Back in the late 1980’s, I lived with a man whose birthday was on Halloween. Since my birthday was the day after, I expected some exciting Halloweens ahead – and I was right.
Before him, I always loved Halloween anyway, but I couldn’t really get my friends to participate in the festivities. I couldn’t have a decent Halloween party at home, because my mother hated the holiday. And, of course, the day after Halloween nobody remembers that it’s your birthday.
Well, my Halloween guy and I started having parties on the special night. I invited lots of work friends, and as the years went by, my house was THE place to be on Halloween night. When people were invited to my party, they came. Because it was the kind of party that was talked about for the rest of the year!
I loved setting up for it. I would pick a theme and decorate my house. I didn’t even care if I had to put staples in the walls. I could always fix that. The atmosphere was the important thing, and I found myself planning for the event for months.
I made all of the hors d’oerves, had all of the ingredients for any alcoholic beverage of choice, and Mr. Halloween was the bartender. When my friends asked me what they should bring, I always told them to just bring themselves in costume, and I didn’t ask for anything more.
Of course, after a few of these parties, people found out that it was my boyfriend’s birthday, and mine the next day. So, many of them came with gifts that I could use for the following Halloween. Very cool!
One particular Halloween comes to mind, where the scary madness never stopped. One of my friends dressed as the Grim Reaper. He was kind of into Hollywood, and so his acting skills were pretty good. He stood on the front lawn, near the walkway, as still as a statue. The trick-or-treaters came by, gazing at all the tombstones in the makeshift cemetery that was my front yard. They were horrified at the gargoyle I had made out of papier mache that stood over the entryway, as they worked through the spider webs approaching the front door. And then the Grim Reaper moved! I think a couple of the kids peed their pants. One of the mothers actually cried a little. It was hysterical.
Of course, answering the door, just a little tipsy in my vampire costume, with make believe blood running down my neck, was the icing on the cake for these kids. That, along with everyone else peering out the door in their horrifying masks, zombie makeup, and weird outfits.
That year, I suppose word had gotten around about us crazy people that lived in the house on the corner. A school busload pulled up to the house! And it was waaaaay past the time that they just got out of school. It was like 9:00 at night! They came from all around that year just to visit my house! It was awesome! A sea of kids, all waving their bags, waiting for candy, taking in the scenery, and all so excited!
I did run out of candy eventually, so the next year I had more than enough.
I don’t live there anymore, and I sometimes wonder if the kids in the neighborhood remember the Halloween madness at my house. When I moved, I left the gargoyle on top of the rafters in the garage. It probably scared the pants off whoever found it first. But I’ll bet whoever lives there today still uses it every Halloween.