Halloween has become quite the adult holiday

Scary for the day?

Scary for the day?

For a while there, I was a Halloween Scrooge.

Didn’t care to dress up anymore. Kept the porch light off. Skip my place, kiddies. No candy here.

Bah.

But you can’t be that way and live in Syracuse, N.Y., I am convinced. Halloween is pretty darn big up my way.

So big, in fact, that I wrote all about it for for my community blog this week for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. If you’d like to read my column, click the link below.

http://waer.org/post/halloween-scarily-huge-holiday-central-new-york-adults-too

This is a display in a Syracuse Spirit Halloween store.

This is a display in a Syracuse Spirit Halloween store.

Syracuse has more than one store that opens for a month to sell costumes to our citizenry, and set up displays full of pumpkins and ghouls and goblins and skulls and monsters and scary and bloody stuff.

My dear wife Karen and I will be out on the town Friday night … well, out to a private house party, at least.

We will not be wearing costumes bought at one of those stores.

We will be going as the famous painting American Gothic.

You know the one.

Famous Painting

Famous Painting

Yes, this one.

We went shopping Sunday. We may not get it perfect. I am pretty sure I will post a picture of us here next week.

Here’s the link to the source for the photo of American Gothic.

Are you still a fan of Halloween, and why or why not? What have been your favorite costumes ever, and why? What will you be on Friday, what have you done to prepare for Halloween 2014?

58 thoughts on “Halloween has become quite the adult holiday

  1. Can’t wait to see you and Karen as American Gothic, Mark. We didn’t get many kids this year, but I was charmed by the 5-year old twins from my street as PokΓ©mon and Princess Ella, along with their two dogs, also in costume–adorable! πŸ™‚

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  2. I normally use Halloween to showcase my mad pumpkin carving skills (My Squirrel O’lanterns always get comments) and as an excuse to get rid of all the excess candy I buy that I’ll never eat. But alas, this year Halloween conflicts with league night, so it’ll be strikes and spares rather than passing out tricks or treats for me…

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    • Now you have to save the excess candy ’til next year, Bill. Yummy. Two-year-old Mary Janes harder than a rock!

      Roll good on Friday night. I need to make up for last week’s attrocious 448 (with a 178 closing) tonight. And it’s position night, so I’m looking for a 558 at least to make amends.

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      • I’ve passed out Valentine’s and Easter candy before on Halloween, so I’m totally tacky enough to do that…

        Good luck… I’ve been in a bowling funk myself lately. After starting the year with an abnormally high average, I’ve finally got it down around 170 where it usually is, but now I can’t even hit that!

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      • I started off in Ray Charles territory of 150, advanced it to Stevie Wonder land of 160 (you know, old blind guy to not as old blind guy) and now am plummeting back downward. I need to end up at 163 to match last season. I will surpass it.

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  3. It’s SO different now. We went to a pumpkin carving party last Saturday. It was ridiculous. I was cutting out my triangles and squares while people around me were fashioning elaborate and complicated designs with tools designed specifically for the job. One of my pumpkins was rotten. It looked perfect on the outside but when I opened it, it was a greyish mush. I almost passed out from the stench that wafted up. I should blog about that.

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    • Special art pumpking carving tools. Wow, Mark. That’s part of it too that you’ve hit on there. The business folk have latched onto Halloween and ridden it for all its worth, too.

      Yes, the Great Pumpkin Stink. Please do blog about that one.

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  4. Can’t wait to see the pictures and find out what you did for a pitchfork. I’m still a bit of a Halloween Scrooge, but the kids drag me in. Who doesn’t love free candy?

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    • KIds your age and you MUST be involved. That’s the unwritten law of the land, Liz. Buy good stuff for Larry to hand out at your place, because I am convinced that Halloween karma exists in that regard, you know. πŸ™‚

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  5. I love that shirt in the middle of the top photo! I can’t wait to see your costume photos! πŸ˜€ Once, my sister and I took my kids out when they were small, and we dressed as Sonny & Cher (I was Cher) and carried a tape player with “I Got You Babe” playing as we walked. (It took me a week to get all the black washed out of my hair!) I’m sure this is politically incorrect nowadays and probably in bad taste, but when I was a kid, I once went with my best friend as Siamese twins. (Didn’t say co-joined back then.) Sadly, the neighborhood where I live now doesn’t get into Halloween. 😦 My photo studio used to host “Will Shoot For Food” every year, where we did a big Halloween set and took FREE photos in exchange for canned goods which we then donated to the homeless shelter, and people STILL didn’t come! We usually got around 15 takers per year and they brought the minimum canned goods and cheap ones at that! 😦

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  6. loved the column and it sounds like a great halloween spot. sad about the pounding you got when you ventured out on your own and i’m so happy you’ve found your way back to celebrating halloween again. i love your am gothic idea, and i can’t wait to see it. i’m going to be mother nature this year, as our school theme this year is ‘outside’, and everyone gets into it, including the admins, with a huge parade and parties. can’t wait!

