Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

I Believe in Mary Worth…I Believe in Mary Worth

When I was young, we held seances whenever we had the chance. It didn’t have to be on or near Halloween. We usually went to Lori’s house, our friend who lived right across the street. She had a small fruit cellar in her basement that was jus the perfect place to light a candle, shut the door, and burn to death. But, we never dropped the candle and we never stopped chanting.

We really had no idea who the hell Mary Worth was, but we believed in her.

Tweens have no brains, they really don’t.  There were usually four of us who held these seances. We would stand in a circle, shut the fruit cellar door, and slowly begin to chant into a mirror,  I can’t remember for sure, but I think Lori put a mirror on one of the shelves, leaning it against the wall.  You had to have a mirror, because Mary Worth was supposed to appear in it.

We would start the chant, always serious, because we knew this would work.

We would start with a whisper. “I believe in Mary Worth……I believe in Mary Worth….” I think that’s  all we said. But, we said it over and over and over again, because that’s what you had to do if you wanted to bring her back.  Those were the rules.  I think that anywhere between the third and thirteenth chant, Mary Worth was supposed to appear in the mirror, looking all vengeful and malicious.

So, who was Mary Worth, you ask?  Well, hell, I don’t know. So, I looked her up for your reading enjoyment. There  are many different stories about Mary Worth. Some call her Bloody Mary.  One account is that Mary was wrongly accused of killing her children. She went mad and commited suicide.

I honestly can not remember if we even knew the circumstances of  “our” Mary. We just enjoyed scaring each other and occasionally  getting locked in the fruit cellar. Lori’s mom would also at times don a  mask and slowly open the door to scare us.

So, this Halloween, whatever you do, don’t repeat that phrase while standing in front of a mirror.

Unless of course, you want Mary Worth to appear, wondering who the hell  you are.

Let’s Bring Back Houdini

I have always been fascinated with seances. I think it had to do with my brand new Ouji board I received as a present one year for Christmas. Everyone had Ouji boards. In case you have been living in a box, an Ouji board is a board marked with letters and numbers, and other symbols so you can communicate directly with the dead. It has a moveable piece that players put the tips of their fingers on, letting the spirits guide them to the answers they have questions to.    I always wanted to bring back Houdini. Harry Houdini was the famous magician who died doing one of his magic tricks.

According to Wikipedia, Houdini spent years trying to debunk mediums and psychics. He didn’t believe that anyone could have powers of that nature.  He would often go to seances incognito and then jump up to show the people attending  how things were faked.

Before Houdini died, he and his wife, Bess, agreed that if Houdini’s spirit came back after death, he would say “Rosabelle believe” as a secret codeword to prove that it was actually him. This was a phrase from a play that his wife  performed in when the couple first met. His wife held yearly séances  for ten years after Houdini’s death, but “Houdini”‘s spirit never appeared. Bummer.

So, of course, in 1977, I thought I could bring him back. In college, I lived in a house with 4 sorority sisters. We had a lot of ceremonial candles lying about. I can’t tell you how many seances I had in that house. We would light candles, drink, and then conjure up Houdini’s spirit. I remember one specific time when my boyfriend (later husband) kept telling me to be careful. I was wearing a sweater with a cowl collar and was leaning into my candle as I was laughing while chanting, “Harry Houdini, we are calling on you to come visit us this Halloween eve……”  We would drink a little more and conjure up people and I would always have someone hiding in the kitchen to creep into the room at exactly the right moment. It was just another excuse to have a party.

The best seance I had included a little trick I learned from living in a house with uneven floorboards under the carpeting. If I stepped directly on one place in the living room, the nearby lamp would flicker on and off. I guess the lamp cord was sitting on the long board. Or the light wasn’t screwed in all the way. Regardless, it was something I could use, perhaps. Hmmmmm. That gave me an idea.

I gathered my friends and their friends in a little circle after a few rounds of drinks and had them stand, holding hands with the person next to them so there would be no shenanigans. I lit my ceremonial candles and shut off all of the lights, except for that lamp. I changed the bulb earlier to a 20 watt bulb, so it wasn’t too bright. I opened up the living room window a bit to increase the creep factor. I loved it when it was a bit windy.  I started conjuring up Harry Houdini. I called to him several times before I said, “If you are here with us, please give us a sign…and I would slowly shift my weight to one side on that uneven board under the carpet. The light flickered. A couple people nervously laughed. “Is that you, Harry Houdini?” Slowly shift my weight to make the light flicker on, then off. I was starting to freak people out after a few minutes of my questioning.

