A quiet Halloween night. No ghosts, goblins or zombies at our door!

I could forego the entire Halloween experience if I didn’t live with a really old  big kid. Jay has always been the one to man the door, pass out the candy and keep the festivities alive. Our children were lucky in that respect.

They had a fun dad who went in for all this stuff, balancing out their mother who tried to show enthusiasm!

But tonight, almost no one has been to our door! And we did our best to be inviting, putting all those wonderful jack-o-lanterns out to welcome them!

Our neighborhood is a little secluded, but in year’s past there were still plenty of children knocking on the door. Perhaps one reason the trick-or-treating patterns have changed in our neighborhood is due to many local schools and churches hosting large family-oriented Halloween or harvest gatherings.

I was glad to participate in some Halloween fun at Sophia’s school this week, and I was reminded of all the years I participated in planning events of this kind, both as a teacher and director and as a parent volunteer. I know firsthand how much work goes into orchestrating all the children and their families, coordinating booths for food and games, and providing a wholesome family event.

I loved the costumes!

Sophia was Lady Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty

And then she got too hot to keep the costume going!

Tired Sophia

My favorite teacher costume was the John Cusack character from the movie “Say Anything.” The children didn’t “get it.” but the mothers did!

How about Medusa, Jackie Robinson, an Alien, and the little guy who pushed a mobile Titanic!  He had a wonderful ship captain’s costume, too.  Children came as Harry Potter, Princess Leia, and a giant cone of cotton candy.

And then there’s Karina, our Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid

It made little difference to her that “fins” make it difficult to walk!

Perhaps these school events make it easier for parents to limit time going door to door. I’ve enjoyed the quiet evening, but poor Jay keeps repeating, “I’m so disappointed!” Poor guy. He has such fun Halloween memories from when he was a kid!

I have a defining memory from Halloween, too, and now that I think about it, mine didn’t happen going door to door, but at a church event. I’ve told this story before, but for the occasion, I’ll repeat it.

At about fifteen years old, too old for door to door anyway, I went with church friends to a local haunted house.  It was billed as a safe and wholesome Halloween activity, not intended to be over-the-top.

Once inside the dark, confined tunnel-like space I was immediately bombarded with shrieks and screams, ghouls in bloody garb– faces grotesquely disfigured by elaborate Hollywood makeup–brandishing large hunks of meat as clubs and weapons. Disgusting!

Initially the actor-players were confined to their stage areas while we were ushered through the rooms themed with mock-guillotine scenes, boiling cauldrons with body parts strewn about, and an electric chair repeatedly executing the un-dead. But as we moved deeper into the interior the actors began to leave their posts,  with ghouls and monsters popping out of dark corners waving bloody meat in our faces.

I don’t remember more because I was in a complete panic.  Upon exiting I realized I’d tightly wrapped myself around some poor man, a total stranger who was probably attending with someone else. I was so embarrassed! I still can’t handle anything that pops out at me!

Well, it’s 8:30 and we’ve had two–TWO–trick-or-treaters.

Oh dear! Does that mean we’re stuck with all this candy?

Maybe chocolate will help take the sting out of Jay’s disappointment.

39 thoughts on “A quiet Halloween night. No ghosts, goblins or zombies at our door!

  1. Anonymous

    That year so very long ago altered my life too, Deb. I didn’t even make it through the entire house but had to take the panic exit! To this day, I can’t stand anything crawly or jumping!

    Next year, John should accompany us down to Brandon’s house where he goes all out for the kids and community including haunted maze and bbqing over 200 hot dogs to all the witches and goblins!

    1. My goodness, that’s a big Halloween party, Wanda! I can’t imagine how much work goes into that, but I’m sure Jay would love that! And I don’t recall us talking about this haunted house, but of course you were there. I was so emotionally upset that night I don’t even remember how we all got home! LOL! And imagine how “light weight” that house was in comparison to what they do today. I’m sure I’d need a resuscitator at Knott’s Scary Farm or one of those places. I’m better off at home. 🙂 Thanks, friend! ox

    1. Joy, You made me laugh. So we were all scarred by that church sponsored event. It makes me wonder if any of our sponsors had the slightest idea how upsetting it was. If I recall correctly, it was a “haunted house” associated with some kind of Christian youth organization, which in itself is pretty unusual! Thank you for commenting, as I’ve had quite a smile remembering us at 15! Wow!