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  7. Hope you and Karen have a ball at the Halloween party. Thanks for sharing my Halloween experiences. Dave and I will be home that night handing out treats to the little ghosts, goblins and super heroes who come to our door.

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  8. Oh my gosh Mark I cannot wait to see a picture of you and Karen as the American Gothic! I haven’t dress for Halloween since I was 12. Maybe I’ll wear all black and get a guitar…. πŸ˜‰
    Diana xo

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  9. I am the ultimate Halloween Scrooge! I dim the lights, hide under the table and ignore those doorbell rings! Fortunately the grandparents are taking the kids trick or treating this year, so I can stay at home and scare myself silly watching horror movies!

    Fun post! I hope you have a good Halloween!

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    • I actually quite liked being the Scrooge, and then my dear wife Karen had my have quite the fun time being Fred Fllintstone to her Wilma, and I think American Gothic this year is going to be awesome, Amanda! Hey, by the way, watching horror movies is pretty much showing you might not be such a Halloween Scrooge after all, FYI. Thanks for your kind words about this post. πŸ™‚

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  10. I love Halloween. The fun, the decorations. I never dressed up, not since I was a kid anyway, but I loved watching the kids, especially the little ones. Where I live now there are mostly retiree’s so no kids. It’ll be another quiet night here.

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  11. I think I am going through my Halloween Scrooge mode right now…..but I guess that comes from having a 14 year old and being immersed in the craziness for so long. I kind of just need a break from it all, so I am taking this year off.
    Halloween used to be my favorite day of the year. You will understand this next part, being from Syracuse. I used to live in a small town called Owego, right on the Susquehanna. My neighborhood was referred to as ‘the flats’. We were in town, but off the main roads. A lot of the churches would set up hay wagons for all of the rural kids and bring them in to town. They would drop them off at the street light in front of my house……I never had less than 300 trick or treaters while I lived there. It was amazing. Multiple generations of family members all dressed up, enjoying the night together. The small grid of streets that made up the flats would be filled with people. The community would come together, local businesses would set up refreshments at either end of the neighborhood for the parents. It gave you the feeling of stepping back a few decades.
    Since we moved, Halloween just hasn’t been the same for us….or for them. Irene wiped out a lot of the houses in the flats……and took the spirit away when the water receded.

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    • Sorry to hear that Irene walloped the Flats of Owego, SC. It sounds as if that neighborhood was awesome, the way it came together each Halloween. Reading your recollection, it somehow made me think of Bedford Falls and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ which, of course, is said to be Seneca Falls, another cozy spot up here.

      Take your deserved year off. Then maybe you will be back in the mode to dress up and enjoy the holiday. I never, ever thought I’d “Un-Scrooge” for this holiday, but I have.

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  12. You know that the American Gothic was based on a house Grant Wood saw in Eldon, IA. Just saying! Maybe my Hawkeyes had a lasting impression on you after all! I’m sure you know by now that I’m a super fan of Halloween. Love everything about it – the candy, the scary movies, the decorations, the costumes…! Hope you and Karen have fun on Friday!

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    • I knew from reading your blog that you are a Halloweenie, CBXB! I did not know that American Gothic was inspired by a house in Iowa. I guess our pinky wager did finish with some Hawkeye rubbing off on Karen and I, didn’t it? Have a great holiday, my friend.

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  13. Roll on Saturday! Yes me and halloween are not friends. I did make the effort over the years when my kids loved dressing up and the party, but thankfully not this year

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  14. Halloween has become less fabulous for me since going on meds and not being able to get completely inebriated. But back in the day, we had the most wicked parties complete with a full size cooler in the shape of a coffin. There were more babies born and more STDs spread as a result of our parties than anyone elses. Good times, good times. πŸ˜‰

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  15. I can’t wait to see what you both look like! When I worked, I always dressed up as something funny, and always got upset with the folks who couldn’t get in the spirit. But I don’t like creepy (like the bloody trenchcoat above), and I don’t like being scared. We’ve visited several Halloween stores lately, searching for my son’s costume, a Scream face with the handheld heart pump that oozes blood through his mask. Yeesh. Our neighborhood is small, so we don’t have trick or treaters. But in the last couple of months, 80 new houses have been started, and they complete several each week. So next year, we may get lots of kiddos at our door!

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  16. I love Halloween but have done nothing for it this year, too busy adjusting to other stuff that it snuck up on me. Maybe next year πŸ™‚

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  17. I will look forward to your American Gothic portrait with your own personal variations! I handed out over 200 pieces of candy in 2005, my last Autumn in a home that I enjoyed painting designs in every room. I loved the experience of seeing my neighbors, moved out in 2006, but see them from time to time. Life is one that allows changes and we need to go with the flow, a friend (Barb of Silver in the Barn) may have imparted this wisdom to me… Anyway, bubble gum is cheap and kids still love to get a couple pieces of it, also Smarties! smiles and encouraging those who have houses to enjoy the costumes; especially the creative and little ones, too!

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  18. Costume photos, please! … And at least you and Karen aren’t dressing up like former colleagues of ours who (still) are husband and wife — a ball & chain.

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