"The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats...
Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked."
~ The Halloween Tree, Ray Bradbury
my favorite Halloween decorations...
Halloween has always been a special night for me. It's one of the best nights of the year, coming in second only to Christmas Eve (possibly even tied for first). I always loved everything associated with the holiday. It wasn't even so much about the candy as it was about the traditions: the carving of pumpkins before the sun set, the smell of the crisp October night, the tickling feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach as I walked to the neighboring street through the woods on winding country lanes, wondering which things that go bump in the night were waiting for us around every corner. My dad would take my sister and me trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids, while my mom would stay home to pass out treats. He always scared us with a story about a little girl who was lost in the woods and now haunts said woods every Halloween night (hence the aforementioned feelings of dread). We would come home tired, but eager to inspect the saccharine fruits of our labor, and would watch our recorded version of Garfield's Halloween Adventure and It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (complete with cheesy 80's commercials).
Some embarassing proof (and for some reason, I am always on the right in each picture):
1988: My mom always made our costumes... this unicorn was by far one of my favorites, and her Magnum Opus.
1989: We were asked to do a scary pose, probably because we had just moved into the new house a month ago
and my parents were still wicked excited and awesome like that.
1991: the year of The Perfect Storm (and awesome high-top sneakers)... we went Trick-or-Treating in it.
The aftermath. We were hardcore, and in need of a Twix. For REALZ.
While I obviously don't trick-or-treat anymore (I do go with my nieces and nephew), I try to keep up some of the old traditions by means of watching our favorite Halloween movies every year. Without further ado, I present you with my Top 5 Must-See list of Halloween movies:
1. Garfield's Halloween Adventure
2. The Halloween Tree (read the book, because it's no longer on tv or available on dvd)
3. Sleepy Hollow
4. Hocus Pocus (which was partially filmed in Salem!)
5. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Close runners up include (in no particular order & not really kid friendly) The Exorcist, Salem's Lot, Psycho, The Omen (both versions are good), and certainly none of the crappy movies that TV networks are calling "Halloween Themed" like Scooby Doo. Please. I'm pretty sure that I would not be looking back so fondly on my memories of this holiday had I associated it with Scooby Doo and Batman. (What?) I'm sure that I left some of my picks off, but can't really think of anything else right now...
Anyway, I hope that everyone has a happy & safe Halloweeeeeeeeeen!!!!