This entry has taken me a week finish, but hopefully it’s not TOO late. 🙂 Photos from this year’s Halloween can be found at this link.

Me as the Mad ScientistHolly and I weren’t planning on doing much of anything this past Halloween. We usually try to do something kind of special to scare the kids that come to trick-or-treat, but this year we’ve been so busy that we hadn’t given it much thought. Saturday morning we discussed it and decided that we weren’t going to do anything but hand out candy. We felt like we were wussing out a bit, but doing nothing sounded more favorable than trying to throw something together at the last minute. As we headed out to run a few errands later that afternoon, one of the kids from down the street asked us what we were doing this year. We explained that we weren’t planning on anything, to which he replied, “Aww, that’s to bad. Last year was really scary and I was looking forward to what you were going to do this year.” Nothing like a guilt-trip from a child to get your butt in gear.

Last year we setup a bit of a bit of a production since it IS one of my favorite holidays of the year. I didn’t think we made much of an impression, but I guess I was wrong. As we drove around running our errands, Holly and I batted back and forth what we could do – after all, we didn’t want to disappoint our fans did we? Limited time, limited funds must have kicked our creativity into high gear because I think we out did ourselves this year.

This year we used the driveway as our “stage” and setup two sawhorses with a piece of plywood on top to make a table. I covered that with a sheet and then took some of my old clothes to make a dummy. I used an old shirt and a pair of slacks and stuffed them with newspaper and then laid it prone on the makeshift table. I cut up the front of the shirt and then placed a large bowl in the center of what would be the chest, which we filled with candy. I found a recipe for fake blood and spread it liberally all around. I used some old gloves for hands, but for the head and feet, I made it look like they were severed. I put a pair of boots on the ground and then sprayed more blood where the head would be. With the main spectacle in place, we hooked up a flood light to illuminate the “operating table”, setup a Fog Machine that we bought at Target for $20 and added a lava lamp for ambience.

For my costume, I decided to be a mad scientist. Remembering an old TV character from Baton Rouge television, I had hoped to be Dr. Shock. However, there wasn’t time to find a lab coat, so I went in a little different direction. I used an old apron and put blood all over it. Underneath I wore some shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt. I used an old man mask that I’ve used before and added a cheap white wig and some holographic glasses. Holly added a few new items to her traditional witch outfit, most notably a new mask that took the cake. I laughed almost every time she would say or do anything. The jowls on the mask would shake and I would just lose it. It was REALLY funny.

Even though we threw everything together at the last minute, we were ready to receive kids by 5:00pm. As kids would walk up the street, Holly and I would compare notes on how old we thought the kids were. If they were young, Holly would walk out to the street, greet them and give them candy from her bowl. However, if the children were old enough, she’d hang back and I would go through my whole routine. 🙂

I’d begin my taking a hammer and slowly beating the table in a very lethargic and deliberate way. Just the sound of a large WACK would make some kids jump even when they were a good 20 yards away. I would keep beating the table until they got within a few feet of the table. I would then shout, “Please, come get some candy… if you dare!”, all the while I would use a small hand rake to stir the candy in the chest bowl. As the kids would reach for the candy in the bowl, I would then fire up the circular saw I had on the table. There was no blade in it, I was simply using it for the sound effect. If the kids were old enough, or were acting like they weren’t scared, I’d lift the saw over my head a la Leatherface and beat the table with the hammer. This year, every kid jumped at least once. 🙂

The evening wore on and more and more kids showed up. What Holly and I found so intriguing is that most kids would stay and hang around to see what else we would do. With only a few bits, we were quickly running out of material and having to shoo the kids away. We began adding more and more schtick to our routine. I added a bucket filled with water and would drop a stapler (heaviest thing I could find quickly) and toss it in the bucket to make a big splash. How I would use it is by pretending to cut off the cadaver’s hand with the circular saw and then toss instead of tossing the hand in the bucket, I would toss the stapler instead, dropping the hand on the ground. I added some other various tidbits too, but if kids were still not willing to go to the next house, I would then put my hand in the water and then sling water at them making them think it was blood. That usually got them running. 🙂

Reading my descriptions, it sounds a heck of a lot nastier than it did that night. It wasn’t all slinging blood and circular saws cutting off hands. Holly was playing a witch, as I said earlier and she helped temper the mood by being funny and lighthearted. She started adding a bunch of one-liners as the evening progressed. I would fire up the fog machine as kids approached and she’d say “Dinner will be served once the smoke has cleared.” As kids would approach the chest cavity candy bowl, she’d wise crack, “Oh my husband is such a mess in the kitchen. Ha ha ha hee hee hee!” What was so funny about these comments though was the voice that she was using. Somewhere along the line, her voice slid into a very nasal and almost “New York Jewish” a la Barbara Streisand / Michael Myers (aka “Linda Richman” ) sound to it. Hearing Holly talk like Linda Richman was really funny. Remembering that Linda was also Jewish, we did a play on words. Instead of calling her Jewish, we began calling her a Jew-witch

*Note to my Jewish friends – we meant no offense by this. We were simply playing on the words Jewish and Jew-witch. We were not making fun that she sounded Jewish, just that the play on words was funny and that she sounded like Linda Richman. I may be overstating the facts, but I just want to make sure I’m clear. No offense was implied, nor intended. 🙂

After almost 4 hours of beating on tables with a hammer, swinging a circular saw over my head and slinging water at children, we finally quit around 8:45pm completely exhausted. We moved most of the stuff into the garage, turned off the lights and settled down to a light dinner while we watched “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre“. With nothing planned for Halloween, it turned out to be a really great one. We really out did ourselves and raised the bar. Hmmm… I what I could use for brains next year? 😛