“Harry Houdini, are you standing in this room right now? If you are, turn the light on and then off. Wow, this  is just too perfect. Someone was getting scared, but was still suspect. “Vickie, are you doing this?”  Haha. The people on both my sides answered in unison, “She’s not. She is holding my hand.”  I decided to get to business.

“Harry Houdini, are you holding hands with someone in this circle? If you are, give us a sign.” The light went off.  Someone screamed. It was a guy! A guy who screamed like a girl. I wanted to crack up laughing, but I was just beginning. “Harry Houdini, if you are holding hands with someone, gently squeeze their hand. I KNEW one of the 9 would squeeze someone’s hand. Everyone started screaming, which meant, more than one person decided to be a funny guy. I then started shifting my weight back and forth and the light was going crazy and people were screaming. It was a fantastic evening. It also helped that people were intoxicated.

I then announced. “Someone has broken the chain. He has left the room.”  I never told anyone what I did. I had three more “drinking seances” after that.

I’d like to think that the famous escape artist paid a visit to us during one of those seances. Even if he didn’t, I hope  he was having a good laugh watching from above.

Did I mention that he died on Halloween?

Vincent Price…..Priceless

Halloween is approaching and it reminds me of the things that really scare me about this fun holiday. A lot of people would vote for the shower scene in “Pyscho” or Michael Myers in the backyard in “Halloween.” But for me, Vincent Price would be at the top of the list. I was afraid of him, but at the same time, I just had to watch his movies. His voice was menacing, but yet peaceful, soothing. I thought he could probably put people in trances. He had this look that would send shivers down my spine.

He was Hannibal Lecter of the 1950’s.  He could be the Pied Piper with that voice, making the children follow him out of town, hypnotized and ready to be eaten. Well, except I don’t think he was like Jeffrey Dahmer or anything in his films.  He was too sauve and cool to eat flesh. He smoked cigarettes, wore a suit most of the time in his movies, and was just crazy, again,in a suave and cool way.

I used to think “House on Haunted Hill” was the scariest thing ever. We would watch scary movies every Saturday night on Chiller Theater, before Saturday Night Live took over Saturday late night. Vincent Price starred in this movie, and gave me nightmares for days.

I remember staying overnight with Cindy, a friend who lived down the street, one night when “House on Haunted Hill” was on tv. We watched it. I was creeped out as usual, and went to her bedroom to go to sleep. Her closet door was open and Cindy asked me to close it. I guess she was scared also. But, of course, that wasn’t the case. Her mom was standing in the closet with a panty hose over her head.  Surprised I didn’t pee myself. I sure showed the neighbors I had healthy lungs, though. When I rented the movie when my children were tweens, I professed that this movie will scare them to death, they laughed at me. It was sort of 1950’s goofy-scary to them. I thought that a skeleton making a woman back into a vat of acid was pretty darn scary. I believe they used the word, “lame.”  The disappointed me so.

 

Vincent Price could have been in Heidi and I still would have been creeped out. It was his voice. There are many actors who are known for their voice, such as say, James Earl Jones, or Pee Wee Herman.. But, this guy left an impression. I loved it when Michael Jackson used him in “Thriller.”  It really added to the creep-factor. There was another movie that he was in called, “The House of Wax,”  which I thought was pretty scary too. I think Tim Burton used the scene of the burning dolls in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as a tribute to House of Wax. Don’t even get me started on his Oompah Loompah’s in that movie. I can get side-tracked talking about that creepy movie.

I don’t think there will be another scary movie that will affect me the way “House on Haunted Hill” did as a child. As I grew older, I found When a Stranger Calls and Invasion of the Body Snatchers to be the next best thing.  But, in the end, no one can touch Vincent Price, the king of horror.

 

Puntastic Halloween….Part 2

Well, I am on a roll now.  I really am the Queen of Halloween Costume Ideas.  It was wonderful to see the great comments from my first hit, “Queen of Halloween Costume Ideas….’Tis True”, and to prove I am not just any one hit wonder, I will offer up my next Halloween blog for your approval. I think I have better ideas on this one.  Enjoy!  These are easy, quick ideas that are cheap or will not cost you a penny.

Uh Oh....

Dog

“On a short leash”-For a guy, dress like a dog and wear a collar and a very short leash.

