Halloween Post-Mortem

Halloween is over now. Time to clean up the fake spiderwebs, put away the costumes and wigs, and prepare for the long slow slide to the end of the year.

The kids and I only managed to watch one movie in preparation, “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.” I don’t think it really counts, but we haven’t had many nights at home, and there haven’t been enough good movies on Turner Classics to put on the Tivo. “Bride of the Monster” is sitting on the machine now, but I don’t think I’ll subject anybody to that.

The Halloween entertainment I’m going to miss most, surprisingly, is a song anthology that I snatched off the internet last year. “Spook Party” mixed a lot of old rockabilly and novelty songs with radio ads for “It Conquered the World” and “The 4-D Man”. Every afternoon after school, the kids put it on the CD player and drove their mom crazy. But so many of them have stuck in my head that I’ll be hearing Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “Feast of the Mau-Maus” when we cut into the Thanksgiving turkey. You should all get the zip files for “Spook Party” and “Ghoul-Arama” for next year to fill your heart with creepy goodness. Go here for the files. And poke around the rest of the pages on the “Scar Stuff” blog, as you’ll find lots of strange gems.

Here’s my jack o’lantern for the year. I was pretty proud of the design, but I think next year I’ll have to let the head rot out a little more so the strings sewing the mouth shut really stand out. The problem in this neighborhood is that, no matter how much tasty garbage is overflowing in the dumpsters, the rabid squirrels feel obliged to rip apart pumpkins like wolverines going after mice. Put your pumpkin out three days before Halloween, and it will look like the Tasmanian Devil has gotten hold of it by the time the trick-or-treaters come out.

And to all the folks who decorate their houses with store-bought skeletons and blow-up ghosts, I gotta tell ya, a little ingenuity can go a long way. (Some chumbalone on my street bought little white baggies, preprinted with ghost faces, and stuffed them with a napkin or two and hung them in his tree. Store-bought, pre-printed ghost baggies? Now that’s lame.) This year I wrapped three bushes in my front yard with black nylon mesh and stuck some blinking glowing eyes inside. I wanted to make them look like large menacing blobs, kind of like that old Looney Tunes red-headed monster. The effect was okay, not great. But as a last minute inspiration, I grabbed our dog’s travel cage and some rubber monster claws from the costume bin, and made the decoration below.

People stopped and laughed at it, little kids looked at it very askance as they walked by (I can watch their expressions all day from my office on the **ahem** mezzanine level of the house). One man even took a picture of it, saying he was looking for ideas for next year. Just goes to show, a little creativity can go a long way. And it keeps the kids busy to boot.

If you want to see what our costumes were this year, visit my MySpace page.

Now, on with November. Sigh.

2 Replies to “Halloween Post-Mortem”

  1. Nice job on the ‘ween! I love it when people get really creative with their decorations. I think I like watching kids at Halloween even better than I liked BEING a kid at Halloween.

  2. This year I saw a lot of high-concept costumes, the kind that I used to come up with as an older kid. Liam, of course, went as his own evil twin, and two girls from down the street came as the “60’s-70’s-80’s”, with disco beads and oversized sweaters gathered at their sides. You don’t often see kids dressed to mimic classic rock radio formats.

    Also, now that we’re adults, we get to hang out on the street and share beers.

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