Adjusting to life in a Halloween destination neighborhood

When we were looking at houses I never thought to ask, “How many trick-or-treaters do you get?” Neither did my husband. We had no idea that we were moving into a Halloween destination neighborhood. I didn’t even know that Halloween destination neighborhoods existed.

Prior to moving into our house, Halloween wasn’t a very big deal to me. I’d often go to a Halloween party and wear a costume, but that usually wasn’t even on Halloween night.

I had lived in apartments, condos, or dorms for 20 years at that point. I could count on one hand the number of trick-or-treaters I got living in those places, and I’d still have five fingers to spare.

My son wasn’t even two years old. We put him in a costume each Halloween and maybe go to a pumpkin patch. My daughter wasn’t even born.

Then we moved into our current house.

I spent the end of winter and all of spring and summer caring for my newborn girl. I was oblivious to what was about to happen, but when the leaves began to turn the neighbors started telling us things–outrageous things–about Halloween.

skeleton in a treeMultiple neighbors told us that Halloween on our street is “crazy” and that we get more than 1,000 trick-or-treaters. I assumed that Halloween wasn’t the only thing that was crazy around here. I mean, 1,000 trick-or-treaters? In just a few hours? That didn’t even seem possible.

As Halloween approached and almost every house was enthusiastically decorated  for Halloween (much like how some neighborhoods decorate for Christmas), I started to suspect that these statements about Halloween were serious. I started to think I might actually get 1,000 trick-or-treaters. I realized that I should prepare just in case.

Boy, am I glad I did. The rumors about this being a Halloween neighborhood were true. I know because we counted all 1,198 trick-or-treaters who came to our house that year.

We have a few new neighbors on our block this year. We have been trying to warn them about Halloween, but I know they probably don’t fully believe us. Adjusting to living in a Halloween destination neighborhood is a process. Here are the five stages:

1. Denial

Clearly this is some sort of joke or hazing of the new neighbors. Ha, ha! You got us! But it does seem odd how everyone’s description of Halloween in our neighborhood is consistent with saying “more than 1,000 trick-or-treaters.”

Perhaps all my neighbors have been brainwashed and have been given implanted memories like in The Manchurian Candidate. Note to self: Do not dress as the Queen of Hearts for Halloween.*

*I have no idea if that reference makes any sense in the context of the remake. I’ve only seen the original movie because I assume the new one is not as good.

2. Anger

Why didn’t someone tell me this sooner?! I could have been hoarding candy and designing elaborate homemade Halloween decorations for months. I could have been saving up and clipping coupons! This is totally going to blow my budget right before Christmas. Argh!

3. Bargaining

Okay. This year I’ll get the cheap candy with maybe a little chocolate mixed in to look somewhat respectable. For decorations I’ll do mostly cobwebs and emergency tape since they’ll cover a lot of area for cheap, but I’ll hit the after Halloween sales to get better stuff for next year.

4. Depression

This is going to be a disaster. I’m going to run out of candy. Our house has the worst decorations on the block. I hate Halloween.

5. Acceptance

I love Halloween! All the kids and everyone out on the porches made the evening so fun and exciting. Now I’m ready. Next year is going to be awesome. I’m going to buy out the after Halloween sales. Maybe next year I’ll even make my blog Halloween-themed for the entire month of October!

Okay, that last part may not happen to everyone.

Actually, some people really do not like living in a Halloween destination neighborhood as evidenced by

As far as my neighborhood goes, I’m definitely not the only one who looks forward to Halloween. The Edgewater Glen Daily has also been running numerous Halloween posts, including a feature about a neighborhood haunted house. They even have a Halloween house decorating contest happening. (The deadline is today.)

For the month of October, Listing Beyond Forty is Listing Toward Halloween, featuring posts related to or inspired by Halloween. Read all the previous posts here.

Don’t miss any of the Halloween series! Get notified of new posts by email. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

For more Halloween fun, follow @halloween4all on Twitter or Halloween Queen on Facebook.

For more eclectic social media shares follow Kim Z. Dale on Twitter and Google+ and like Listing Beyond Forty on Facebook.

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