Dog with the words of the week written all over him. “Every dog has its day”

Dress like a dog, carrying a book with the title “New Tricks” X’d out (Can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

Cat

Couple- One dresses like a cat with a little brown bag, bloodied…the other is himself, but with fake blood all around his mouth “Cat’s got your tongue”

Dress like a cat, carry a bag – “Cat’s out of the bag”

Couple- one is a cat, the other looks disheveled, unkept “Look what the cat’s dragged in”

Heaven, Hell, Devils, Angels

Dress like the devil, carry bells -”Hell’s Bells”

Dress like the devil, tie a plastic ice cube tray on top of your head “Hell freezing over”

Dress like the devil, carry a mirror. When someone asks what you are, make them look in the mirror..”See you in Hell”

Dress like an angel and put a 7 on your chest “seventh heaven”

Dress like an angel and carry a stuffed animal pig “Hog Heaven”

Queen of Hearts- tiara and red hearts all over your body. King of clubs-crown and a golf club.

Queen Bee- tiara and a big B on your chest.

Pat on the back-  sign “Pat” on your back.

Brain freeze- ice cube tray tied on top of your head.

Ice Princess- gown, ice cube tray tied on top of your head.

3 children- Indians with the numbers 1,2, 3 on their backs-One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians

Stuffed bunny tied on the top of your head-”Hare-Brained”

Husband, Wife and Child- Child-baby bee (lowercase “b” on its chest)  Wife-Queen B, Husband-Bee Keeper (3 or 4 necklaces with B’s)

Get a sweatshirt and velcro a deck of cards (minus one) all over and go as ” 1 card short of a full deck.” (That’s what I am going to school as I think)

Draw a picture of a shark on poster board and cut it out and just carry it..”Card shark”

Draw a square with the number 1 inside of it and put it on your back “Back to square 1”

Roll some guaze around your neck a couple of times and put a sign on your chest that says Charley- “Charley hoarse”

Buy one of those fake birds and just throw it at people when they ask what you are and you can say, “Flippin you the bird.”

Wear one of those yellow slickers and put a big check mark on the back and go as a “raincheck”

Make a red heart and put it on your sleeve “Wearing your heart on your sleeve”

So, if you decide at the last minute to dress up for Halloween or if you really don’t want to, but your significant other is pressuring you to dress, I hope you will be able to use one of  these quick and easy costume ideas.

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*My Puntastic Title was suggested by http://abeautifulrind.wordpress.com/  Check out her blog!

Queen of Halloween Costume Ideas…’Tis True

Update:  Need a Halloween costume? I have put all of my ideas collected over the years into an ebook on Amazon.com

2 Bee or not 2 Bee: 430 PUN-tastic Halloween Costume Ideas   at Amazon $2.99

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. You can download a Kindle app FREE.

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For Halloween, I want my fellow teachers to dress like medical professionals and put a sign on our backs reading, “Staff” Infection.  I don’t know why they just look at me like I have a third eye. I think it is funny.

Every since I was in college in the 70’s, I have been the Halloween costume “Go to”  person.  Sure, people are posting ideas on the internet, but yeah, most of them have come from me….’Tis true.

In college, a friend of mine wanted to go to a Halloween party at a bar, but you had to dress to go. He wanted to look good and wasn’t into wearing a mask. You know you make the face behind the mask, right? You know you do. Anywho, I told him to wear a suit, and put a tape measure around his neck and one of those tomato pincushions on his wrist  and go as Elizabeth’s Tailor. I know, creative, right?  He got in not really wearing a costume.

Ok, how about if you want to wear a costume, but your spouse/significant other does not. Well, dress as an old man and put a big C on the other one’s chest and go as Old Man and the C.

One year at school I just wore a tiara and a B on my chest and went as The Queen B

Two years ago I wore a white sweatshirt, put on some bunny ears and tail and put one of those plastic dusters  around my neck and went as a dust bunny.  Last Halloween, I just wasn’t feeling it, so I just got a huge cardboard quarter and put in on my back and went as a  Quarterback

If you don’t have much time to make an outfit, cut out pieces of a map and hot glue it to a cap and go as a Head Trip

If you want to look pretty, wear a gown and a tiara, get a box and a rope and go as a Drag Queen

I wanted my daughter to wear a tacky gold outfit, everything gold, and spray paint a kid’s plastic shovel and go as a Gold Digger

 Get a witch hat, a lab coat and stethescope and go as a Witch Doctor  or  a couple could dress like doctors and have a sign on their backs Which Doctor

I dressed my kids as bees and put the letters on their backs 2 Bee or Not 2 Bee

Black Eyed Peas- Blacken your eyes and wear the letter P all over your shirt.

