Spooky stuff!

Happy Halloween! After years of elementary school rules wherein costumes were only allowed after lunch on October 31, we have entered the realm of junior high. Every day this week has a theme – yesterday was Pajama Day, for example, and Thursday is Twin Day – and today, happily and appropriately enough, is Costume Day.

What could possibly go wrong? On the weekend the eighth grader had quite a lot of homework, including making his own water filtration system to be brought to school on Tuesday. Tuesday, Halloween. “Mom, where do we keep our activated charcoal?” is a question I never thought I’d be answering, but here we are. Fortunately my husband has a charcoal grill, and although I’m unsure if it will be effective, the filtration system now has smashed up pieces of charcoal in it. Just getting the system there in one piece while wearing a headless horseman costume and carrying all the usual school paraphernalia seemed like an enormous undertaking, fraught with all sorts of issues, but it is now 1:00 pm and I haven’t been alerted to any major issues, so I suppose all is well.

I just had a feeling of sympathy for all the teachers today, and tomorrow. Let’s have a positive thought for them, bless those brave souls.

Speaking of scary, it is supposed to rain tonight and the snow is starting tomorrow, so I am thankful that I am the home base candy person. My husband is only going out around our block, though, and then the kids are meeting their friends, so it appears a new era is upon us. I’m just glad we have a white stormtrooper to be the reflective person in the group, and am trying not to be too nervous about it. DRIVE SLOW, HOMIES.

Scary movies and sleepovers involving horror flicks were a big part of growing up in my generation, it seems. I have never liked horror movies at all, and I must have blocked them mostly out because while I remember watching some of the Nightmare on Elm Street ilk, I don’t remember any details of them. I do, however, remember two television shows from my youth that scared the bejesus out of me, and neither were Halloween or horror related.

First, when I was very little, I remember watching a show about a bear that stalked people and, presumably, killed them. I’m fuzzy on the details; I was pretty young. It would have been set in “settler times” because the cast was dressed in Little House on the Prairie-like clothing and the houses were small cabins in the woods. I remember only one scene, and it terrified me for life: the people being stalked were in the safety of their cabin, when the camera panned onto the door. Underneath the door, a claw slid through. It was so creepy then, and it’s creepy now, and I have no idea whatsoever this program was or why I watched it. I guess there was nothing else on – but that doesn’t explain it, really, since I was never much of a TV-watcher. Anyone?

The second terrifying television program WAS Little House on the Prairie. Ma had – somehow – gotten a cut on her leg, which became infected and practically gangrenous. She was alone in the house for a few days, and became feverish with this infection. She picked up her Bible and read a passage about cutting off and casting away a limb which is causing problems, since it was better than having the entire body go to hell. Obviously Ma was crazed with fever and pain to not realize the symbolism of this verse, and she actually got out her big old carving knife in preparation to saw her own leg off. I know it ended with Ma NOT becoming the One Legged Woman Of Walnut Grove, but I don’t remember how exactly because I ended up becoming far too invested in the story and freaking out entirely. I think, probably, Pa came home and Ma had already passed out from pain before she could do the unsedated old-timey amputation.

Other terrifying childhood memories include a visit from the firefighters about fire safety, with a warning that “everyone will be involved in a fire sometime in their lives,” leading six-year-old me to believe that the house would instantly combust and I would burn to death in my bed, leading to nightmares for years, getting lost at a large Canada Day festival and ending up in the cold, grey, concrete Lost Children Room with a CLOWN, and watching Bruce Banner change into the Incredible Hulk with my older brother, who would always tell me that the worst was over and I could look, now, WHEN THE WORST WAS MOST DEFINITELY NOT OVER.

And now it’s your turn – what spooked you, when you were a kid? Tell all, it will be like therapy, but much less expensive. xo

Dressing like a gypsy fortune-teller – one of the more popular costumes back in 1981.

This year’s festive carvings – can you tell which one is mine?


  1. I used to hide upstairs until the library scene at the beginning of Ghostbusters was over and my mom would tell me it was okay to come down.

    Meanwhile, I read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark over and over again…

    I was a gypsy fortuneteller around 1988.

  2. bibliomama2 says

    I loved horror movies, but that LHotP episode scared the bejesus out of me, although THANK YOU for clearing up what the frig was going on, because I had somehow missed the whole Bible verse part and was like WHY, MA, WHY? I was a much less cute gypsy fortune teller one year too, natch. The only other thing I remember being scared of was the scene in Roots where they cut Toby’s toes off, which in retrospect just seems like the good and proper reaction to that.

  3. I seem to remember going as a Gypsy, too. Different times.

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