October 26/365 Beware

I miss being scared on Halloween. We loved dressing up, choosing from our home-grown cache of costumes that we could make out of items we already owned. These were the years before everyone spent money on Halloween. Basically you could be a hobo, a gypsy, a ghost, a witch or old crone, maybe a clown or glamour girl, if you could find a wig. No Disney characters, or sly cultural statements. We didn’t plan for weeks; we just dived into our dress-up stash of old clothes and do-dads, and used our mother’s cast-off lipstick. Then we went out into the dark, where jack-o-lanterns winked, and the wind chased leaves after us. Dark houses sat like warnings between the friendlier porches. Never go there, never walk up the creaking steps, never ring that bell, because then anything could happen. Anything.

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