A Cracked Up Halloween - Legends and New Party Ideas

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Toilet Paper Souffle

I remember celebrating Halloween in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades in school. We dressed up as our favorite cartoon characters and Universal Studios monsters and paraded through the neighborhood around our school to entertain the residents. Then went back to the classroom for punch and cupcakes. It was fun, but we did nothing for Halloween in later years.

At home, we handed out some candy those first three years, but stopped when high school kids and college students in just plain old clothes began to come around, demand treats, and vandalize the neighborhood. In addition, kids from the richer neighborhoods started showing up with garbage bags, demanding extra large portions of candy while their parents waited in their expensive cars -- It was not fun any longer. I didn't get the point of Halloween anyway.

My father got the idea to dress in dark colors and hide down by our fence (we were fenced in all around and had high shrubs) with a big garbage bag of toilet paper rolls and cartons of eggs. Hidden from view in this way on the next Beggar's Night, my father waited for the older boys to show up to do damage. As a group of over half a dozen came nearby on the sidewalk, discussing how they were going to damage the homes in the neighborhood, my father pelted them with a lot of eggs and then let fly with toilet paper that stuck all over them. He laughed so much, the boys thought he was crazy and fled, looking absolutely idiotic. Kids on the sidewalks laughed and thought the boys had invented new costumes for the season.

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Costume Parties all Year Long!

For Halloween, I either forget about the holiday because I am working, or I might take some kids to the community harvest festival/costume party at the community center or one of the local churches.

Costume parties are fun all year long, so why wait for October? In a particular Scandinavian country, a costume party begins in the middle of the night on a February date when children and adults alike go "trick or treating" from door to door to gather the residents and meet at the town square and community hall for a three-day party. That's the way to do a costume party!

WHAT IS THE ORIGINATION OF THE GREEN FACE?

I don't like the green-faced witch costumes and pictures in America, though, because that image really comes from the gangrene and facial discoloration suffered by innocent women herbalists in the Salem witch trail era, when they were hung on a stake and/or burned or asphyxiated. I think we should do away with any commemoration of that and teach children about avoiding prejudice instead!

The Comedy of Halloween

So, I really don't celebrate Halloween, but like to go on the HALLOWEEN TRAIN in Bridgeport, Michiganon the other side of I-75 from Frankenmuth!

Junction Valley Railroad Halloween Holiday Train Ride

Junction Valley Railroad Halloween Spook Train

  • Bridgeport Michigan
  • Located at the corner of Junction & Dixie Highway; just off I-75
  • October weekends, usually ending November 1st.

I don't even celebrate Halloween and this is still a great place for me to have fun.

This great ride takes you through hundreds of acres of nighttime lights, goblins and other characters, along a route of 250 Jack-o-Lanterns in a 1/4 life size train like those in some kiddie zoos. You'll go over railroad bridges and think you are going to fall out. You get stuck in a lighted "tunnel" and feel trapped. You'll hear shrieks and chainsaws sawing away. You'll hear laughter as the goblins fall down and drop things.

Even the wait in the ticket line is fun. While you are talking to one friend, a ghoul will step up quietly to help you into the train and you will turn and realize that your other friend looks monstrous all of a sudden. Many screams are heard before the ride even starts. Once under way, you will visit 80 different tableaux that are like an entertaining B-list movie and most are very funny.

Hot chocolate is available on the grounds and in the hobby shop. It's the largest 1/4 size railroad operation in al the world.

Halloween Holiday Train Ride

A markerJunction & Dixie Highway; Bridgeport MI -
Dixie Highway & Junction Road, Bridgeport, MI 48722, USA
[get directions]

Merry Halloween!

 I prefer to laugh at Halloween and appreciate all things funny and witty.

One of my favorite witty traditions in the Peeps! I thought they were just hunks of tastely rubbery candy until I discovered a droll research site about them.

Peep My Research

And there have been many discoveries since that time.

For example, there is the wonderful Peep's Halloween passion play below: 

Peep Halloween Melodrama

Peep Is In the House

The next witty October video of Peepdom is a Peep Horror Show made in stop-motion photography by the SciFi Club.

Peep Halloween Horror Show

A Peep on Stephen King

Let us move on to our next viewing selection. This is a better take on The Shining. This classic is called The Peeping.

The Peeping

A 1960s Interlude

Bobby (Boris) Pickett recorded the novel number The Monster Mash way back in 1962. Many people enjoyed it and it was worn out on the radio by local DJs. Reruns of old "dance party" TV shows depict teens and show hosts in Halloween costumes dancing the latest steps to Bobby's tune backed up by The Crypt Kicker Five.

A number of renditions are available on Youtube, some of them not very good. However, the selection below is cut into classic horror film scenes pretty nicely and some of the dialogues chime in in just the right spots.

The Monster Mash was featured on a long-playing album of the early 1960s that is very rare and sometimes still available on eBay for a LOT of money. It is called Dracula's Greatest Hits. However an attractive CD is now available and contains extra material.

Monster Mash and Montage

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a fine family film for Halloween, as long as the images are discussed with small children that might be frightened by them. I find the characters absurdly charming someway and enjoy Jack Pumpkin's feud with Santa Claus.

It all ends well and the animation is fascinating to watch. My favorite scene is one in which a small mad scientist opens up his skull to scratch his brain while he is pondering a solution to a problem.

The following selections from the film are good ones as well.

This Is Halloween

Peep the Jackalope

B.T. Evilpants continually instructs us here at Hub Pages that Jackalopes are a breed of creature not to be taunted or challenged - only to be elected President. This film clip seems to prove this waring and would seem a fitting addition to the witty collection of holiday films presented above.

If you celebrate Halloween, have some safe fun and stay away from green faces and jackalopes on the streets. And if you like costume parties, why not start having them all through the year for extra fun? No need to wait for October.

Curse of the Jackalope, Part I

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Comments 6 comments

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

Halloween has made a comeback over the past ten or so years; it is a time to move product.

I did not know this:

"That image really comes from the gangrene and facial discoloration suffered by innocent women herbalists in the Salem witch trail era "


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Hysterical story of your father in the bushes. The Junction Valley Spook Train looks like fun and loved the "Curse of the Jackalopes" video. I will surely stay away from green faces and jackalopes this Halloween season. Great entertaining hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Bob - I always wondered about the green faces until I began researching the Cold War, which led me back to actual witch hunts in Salem and elsewhere. Many innocent people died agonizing deaths for using medicinal herbs.

Dottie1 - Thanks for visiting and laughing with me. Hopefully, BT will weight in on the video with some nice commentary. Mighty Hunter may need ot be on guard. :) I had better get out a BIG pot for MH stew this year.


Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 7 years ago from Central Oregon

I love Halloween, my favorite holiday. However, I ignore the scary stuff - never appealed to me. I love the fall colors and pumpkins I set out on my front porch. I think the holiday has some pretty awful traditions and history associated with it and I understand how that can turn some people off to the holiday. I just do my own thing.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

That's the best thing to do, Karen!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Fun hub!

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