c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Wave Your Antennae in the Air!
All through out the World Fantasy Convention, people kept asking me: why are you leaving so early on Sunday?

And I said: because my island does Halloween like crazy, and I've never gotten to go.

And they were like whatever, because it didn't sound particularly awesome when set next to a convention of cool kids.

To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew I had to be there. One couple does a super-elaborate themed house every year and everyone talks about it. The theme is always secret until the day of, and much speculation buzzes over it. This year it was common wisdom that they could never outdo last year, which featured candy vs. teeth--a bloody dentist chair, a full "holy molar" gospel choir, pro-candy protesters...we could not miss this year.

We raced home and jumped into costumes as soon as we could, running down to the Lions' Club first, which also does a haunted house. It was dark, and that was when I first realized things were...different here.

Because in every other town I've been in in the last many years, kids are no longer allowed to trick or treat after dark. The cities have municipal trick or treating hours, and everyone has to be inside by full dark. For their safety, obviously.

But here, it was pitch black and starry and windy and all the kids were out. In the most amazing costumes--there was a trio of 12 year old girls dressed as WWI soldiers, and an 8 year old Athena in full battle gear. Every shop had their doors open and candy out (and flashing electric necklaces, which will be important later). At the Lions' Club, there was a pumpkin path leading to the haunted house--which was actually scary. No toning it down for kids. Arms and legs and lobsters in a boiling pot, a dead miner predicting our deaths, an old woman guarding a withered skeleton who would not let us leave until we paid her tribute. And the kids? Went back again and again, thrilled and excited, like you're supposed to be on Halloween.

And then we walked up the hill to the House in Question. We heard music, and for a moment I thought: aw, man, they've done a dumb disco theme. Sigh.

And then we saw it. A HUGE lighted disco floor, yes--with an enormous sign over it that read ROBO A GO GO.

The lawn was covered with giant robots.

One reached out a clamp-hand to me with candy in it and said in a digital voice-converter tone: YOUR LIGHTS ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE PLEASE TAKE CANDY. (Remember the flashing electric necklace?)

There was an Elvis-bot, a broken-heart bot, a ROBOT MONKEY DJ, a robot with a digital readout on his chest that said HEY BABY, dry ice and disco balls and even a dog dressed as a robot...so many robots! All in incredibly elaborate high-tech costumes, all dancing like mad to robot-themed music. There were robot pumpkins with orange lights in their mouths, silver arms waving in the air, and the priceless sight of a tiny fairy princess reaching up worriedly to touch a giant robo-hand. I have seriously never seen anything like this, how loud and bright and awesome, how much joy and crazy commitment to a holiday.

To understand what this really meant to us you have to know that sometimes we feel a little at sea on the island. As much as we love it and are happy here, there are not so many geeks or people of our particular interests around. We make weird jokes sometimes and have this whole SF culture we're part of that most everyone we know here is not. And to come up over a hill and see a throng of robots beeping and bumping and grinding and being just so gorgeous--it made my heart sing. What extraordinary chance that this was the theme on our first year at home for Halloween.

It was real Halloween. Like it never seems to be anymore. Scary and dark and balls-out and crazy. (Some of the kids were definitely alarmed by the pretty damn realistic robots) I would have killed to dance with robots as a kid on Halloween. And this year, I got to. My sleepy little island can rock the fuck out when it wants to. It is really the best place ever.

And that's why I had to leave early.

A couple of pics under the cut. A little dark, but what can you do.

Brilliant!!! Your Halloween sounded fantastic!

As a kid in the sixties, the feeling of freedom I got going out in the night in costume w/just my older brother and sister was amazing; I had never loved my run-down neighborhood in Philadelphia so much. Sad that kids mostly don't get that anymore. I'm glad your island does it up right.

I grew up in Ohio- which had that stupid curfew law. It used to be worse. Until I was 5 Halloween wasn't even celebrated- no trick or treating! Might hurt the kids! And then for about 10 years Halloween was never allowed to actually BE on Halloween.

Now I'm in PA and it's awesome. My kids were out in the middle of the night, people in great costumes, haunted houses. It was a blast. And my kids had fun, got scared, had more fun.

That's what Halloween is supposed to be about.

(Deleted comment)
Your island is the goddess of all islands. Your island exists in its own island dimension. The Robots of Mu made your island and then disappeared again beneath the waves. You were always meant to live there, and I to visit you there. One outta two ain't bad.

Happy Halloween, but even more so - happy anniversary. And congratulations on "Habitation." It is all very exciting!

