I just checked my Facebook to see several posts about how only 3 kids or 10 kids or 15 kids showed up for trick-or-treating. “I’m going to be eating this leftover candy for weeks” is the lament.
We never have left over candy at my house because we always run out by 8:30pm. Even with a two piece limit per person, we always run out. Even when I spend $30 to $40 on candy, we always run out.
My neighborhood does Halloween up right, and the trick-or treaters come.
My neighborhood is home to several houses that pull out all the stops on Halloween. The Shoemakers house is the undeniable champion of Halloween decorating. People drive from other neighborhoods to visit this house. Half a dozen, life-sized animatronic figures are spread across the front yard.
Hands claw up through several graveyards. Ghosts crawl up the brick walls of the house. Everything talks and moves and screams. There is even a mummy dog. We never miss the Shoemakers.
But the Shoemakers aren’t alone. While not everyone has the storage space to run a small Halloween theme park in their yard, we have several houses that try to compete in their own way.
One house does a complete storybook scene every year. Their first year was the Three Little Pigs. They built a house of straw and a house of sticks next to their actual house of brick. The following year, they transformed their yard into The Wizard of Oz with a yellow brick road and Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion all present. This year it was Alice in Wonderland. The Mat Hatter’s Tea Party was in full swing on the front lawn.
Then we have the spooky houses. There are several in varying degrees of spookiness, but one house, the longest running, is known as The Spooky House to the neighborhood kids. Working up the courage to go up the front walk of The Spooky House is like a rite of passage. It took both of my kids years to manage it. This year The Spooky House was even spookier than usual. They added a creepy lullaby soundtrack and a skeletal mother rocking a skeletal baby in a rocking chair.
It gave me the heeby-jeebies, but Tink marched straight on up for her candy.
Last year, Ace decided he was more interested in making our house one of the destination houses than he was in trick-or-treating. He and a friend dressed up as werewolves and prowled our front yard, scaring trick or treaters. This year, he decided to try something different. He dressed up as a bush.
He wore camo and then taped branches he snipped from our azalea bushes all over his helmet and clothes until he looked like a shrub. Then, once it got dark, he crouched down in front of our azaleas by the candy bowl and waited.
When a trick or treater reached for candy, he just stood up. According to IT Guy, Ace scared many trick or treaters – causing one girl to almost punch him and several other people to run screaming from our yard. It was such a success that he’s already planning what he’ll do to top it next year.
On Halloween, my neighborhood is the place to be.
Come on over next year and bring your extra candy. I am sure I will need it.