complete my look. Last year was the first time I used lights. I was “Bun in the Oven”. I am getting better with details. This had oven knobs, a door, and lights inside.
I usually wait until the last minute to make these elaborate costumes, but I generally have a few ideas floating as to what I’m going to do.
I always make my infamous mummy dogs, or Halloweenies. Take a can of crescent rolls, wrap around hot dogs, and bake. They are yummo. And not paleo. Because I don’t eat paleo.
One year, while in college, I wrote a Halloween Song that I’ve shared several times. Here’s where it will remain for all eternity:
Halloween is a spooky celebration
Of ghosts and witches and our fascination
With vampires and blood and wrecked cars
M & M’s, Nerds, and Snicker’s Bars.
I like to dress up for Halloween
To hand out candy and make kids scream
One year I went as a druggie hooker
With thigh highs and needle marks, oh what a looker.
I don’t remember when I treated last
As a kid, back in the past.
I always thought my outfit was spiffy and dandy
Always fearful of that orange and black candy.
Now I wait and wait for my trick or treaters
All dressed up in their costumes and sneakers
“Trick or Treat!” they scream and yell
“I’m not deaf!” I yell back, they’re surprised I can tell.
My grandpa would always scare his neighborhood
With his loud horns, chainsaws, and fake blood
He would sit outside with his made-up dolls
Eyes of hard-boiled eggs, wearing overalls
I love the smell of Halloween in the air,
Oh wait, I’m in class, as if I care
That I’m missing the holiday, oh poor me
All I can think is more candy for me.
Now that I actually have a porch this year, I plan on displaying many bodies and jack-o-lanterns for the neighborhood kiddos. I want to continue the tradition of scaring and possibly scarring a few….muahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha.