There’s something mysterious about this time of year that brings out more than nostalgia. Halloween’s naughtiness license (to do mischief like moving the neighbors’ swing set from their backyard and putting it in the middle of the driveway) is really a creativity license.
I always looked forward to making the funniest Jack o’ Lantern, or the scariest. And wearing a pink taffeta princess dress (which unfortunately was not visible under all my outer layers on cold Halloweens). And parties (did anyone ever actually catch an apple by bobbing for apples?).
One year at school, the big kids made a Tunnel of Horrors for the younger ones. I was new to that school, and holding on to others as I stumbled up and down stairs in the dark, I had no idea where I was. It was spooky in a fun way — scary faces lit from below by flashlights, ghostlike figures brushing by, skeletons dropping down, haunted wailing, sudden swaths of spider webs … and a witchy voice croaking, “Come closer, Dearie, put your hand in the bowl of eyeballs” (meticulously peeled grapes in water)!
Imagine the creative brainstorming sessions that went into choosing gags that could be pulled off in darkness without breaking anyone’s bones! I was in rapture. I went home that weekend and created a mini version of a Tunnel of Horrors for my younger siblings.