Monday, November 3, 2008

The Rules



Every Halloween, I haunt the house where my parents live. I never had enough trick or treaters wherever I lived, so it made sense to make a homecoming each year and continue the haunt that I had started in the years when I actually DID live there. This way the neighborhood kids could enjoy the haunt that they grew to expect each year - something to look forward to each Halloween season. I never knew I'd eventually see children that were too scared to come up to get candy grow up and marry and have kids of their own that were too scared to come up for candy. (Though I've come to realize that the number of kids no longer matters to me.)

Anyway, I have two basic rules that I kindly explain to my mother, father, and sister (who visits each year with her sons).
THE RULES:
1. Please keep the front door closed so the light from inside the house doesn't break the mood and atmosphere of the darkened porch.

2. Please wait to go in or out of the house until trick or treaters have passed.

Both seem like easy rules to follow. And even if they seemed irrational or silly, surely you could humor me and abide by them. Right? On that one night a year I live for, right?

So I've created a tradition of becoming Michael Myers in order to hand out candy on Halloween night. I just sit there motionless until a child comes up for candy. Then I slowly drop some candy into their bag. No jumping or startling scares. Not my style.

So this year, a small child dressed as Michael Myers comes up for candy. A golden moment. He and I realize the significance of what's happening as we both do the famed Myers head-tilt at each other. I reach inside the bowl of candy slowly and grab five pieces of candy for this mini Michael Myers. "OH LOOK!!!! IT'S MICHAEL MYERS!!!!!!! OH LOOK AT THAT!!!!! LOOK-AT-IT!!!! LOOK-AT-IT!!!!!!!" shrieks my mother from behind me, the front door wide open, light streaming onto the porch. The kid looking up at her in an unspoken "Let's both kill her" sort of way. The moment was gone. Spoiled. Dried up and lost forever. Magic no more. And that's my point. It happened a few more times over the night. Then things got a little better, rules were followed to some degree, probably by accident.

Then my sister stepped into the candy bowl when trying to squeeze past me, and fell face first onto the walkway, landing on spilled candy that her foot didn't already squish. My only hope was that approaching trick or treaters assumed Myers had killed another victim and that it was all part of the show.

I'm glad she didn't land on any of my pumpkins.

21 comments:

Jon said...

Okay, that's effing hilarious.

bean said...

It is heartbreaking that you spend a WHOLE YEAR working towards one night only have your family totally disregard and not be respectful of all that dedication and labor....but hey, that's family for ya.

Bones said...

Hah, oh my. Yes, I know what you mean. When I used to run my indoor haunted house out of our living room as a teenager (I'm still amazed my parents let me do that, and you NEVER see that sort of thing these days), I was very particular about a lot of those kinds of things too. My parents were pretty good about it most of the time.

It was the TOTers that were the problem, more often than not. They'd cut the boundary-lines (glowing strings roping off the walkway areas), and things like that. But that was uncommon, thankfully.

Still, those magical moments are few and far between, it seems. Lately, I've become amused by the kids dressed up in scary costumes, such as grim reapers (I've traditionally been a reaper), and as frightening as their own masks are, they're still too afraid to walk over to me. Ahh, but it's more fun to spook the parents, when I can. :)

Ugh, rambling.

crudedoodle.com said...

sounds horrid but your retelling of this is hilarious

Splatter said...

Thanks for the story. I love that Mike met mini-Mike..priceless!

As for family. Mine is the same way. They just dont understand. They dont understand in the least why Halloween is a big deal to me and why I work so hard for one night. I try to include them the best I can hoping theyll catch some of the Halloween bug and maybe even want to make their own props, but it never works. Better luck next year!

DeadmansLog said...

Makes me so happy to have the family I have; they think I'm nuts, but they are somberly respectful of my insane love of the season.

Happy Hauntings

Grim said...

