Halloween Lessons

Photo by Niklas HellerstedtI love Halloween. It is by far my favorite holiday, and I add to our “effect” every year. But sometimes things go wrong. Here are some lessons I have learned:

People Don’t Heed Warnings

Two years ago I added a sound-activated ghost to the decorations. It can be very startling, particularly if you don’t see it before it starts moving and moaning. It isn’t particularly sensitive, but responds to the louder-than-conversation voices people adopt in the dark. I would warn people bringing small children up to be quiet and not disturb the ghost. Few listened, and there were many tears (kids) and screams (adults). Lesson learned: some people have to learn the hard way.

An Extra In The Candy

I few years ago I dressed up as a witch to hand out candy. A last minute addition of 3-inch black fake nails completed my costume. But midway through the night I realized some of my nails weren’t there. Apparently some of the children got a bonus at my house. Lesson learned: skip the nails unless you glue them on.

Green? Sick?

Another year I went for subtle. I turned my skin green with the aid of some eyeshadow mixed with face powder. What I didn’t realize is that color fades at twilight. Instead of looking scary, I was told a few times I looked pale and sick. Lesson learned: skip the makeup when outside.

Spider Webs

Soon after we moved into our house, I put fake spider webs all over the bushes in front. We had a rainy October and the webs ended up looking like soggy lint. And it was a total mess to clean up; we had to pick it out of the branches bit by bit. Lesson learned: put webs where they won’t get wet.


All in all, the lessons stick. This year we’re adding a fog machine, and I have to wonder what the lessons from that will be. I’ve already learned not to hang the fake spiders right in front of the door. They tangle in curly hair horribly.


Photo by Niklas Hellerstedt

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One thought on “Halloween Lessons

  1. Thank you for information. Here’s another couple for you.

    A few years ago we put out a leaf scarecrow ( a series of plastic bags that are filled with leaves or newspapers ) and placed it in a resin patio chair in front of the house. Over several nights we learned just how many ways we needed to anchor his various parts to the chair and house so he wouldn’t slump, slouch, or blow away…

    Also don’t use the light-up ghost foot-prints if they are predicting snow…

    They say one should learn from their mistakes… I find it easier to learn from those of others…

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