Sunday, October 21, 2007

Halloween


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, probably because it's so spontaneous! There is no "official" day off and no governmental recognition. In spite of this, it has been celebrated in the US for more than 100 years!

Mostly it's a completely secular celebration, although some for some Pagans & Wiccans it's a major holiday, Samhain. The fundies either ignore it, campaign against it, or celebrate alternatively with a generic "Harvest Festival" (isn't that Oktoberfest? tee hee..) or construct Hell Houses.

In any case, I find it's alot of fun for kids, and now, for adults as well. It's an excuse to be a little bit crazy and weird, spend a few hours indulging in candy, and maybe even having a costume party!

So tell me your favorite Halloween story, and don't leave anything out!

12 comments:

Dean Wormer said...

Happy ween!

Don Snabulus said...

I removed this spam. If you believe I was in error, please let me know.

Moi said...

What a nice picture!
Where did you found it?
(link removed)

Don Snabulus said...

Interestingly, this is the 666th post to this blog. Creeeeeeeepy!

ladybug said...

Ja-I tink eet vas Schpam! I'm still thinking about my fave Halloween story...

Pandabonium said...

Happy Halloween! In Hawaii, I had a plastic prop that consisted of a black glove holding a severed wrist - it was strapped on my wrist with velcro tape and my hand would be bent to become the fingers of the severed wrist - got it? Excellent illusion.

So on my other hand I wore a black glove. I also wore a white lab coat with a stethoscope around my neck, and a made my hair all spike and weird. When I answered the door it would look like I was holding a still moving severed hand. Kids loved it. Some would stand there with eyes wide and mouth open forgetting even to say "trick or treat" while others would laugh nervously and say "ah, that's fake" - but never take their eyes off of it because they weren't really so sure. We'd get a hundred kids on Halloween.

(I was careful to take it off if I saw that really young kids were coming to the door.)

In Japan they don't do "trick or treat" though some small decorations are sold in stores and some people have parties. I make paper jack-o-lanterns, witches, bats and ghosts and put them up in the windows. Kids on their way to school see them and seem to like it.

Vikings said...

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ladybug said...

Panda-That sounds like so much fun! A bit creepy, but not so much it freaks everybody out...just right!

I promise I've got great story, but it'll have to wait until after work...but my best Halloween "trick or treat" was a house near my bgf's area...they had the ENTIRE house made up like a haunted house....and right before we got to the door a "werewolf-vampire" guy leapt up from the ROOF and scared me half to death. I think I was in 6th grade or so...they really did a good job.

ladybug said...

OK-here goes!
My fav Halloween was when I went to see the Rocky Horror picture show with 2 friends (one is my bgf even today)when I was about 16. We dressed up to go, and I thought I looked like a cool 60's chick, but I probably looked more like a crazy hooker from Vegas.

My bgf's dad drove us all down in his PINK Lincoln Continental, and dropped us off in front of the Belmont Theater...there were tons of people milling around. I walked straight up to the front w/my friends right behind me and immediately a bunch of people crowded in behind us....(what I didn't know was there was a line around the block, and we'd just skipped it! I figured it out later..I'm slow)

We rushed into the theater as soon as the doors opened and grabbed a good place about in the middle.

As soon as the show started there was toast flying, water pistols raining, and lighters everywhere. Everybody was screaming at the screen so I really didn't hear the movie at all...plus with all the people dancing on stage, sometimes part of the screen was obscured...

But all of that was ok, I figured out the basic plot and had a wacky, crazy fun time. I particularly remember when "Brad" & "Janet" are caught in the rainstorm, and get out of the car to run to the castle...and run into the lightning-illuminated sign "Enter at your own risk!" and everybody screams "TAKE THE RISK!".

We walked out of the theater at the end of the show and right across the street was the Pink Continental...the I went to have a sleepover at my bgf's house.

I saw it again many years later in the Bay Area, what a let down! I was expecting all the people, the props, etc. There were maybe 15 people in the theater....on the plus side I DID finally understand the words...

My friend's said though, "What did you expect? It's not HALLOWEEN!"

The Moody Minstrel said...

I'm having trouble deciding which Halloween story, if any, is worth telling. Despite all the weirdness in my life, Halloween has tended to be rather tame.

During my first year at Oregon State, on Halloween, we set up my 75-watt guitar amp in someone's dorm window so it was facing our female counterpart dorm. Then we ran a microphone through my delay and chorus pedals. Then we made Halloweenish noises through it: diabolical laughs, eerie moans, Boris Karloff-style dialog, etc.. It sounded great, and things went fine...for a while.

Unfortunately, when other people on the floor got wind of what we were doing, we wound up with others insisting on a turn at the mike. We weren't in my room, and the guy living there insisted on being "cool" about it, so my mike wound up being handed over. Needless to say, the dialog quickly turned trite ("I'm the biggest stud on this campus! *BELCH*) and then degraded into obscene. Eventually rude comments started being directed at girls walking by. It wasn't long before we saw one of the RAs come out the back door and start counting windows. The knock on the door soon followed.

The RA, fortunately the coolest of the lot that year, looked at me and said, "Your equipment?" I nodded. Then he turned to the guy living there and said, "Your room?" He nodded.

The RA then took a deep breath and said, "You had to do it, didn't you? We were gonna let it go, because it was such a cool idea, but you had to go and overdo it! We got complaints, so we can't just let it slide. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to write you up! I'll be talking to you later!"

We weren't feeling too happy after that, but we had a Halloween party anyway.

Actually, the RA was really good about the whole thing. He called me in to the conference, whereupon he said they all figured I'd had the best of intentions but got sabotaged by the rabble (which was true). I was let off with a token warning, and that was that.

Don Snabulus said...

I remember more bits and pieces than I do any full Halloweens. I remember walking in the pouring rain several years. A couple more had very dense fog and seemed all the more creepily festive for it.

I remember eating all my candy in one day, how fun it was DURING, but how bad it was AFTER doing so. I remember creating a hierarchy of candy in my mind ranging from the best (Nestle Crunch, Whoppers) to the worst (flavored Tootsie Rolls, and Candy Corn). Of course, I would have taken the worst over my mundane diet the other 364 days of the year.

I remember realizing that I was really too old for trick or treating and more fun to just "get out of the house."

We made a multimedia haunted house at my church one year that turned out very well. We had colored lights and bowls of cold, clammy foods that felt like eyeballs and worms and so forth. Lots of folks in scary costumes shouting, "Boo!"

I remember getting a cheap bag of candy in college and being kind of proud to be on "the other side" of the tradition; giving away candy to excited kids in great costumes.

Now my kid is growing up and she's pretty close to outgrowing the trick-or-treat thing. Sigh. It happens fast.

Fun times overall.

Swinebread said...

When I was a junior in high school few of my friends and I went up randomly to somebody’s apartment and knocked on the door. Mind you, we weren’t wearing costumes; anyway when the “dad” answered the door I said, in a raised voice, “Happy Halloween! We’re staring a new tradition. We’re gonna give you candy!” and with the guy’s jaw dropping to the ground we preceded to hand him all the candy we had picked up from a party earlier that day. We walked away thinking we were very funny.

Dean Wormer said...

We used to get in trouble on Halloween.

When we got to old to trick or treat we'd melt down the nozzle to shaving cream cans so they would shoot eight feet or so and collect fireworks.

Then we'd go up to the West Hills where my friends lived and just raise hell. We'd have bottle rocket fights, shaving cream fights and were constantly running from cops or pissed off neighbors.