While it has been quite a few years since my costumed self took to the Trick-or-Treating streets with a candy bag in one hand and a whole lot of hope to fill that bag in the other, the memories of my trick-or-treating days are as fresh now as ever. I have always loved Halloween – everything about it. Even as a young child who was often afraid of the simplest things, the scares of Halloween did nothing but delight and excite me. But for all the haunted houses and hayrides that I enjoyed throughout October, nothing could even come close to Halloween night itself. And I’m thankful for every adult that let themselves be a kid for the night and tapped their creativity to come up with fun and frightening ways to make Halloween all it could be!
Anyone who has gone trick-or-treating knows that not all houses you’ll visit are created equal. It is true that as long as treats are being given, no house is a bad house! But some are definitely more memorable than others. There are the houses with super sweet older people who are so excited by all the kids’ costumes, and make you feel all warm and fuzzy and happy for having stopped by. There are the houses with a loudly barking dog who probably only wants to make new friends, but whom you’re convinced wants to eat you! And then there are the Halloween Houses. The houses that fill you with a fear previously unknown, as creepy music pours from front porch speakers or open windows, and you’re forced to dig deep down into your 9-year-old soul and decide if getting the candy is worth the risk. The fact that you can’t miss out on this house that all the kids will be talking about tomorrow at school quickly couples with the fact that candy is ALWAYS worth the risk, and you and your friends walk a little more slowly than usual toward a house you don’t realize at the time you’ll remember vividly for probably forever.
Do you want your house to be one of those unforgettable Halloween Houses? Of course you do! And we have a couple ideas about how you can make that happen – one we’ve dreamed up, and one pulled from a memory of a house that got it right so many years ago.
Knocking on the Devil’s Door: Whether you’re 8 or 88 years old, the Devil is a frightening creature. If you aren’t comfortable with using Devilish motif, any monster will do! This idea brings in the fun of the timeless game show opportunity to choose Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3. For the actual doors you can use old doors you might have laying around in the garage, or just doors made from cardboard boxes. Be sure to decorate them to be extra Halloween-y! Behind one door will be a simple Halloween treat, perhaps a pair of Chocolate Eyeballs staring back at the child who dares to open the door! Behind another door will be an even better candy gift, like a Halloween PEZ Dispenser or small sack filled with Halloween Candy. And behind the final door? A friend or family member dressed to terrify. Bwahaha, Halloween is awesome! If you want to be nice after scaring an unsuspecting child halfway out the door in a single jump, giving them candy anyway can go a long way to making things better.
Give the Illusion That You Aren’t Home: I’ll never forget the day a neighbor nearly caused my little kiddy heart to stop by pulling the ‘we aren’t home’ trick. They had left their front porch light on, an indicator in my neighborhood that this was a Halloween-friendly house with candy to be given, but when my friends and I got to the door, there was a note taped to it apologizing that they were out of town, but still wanted to give the neighbor kids some Halloween Candy. The note directed us to the far end of the porch, where a ‘Halloween dummy’ was propped up in a chair holding an oversized bowl of Fun Size Candy Bars and more. In short, our eyes grew wide as we stood in awe at the freedom to choose our favorites. The only catch? As soon as we reached into the bowl, the ‘Halloween dummy’, aka. our very cleverly dressed-up neighbor, came to life and grabbed our hands causing what may have been the loudest screams ever to have been screamed. In the end, we got the candy we wanted and lost about 7 years of our lives. For a Halloween fan like myself, this is still considered a Hallo-win!