How Darth Vader stole my Spirit of Halloween

and the little girl who ressurrected it.

When I lived in Smithville, Ontario, Stormy and I would decorate for Halloween. Zombies. Witches. Vampires, Michael Myers and even the nefarious Skinwalker from The Equinox. Every year it got a little bigger. My garage became a hang out for family and friends who came out for Halloween, and for the wage of a beer helped they helped take it down.

I sort of lost my Halloween Spirit when I moved to this little town in rural Alberta. It was two things, really, many of the parents seemed put off that they might have to step over a severed limb as they dragged their kid kicking and screaming up the walk. I got a few indignant looks. What are you? Some kind of monster? These children are vulnerable.

And I get it, maybe your four year old daughter is scared of my smoking zombie or cackling witch. I tried to be sport, would bring the candy to the road for a little one too afraid to come to my porch. The only delivery charge for the sweets was their eternal soul.

Fair trade, if you ask me.

But it wasn’t even that. It was that punk kid, who took off his Darth Vader mask to talk. Likely because he wanted me to see his stupid pudgy-smug-pumpkin face smile cunningly as he said, “Your layout is lame compared to the neighbors.”

Little prick. I felt like punching him in the face.

Of course, they frown on that shit now, so I said, “Yeah? What neighbor?”

Then I craned my neck. That was ridiculous. Who had five fog machines, seven animatronic creatures from witch to zombie and enough severed limbs and spiders and skulls to fill nine crates? While I was looking, he reached up, tugged a bag of Cheetos from my hand, and put on his Darth Vader mask. Then he went down the walk stepping over the severed limbs and was gone.

There really was a lot more to it than that.

The folowing year we put out less, and then we just gave out candy. My heart wasn’t in it anymore. It was a lot of work for a small window of time. It was different when my friends and family were around. This year wasn’t going to be any different.

Then I got a written request from Olivia, the neighbor’s daughter, asking that we make the house spooky for Halloween. “I will be ready,” she signed. She’s a cute kid. I wrote her back and signed, “Get ready.”

Stormy and I have been cooking stuff up. I’m leaving the layout to her, while I do the grunt work. We’ve got a reaper, witches, and things climbing from the pits of hell.

Olivia has ignited the spirit of Halloween in my heart once more.

Watch out for the severed limbs in the walk.

Thanks for listening.

Back to the girls.