Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hallowe'en Night 2009

Late night.

I had about two hours of kids coming to Trick or Treat. Probably around 60 or 70 kids total. Some big groups, some individuals, mostly with parents watching from the curb.

I decorated the house extra-spooky this year, with as many candles as other kinds of lights. One group of girls thought it was really spooky. Watching from the windows, I saw some kids turn away from coming up the driveway, turn back, turn away, then go on. So I guess I managed to actually scare away some kids this year!

Scaring the kids is all good fun on Hallowe'en, and I enjoyed myself. Some really little kids were very shy and scared, and their older siblings helped them take candy. I have a bowl with a dead man's hand in it, that will at random grab the kids' hands as they reach into the bowl for the candy. Some kids knew already knew about the trick, others it was their first time with The Hand.

I spent some time over the past few days, decorating, putting things up, hanging the skeletons in the trees, making the candleholders ready, and so on. I concealed a computer speaker system in the bushes by the door, with a remote link to the studio computer. I had made a scary music and sounds mix, and played it back over the speakers in the bushes all the while. About a full CD's worth of spooky sounds and samples, the usual clichéd classical Hallowe'en music, plus more contemporary music no doubt unfamiliar to most listeners. George Crumb, Jon Gibson, and more; experimental noise music, and Night on Bald Mountain. I was hoping it would contribute to the overall spooky vibe, and I guess it did.

This year, unlike last year, I did not run out of candy, and have to go get more. In fact, I have leftovers. None of it really appeals to me, at least, not in bulk. If I don't give away most of it, I'll be nibbling on it for weeks. I no longer fill like bingeing on candy, and to be honest, my stomach can't take it, anyway.

They came and went for about two hours. Later in the night, I went out and took these photos. Then I took down some of the decorations, mostly the things hidden in the bushes and other places that I didn't want to forget about. I'll take down the rest sometime later. But I've left some candles to burn on into the night, for the spirits of the dead, who are with us always, who visit on this night when the veil between the worlds is thin. And I will leave out some food and cider for them, too, for their sustenance. And thus we go on.

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Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I had a Spanish dancer and a box of Coco-Pops and that was my lot, two more than last year, a couple of very polite girls aged about eight I would guess. Of course this is all new to me. As a kid growing up in the sixties there was nothing. It's only in recent years the UK has made a half-hearted attempt to emulate the USA.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

I had a lot of pretty polite girls last night, including those who described the decorations as spooky, who I mentioned above.

I know trick or treating is less of a deal in Europe, although paradoxically it's very rooted in pre-Christian British customs. In my years as a folk musician, and researcher of same, I ran across a lot of pagan stuff kept alive, often in concealed forms, in the folk songs and customs.

I'm not sure that Britain copying the US customs is a good idea. Far better for it to emerge from within, if it's going to emerge at all.

Nonetheless, I love it all.

Probably the best popular literature book on the topic is Ray Bradbury's "The Halloween Tree." That was also made into a TV animated special, too; I first saw it on TV in the early 90s.

11:31 AM  

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