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Remembering Bay Area Yard Haunts
09/13/2010 by Specter
As Halloween rapidly approaches I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about the Halloween's of my youth. The good ol' pre-Tylenol Scare Halloweens. Back then it was cool enough just being out at night to make Halloween special. With such low expectations we got an extra thrill when someone put out a really well carved Jack-o'-lantern. Then there was that one old man, though the definition of "old" varied, for some reason, it was always a man, who took the extra effort to make Halloween special for us kids.
One year it was the widower down the street who constructed a witch stirring a cauldron. It didn't actually move but it was really cool because he used flood lights under the cauldron to simulate fire and had another inside to make it glow green. It doesn't sound like much these days but it was nearly revolutionary at the time.
Another year, a man two streets over, dressed entirely in black, sat very still on his porch with a bowl of candy on his lap. It was common at the time for people to just leave bowls of candy out on their porch with a note telling people to take one piece. Surprisingly, people would. But I digress. So there he'd sit and children would approach with caution looking all around for the trick they knew would come. When nothing happend they would relax and select a piece of candy. That's when he would strike, growling, raising his arms, and leaning forward quickly. Invaribly the kids would run away screaming.
Many things have changed over the years but the spirit remains. They may not be old and they may not be men but there are still those who strive to make Halloween extra special for their neighbors.
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