One of my favorite Halloween memories as an adult was just a small incident. Yet it was classic.
It was the night of October 31st about five years ago, and I was visiting a friend and his wife while they manned the front door. Two of their three teenage boys were already out about town, and the third was still home getting dressed up, along with a buddy of his.
A few years earlier, these two had attended the opening of one of the Lord of the Rings films dressed in home-made ringwraith costumes. Mind you, these were not just black robes. Both boys were tall, but they had added attachments to their shoes that made them at least seven feet tall. And they had put the costumes together so that absolutely no hint of face or hand was visible from the hood or sleeves of the black robes they wore. And giant swords finished off the effect. In a word, they were awesome.
These were the costumes the boys were wearing this year. And after they were done disguising themselves, they got an idea.
During a lull in trick-or-treating activity, one of the boys slipped out into the front yard and stood posed, perfectly still. The other grabbed the bowl of treats and waited for the doorbell to ring.
Before long, voices of children were heard approaching; I even heard a few “oohs” directed toward the really cool–and obviously fake–robed decoration in the yard.
The doorbell rang. Standing tall with seemingly empty hood pointed downward at the small victims, the ringwraith slowly opened the door.
“Trick or–whoa, cool! He looks jut like… Ahhhh! It’s alive!”
The last comment was screamed at the top of the speaker’s lungs as his companions also jumped and screamed at the sight of the nazgûl creeping up on them silently from behind, sword drawn.
The effect was all dispelled when the two teenage wraiths began howling with laughter. Accompanied by the laughter of myself and the parents.
As a child, I wasn’t that old when Halloween had ceased to be more fun and less frightening. In a way, I felt a bit of envy that that small group of costumed beggars had gotten the opportunity to receive a real, honest-to-God fright that night. If I were among them, I think I would have counted that as the best treat I had scored that Halloween.