  2. Well, since we don’t get trick or treaters here I would have been really spooked to see a ghost! (Or a witch, goblin, zombie etc….) Enjoy your candy! 😉

    1. You make a good point, Cathy! If you had these costumes appear at your door that would be disturbing! LOL! I plan to bring the candy to work…our college students will be glad to have the chocolate. Stress is high at this point in the semester, and I’ll be better off, too! 🙂

  3. I had that problem last year but we had a few little visitors last night. The shops were full of it and it seems to have really taken off over here. Really excited because my daughter’s arriving today (I’ve got the bat tinsel to decorate her bedroom 🙂 ) the I’m going to Barcelona on Sunday. Hard to sit still!

    1. Oh you have wonderful plans, Jo! I’m so glad you’re going to have the time with your daughter and how fun that you’ve decorated her bedroom! LOL! From what you’ve told us about her she will think that’s really fun. Enjoy! Enjoy!

    1. There were some really cute and clever costumes, Claire. I couldn’t photograph some of them because the makeup relied upon me showing their faces. The children were having such a good time, and that’s the main thing. I will be sharing the candy! I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but if I get started on even a small amount it will probably trigger a sugar avalanche! Perhaps the fact that November 1 ushers in what feels like two full months of non-stop eating and holiday events (we have Thanksgiving this month, too), I can use a little self-control. I’m gonna give it my best effort. LOL!

  4. You can always send the candy my way! Oh dear! What a shame. My sister is 39 weeks pregnant and she’s had to take her three-year old to so many events and he seems to have had so many costumes. I’m not sure exactly where they live in LA but they were run off their feet and ran out of candy. She should have sent them to your place! xx

    1. Oh gosh, Charlie! I wish we could have been there to help your poor exhausted sister! Our street just seemed to be off the grid this year. I wish I could share that candy with you. You’d probably find a very creative use for it all! 🙂

  5. Love the pictures! And the hugging a poor strange fella during the haunted house story!!! Classic! Our Trick or Treat was cancelled due to severe storm predictions. Which did occur, waking me up for an hour with on going tornado sirens. So hopefully the ghouly goblins will come out on Saturday. 😉

    1. Oh oh! Tornado warnings would be spooky enough! I think having Halloween activities on a Saturday is a good idea anyway. I suppose we’ll never see it disassociated from October 31st, but I’m sure the fact it’s a school night discourages many parents! I’ve had such fun recalling my teenage experience with the haunted house, and have heard from two of my oldest friends who also remember being scared to death at that event. The idea that it was church sponsored makes me laugh. That was 45- plus years ago and we’re still shaking! Someone didn’t do their homework! LOL!

  6. Cheers to the girls and their enthusiasm. We had lousy weather, so I probably didn’t hear 10 knocks on the door. … so darn, we’re also stuck with candy. Oh what to do, what to do.

    1. I saw the weather report and was quite sure you wouldn’t have a robust number of trick-or-treaters. I feel so disappointed for the children, but maybe they’ll still get their candy somehow. In the end, I think the candy is the best part for the child–and the adults, which is why I MUST get this stash out of the house. With all the extra leaf raking maybe you can afford to have a little extra treat, Frank!

      1. There’s an idea … a bag full of chocolates as I’m riding on the mower! … BTW … As I look at my yard at the moment, I can’t believe I cleaned up the leaves earlier in the week … which means I’m entering the stretch of twice a week.

  7. Jay would have been disappointed here too. No callers at the door, Two booms from fireworks (illegal here) and half a dozen fire crackers. The only other sound came from the phone, my eldest brother calling to check on me!

  8. Your evening was as quiet as mine was then–except for your fireworks! We have seen the declining trend in trick-or-treaters for many years, but this was by far the lowest. And we had a very warm, dry evening when it would have been very easy travel! I think so many families are just too busy to care about one more thing. We will definitely have to rethink what we do next year. I don’t need to have this much candy to redistribute today! 🙂

  9. Fantastic post! Loved to hear more about the terrified teen (you) at the Haunted House. And the costumes were darling. When we first moved to MD and got NO trick or treaters, I was like Jay . . . disappointed. All the leftover chocolate helped me get through it. Hope it will help Jay too.

  10. Our neighbors on either side don’t participate in Hallowe’en, nor the ones across the street, so it is slim pickin’s for children. I am the designated candy giver. I kept lights on until 8:30 and saw about fifteen kids, including a spectacular werewolf. When we were kids, we ran all over town. Teenagers wielding bloody joints of meat sounds plenty scary.

