Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My last Halloween in the city was in 2006. And it was deliriously fun. The whole autumn season was full of amazing activities--a trip through the vast and beautiful cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, an excursion to an upstate pumpkin patch, and The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D. That year I lived across from Chris and Michael, who had me over to bake cookies and eat pumpkin ice cream. We carved pumpkins and ate sushi (unrelated to the season but really great) and watched awesome shows, including: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; the original Halloween (which I'd never seen, and which is really good); and The Innocents--a chilling movie based on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. The whole of October was so fun that we've really never stopped talking about it. So, when I moved back to the city, we decided not to recreate the experience exactly, but to build upon our tradition by having another Halloween get together. HALLOWEEN IN SPRING! WHOA!
We decided we'd watch The Others, because it's scary and brilliant. Chris made an unstoppably good eggplant parmesan, and they decorated the house. Michael did all sorts of historical research re: the history of the jack-o-lantern, which was handy, because it revealed that before people carved pumpkins, they carved turnips, which are much easier to acquire in late winter/early spring than pumpkins. Michael also unearthed a Casio keyboard and his Wee Sing Halloween Songs book. As it turns out, most of the songs have pretty lame lyrics with the rhyme scheme of about a 9-year-old and are simply set to the tunes of other rights-free children's songs. But oh, that did not stop us from crooning along as Michael played the Casio. Jamie and Ned brought really good dip, and Jordan helped me design labels that transformed our soda offerings into ghoulish refreshment.

It was tough to scrounge up too many specifically Halloween-related candy treats, but some M & Ms and assorted other sweets helped transform sugar cookies into holiday delights. At some point, we got to talking about the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book, and Michael retrieved his copy from the other room. The illustrations are still terrifying:

Image from here.
I had this book as a kid and I'm pretty sure that my granny tossed it along with a few other "real ghost story" books in my collection that I'd read and then be too afraid to do anything, such as be on a level in the house by myself.
So one of the funniest parts of the night (which surely won't come through clearly here) happened while we were watching The Others. Michael had gone into the kitchen during a tense scene in the movie where all the curtains are mysteriously taken down. At the height of the drama, Michael suddenly ran into the living room and yelled "Look what's outside!" He dramatically drew the curtain back (scary enough) only to reveal a benign jack-o-lantern decoration taped to the window. We were all like "huh?" Until he pointed to what was in the street beyond: a limo party bus. Weird to see in the middle of the night in a residential Brooklyn neighborhood. His dramatic entry gave us quite a scare, though.
So our Halloween in Spring was a resounding success. It was so much fun that I can't wait to do it again. Good thing October is right around the corner.


w. leavitt said...

you rocked that halloween

Jill said...

Every other blog I've looked at today had pictures of Easter eggs. Thanks for the refreshing change! My favorites were the labels for the soda.

I had that 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' book when I was a kid. It was such a blast from the past to see that creepy skull picture again. Loved it!

The Former 786 said...

Man! That sounds like a GREAT Halloween party! And I was deliriously happy to see a Halloween post in April. I think Halloween in Spring is an awesome idea. You can call it "Scream Break," if you'd like.

And I recently got the entire "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" collection and I agree that some of the pictures (and stories) still give me the creeps as an adult.

when skies are grey said...

Great bottle labels!

la_sale_bete said...

Glad the Halloween greetings were refreshing to see in the Spring. I hope we can make "Scream Break" an annual tradition (there are already talks of Christmas in June, though I'm not sure if that'll have quite the same feel to it). Thanks about the labels! I think they came out nicely.

verslaving behandeling said...

Really scary Halloween mask! Well done!