November 3, 2013
Each year when Halloween arrives I enjoy decorating our front porch with spiders and bats and big spider webs in hopes of scaring the kids. Occasionally I dress up myself. I’ve recycled a black robe and hood I made about 20 years ago for my hubby to wear as the Grim Reaper into a length I can wear since he’s quite a bit bigger than me. Instead of the usual skeleton mask that went with it, I found a half mask with a long beak of the Plague Doctor, or Dottore De La Peste, from the 1600s. During the Black or Bubonic Plague of that time, it was believed that the germs were transferred by air and odors, so the doctors would wear clothing to completely cover themselves, and a mask with a long beak was filled with herbs that they breathed through. They believed this would protect them from the disease but sadly it was bites from infected rats and fleas that actually spread it.
I found a really cool looking mask at our local Halloween store that sets up during the holiday, and then a soft vinyl hat at Michael’s to finish it off. I even got to wear this to our Costume Guild meeting a couple nights earlier when many of us dressed up for it.
I recorded the soundtrack from the movie of The Shining that was played on an organ and it sounded really creepy. So I set up on the front porch, put my ipod speakers on the ground behind me, and held my black bucket of candy in wait for my first victims.
As people began passing by on the sidewalks I heard a few say I’m not going up there. I even heard that from some teenage boys. Some weren’t sure if I was real or a mannequin. Little kids would turn around and go back to their parents so I started waving and smiling at them to show I wasn’t really that scary. One little girl thought I was a hummingbird. Another boy said I was a bird man. I tried to explain what I was but there wasn’t much interest there except with the adults. Many of the kids were very intimidated by the big spider on my door, and said I had a great looking door. An hour and a half later I was out of the 400 pieces of candy, and had to close up shop. Until next year.