It was a dark and stormy Halloween, but we did not let that deter us from the determined hunt for candy.
Jessica was dressed as Hel, the Norse goddess of the dishonorable dead:
Apparently the Norse afterlife is extremely complicated, with miscellaneous gods and goddesses in charge of various afterworlds. Jessica’s make-up, created by her ever-crafty mother, was suitably complex:
It was made of latex and items from Erica’s toolbox of make-up. Pretty impressive!
Our first stop on our All Hallows Mystery Tour was the Village. Jessica really wanted to go there, even though Megan expressed her doubts that much would be happening there, given the inclement weather, our late start, and light population of potential candy dispensers, but Jessica’s childhood nostalgia won out.
As Megan had predicted, there were few houses with occupants willing to give out treats, even those with lights on which turned out to be duds. After my umbrella turned inside out and my lower half got soaked, I repaired to the car to wait it out, leaving the braver souls to battle the elements. I later learned that Megan had predicted my ignominious retreat to Erica. When I said that she knows me well, she responded that she has been managing me for 45 years.
Eventually, even the intrepid duo admitted defeat, and we made our way damply to the Big Town, where we hit the candy jackpot. Look at this haul:
We also hit the decorating jackpot. Many of the houses had gone all out, with little graveyards, eyes blinking from the bushes, as well as more traditional themes. I loved these happy pumpkins:
And this walkway:
It seems Martha Stewart may have a little pied-à-terre here:
As always, I was amused at Jessica’s authoritative police style knock. It consists of five or six firm raps, often with a crescendo. I’m sure the people on the other side of the door wonder what they have done and expect someone to roar, “Open up! Police!”, only to find a svelte young girl standing daintily on their doorstep. The Police Knock is rendered even more delightful by the courtesy chaser. Once Jessica has successfully scored her swag, she thanks the donor warmly and wishes him or her a happy Halloween in a cheerful chirp.
When we could barely carry Jessica’s giant bag of candy, we made our way to the Haunted Hall of Horrors. After a long wait in the rain, we were welcomed by the infamous Madame LaLaurie*, since the theme was haunted New Orleans. The sets were just magnificent. Two of my coworkers were actors in the show, and they told me that they spend 6 weeks preparing the sets.
We wended our way through various rooms, encountering voodoo priestess Madame Laveau, going through bayous with moving bridges (where I was squirted with water by a swamp monster), through disorienting strobe lights, and a cemetery with ghouls rising from coffins. Jessica and I ran out of the door squealing, only to be greeted by someone with a chainsaw who chased us down the alley. Just when you think you’re safe…
Megan had again correctly predicted that I would scream within five minutes of going in, and I later learned that while Jessica and I were running and squeaking, Megan was calmly walking through it, observing everything with a detached eye. I guess it’s not surprising that the person who is unafraid of real life blood and guts and having actual brains in her hair is unperturbed by fake gore.
It was a great Halloween. I hope this is the beginning of a new tradition!
*Played by none other than Cinderella Wallace from our cemetery tour. She is a friend of one of my coworkers, so I was able to tell her how much we enjoyed both of her performances.
A YEAR AGO: A foggy Halloween without Jessica. Halloween is much better with Jessica!