My mom did this thing when we were young: She'd dress up the house all haunted like, and she dressed up as a witch, green face paint and all! When kids would ring the door bell, she'd throw open the door and SCREAM and CACKLE! She had a plastic cauldron she's put the candy in that she'd hand out, and every year she'd always add something new to the gig. Once she had those outdoor torches lining the sidewalk up to the house, she had a fake arm sticking out of the window well grates, and a giant light up pumpkin in the corner of the porch with a fake leg sticking out of it's spiky toothed mouth. She also had a hanging spider that was sound activated on the screen door, so when she'd SCREAM and CACKLE, it'd fall down and climb back up again.
One year she got really creative with the cauldron: She filled the big one with water and put a dry ice in it so it'd bubble and brew, then she put the candy in a smaller cauldron inside, it'd float on top of the water and was hidden from view. All the kids saw was her reaching into a brewing cauldron and pulling out candy. She only did this once, however, because in no time she was handing out frozen candy!
Her little act caught on well in the neighborhood, and some of the other houses started to get creative too. I remember one house put on a "Mad Dentist" display! Oh, that was memorable. One guy was the "poor unfortunate patient" while the other guy wearing a red-spattered lab coat would "drill" into his mouth while the other guy would scream and freak out. I think he had like a hardware drill that'd rev and everything. I don't remember much of it, but I do remember him holding up a jawbone of some animal and yelling in a crazed voice "Look what happened to my last patient!" The best part was he instructed the patient to "spit" after a drill session and he turns to spit in the candy bowl, which they painted with red paint spatters about the edges. He was all "Ah, you spit in the candy bowl, now what are we going to give the kids?" he offered it to us anyway, though most kids just backed away XD
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