It’s Great Pumpkin Time! Or, Halloween to nonbelievers! Here are some of my favorite Halloween things. This post first appeared on this blog October 26, 3015.
Like any 60’s kid, I liked trick-or-treating. Chocolate. It was all about the chocolate! This week the Broke and the Bookish selected a “Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish Halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc” for this week’s topic.
1. Favorite Halloween Decoration
This is our old haunted house! It has well-loved, hard-played-with soft Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, Black Car, Goblin, a witch, a huge spider and a bat! Both the green goblin and the mummy have done time as cat hunting trophies and have the teeth marks still to prove it. I think this came from Chinaberry in 2003. The nice thing–beyond the hours of happy play my kids enjoyed with it–is that all the inhabitants of the house are stored in the house. Very nice feature. I’m keeping it for my future grandchildren.
2. Favorite Halloween TV Show–as if there’s really more than this one!
I am a charter member of the generation this, and the Charlie Brown Christmas, were created to entertain. Happily, we have this on DVD, so though my children are adults I can still enjoy it once a year. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
3. Favorite Halloween Story
Legendary Hoosier Poet (I spent most of my life in Indiana) James Whitcomb Riley, wrote the poem Little Orphant [spelling is Riley’s] Annie. While today it does suffer from old age in some regrettably un-politically correct ways, I still treasure the memory of it being read at school nearly every Halloween season. That was back when you could be a witch or a mummy for Halloween and no on cared. Yes, that long ago. Here’s a link to the real poem and here’s a link to a friend of mine who portrays James Whitcomb Riley.
4. Favorite Halloween Candy
5. Least Favorite Halloween Candy
Yep, the dreaded Dollar Store Peanut Butter in Waxed Paper “Candy.” Here’s a funny blog post, Still the Worst Halloween Candy Ever by the Rambling Reverend. I’ve NEVER, ever–not as a kid, not as a parent, not as a Trunk or Treat Candy Giver have I ever seen a kid make any but the “Oh, gross…” face on getting these. I’m pretty sure Starving Children in Where-Ever would make that gross face even. Maybe it’s the after taste of the waxed paper. Or maybe its that they were manufactured in 1957 in such quantities that they’ve never had to rev up the ole’ p.b. extruder and make more–that aging in a warehouse flavor, perhaps? Yuck. Just yuck. I love REAL peanut butter. But this stuff? Use if for potholes in the street.
6. My Favorite Childhood Memory of Halloween # 1
Since I’m a 60s kid, photos are pretty rare. Most likely anyone in your family who was alive then still have a basket like my Mom’s, stashed in the back of a closet, of film to be developed when the budget allows. Yeah. Those would be MY childhood. So, no picture. But it was a simpler time. You bought a mask and that was about it. Then around 2 or 3rd grade people began going “overboard” and buying those tacky one piece costumes with a mask. My favorite wasn’t the darling kitty costume my Mom made me (though as an adult I love it) but the time I got to wear my big brother’s outgrown red blazer and be a “Buckingham Palace Guard.” No Disney princess crap back then. We saw a Disney movie ONCE per movie in those days. But, at least I didn’t have to go as a witch, bride or old lady like the other girls.
7. My Favorite Childhood Memory of Halloween #2
My parents made popcorn balls for us. They gave out candy, of course, but we got to have homemade popcorn balls too. Usually, we had chili for dinner. I never did like other people’s popcorn balls–I think simply because like the dressing (aka “stuffing”) at Thanksgiving, the popcorn balls were something my Dad helped make. That made them special. He was a typical 60s Dad who played catch with a football or baseball and watched tv with us. He didn’t cook! Here’s a recipe if you want to try some.
8. Spookiest Music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLCuL-K39eQNight On Bald Mountain–it was still spooky when my high school band played it in the 1970s!
9. Favorite Spooky Book
Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Possibly the only spooky book I’ve ever finished.
10. Spookiest Place I’ve Ever Visited
In the early ’90s co-workers and I visited Edgar Allan Poe’s grave late at night. At that time, the neighborhood was, shall we say “none too savory” so there was that type scary added, too. Happily nothing “untoward” happened. A co-worker rattled off much of the raven and we went back to the hotel. No photo of my own, because it was the early 90s. Point and shoot 35 mm’s were very hot, but no one had one with them on the trip. I don’t think disposables were a thing yet, either.
Bonus–Favorite Black Cat:
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