Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday Five

I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday. I love the spooky decorations, the costumes, and of course, the candy.  Five Halloween memories:

1. My ma was a seamstress. When I was six, she made me an Indian princess costume. She sewed a fringed dress out of suede. The suede was pink. I wanted to wear The Brother's Robin Hood costume which he had outgrown. I didn't win the argument.

2. One year, The Brother decided he was going to go trick or treating across the entire town. He had a pillowcase, and he wasn't going home until the pillowcase was full. It was pouring buckets that year, as it did most Halloweens I remember. Ma must have made Dad drive us around trick or treating. We were on Bacon Street, about 1/4 mile from the house. The Brother with his pillowcase and me with a brown paper shopping bag. Crossing the street the bottom of my soggy shopping bag let go. All my treats ended in a wet mound on the street. I remember wailing like a bansidhe (banshee), Dad speaking in tongues as I was hauled into the car sans candy. That was the end of Dad taking us trick or treating.

3. We had a costume parade in the lower grades (1-4) of my parochial school. Only rule, everyone had to dress up as a saint since the holiday was All Hallow's Eve followed by All Saints Day (a holy day of obligation and a day off for us kids after attending Mass) Anywho, there were only two costumes. All the little girls dressed up as The Virgin Mary and all the boys dressed up as St. Joseph. Except the twin boys in my class. They came as Sts. Peter and Paul because their names were Peter and Paul.

4.  After the Halloween in the Rain fiasco, I went trick or treating ( in the rain) with Himself and his siblings. His mother walked us around the neighborhood. I can still see her in her tan trenchcoat, her giant mushroom of an umbrella, a kerchief on her head, and her flashlight. Most of the time we had winter jackets on because it was so cold.

5.  The scariest Halloween was when I was five years old. The Brother was eleven. I was dressed as a gypsy. Ma bought the costume for a buck or two at the Five and Ten Cent store. The Brother was wearing the Robin Hood costume I coveted. My costume was made of cheap nylon. A green bodice with a gold skirt that fell to my ankles. I wore my winter jacket over this. There was also a plastic mask of a gypsy face with red lips, black hair, and painted hoop earrings. The Brother took my hand and we trick or treated to the six neighbor's houses on our street. The most popular house on the street was the Hunter's because they always invited all the children into their home. Yes, this was in the real olden days when Halloween was first celebrated. At some houses you would be invited in for doughnuts and cider or candy apples, and a small Halloween party. Even though the Hunter's children were all grown, they still invited kids in for doughnuts and cider. Mr. Hunter was kind of a big kid himself. He loved to dress up. We climbed up the Hunter's front steps. The Brother rang the doorbell.  We could hear the Halloween party noises inside. I was very excited as this was probably the first time I was allowed out to go trick or treating. The door opened very slowly. A huge green ghastly hand was pulling the door open.  A hideous ghouish face peered around the door. The Brother let go of my hand and crossed the threshhold. The ghoul was making hideous moaning sounds at me, beckoned me to come in and then reached to take my hand. The whole time this was going on, my mouth was frozen in a wordless O. As the ghoul's hand came closer to mine, I recovered my wits along with a heaping lung full of air. I flipped off my mask and let out a blood curdling scream that to this day is still echoing in the frozen voids of space. I leaped off the front steps. My trick or treat bag went flying. The skirt of my costume tore with a loud rrrriiiiiiiiiiiiippp as my feet tangled in the hem.  Finding my footing, I went screaching up the street to my house waving my arms over my head to give me speed. The ghoul was close on my heels calling to me.

"Wait! It's me! Mr. Hunter!..."

I wasn't falling for that old trick.

Do you have any Halloween memories?

Happy Halloween. Blessed Samhain.


  1. Halloween is THE holiday! Cider/scary movies/ghost stories-- I feel like it's the one day (weekend) of the year when the rest of the world comes into my everday thinking!

    Every Halloween had happy memories for me, and it was never about the candy-- in fact that was my least favorite part. I loved seeing all the costumes-- one year my older sister's friend dressed himself up in this hideous Frankenstein costume complete with hand poured WAX mask! He came into my room and scared tbe willies out of me-- I was hysterical (no I wasn't 15 I was about 5).

    Great post!

  2. I remember 2 things about Halloween from growing up. It seemed like it was always COLD and we wore our winter coats over our costumes. And one of my brothers would SAVE his candy and stretch it out and then eat it in front of us, and I'm talking about months here, not days.

  3. I remember my uncle used to come and take us trick or treating. We'd walk FOREVER and hit dozens of houses. On one occasion we even came home and dumped out all our candy on the living room floor and then he drove us up to The Hill where all the rich people lived and we rang some doorbells there. They always gave out the best candy up on The Hill. (And yes, I lived in central Kansas. There was only one hill.)

    Oh, and from Linda's comment...I think I might've married the candy saver...