Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things That Go Bump in the Night

I hate Halloween. 

I said it. 
I mean it. 
I've always felt that way. 

Someone asked me last week, "How in the world can you hate the only time of the year that you can get all dressed up and completely act like someone you're not??" 

"Are you serious?" I replied. "I did that for a full 8 months once. It was called Freshman Year of College."

Trick-or-treating around our house was usually a hodge-podge situation. Costumes thrown together last minute, more years than not all three of us ended up going as hobos. We just threw on a bunch of Dad's work clothes and rubbed dirt on our face. Neighbors probably thought we'd just walked off the farm. I can promise you they never thought anything of it; they gave us candy anyway. 

Then there were those years when the costumes were so thrown together 
that Mom completely forgot about the third child. Again.... 

My favorite house to go to was Porter and Esther Davis'. They didn't skimp on candy; they gave full-size Mr. Goodbars. Even at the old age of (what seemed like to a 5-year-old) 183, Porter knew: There is nothing fun about fun-size candy. 

The morning after Halloween, half of the chocolate out of our plastic pumpkins had always mysteriously vanished. Mom called it "rationing"; I call it her "secret stash". 

While I don't like dressing up, seeing coffins in yards or paying the ridiculous price of fun-size I also don't like the creepiness that goes along with the whole month. 

I'm flat out scared of the dark and this "holiday" only fuels that fear. I was in high school when Mom got the clever idea to begin telling me there were two men living in the trees outside my bedroom window.

If the two men do in fact still live in that old tree, 
at least they have a pretty view in the fall...

I knew (OK, was pretty sure...) it wasn't true, but that myth sure taught me how to sprint from the garage to the house every single time I get home after dark. 

I remember very well a year ago, during this erie month, that I prayed to God daily to "open doors" for me in my own life. Those prayers were quickly re-phrased when I got exactly what I asked for...

I arrived home one evening after work to find my back door completely wide open - my house alarm not even going off. 

"Ok, God. When I asked for you to open doors, I didn't mean my back door when it's 48 degrees outside. I'm trying to save on my electric bill, you know!" Of course, I didn't clarify my request with Him until after I searched my entire house with a mace gun in one hand and meat tenderizer in the other. 

Oddly enough, it was just two days later that I came home to find my always-locked basement door wide open. For what ever reason, it freaked me out even more than the exterior door. I had flashbacks to every Halloween movie I'd ever seen. I was just convinced I had walked in on someone robbing my house and they had gone downstairs to hide from me. 

"Only one thing to do here," I (irrationally) thought to myself. I did what any sensible person would have done: I immediately shut the door. And locked it. And put a chair in front of it. And I didn't open that door for ten solid days. 

That's right, I figured the best way to teach that filthy robber a lesson was to lock him in my basement for as long as I could. My thought process: He has only two choices -  either knock on the door and ask to come out, or starve down there.

Every day after work I did a walk-around the exterior of my house making sure none of my basement windows had been busted out as an escape route; I tried to act like I was looking for something in my yard, in case any neighbors were watching. The only problem I had with holding this mystery person hostage in my basement for that amount of time was the fact that my washer and dryer are in the basement. The first week this wasn't much of an issue; come week two I was wearing clothes I hadn't seen in years. 

Fear: a fantastic way to clean out a closet. 

I know this is going to shock you, but there was never any one in my basement. But, I did use substantially less laundry detergent that October than ever before.

I don't know if it's actually Halloween or my strong imagination that makes everything just a little "off" in my world during the month of October. All I know is I'm thankful when I wake up every November 1. Not necessarily because I didn't know if I'd make it through the night, but because I that means I can put my skittish imagination aside and focus on more important things in this life. 

Like watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every single day until Christmas. 


  1. I thought I was alone. However, this blog proves that I am not crazy, nor the only one who 1) hates Halloween; 2) is scared of the dark; 3) wore that plastic smurf costume; and 4) is okay to watch Christmas Vacation for days on end!!

  2. Awe, your reference to Porter and can take the girl out of Greens Fork, well, you know the saying :)