Charleston, what a wonderfully eerie city for Halloween. Moss hangs like phantom apparitions from creeping old oaks, bones of twisted hurricane ravaged trees line secluded beaches. Concrete angels guard centuries old graveyards. Marshes are aglow with glowing red eyes, bats flutter hurriedly to chimney and steeple alcoves at dusk. Gas lanterns glow yellow on cobblestone streets. Porches with blue ceilings guard against haints and evil spirits. Pirate's bones rattle in the marsh. Holy and Evil dwell together veiled by the thin curtain of daylight. Yes, Charleston is a Mecca for the thrill seeker.
October first, the adrenaline rush is on for me. The first tree void of it's leaves becomes a haint at dusk. A fist full of candy corn and I am conjuring visions of witches on broomsticks, sheets hanging from tree's and masked men revving chainsaw motors. Although I have had my share of supernatural experiences (I don't mean colon cleanses or juicing) I am the biggest fraidy cat in the world. I can't hardly watch a scary movie with Don during the rest of the year. But mention Halloween and I'm ready to stick knives in pumpkins, play creepy music and scare the bejesus out of people. I know, it's shamefully pagan, but I can't help myself. I go a little batty. It's make believe, the one time of the year that it's acceptable for me to be totally ridiculous.
So make believe it is. Let Grandaddy be a bad ass unicorn if he wants. My daddy is 74 years old. He lives out in the country amidst corn, cotton, soy beans and pines. The only cars that go by his house on a daily basis are the mail lady and the neighbors at the end of the road. On Halloween he will scare the kids with a Halloween mask and then hook up the trailer to the tractor and take everyone for a ride down the country road. At Christmas he suits up in a Santa Suit, full regalia giving the kids rides on a golf cart or Gator. Once he bush hogged his field in his Santa suit.
I've followed suit, no pun intended. Even if there's not a soul coming over. October 1st through the 31st, the house is decorated for Halloween. Before moving here from NC, we didn't have a single trick or treater for five years, but I was in full costume. My ya ya's came to visit for Halloween once and we had so much fun, just the four of us, out in the boonies. That year I was a nun, with a few bad habits, hidden in my habit.
Now, my hubby Don loves a prank as much as I do and knowing the girls were coming, he concocted this escaped monkey Halloween drama from a evening news story about an escaped research monkey from Wake Forest Primate Center. wakehealth.edu.
For weeks he worked on the prank. Rehearsing the timing, recording the grunts and screams of the primate. He had the emphasis on the story telling down to a science. The night they arrived, it was already dark outside. He had everything in place. He told the story about the escaped monkey like he was reciting it from a scrolling news bar off of the TV screen. The girls shuddered a little at the thought of encountering that monkey and then moved on to other topics. As rehearsed, I took the gals to my bedroom to show them some paintings while Don set up the personally recorded tape of monkey grunts and screams. He projected it like it was coming from the woodpile at end of house.
I cued him to our departure outside by flipping a light switch. We climbed the steps down to the outside patio to enjoy a glass of wine and some pumpkin lit atmosphere at the table. As we climbed down the stair into the darkness, the tape started we trained our ears to the direction of the distressed monkey sounds. The gals were on alert. While concentrating on the noises coming from the woods, the big Monkey (aka Don) rushed them from behind, crouching and grunting in full black attire and a realistic monkey mask. They took off up the steps to the house. Watching their escape and noticing there was no hand holding on the way out, I concluded this was everyman for his own. My sister did a frightful jig with a glass of wine before running but spilt nary a drop.
This year will be a doozie for sure. Do you remember your first Halloween outfit? Mine was Yogi Bear and my brother was Casper and my sister was a baby lamb. I have characters floating around in my head for years out. Let's see... Pocahontas, Amelia Earhart, Linda Blair, Carrie, Grown up Toddler Tiara. I have realized of late that there is a time optimization for being some of these if they need to correspond with my physical attributes, other than my demise. Although I still have my ghoulish figure, some costume era's have sadly passed e.g., Nurse Goodbody. The one constant with my costumes would be luxurious tresses (a wig.) You see, as a fine haired friend expressed to me "I was supposed to have hair."
You just have to love a holiday that doesn't require a trip to Hallmark, gift buying or re-gifting! Happy Halloween!