Halloween Checklist

If Halloween has checklist, my boxes are filled: Old house on hill— Ghostly presence residing in house— Novels that include ghosts, psychics, and otherworldly elements—,, and √√

Black cat? Um… Check that one too! Say hi to timid Gus, the most miscast black cat, who just wants someone to assure him he’s loved.

Halloween Ambivalence

My boxes may be in good standing, but as we age Halloween changes. I admit, I could turn out my lights and go to the movies. But when I was a kid, Halloween was magic. My mother sewed, so I always had a great costume—Raggedy Ann through my senior-year costume parade when she made me and my best friend Sylvester and Tweety Bird costumes.

Bygone Halloweens

Times were simpler then and we roamed the streets sans parents, dressed as vagabonds, witches, Marvel super heroes, and fairy tale princesses. Yesteryear tradition dominated choice, but I know Timmy Teagan desperately wanted to be Sleeping Beauty. I hope that as an adult he went to a Halloween party and got to do exactly that.

Back then we’d scour the neighborhood, all the way to the Great South Bay. Sometimes we’d make the rounds twice, before and after dark, greedily filling pillowcases, stopping to swap Good & Plenty for Ring Pops. I don’t recall throwing eggs, but in my hometown a can of shaving cream was standard Halloween gear. I still associate the smell of shaving cream with Halloween.

Back to 2018

On Halloween, our house is the neighborhood curiosity, where a sidewalk dare pre-dates our ownership. Dare you climb the steps of the house on Hillside? Are you brave enough to knock? What goes on inside that spooky old house? (Honestly? You can read about some of it in a book or two… or three)

For those who dare, we’ll see what’s in store for the ghosts and goblins and this century’s Fortnite characters. I may not be “all in,” but the crew who lives here—aside from the specters on-hand—are prepared for the trick or treat.

So tell me, what’s your best Halloween memory?


RITA Finalist, RT Book Reviews Finalist, Audie Winner 

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