Man, I know just what you mean here. Forgive me for rambling because I know it is coming.
My family has come to our house for the last couple of years and done some of the same things. I love it that they come up, BUT I try not to break character when I am in costume and they don't seem to understand this. I usually lurk around the driveway and street in front of our house among the TOT's while my wife hands out candy. My mom and dad usually follow me around taking hundreds of pictures of me and asking me questions that could easily wait until later. One incident this year that really got me... I was standing motionless as a big group of kids was approaching when my mother-in-law comes up and asks "Jonathan, can I open those bags of candy that are under the table???". I said "Yes", but what I wanted to say was "Do you mean the candy we have stacked up right next to the candy trunk that we have waiting, so that we can re-fill the box with when it starts to get empty? Is that the candy you are talking about??? That Halloween candy??? Nooooo! We're not going to use that Halloween candy. Someone is going to have to leave right now and make a candy run, and try to get through this madness that is Halloween night in Russell Springs. DO NOT use that candy, please!". I didn't want any extra stress at Christmas this year though, so I said "Yes". I love my mother-in-law to death... this was just a good example.

Sorry for going off.

jay's shadow said...

reading story, getting into story, picturing every word in my head....then all of the sudden my brain explodes as i read that your mother comes flying out screaming as the blinding light shines from behind her!(and the one stepping all over the candy?! AAAGGGHHH!)
And to GRIM....my mother in law would of been in one of the caskets for the rest of the night after that!

El Capitan Jason said...

Very good story telling, I could see it all happening in my mind. I loved the visual of you two doing the head tilt! LOL, and your sister face planting on the sidewalk, priceless. I was shooting some short clips of video of our display on Halloween night and my wife and co-haunter (I love her to death) would talk to me about random stuff every time I would hit record. I finally asked her if it was her goal to talk through every bit of video I shot. She stopped and I made a joke about it, so everyone was happy in the end, but come on! Again great funny story!

Johnny Love said...

ahaha, too funny. What a great read paired with an amazing photo.

Johnny said...

Next year give them $100 ($200?) for movies and yank the fuses to the house.
I've always wanted to be Myers on Halloween but I'm only 5'8. I totally agree on the quiet-creepy vs. jump-out-and-say-boo.
You make a great Myers.

Abi Normal said...

I've long used a black tarp to cover up the front entrance of my house. There's a long vertical slice in the tarp so the front door can be opened without damaging the tarp, but it ruins the ambiance to suddenly see normally dressed people walking out of the walls.

Next year I'm taking the side gate down and should anyone need to come outside, they can come that way.

Also - Reading this entry feels like a far-off look into the future. I'm in my early 20's and I've just now gotten people looking forward to my small haunt. Will this mean I'm destined to return to my parents house every year like some haunted gaunt? I have the feeling it's a rather common curse.

laura k said...

hahah you are amazing

Halloween Spirit said...

Reading your bittersweet tale of Halloween night makes me grateful that my family members live too far away to drop by.

My husband and I both try to stay in character - the one exception being for tiny TOT's who are on the verge of tears!

I suppose our biggest challenge is neighbours coming over to chat, but they're usually respectful and watch for approaching trick-or-treaters.

This year I was thrilled that my 14-year-old son was eager to participate in the haunt and is already looking forward to helping out next year. Now I just need a way to get my 16 year-old daughter excited about it . . . she's only interested in the candy . . . perhaps bribery would work . . .

Grim said...

After I wrote my comment last night and it was posted, I called my wife over to read what I had written, as I thought it was pretty funny. I felt really bad when she wasn't laughing and said "That was me that came up there and said that...".

I still think it was my mother-in-law.

Rot said...

Dude!
Just say the word and I can delete that story (Hilarious story)

Though I assume the damage is done ; )

Grim said...

She'll be alright, I think she secretly thought it was funny. I think I convinced her that it was her mom... I'm still 100% sure it was. We kind of pick on each other like that all the time anyway, thanks anyway!

Bones said...

Yeah, I make a point never to drop character unless I'm away from the "mundanes" :)

Quiet and creepy, all the way. As my reaper persona, I stand very still, move very slowly, and never speak.

Slag Zombie said...

Your story and grim's are both hilarious! It's horrible when things can't go right for at least one night a year. I too try to stay in character, even when we've had Halloween parties that last for hours, I attempt to stay in character for the entire party. I'm lucky, in a sense, because my parents not only live several states away now, but they have not wanted anything to do with Halloween since I was a teenager. Also, my in-laws feel my wife and I are a bit too obsessed with the holiday, so they keep a safe distance as well. Of course, when things do go wrong, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

emcox1 said...

That story is so funny!! I totally got a visual.

Shellhawk said...

Family. It's what make Christmas... I mean, Halloween, scary.
Sorry, Rot. You can have my family next year...