It’s the week of Halloween! I love Halloween—it’s second only to Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving for my favorite holiday. Poor Halloween suffers—as countless others have already noted in casual conversations all month—due to Commercial Christmas’s imperialism, so it doesn’t really get its proper due anymore, but it’s a fun event worth celebrating.
As is typical for Halloween in South Carolina, the crisp, autumnal weather is gone; in its place is uncomfortably warm, sticky mugginess. As a child, I always dreamed of the spooky, chilly Halloween nights I would read about in books, the kind of night where you really could believe ghosts are tickling your spine, witches are abroad, and skeletons are playing their rib cages as xylophones.
Instead, Halloween in South Carolina is always hot and wet. As a plump child with glasses, I could never wear a mask for long, as my chubby breathing in the swampy air would fog up my thick glasses, my costume quickly becoming a burdensome chore (mostly for my parents) instead of a joyfully freeing disguise. It looks like I’ll be treated to lots of back sweat and foggy lenses again this year.
But Halloween must go on! I am quite excited to go trick-or-treating with my little niece and nephews on Thursday night, and have been clearing my calendar that evening accordingly. The key to trick-or-treating after twelve or thirteen is to use younger children as an excuse to go. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself locked up real fast.
My porch is festooned in various pumpkins, both real and fabricated, care of my mom’s extensive cache of Halloween bric-a-brac. Now I just have to pay exorbitant pre-Halloween candy prices so the neighborhood urchins can have some “fun-size” (read: very tiny) chocolate to rot their pearly whites.
I’ve never gotten around to carving the two big pumpkins on my front stoop—a weekend project twice delayed—but I hope to stab a crooked smile into one of them tonight. ‘Tis the season.
Over the next couple of days I’ll share some spooky Halloween stories from Terror House Magazine and elsewhere in order to put readers into the proper mood. I’ll personally be whipping out the large volume of classic ghost stories I’ve been reading since this summer.