So after accidentally sleeping for three hours in the middle of the afternoon I woke up with the most random childhood memories.
I don’t know what made me remember this, but during the early 90s, I lived on a street full of mostly retired people and one gay couple. My siblings and I were the only children on the street and we were taught to be very polite to our neighbors. You know what that means?
Well on that street it ended up meaning that every Halloween all those retired folk would give the bubblegum and the jolly ranchers and the tootsie rolls to the kids from other streets, but they always had a special bag set aside just for my siblings and I that was like the really good chocolate.
Now, I say the retired folk set aside candy for us. The gay couple across the street probably did too, but I was always too scared to go to their house. See, they went all out with their decorations. It was brilliant in retrospect. But this one time when I was like five, they had this seven foot high animatronic ghost thing by the door – don’t ask me where they got it – and I thought it was just a prop until I got up there and it moved.
I ran screaming back down the driveway and into my own yard. My mom had to go and get my candy. And after that I was convinced that the animatronic ghost was always there in that house, waiting. Didn’t matter that my folks were like “Aw, no honey, they didn’t mean to scare you, it was just pretend!” Or “Sweetie it’s Christmas, they’re not going to have the ghost up, can you take them gingerbread please?”
I knew it was there, and it was going to get me eventually.
Cut to some six years later, when I was eleven and I finally managed to make it to their front door. I can’t remember if I was trick-or-treating or bringing them homemade cinnamon raisin bread (That’s a thing my family does. Cinnamon raisin bread for all the neighbors every Christmas and New Years) but I seem to recall thinking “Huh. They look pretty normal to me. No ghosts anywhere.”
Apparently somehow my five year old brain had decided that they must’ve had that animatronic ghost in the house year round, Nightmare Before Christmas style.
Then I moved to SC and there are a handful of neighbors with even creepier decorations and I still couldn’t trick or treat there because that would mean I’d have to look at them.
In hindsight, the animatronic ghost was probably pretty funny. I wonder what they did with it?