Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death

Giving out candy on Halloween night for as long as I've been doing it has made me something of an observer. I get to study how adults and children act when approaching my haunt. If they're the type to pause and appreciate everything, or the sort that rushes up and away without hesitation and without looking back. There are the people that kneel down and study props, tapping lightly at the mache. And the ones that get brushed with threads hanging down from the tree branches like thin spider webs and scream and run off before getting candy. There are parents that get frustrated with their children who clearly are too terrified to walk into the shadows for candy. And parents who love to sit back and watch their children slowly approaching the porch, with huge proud smiles.

I've also seen children grow up - going from trick-or-treater to parent. That's the most peculiar feeling. I'll see a young man carrying his own child, and I can remember when he was too scared to come up for treats. Crazy.

Then there's something else - Death. There's a cloaked figure that walks slowly around the neighborhood. A black hooded cloak, the deluxe variety, and a rubber skull mask. I'm assuming it's an adult male based on the height and build. I'm not exaggerating or embellishing in any way - I see him every single year and have seen him for as far back as I can remember. I don't know if it's the same guy or maybe a few guys over the years. But there's always just the one lonely figure, keeping to himself and not stopping at houses for candy. He's in character too, a strange slow walk, like a one-man funeral procession.

It's a neat concept, an adult who never gave up on Halloween. Keeps a cloak and a mask in a drawer or closet all year long. On Halloween night, he leaves work early, has dinner, puts a bowl of candy out on the porch with a "Help Yourself" sign, and then dons a rich dark cloak and an old tattered latex mask, the kind that smells like new sneakers. I bet he's smiling under there the whole time.

Or maybe it's really Death.


Image source.

15 comments:

Jon said...

FANTASTIC post, man! You really captured something here. What a story. I wish that happened in my neighborhood.

Then again, next year that might be me...

Rot said...

Thanks, man.

I'm going to try to capture Death this year - in a photograph.

zapple said...

A great story! I actually got chills reading it, the idea would make a good screenplay. Please do your best to get a photo of him this year!

Ghostsoldier said...

Damn if that story didn't creep me out....that's true art, Rot.

Jason-v said...

Very good story Rot!! Does he just walk the streets?? Try and capture him on film this year..

jay's shadow said...

great story. i did that one year with the full death outfit... even had a real scythe a friend found for me at a flea market. i loved seeing the reactions of all the adults and children

screaminscott said...

Sounds like a great basis for a horror movie!

I always wanted to design a grim reaper costume with a miniature fogger and fog cooler, and then wear a pair of roller skates under the cloak. Then i could smoothly glide over the ground on a carpet of fog!

crudedoodle.com said...

this story is great. i hope death isn't keeping an eye you!

Jon said...

I wouldn't worry. He's probably picking up pointers from your display.

NoahFentz said...

BEST BLOG EVER!! Every time you post a story its like Time warping to Halloween day!!

We had begun our renovation of 2005 so we had no haunt that year. Like you, I had to sit out front giving out candy and I too was able to observe the Trick or Treaters. There were two small girls one around 11 the other around six. They walked up to get there treat and the 11 yr old asked if our haunted basement was open. I explained about the construction. The 11 yr old girl says, "Thats too bad I wanted to show my little sister."

The Death story reminds me of the Mummy Mouse story you had posted. Its almost like you would be dissapointed if Death didnt show up to your haunt.

The Captain said...

I'm telling you man, you need to write a book. It could be the Haunt Theory book or even better just a good ol' Halloween tale. Great post

JHMDF said...

Thats was a cool read man.

Sara said...

I cannot wait to see the photograph! Your writing style is fun. I totally laughed at the last sentence as did my husband who was reading over my shoulder.

You never know....

Rot said...

Cool. : )

Thanks.

NecroBones said...

I'd love to see a photo. This is what I do when I visit places that actually DO Halloween (not like my neighborhood!)... slow, almost mechanical or reptilian motions in my dark cloak and bony mask!