Possessed by the Halloween spirit | AspenTimes.com

Possessed by the Halloween spirit

Janet UrquhartAspen, CO Colorado

With less than a week until Halloween, my household is possessed.Im not sure which is more frightening the temptation posed by keeping umpteen pounds candy on hand (the bags of Snickers and Twizzlers have already been compromised) or the delight I get out of scaring the bejeezus out of small children.At least Im not alone in my nightmarish plotting.A year ago, I was the one making elaborate plans for a spooky threshold from which to dole out the treats while my unwilling partner in terror agreed to carve a few jack-o-lanterns and keep me stocked in M&Ms and Pixy Stix from behind the front door. I sat outside on the porch in a gruesome get-up.Each new prop I acquired for the haunting scene you know, the requisite skull or two, spiders, a remote-controlled device that emits eerie sounds was greeted with incredulous eye-rolling. Clearly, I was soloing in my whole call me mistress of the macabre fantasy.This time, things are different. Now Im the one who comes home to find an amassing assortment of haunting accoutrements skeleton parts, a fake meat cleaver, pint of fake blood and not one, but three, mini-strobe lights. There is talk (not from me) of rigging some sort of pulley across the front walk to send a ghostly apparition flying above unsuspecting tikes. I had to put my foot down when the digging of an actual grave in the front lawn was suggested. Not unless I die first.Aspen may be a Halloween freak show, but Blue Lake is the place to be for trick-or-treating. And, you dont have to stay awake until 11 p.m. for the fun to start. The first midget Power Rangers and fairy princesses hit the streets at dusk and by the time true darkness falls, the place is a mass of shrieking kids roving from house to house in search of thrills and a sugar high. The little ones bring body guards (mom and dad) to fend off monsters who lure their prey with candy corn the crack cocaine of candy, in my opinion.Some households are content to simply hand out the goods, but others have a ghoulishly good time trying to outdo one another. Its sort of like keeping up with the Joneses, er, Munsters. I want the screams emanating from my door to drown out those coming from across the street, at my closest competitors house. Forget the war on terror, this is the war of terror.Friends, jealous that their neighborhood across Hells highway isnt drawing the numbers it used to, plan to join us for the frightfest after handing out candy at their place for an hour or so, just to make sure some disgruntled Spiderman and his cohorts dont egg their house.Were expected to construct a coffin this weekend to accommodate a 6-foot-1-inch representative of the undead who wants in on the action. He may be the only ghoul on the block holding a scythe in one hand and a beer in the other.Im plotting a graveyard scene with, maybe, a few grisly elements, and I have reason to believe the Bride of Frankenstein will make a cameo appearance.I was mulling the acquisition of a fog machine when it occurred to me things could escalate out of control quickly. Two years ago, our first in Blue Lake, we simply handed out candy until we ran out, then huddled in the darkness and hoped no one papered our tree. Last year, we doubled the treat supply and I did my best to give visitors a mild fright, with mixed results. Some leery trick-or-treaters were forcibly dragged to the stoop by a parent, but others wanted to pose with me for photos.My proudest moments came when I made several youngsters cry. Nothing warms the heart like a terrified toddler.Beware.Janet Urquhart is afraid of things that go bump in the night. Her e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com.