I love your island, too. (And Portland in general). This year was the first in many that I really had a great Halloween (well, it was the night before technically). Actually, I had the problem of having TOO MANY options! Which, well, was pretty awesome.

On Halloween proper there was a crazy parade in my neighborhood, complete with stilt walkers and giant puppets. And it made me so happy. Although reading this makes me wish I'd gone out to the island, because DUDE!!!

Really I should just look for more excuses in general to go out to the island...

Aieeee that's awesome! <3 <3 <3

That is the BEST! I've always wanted to be able to do something like that. Not robots specifically, but to make an actual attraction out of my house. As always, that it's an island makes it somehow more magical.

I LOVE Halloween and am sorry that it's suffering in other parts of the country. We got trick or treaters here until past nine o'clock, kids of all ages from tiny infants to playful adults, of all races, all shapes and sizes. At LEAST fifty, probably more.

We never got this at any of our previous houses. We lived in crappy neighborhoods. Kids from poor neighborhoods tend to get driven to nicer ones when it's time for trick or treating. Now we live in that nice neighborhood, and I can tell that a lot of these kids come from the bad neighborhood across the way. I take great delight in telling them how great their costumes are, and giving them fistfuls of candy.

Halloween was one of the most special times for me as a child. I trick or treated until people would no longer give me candy -- which broke my heart, by the way, and is why I will never NOT give candy to anyone in costume, regardless of age. It makes me happy to know that there are grownups out there making it special, still.

I actually saw several grown ups trick or treating here.

Oh, this is so not fair. I got TWO trick or treaters. Two. I had a giant basket of candy and dressed up and everything, and barely any kids came down the street.

Glad to see it's still a thing SOMEWHERE. My mother wouldn't let me trick-or-treat when I was a kid (SATANIC HOLIDAY EVIL EVIL), so of course it's my favourite holiday as an adult.

...I didn't have a single one. VERY disappointed.

The cities have municipal trick or treating hours, and everyone has to be inside by full dark.

Mercifully, my corner of the city doesn't do this. My kid went trick-or-treating for the first time... after dark and on Halloween, as is the sensible way. One of the neighbors circles the neighborhood on his motorcycle dressed as the headless horseman, with a carved pumpkin lashed to the back of the bike. It's not quite as awesome as disco robots, but still pretty awesome.

Trick-or-treating in daylight, or at the mall, would kill all the joy in Halloween for me.

Thats what Halloween should be like...

Oh, that's awesome.

You should come to Salem, MA sometime for Halloween. It's crazy!

Salem makes me uncomfortable--it makes light of its horrific past and turns it into Disneyland. Also, to me this is better because it's my home, being awesome, and nobody ever hung a woman here and then built a magic shop on the spot.

The cities have municipal trick or treating hours, and everyone has to be inside by full dark. For their safety, obviously.

Seems as though they've rather missed the point of the enterprise, then!

That looks wonderful. Such fun! My neighborhood, alas, isn't much for trick or treating, though other parts of Seattle are.

This is so fabulous that I cannot deal. It's wonderful!

(Deleted comment)
dude, can I come hit your neighborhood next year?

My new neighborhood is better than my last one, in that just a couple blocks over you get more than two houses participating per block, and there aren't a lot of streetlights, but still, by 7:30, barely past full dark, it was winding down hard, with people running out of candy.

If you're local, sure. Lots of people come over.

DAMN that is awesome. I speak as someone who spent her childhood helping out a friend of the family who ADORED Hallowe'en and would dress as the Easter Bunny (only non-threatening costume a 6'7" guy could think of) and stand in front of his business handing out full-size Three Musketeers. We must've gotten 500-600 kids a year, in a small town.

I was his sidekick, the tooth faery.

Did I mention that his business was a funeral home? Yeah. :-D

Hallowe'en today makes me sad, with all the "you can only trick-or-treat from civic centers, downtown, in the daylight" and all that nonsense. Your town's take is so much better. Can I move to your island?!

(Deleted comment)
Nope. Especially west coast and midwest, I've found.


The fear and keeping inside keeps areas of people from becoming neighborhoods. It's everyone coming out and meeting each other that makes a community a much safer place to live.

So many words, so much incoherent babbling...and most of it boils down to "I am eight, and this is better than Christmas."

Why do I have the mental image of Robots doing the Electric Slide?

I'd never heard of trick or treating hours at all, so I wonder if it just hasn't caught on in Washington...

I'm coming to visit next Halloween.

You should! You're most welcome.


Log in