  11. I certainly hope you had more little goblins come by. We had about 40.. interesting that parents drive their kids and let them walk down our street since we aren’t close to any other streets, it would be a long walk. I suspect they do so because the house on the corner hands out regular sized chocolate bars.. once the word got out the kids seem to love our street lol! Maybe announce that next year:D xx

  12. Poor Jay. I think it’s because parents have become fearful: feeding their children candy from a bunch of strangers, walking along darkened streets, disguises hiding any kind of nefarious lowlife…

    I always let my kids trick-or-treat the traditional way, but my friends braved the crowds in Old Town Monrovia during their afternoon trick-or-treating, then loaded them in the car and drove them around to the houses of people they knew. We lived in a lovely neighborhood full of families from school, so I never understood the fear.

    I love Halloween, but you know what scarred me from my childhood? The smell of grease paint and rubber! I associate those smells with gore, so they make me nauseous now. Forget haunted houses, I don’t even.

  13. We had absolutely no one knocking on our door. I was quite surprised. Although I am not as big on Halloween as your big kid obviously is, I still think it’s fun to have small kids coming by. All the more fun to look at your great photos from the school celebration. Have a great weekend, Debra!

  14. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry I had to laugh. It was funny. 😆 I participated as one of the actor-players. We had a haunted house and I was designated as the clown. Everytime the goers come to the door, I would pop a balloon. That always get them, never failed. Then I would chase them up to the next room. Was so much fun. 😀 We did it for like 20 days. I was looking through my pictures but found none that I could show. 😦

  15. No trick or treaters up on our Welsh hillside, Debra, and Halloween never featured in my childhood either. But I can understand Jay’s disappointment given the way Halloween has been celebrated in the States for so long. Make sure he doesn’t overindulge in all that leftover chocolate. 🙂

    The children look so sweet in theiir costumes, though it still comes as a shock to this northerner to see them in short sleeves and summer sunshine at the end of October. As for your teenage house of horrors experience, it would have given me nightmares!

    1. I could easily let go of Halloween, Perpetua. I don’t think I even liked it that much as a chid, but I am married to a big kid! LOL! He’d be so sad. Oh well…it may be on its way out without me having to be the bad guy! 🙂

  16. That Hallowe’em procession looks wonderful, all the more so because it took place in the dazzling light of your part of the world. What great costumes! Sorry Jay had such a quiet night….

  17. I am SO impressed by the John Cusak costume– People are hilarious. And, your poor husband haha. This was my first year in a neighborhood where I was likely to get trick-or-treaters but I still copped out by haphazardly decorating my porch and leaving a bowl of candy outside with a with who had a speech bubble warning them to only eat one or else she’d gobble them up. Maybe next year I’ll up the ante and actually open the door 😉

  18. I didn’t even bother to buy candy this year. Kids just don’t trick or treat like they once did. The holiday is just not the same as it once was. Even so, for the youngins today that know little or nothing of “our” Halloween, the holiday is every bit as much fun as in our day. It’s still all about costumes and candy, everything else is window dressing. I’ve never been to a haunted house, Debra, and it’s not on my bucket list so I think it’s say to say I won’t be going to one. 🙂

    1. I think it’s true that the little ones today are happy with any trick-or-treaing they can enjoy. They don’t have any comparison to live up to! I don’t know what we’ll do next year. We’ll have to see, but I somehow feel like I need to stay home to give candy to the one or two who would otherwise not have many doors to open to them. I guess I have time to think about it. LOL! And yes, do avoid haunted houses. I don’t know how anyone thinks they are fun, quite frankly! 🙂

  19. Well, Debra, you had two more trick-or-treaters than we did. Our house is so far back that even the kids next door don’t treat here, when they can hit three houses before ours. I do miss the little goblins who used to come in hordes at our old house, though. Here, it rained cats and dogs all night, the grands kept me occupied, though Tom went out at the last minute to get candy, just in case. tee he Couldn’t fool me with that one.
    You were brave to go into that haunted house, dear friend.

    1. What a hoot that Tom would go out and get the candy, Penny! Halloween is a good excuse. I bought entirely too much myself, fully knowing we wouldn’t have a booming crowd! I’m sure you had a lovely time with those two little darlings. As for the haunted house, I wish I could recall if I had any concerns going in. Perhaps at that age I thought it was fun to be “frightened” in this way, and then when it was too much for me, I certainly changed my tune! I really don’t remember the “before”…but I’ve never forgotten the moment that all changed. LOL! ox

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