How to Improve Your Halloween Fright Skills- Add to the Wiki

Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

spider web - from Wired WikiIt lingers with me- the sickening feeling.

I was on the way home from Jr. High. I had finished basketball practice- so I took the late bus that would deposit me at the edge of my neighborhood as the first hint of night approached.

This left little time for me to dress up for Halloween. I'd procrastinated. I was still trying to adjust to life as a Jr. High student and hadn't given Trick or Treat much head space.

What would I wear? How should I haul the candy? A lunch bag? A pillowcase?

Then I realized something- I was too old for Halloween.

Sure. I could go but I couldn't think of a single reason why I kid my age and sprouting height deserved a treat. Surely there would be the admonishing adult who would ask me, "Aren't you a little old to be trick-or-treating?"

So I did the next best thing.

I devised a scheme to scare all the kids who would be coming to my house. They'd get their treat all right. (Is this how all villains start out?)

I fashioned a ghost out of a sheet and a basketball. I wrapped my belt-robe to create a neck. I used a coat hanger to hold the head upright... the hook portion would come in handy. I tied a line from the front yard tree to the TV antenna on the roof. I put a speaker in the bush and ran a long wire up to the roof- from this high perch I stood- holding onto my ghost that had a very long leash. As kids approached I'd send the ghost down to the sidewalk... then I'd yank on the rope to stop the ghost in front of the approaching victims kids. The haunting was heightened by my ghoulish taunts- relayed from microphone to bush.

I was pretty proud of this do-it-yourself fright fest until I made a little trick-or-treater cry.

Ashamed, I dismantled the haunting kit and tracked down the little lady bug and apologized.

I offered a full size Snickers as a guilt payment. To this day I'm conflicted. If there's a place in hell for a over-the-top Halloween revelers, surely I was earning a place on the seating chart. But- no more. I've since dedicated myself to the treat portion of the festivities.

So... even though I've given up the spook-game it doesn't mean I won't help the rest of you hone your skills.

Wired Magazine has created a wiki. That's a collaborative website for people to share ideas. The theme of this one appears to be the ultimate guide to Halloween mastery.

For starters, they'll help you:

  • Make Fake Blood
  • Make Fake Smoke
  • Build a Giant Spider Web
  • Download Some Freaky Sounds

Is that too pedestrian? Add your own! Here's the place to get started:

Wired Halloween Wiki

But a simple plea: Be kind to the Lady Bugs.


Photo Credit: "Ladybug Raingear" by Kyle Flood

Comments (12)

Justin Williams
Independent - Virginia Beach, VA
Loan Officer

Awww you made the little lady bug cry, you know thats the main reason why I don't try to scare the little kids every year :D.  Glad you apologized to the little girl and gave her a big snickers bar, bet that made her night.

Oct 25, 2008 09:46 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Justin- She looked more "rugged" from the roof. :-|

I know; I know... there's no good excuse for it. I can say that I've amended my ways. :-)

Oct 25, 2008 10:07 AM
Sharon Young
Ivy League Mortgage Philadelphia, Pa - Southampton, PA

Chuck... too funny! In the past when my kids were young, I was ridiculously into holidays. I did the haunted house thing to the hilt. I did the "haunted front porch" (enclosed porch with all the windows blacked out). I got dressed as a creepy old woman (I make a great creepy old woman! ha ha) I made the kids sit in a chair and I would slowly walk around them and stare at them. Never said a word. That scared them more than anything. I had my daughter under the chair and just when they couldn't take anymore, she would grab their ankle!

Then, I did the "haunted coal room". The house we were in at the time was very old and in the front of the celler, was an old coal room. And boy was it creepy. I literally spent months getting the celler and coal room ready for Halloween. Even did the dry ice thing for fog. It was awesome. I made the kids walk all the way through the house and down the stairs to the celler and all the way to the back to the coal room. My two goulish assistants would be waiting for them. I actually made a teenage boy cry!

I did not do this to the little kids, just the teenagers. And we had a lot in my neighborhood. Most were my kids friends who loved it so much they would go tell all their friends and then I would have kids knocking at midnight looking for the haunted house.

It was fun. But I am reformed now. Really.

Thanks for letting me post my blog in your comments! ;-)






Oct 25, 2008 10:18 AM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

This was really fun to read, chuck. Wonderful writing! I'm also reminded of my daughter & her friends in highschool... used to dress up a cello case as a hobo-ish lady, set her on a porch & ring the bell & race to hide...some people would put treats in her bag and talk to her as if there was a child under the costume, not understanding it was time to leave...

Oct 25, 2008 03:52 PM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Sharon- Copy. Create New Blog. Paste. Presto! ... Speaking of which... my Mom was an awesome Halloweener. She did the witch routine so well once that a few of the neighbor kids thought she actually might be a witch. She took this as a compliment.

Mara- I would have loved to have seen the ol' cello-as-hobo trick. Also... I'm pretty sure I would have succumbed to their sophisticated brand of chicanery.

Oct 26, 2008 10:27 AM
Sandra McCarty
Keller Williams - Southlake, TX
Sandy McCarty your Relocation agent for Iowa

My oldest is at that exact age.  Where you can make the money to buy the candy.

Oct 26, 2008 10:31 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Sandy- That's a very nice way of describing it! Do you share this pearl of wisdom with the other trick-or-treaters who meet this demographic? :-)

Oct 26, 2008 10:35 AM
Pam Pugmire
Silvercreek Realty Group - Meridian, ID
Meridian Idaho Real Estate

I remember my older brother doing this at our home when I was younger.  We lived in a very small rural town so we didn't get many trick or treaters.  I don't think he was as successful as you, but he still had fun trying.

Oct 27, 2008 03:22 AM
Cat Zwicker, CRS
Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC - Redmond, OR
Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results!

Chuck, a fun read and a great resource for the scare mongers. I'm a traditionalist with pumpkins and scarecrows and a harvest theme... probably as I was once akin to the ladybugs in this world! My daughter and husband on the other hand or out for the whole fright! Thankfully she's too old for trick-or-treat and is now off to Fall dances and Harvest Balls. In the world pf parenting...those are even scarier!

Oct 27, 2008 05:41 AM
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Chuck Halloween brings back lots of fun memories.  I faintly remember them growing up - but vivid are the one's my little ones (not so little anymore) enjoyed.  It was always a big rush Halloween night to get them costumed - something fairly healthy in their bellies - and out the door.  It was always a challenge to get those dang costumes over their snow suites.  It was very cold in Montreal!  Thanks for the memory walk...

Your Raleigh Realtors


Oct 27, 2008 08:37 AM
Eric Murrietta
Homeowners Financial Group USA, LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Chuck - Sorry you scared the little ladybug...I did enjoy the great tips.  My wife and I are throwing a little Halloween bash so I may use some of those ideas.  Let's hope that they turn out to be scary enough to make someone scream or cry...

Wait - You said not to scare the ladybugs.  I always forget the most important part of the lessons. 

Oct 27, 2008 10:08 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Pam- Boys.... can you expect anything different?

Cat- I could not agree more about your fright scale!

Pamela- Snow suits? Trick or Treating here often includes picking a costume that won't be too sweaty.

Eric- Maybe this is the genesis of my soft-spot. A female's tears are like kryptonite to me.

Oct 28, 2008 08:22 AM