Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween in the Country

Just by virtue of being in the country made Halloween even scarier than it really was when interpreted through the eyes and minds of a kid. What might have been a cluster of leaves dancing past the cinder driveway or swirling atop an open field was actually a pack of menancing rats out to attack and devour trick or treaters. Barren trees became gnarled enemies that at any minute would join forces and nab all the children of the earth and take them off to certain demise. What cornstalks there were left standing in deserted fields transformed into haunting souls ready to avenge their fallen comrades of the field. Twisting vines once the lifelines of pumpkins now picked and gutted, carved and painted with candles flickering in their bellies, slithered about the fields anxious to grab hold of those who'd taken their fruit. Certainly under the cover of that purplish black sky they were not vines at all. Rather they were serpents-angry serpents who'd coil around innocent children and leave them to the fate of those scurrying rats.

Acting as a prop the harvest moon would disappear behind passing clouds just when its light was desperately needed. Nothing-not even the moon-could be trusted on Halloween. The barn became a fortress of gloom and doom, full of monsters and dragons about to settle the score with children who ran about their castle in the daylight-laughing and playing while they lay dormant waiting for the dark of night.

Throw in grownups who'd never grown up and the scene was set for even more of a harrowing experience. You never knew where they'd appear. A grandmother who took her hair combs out-unleashing long strands of grey that seemed even longer when evolving into the Wicked Witch of the North might have peered through kitchen windows or hidden in wait behind one of those gnarled enemies. With a nose that was a natural and a cackle perfected, this country witch was better than any Hollywood version. And then there was that uncle who made us rafts and set us off on day long treasure hunts. He was never to be found on Halloween. We could have used his help when escaping from Frankenstein himself!

Halloween in the country alerted our senses; the smell of the leaves that weren't actually leaves; the sound of the wind through nasty branches; the touch of a witch's grasp; the sight of ghosts and goblins peering out at every turn. Even after returning back home-after sorting through the lollipops and candy bars and Bazooka gum-it was unsettling to peer through any window. That Wicked Witch of the North might have peered right back!


  1. I keep re-reading your Halloween post because I just love the images in my head of the old cackling witch and the kids running about in the woods. I love your blog, keep it coming Barb!

  2. Thanks!! Lots more to come! Love your website!