Halloween is a Big Deal in our household. When we moved into our current neighborhood, the only decoration on the street was one lonely orange light bulb someone put in their lamp post at the end of their driveway. We strung out some lights had some tombstones made of wallboard from an old construction project. This was before the Spirit Shop offered all things Halloween. Styrofoam tombstones weren’t a dime a dozen. I spent many weeks in those early years making Halloween décor, because the shops were limited in those days to die-cut cardboard prints and blow molds (which I haven’t even seen in years!). Department 56 hadn’t yet released its first haunted house and Great America hadn’t yet opened their first haunt. Disney was still a year away from releasing Nightmare Before Christmas, so no special Halloween there. But Knot’s Berry farm, a pioneer in the field and was running its 20th Knott’s Scary Farm haunt.
Why is all of this important? Because back when I started decking my walls with boughs of crawlies, I didn’t have a lot of spare change to spend and the stores didn’t have the decorations they have now. I created scenes; I set a tone. Dark, spooky, with a touch of comic relief here and there. No gore, no rotting flesh. Halloween was all about imagination, orchestrating atmosphere and emotions, and bringing my ideas of the world out of my head and into this world for other people to enjoy.
Just like my writing.
A very spooky Halloween to you all.