Last week I wrote about Baby Ruths and Good & Plentys and the fun-filled Halloweens of the past.  After submitting my column, I thought of the Halloween party I’d had so many years ago.  To me, I thought my creativity was the highlight of my imagination at that age.

I think I might have been about 11 or so when, after much begging, my parents agreed that I could have a Halloween party—I could be very persuasive and relentless when I wanted something! Mom suggested the refreshments:  get some pumpkins and pierce them with knitting needles; then thread all manner of scrumptious donuts thru the needles and everyone could choose their pleasure.  She would make cupcakes and we’d serve cider.  Great tasty treats!  But, I needed some real Halloweenish entertainment!  

Got it!  A haunted house!   I decided the basement was perfect.  You had to see it to believe it:  the only warmth came from the furnace and when Dad would be tinkering at his lighted work bench.  The rest of this dark, low-ceilinged and gloomy cellar was well-suited to creepy Halloween offerings.

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After some research and my own vivid imagination, I had a plan to really spook my pals:  strategically placed bowls of warm spaghetti (worms) and peeled grapes (eye balls); very fine thread hanging from the stair well and rafters (spider webs); eerie music on the stereo and a full-sized doll dressed in black in a coffin-like box (vampire), back lit with dark and chilling lighting.  

Dad and I carefully led the guests down the wooden basement stairs into the candle-lit haunted house.  My pals squealed as the spider webs brushed softly over their faces; there were actual screams when we guided their hands through the worms and eye balls.  The vampire doll pushed them over the edge and they rushed up the stairs.  They barreled into Mom’s warm, cozy kitchen and her comforting hugs.  Everyone calmed down, sat at her cheerfully decorated table and inhaled the donuts, cupcakes and cider.  My friends were impressed with my creativity and admitted to being “scared to death” when going through the haunted house.  I have to admit:  I had the “willies” myself.

My own fun-filled memories of dressing in costumes and getting together with my friends are priceless.  It was a pleasure to watch part of the Halloween parade on TV last week—everyone was happy and having fun.  We need more of those events to bring smiles to our faces, especially the kids.