When I was little, my older brother would cloak himself every Halloween with a hooded black robe and hide in the half-moon wells in front of our basement windows. He'd jump out at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters and see how many of them he could scare, or in Little Mary Sitter's case, wet the porch.
Last year, I bought a fog machine, not knowing it wouldn't produce a constant stream of light mist on our porch. Charged with the sporadic duty and eventual boredom of watching for trick-or-treaters while the rest of the family canvased the neighborhood, I found out the fog machine makes a delightfully sharp burst of noise when the button is pushed. Pssssst!
Yeah. You can imagine, and I hope you'll not think differently of me, how much amusement I found crouched by the darkened window, red button in hand. I perfected the timing, calculating the precise moment I'd have to depress the button for the fog to erupt and the noise to hiss at the feet of visitors. Psssst! Some squealed. Some backed into the potted ivy. And a choice few even did the "electrical charge dance"--that embarrassing reflexive shimmy that only comes with the best startles.
Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. When else can you play dress-up, pretend to be someone you're not and delight in toying with other's most basic emotions? Oh, wait. Writers do that every day with their stories.
What is your favorite way to celebrate Halloween?