Don’t really want to dress up?  Cut out little clock faces and tape them on your hands..Too Much Time on Your Hands

Illegal Alien-My daughter dressed like this when she was younger and was pissed because only the teachers understood what she was.  Jailers outfit, green face with alien antennae.

For a guy, Make a cardboard window, with saran wrap as the window pane (or nothing at all), write Tom on the window and he can go as a Peeping Tom

This is too old for many, but I had a friend name Judy in college and I gave her the idea to wear a Christmas garland wrapped around her neck like a boa and she went as Judy Garland.  I guess your name wouldn’t have to be Judy. Just put the name Judy, on our chest and the garland.

For a guy who doesn’t want to dress up, just carry an umbrella and go as Rain Man, you know, like the movie, (I just made that one up..’Tis true…)

A group could carry plastic hatchets and knives and put B’s on their chests and go as Killer B’s

Dress like any kind of animal and wear a party hat with it and go as a Party Animal

Couple-Guy could be a Knight, girl could go as the sun-  Knight and Day

 I guess I could keep writing for a while.  Coming up with a Halloween costume is fun and a little creativity goes a long way.

If you need a costume, drop me a line. I am the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Halloween Costume Ideas after all.

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Enjoy this story? Jumping in Mud Puddles is now an ebook. Have a look see.  :)  My literary debut. Amazon.com for $3.99.

Jumping in Mud Puddles: A Memoir of a Picky, Hyper, Big Fat Liar

Homemade Halloween

One of my favorite things about being a mom was making Halloween costumes for my children. It is not a requirement for motherhood, of course, but I took Halloween very seriously. I didn’t have a sewing machine, so I sewed everything by hand. I was Little Susie Homemaker.

2 bee or not 2 bee…..

I dressed my son, Adam, for Halloween when he was 1 month old. I did. Of course, he just sat in his little seat as I passed out Halloween candy, but he looked adorable. I made him a little jesters outfit out of his onesie.

The picture on the right was my first real test at Halloween costume design. It’s a bit rough, but remember, I didn’t have a sewing machine. I had letters on each of their chest to read, 2 Bee or not 2 Bee, mainly because I am a sick individual, but I took them off right before we took off in the neighborhood.

I think I know how pageant moms feel. Well, not really, but I was loving the compliments my kids were getting. It validated me as a good mom. Halloween was fun. I would sit at the table and jot down ideas for crazy Halloween costume ideas. Some of my best costumes came from watching The Benny Hill Show.

Some of you young grasshoppers don’t remember Benny Hill, but he was an ornery British comedian who had wacky skits. He was hysterical. I used to watch his shows and then try to sketch some of the costumes people wore on his show. And then I put them on my kids for Halloween. One year, my son, Adam, won for best costume at McDonald’s. I dressed him like the scarecrow riding Piggy Back on the tinman. I don’t know why. Benny Hill had some man riding piggy back on an old woman. It looked so real. I even dressed my husband like that for one of our adult parties. It looked pretty good.

After the little parade walk at McDonald’s, we bought him his first hamburger and when they announced that he won, he started crying because we took the hamburger away from him so he could go get his picture taken. There was a picture of him in the newspaper and I was just beaming. I knew he was going to win because there were only a handful of homemade costumes. And homemade costumes always trumped an expensive store costume every time.

Another Benny Hill costume I took was the GunSlinger. Adam was dressed like a gunslinger, with his arms crossed, but actually his real arms were behind his back.  Benny Hill had a skit where he was dueling with another gunslinger and all of a sudden, his real arms took the guns in each holster and shot his opponent. I liked that. Now, Adam looks a bit possessed in this picture. He was mad about something.

possessed gunslinger

It was a little obvious that his arms were fake, but hey, a mom can do only so much. I thought he looked like a bad guy. Maybe the manic expression was a bad boy image.

He looks a bit scary.

Now, at first, my daughter, Alexandra, loved letting me sew costumes for her.  One year I dressed her like a baby chick coming out of an egg. I hand sewed each of those damn yellow feathers on her costume. She won the McDonald contest the next year.

I have to admit that I did get a bit goofy as the years wore on. Alex looked adorable the next year as a doggie. But, what you don’t see in the picture is the homemade window I made for her to carry.

