Here’s one from back in the day, with little sister and baby brother. If you look closely you can see sponge rollers in my hair, which means Halloween fell on a Saturday that year. Mama always rolled our hair into sausage curls for church.
When I was a kid, Halloween meant roaming the neighborhood collecting candy in a sack. And by roaming the neighborhood I mean going only to those houses where my mother actually knew the people (Mama’s rules, of which there were plenty.) It also meant donning a costume, of course. For my brother, sister, and me those costumes were always store-bought. The kind with a printed, satiny hospital-gown over the body, and a thick plastic mask we could barely breathe through with eye holes we could barely see out of. Safety first. I might add those were exactly the kind of costumes we wanted—nothing homemade for us.
By the time I was a teenager, store-bought costumes and masks were passé. I would only wear ensembles I put together myself, like a clown or gypsy. And the real thrill of Halloween became haunted houses and scary movies. Going through the local Jaycees haunted house was fun. But actually working in a haunted house as other people ran through screaming was waaay better. The teens and young adults at our church put on a haunted house as a fundraiser for our annual youth trip. We depended mostly on make-up, a fog machine, strobe lights and jumping out at people for the fright factor. But we did have an ace up our sleeves. One of the guys at our church worked at a funeral home. Scoring a real casket and an old hearse made him incredibly popular.
As an adult, I’ve only worn a costume for Halloween when we conspired to wear them to the office, and to the occasional costume party. One year my sister hosted a Rocky Horror Picture Show costume party. We had a couple of Dr. Frank-N-Furters, a Magenta, a random assortment of Transylvanians, and one woman who showed up as Peter Pan. (There’s always someone who didn’t get the memo.) I went as Columbia and hubs was dressed as the minister from the opening scene outside the church. No, I can’t tap dance, but I did stomp about and wave my glitter hat during Columbia’s dance scene. I know you’re sorry you missed that.
No costume parties this year that I know of. If I had to dress up, I might go as Nancy Drew. I have a magnifying glass and a flashlight so I should be good, right? Then again, I don’t think I could pull off the teen sleuth look. I could always go as a mystery author on deadline. I definitely have some pajamas and a large coffee mug!
Halloween night, we’ll likely be watching House on Haunted Hill or The Corpse Vanishes — or maybe Rocky Horror Picture Show. Do you have a favorite Halloween movie? How about a favorite costume or real life ghost story? Share in comments.
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