Just up the street from me, about 6 blocks away, there’s a house with the most extreme giant halloween decorations ever. Instead of trick or treating at their door, it was clear we were supposed to walk up the driveway into their back yard which was an enormous pirate-themed haunted house AND a party, with dry ice and a fire pit, bowls of candy, snacks, booze, bewildered people standing around, people who were clearly friends of the party-throwers. Party complete with sobbing children scared witless yet still greedy and curious enough to keep going into these strange people’s house past the glowing-skull-decorated rabbit hutches, animatronic zombies, and mysterious grownups covered in fake blood who jump out at you. Spiderwebs. Strings of tiny lights. Candles in paper bags, like Christmas luminarias. Those giant inflatable things. They had everything. They even had a Rodent of Unusual Size.
I really loved the idea of pushing the idea of suburban trick-or-treating way past where it usually goes – throwing a party and putting on a show for random people in your neighborhood, for all ages. To some people it’s a holiday about shallow display of costume, unhealthy greed & consumption. To me it has this beautiful aspect of performativity and the celebration of generosity, public trust, and abundance. Anyway, I’d heard that “those people up on Myrtle” threw some great block parties in the summer. Our little group of trick or treaters was lucky to stumble across the madness.
So, thanks to Sue for a cool experience! I got in her face, demanding her name, screeching, “Who ARE you people?!” Can I put my kid to bed, sneak out of the house, and go back to their party. Does it sound like I’m totally making it up?