My first halloween in America was fantastic in some ways and a bit disappointing in others.
The good part was that the kids were here the weekend before when local events were taking place, all three agreed to dress up and I was able to throw costumes together for them. (Eldest as Castiel from Supernatural, middle child as a shark attack and youngest as a steam punk) JT finally realized his dream of being The Crow and I was a witch, as usual.
Our two girls and I carved pumpkins and we decorated the yard as a graveyard, with tombstones, set up skeletons on the porch and bought spooky music, a fog machine and loads of candy.
On the Saturday, there was a Halloween Spectacle in Marquette, so we decided to take our costumes out for a spin despite the rain. The Spectacle is run by the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Centre, one of our favorite places to visit when we are in the city and at the Peter White Library.
There was lots of amazing street art and families all dressed up and no body seemed too downcast by the awful weather. In fact JT’s night was made when a chap passed us by, looked up at the sky , looked at JT’s costume and said “Hey it can’t rain all the time man”.
Our last stop of the night was the Haunted House at the NMU. We had to queue for a while, because of a mix up on their posters for the time, but we decided that it was worth the wait based on everything we had heard.
With three teens with us we decided to go to the adult version, something which took me a while to recover from! We passed the time chatting with other people in the line, youngest child, who in her costume look very much older than her age attracted quite a lot of attention from some of the students. I was on the verge of whispering to one especially ardent admirer, “she’s thirteen” when we were saved by his party’s arrival at the front of the line.
We were next up and the director of the actors took us to one side to explains the rules (actors can touch us, we can’t touch them) and to ask us if we needed to carry a stuffed fish to indicate we were adverse to the F-Bomb (we weren’t). But when he got to the “safe word” I have to admit my anxiety went up. He then ushered us towards the first room, where eldest child decided she didn’t want to go in, which I entirely understood by this point.
The first room was a take on the overdose scene in Pulp Fiction, not too scary, from there we went through creepy psychiatric wing, child abuse, small flickering people with knives, pitch black corridors which you had to almost crawl through while unseen people stroked your hair and violently banged things against the tunnel roof. I shrieked… a lot, in fact I was an actors dream. When they weren’t making me shriek I was most muttering “oh god, oh god” and “they touched me, I’m English and they touched me”. We pushed through bodies hanging in bags, a giant adult baby on a chain that charges out at you and a giant human spider whizzing up and down on a rope while her webbed victims begged for help. (I did have the urge to do a Skyrim style rescue, but in the end I just apologised and ran.)
There is no question it was brilliantly done – I was hyped from the adrenaline for hours afterwards (bringing back memories of my mother and Disney’s Space Mountain when I was nine, I’m pretty sure she muttered “oh god” the whole way through too). Of course JT, middle and youngest child were delighted by it, and eldest I believe, was heartily relieved she didn’t go through. Will I take my chances again next year? More than likely.
So that was the brilliant part of Halloween, sadly on the actual day, despite all our prep work, we didn’t get a single trick or treater. I have my fingers crossed for next year and plans for an even bigger and better yard display and JT is making the best of it by eating an entire cauldron full of candy.
Halloween is a 1978 classic horror that made Michael Myers famous and which I famously made the mistake of watching on October 31st, while babysitting in a cottage next to a cemetery.