Halloween was never a huge holiday for me growing up. Yes, I got a costume and went trick or treating down our street and collected lots of candy. There was a party at school usually, but I don’t have really any memories that stick out as important ones.
Snake’s family was much more into Halloween. Maybe Snake was even mostly the instigator? They used to actually plan and host a haunted house for the neighborhood when he was in high school. Dry ice and black plastic and lots of volunteers to be scary. Maybe I can even convince him to write a paragraph here about it.
Hey, my haunted houses were a blast! We used to take great pride in scaring not only the kids, but their parents, too. Of course we always built it to be a bit fluid – we could tone things down for kids, and up…. way up…. for parents. It was great fun. In the final event that we did (before going off to College, and such), we even took over the local elementary school and had a carnival around it, doing fundraising for the library. It was a blast. We had butchers and swinging blades and jump scares and black lights and “walking across a chasm” and all sorts of fun stuff.
Had another time where I set up a box to look like a coffin in the front yard, and a full grave yard around the yard. Kids had to come up to the coffin, reach in to get their candy. I laid in the box with an obvious mask on – and fake hands and such. People took one look in, thought it was just a dummy, and reach for the candy… just as soon as they touched it, I reached for them… bwahahahahahahaha… the stuff of nightmares. ~Snake
After we got married, we used to carve pumpkins and buy candy for the kids who would come. As the years went by and we moved farther out of the city, fewer and fewer would come. The past few years have had no one and it feels a bit like the end of an era.
That said, and Halloween not being one of my big memories, I actually remember a lot growing up about spooky movies. Not the current big name ones of my teenage years, but the older ones.
My dad was a huge old movie buff. He showed me the Alfred Hitchcock movies and other film noir creepy feeling ones. I remember watching Psycho and The Birds and being terrified. He was a masterful filmmaker and we used to watch them together when they would show up on the oldies channel.
Even more so, my dad loved old radio shows. There was a radio station in Colorado that used to play them on Sunday afternoons. We would sit together and listen to The Shadow, Inner Sanctum and others that were well before my time. Many even well before his time. The Hitchhiker with Orson Welles is one that I remember clearly.
I think he definitely inspired my imagination by providing me with these stories that forced me to think the pictures instead of just watching the story happen. I still love a scary book so much more than a movie. And I might just try to find an old radio show to listen to on Saturday.