How Much is that Doggie in the Window..

Yeah, that’s right. She went as How Much is That Doggie in the Window. She got mad because I made her carry it. I’m sure she didn’t understand my purpose. I didn’t even know the damn words to the song as I tried to get her to understand. she did look cute. I even found a little plastic bone to put on top of her head.

I took the scarecrow/riding on the tinman apart and Adam was just a scarecrow one year. That was the year he decided he was done with homemade costumes. I guess some kid at school called him Farmer Jones at school all day and perhaps for the rest of the year.

Well, that was the end of the homemade costumes for Adam. The next year he designed his own. He wanted to buy the Ninja turtle costume in the store, but I talked him into creating his own. He did pretty good. Alex was a cat that year.

He made the goggles out of a paper bag and brown crayon. I was proud of him.

As they grew up I had to let them do what they wanted. That’s the part of being a mom that is hard. Letting go.  That year Adam was a Pittsburgh Penguin killer?? and Alex was a witch. I made the design on my sweatshirt, so that’s what was homemade that year.

The kids grew up and wore what they wanted.  Alex turned into her mom and created great costumes for herself in college. I was so proud. She sent me a picture of herself in Japan when she had a hard time finding things for a costume. She ended up going as Cupid.                   Have a great Halloween!

Trick or Treat, College Style

I love fall. It is the best season of the year. I think it is because I love to wear socks. Well, I mean, I love the leaves changing, and football, and wearing sweathshirts with shorts. Above all, I love Halloween. I have so many Halloween stories, I thought I’d better start now to get them all in.

Halloween was fun in college. The year was 1976 or 1977. Can’t be specific. I already wrote a blog about dressing like the Three Blind Mice. We had parties to attend and costumes to throw together. We went to grape and grain parties. We went to swamp water parties. All I know is that we scooped our cups in a metal washtub thingy and sucked on the fruit, because that’s where all the booze was concentrated. Or so I’ve heard.

Yes, we worked hard to celebrate Halloween. But, there was something we forgot one Halloween. We forgot about the true meaning of Halloween. Yes, that’s right. We forgot to buy candy.

My roommate, Pat, and I were home alone. We had no idea it was October 31. The parties were all held the Friday and Saturday before. It was Monday, October 31. Just another day. But, we were oh so wrong. It was Halloween, after all, for the CHILDREN.

Pat and I were sitting on the couch, minding our own business, when the doorbell rang. I answered the door. There was a little girl standing there, very witch-like. “Trick or Treat”, she said, and held out her bag. Her mom was standing at the bottom of the steps. I was shocked. I mean, like seriously shocked that there would be a little witch with a green face and long black hair at our door.

“Just a minute sweetie, ok?” I sort of shut the door and looked over to Pat, who didn’t hear the sweet little witch cherub say those popular words this time of year. “Trick or Treat.”

“Oh Shittttt.” I paced around like I had to go to the bathroom. “Shit, Pat, It’s Halloween. We have a trick or treater.” Pat ran to the door like I was a liar and the little girl thought we would be back already with mounds of candy. She held out her bag again.Except we had nothing. Pat had cigarettes. Couldn’t give the kid cigarettes. That would be promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. Giving bags of candy is oh so much better. We were running into each other trying to get to the kitchen.

I yelled. “Look in your purse. Do you have anything like a pack of gum?” I was frantic. “How about money?”

I yelled back into the other room that you can’t give kids money. It was HALL O WEEN. It had to be candy. What the hell were we going to do. Telling her to get the hell off  of our porch you devil worshiper was not an option. We had to prevail.

Maybe we should just perform a trick for her and send her on her way. I mean, it is Trick OR Treat.  We should get the cards.

I found something. Pat laughed and said, “You can’t do that.”  Oh, yes I can. Times a wasting. I told Pat to distract her and talk to her while I shoved the item down into her bag so she wouldn’t know what we gave her. Yeah, sure.

I took my find back to the front door and apologized to the child. While Pat asked her a question about her outfit and waved to her mom, I shoved the popular Halloween item into her bag and quickly shut the door.  Oh, Dear God, maybe she wouldn’t notice. Her bag was pretty full.

Pat and I quickly shut off the porch lights. We could not have this happening again. We both moved the drape over our door window back a bit and saw the little witch take the item out of the bag and show it to her mother.

And that was the year I gave a sleeve of crackers for Halloween.

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