According to folklore (and one of my new favorite shows American Horror Story) the last day of October is the day that the dead walk the Earth. The belief was that if people wore masks and looked scary enough, they would scare off the spirits.
Now fast forward to 2011…
It was a simple trip to Sam’s Club (one of Teresa and Nolin’s favorite hangouts), where Nolin discovered the costume that would eventually help him keep the evil spirits at bay. Yes, apparently the evil spirits would be terrified by Nolin…the scary frog.
It really is no secret that Nolin is a big fan of animals. This was evident as Jenn recounted the scene where he discovered this year’s costume. Once he saw the costume, he began hugging the suit as they made their way through the store and he excitedly kept repeating Frog, Frog.
Now that we had a costume, I was getting very excited about Halloween. It didn’t hurt that we also discovered last year a whole other world of Trick-or-Treating taking place just one street over by Jenn’s parent’s house. In preparation for the night, we had decorations for the trunk of our car (aka the candy distribution center) and about 8 huge bags of candy (this would be a far cry from the 12-15 trick-or-treaters we typically received). It reminded me of what Halloween was like when I was a kid.
We got Nolin dressed in his scary Frog outfit and he loved it. As we finished decorating our trunk, Nolin climbed onto his bike ready to start trick-or-treating. Then all of a sudden we got hit with about 40 trick-or-treaters walking in a single file line down the sidewalk. It was like an assembly line distribution of Halloween candy. These large groups kept coming and coming. While it was exciting, I started getting nervous that the scary frog would never make it past the driveway nor have a chance to scare spirits and get candy (for his dad).
Finally there was a break in the action, and we handed off the candy duties to Don, as Jenn and I took Nolin around the neighborhood.
Pumpkin has been a favorite word of Nolin’s ever since he could talk (thanks to the book 5 Little Pumpkins), but this year he learned Trick-or-Treat. He was ready to go. In between houses, he would start shouting out Trick-or-Treat repeatedly. As we approached the houses, he would ring the doorbell (beep beep as he calls it), and as soon as it was answered he would stare blankly. Sometimes he would hold his hand out for candy, but typically he just stared at them. Fortunately he would at least say thank you or good-bye as we left, but not Trick-or-Treat.
Luckily, we typically had a few other kids around us when we made it to the front door. As I mentioned, this street is pretty crazy about Halloween. Kids get bussed in from other areas, police block off both ends of the streets, and almost everyone decorates and hangs out outside. A few houses go the extra mile and set up full Haunted Houses (Modern Family style).
We walked up to the first semi-haunted house. There was a woman sitting in a rocking chair on her porch along with the Grim Reaper, who would talk in crazy distorted voices with scary music playing. Nolin…not a fan.
He had a kung fu grip on my neck and wouldn’t even hold out his hand for candy. Needless to say, I didn’t have any big expectations at the next house which had a full-blown haunted house.
There was a plastic tarp covering the entire lawn, so you couldn’t see in except for the strobe light at the entrance. We approached slowly…Nolin’s eyes grew wide…wow, look at that he said. We walked through the strobe lights and hanging bloody sheets which helped hide the dead people who would pop out to scare you. Nolin just took it all in and was excited to get to the lady with the candy. This should have been one of those things to send him to therapy (admittedly they did provide the “non-scary” version when we entered), but he really enjoyed it.
We then made our way over to our street so that our neighbors could see Nolin. After stopping by those houses, we decided to call it an evening, and I took Nolin home as Jenn and the remainder of her out-of-town family made their way to dinner.
I’m not so sure he scared away any evil spirits this year, but we definitely had a good time as Nolin is actually beginning to understand and take part in the holidays. It looks like we’re just getting started, and I can’t wait for the next few weeks!