Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Twenty-Two:

Thirteen Favorite Halloween Memories

1. When my sisters and I were younger, my parents took us to a haunted house put on by the local Elks club. Or, maybe it was the American Legion, whichever. The point is; it was the first haunted house that we had ever been to and it was awesome. Back then, there were no Jason, Freddy Krueger or chainsaw wielding psychopaths, only good old fashioned werewolves, vampires and, if I recall, one very tall Frankenstein’s monster. Good times.

2. While in college, my friends and I attended the town’s street party. The party was a Big Deal, with several city blocks closed off to traffic, a band on each block and hundreds of people milling about in costumes both outrageous and fabulous. One year, my roommates and I went as the seven dwarves, our Snow White was a male friend who braved the teasing of his macho friends to don a dress and a black wig; he was, hands down, the ugliest Snow White in the history of fairy tales.

3. When I was quite young, my parents attended a Halloween costume party with friends. My sisters and I were left behind with a sitter but I will never forget my parent’s costumes; my mom dressed up like a pregnant bride and my dad dressed up like a redneck with a shotgun, in search of the bastard what got his little girl in trouble. Awesome.

4. One of my duties as an employee of the Parks and Recreation Department in my hometown was to stage a haunted house for the youth of our community. My staff from the swimming pool helped with the house and we recruited kids from the High School to help as well. One of my best memories of the holiday is walking through the haunted house during the day when no one else was around. Even in the daylight, it was creepy enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

5. One year, the haunted house was so terrifyingly well done; we managed to make a girl from the Middle School pee her pants. It was alright; she went home, changed and came back for a second trip through. That, my friends, is the sign of a successful haunted house.

6. That same year, my costume consisted of a prom dress I had found at the local thrift store. One of my lifeguards fashioned a wooden stake with a leather belt that wrapped around my waist, allowing the stake to protrude through a hole in the front of the dress. A little fake blood, a tiara and, boom! I was a dead prom queen. My nephew, who was around three at the time, was not a fan of that costume in any way, shape or form.

7. The first year that Hugh and I were dating, he helped with the haunted house. At that time, our location was an abandoned horse stable and it was quite cold. He stuck it out through the building of the house and helped run it all three nights that it was open. I think that is when I decided that he was a keeper.

8. The Teenager’s first Halloween, my mother sewed a fuzzy lamb jumpsuit. It was perfect for Trick-or-Treating because it had a hood and because both her hands and feet were covered. Unfortunately, she came down with a wicked virus the day before Halloween and ended up in the hospital. Not wanting her to miss the excitement of her first Halloween, the nurses took her Trick-or-Treating for popsicles at each nurse’s station in the hospital. The costume may have been a tad bit hot for that particular form of Trick-or-Treating but, she had a blast.

9. The Teenager’s second Halloween went off without a hitch; she dressed as a medieval damsel-in-distress, complete with pointed hat and long, flowing gown. My niece and nephew were with us at the time and my niece dressed as a pink and lavender unicorn so; the damsel had her favorite steed. My nephew was a bat. Not quite sure how that fit with the fairytale theme but, the three of them had a ball.

10. My niece and nephew came to visit years later and my sister and I dressed the whole clan as the characters from The wizard of Oz. My nephew as the Tin Man and the Man-Cub as the Scarecrow are easily two of my favorite costumes to date.

11. One year, when I was around eleven or so, my mom let me wear her old poodle skirt for Halloween. I’m sure she had to pin me into it and, I can’t remember how challenging that must have been but, I still remember the way the skirt would twirl around my ankles as my sisters and I walked through the fallen leaves on Halloween night.

12. When I was a teenager and trick-or-treating was no longer “cool”, my friends and I would wander the neighborhood, playing ditch ‘em which, was like hide and go seek only spread out over a much larger area and played in teams. Back then, the neighbors didn’t mind if you cut through their yards or hid in their bushes. I’m guessing now; that would get you shot.

13. This year. I’m betting this year will be one for the memory books. Fingers crossed.

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  1. Great memories....enjoy Halloween!

  2. Back when I used to live in Madison WI they would close State Street for Halloween and people from all over would come, some even in costume. It was fun a time or two, then I was ready to move on.

  3. "Precious memories, how they linger", as the song goes. Thanks for sharing them. My T13 is up. 13 Facebook Applications to waste your Time with!

  4. Nice to have good childhood memories. Equally as nice, making good memories with your children. Happy T13!

  5. Oooh, reading your Halloween stories makes me sooo excited for Saturday! I LOVE going to haunted houses... they are so much fun. I love being scared (although I hate being chased by those damn crazy people with chainsaws. That is not scary-fun, it is terrifying). My favorite memories of Halloween were buying my costume with my mom (trying it on like every single day before Halloween) and then trick-or-treating with my sister to see who could get more candy. I would always eat all the "good" candy that night, while she was smarter and had a little each day.

    Thanks for checking out my T13 too!

  6. Those are terrific memories! I could just hear your poodle skirt swishing in the leaves!

    My favorite memory actually wasn't on Halloween itself. In high school we had this Sociology class where our assignment in September was to do something out of the ordinary in society and observe reactions and write about it.

    So we decided to go trick or treating in mid-September one night. We told all the people that we had gotten inspired by all of the early Halloween displays in the stores and thought we'd make a fun night out. Not one person that opened their door to us let us leave empty handed. They gave us pop tarts, granola bars, bananas and cookies - they scrounged through their pantries for us. That was one of the nicest lessons about human nature I ever learned.