Halloween! One special day when a frog can become a prince and I, a shy sixth grader donning a pink sparkly tulle gown and tiara, caught the eye of the cutest boy in my class. One year later, another man stole my heart! Our first adventure trick or treating alone, my friends and I wanted to visit the more affluent part of town. We were sure that the elegant homes with manicured yards gave away the best candy. One such home, decorated to the hilt, piqued our curiosity. The more spider webs, Halloween wreaths, and witches’ broomsticks we saw, the more excited we became! We quickly juggled around the candy in our bag to make more room before walking up to the front door and ringing the bell.
Spooky music suddenly greeted us through a speaker near the front door as if on cue. Plastic spiders shot down on us from the doorframe above. We stood there looking at each other wondering what would happen next. The large wooden door creaked opened slowly, very slowly. Once open all the way, we gasped! Standing in front of us was a very tall man. He was so tall we were eye to eye with his belt buckle. As our eyes proceeded upwards, we saw that he was Frankenstein. Dressed in a tuxedo and carrying a large oval silver tray, he bent down to welcome us in a low deep voice.
“Greetings, trick or treaters. You may each reach in the bowl and take as much as you can in one handful. Remember I’m watching, so no tricks.”
Well, who on earth would want to trick that guy! He leaned down a little more putting the tray where we could see its contents. My eyes popped! The tray was filled with hundreds of brand new pennies. All shiny, they glistened all the brighter in the subdued lighting of the entryway. I took a deep breath, opened my chubby hand as wide as I could and grabbed as many of those magical coins as would fit. My friends excitedly did the same. What a magical night! To this day, I can still remember Frankenstein as if I saw him yesterday! Imagine how much time and effort a man I didn’t know put into making my Halloween so extraordinary!
Fast forward thirty five years. I now live and work on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island. No chill in the air, no falling leaves but our islanders celebrate Halloween in a big way. At the time, I owned a video store on the island. About eighteen years ago, some standing water and pesky mosquitoes caused the county to cancel trick or treating! How could they do that? I understood that it was for everyone’s safety, but I saw a lot of disappointed little faces coming into my store after the news. With that magical memory of Frankenstein still in my heart, I along with some friends rolled up our sleeves and transformed my store into a Howling Halloween Haunting for kids of all ages on the island. We constructed a big black tent out of extra huge lawn bags in which one of my friends, an amateur magician, performed. Kids were greeted at the entrance by one of my adult customers dressed like the Wicked Witch of the West, green face and all. There were gooey spider webs and scary movie standees like Freddy Kruger. Dominoes, who occupied the building next door, delivered pizza throughout the party. The manager, another friend, made a special appearance as the Noid. I bought tons of candy and apples. We had games, photos and costume judging for six great hours of Halloween fun. The kids had a blast. They wore their costumes and parents came as well. I have since sold my business but occasionally run into those kids now all grown up. They always tell me how magical that Halloween was for them. Maybe in some small way, I was able to pass the spirit and love I felt on my memorable Halloween with Frankenstein forward!
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About the Author:
She loves where she lives and enjoys watching the dolphin and manatees frolic in the lagoon behind the island home she shares with her husband and ten year old shelter adoptee Max. THE LOVE GYPSY published by The Wild Rose Press, a time travel romance, is her first book.
Fine Mariah online at
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