Halloween “Secrets”

Bring forth the raisins and the nuts-
Tonight All-Hallows’ Spectre struts
Along the moonlit way.”
~John Kendrick Bangs

Anyone who’s known me for a while knows that I’m crazy about Halloween. Like many Baby Boomers, I harbor a ridiculously fierce nostalgia for the holiday. What else would you expect from someone who counts watching The Addams Family on TV as a treasured childhood memory? Not surprisingly, there are few things I enjoy more than dressing up in a costume and handing out candy to the neighborhood kids.

For years, my husband Doug created an artful “Disney haunted house” landscape — replete with a cemetery and a mummy with glowing red eyes — at the entrance where the kids come to trick-or-treat. When our son Nate grew up and left for college, we toned it down a bit, but the neighbors were devastated the year we were out of town on Halloween and didn’t decorate. So we keep the tradition going as best we can.

Inside, I still dress the house with paper skeletons, pumpkins, and shiny black-feathered ravens. I own a small collection of vintage Halloween decorations, which I display on the living-room mantel in a nest of autumn leaves and a string of orange lights. Even when I’m not hosting a big Halloween bash, friends and neighbors like to stop by for a drink and a few ghost stories (or magic tricks) around the fireplace on Halloween night after the trick-or-treaters head home.

While I’ve never been a fan of blood-and-guts “slasher” films, I enjoy scary movies, especially in October. I prefer classic horror films, thrillers, and ghost stories — Psycho, Rebecca, Something Wicked This Way Comes, John Carpenter’s original Halloween, The Others, The Addams Family, The Haunting, The Shining, Practical Magic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare Before Christmas …. you get the idea.

This Sunday, October 24, happens to be our 30th wedding anniversary. After a celebration dinner, Doug and I will be glued to the TV set, watching the premiere of Secrets in the Walls, a Lifetime horror film in which we worked as background extras last fall. If our brief appearance didn’t land on the cutting room floor, you’ll catch a glimpse of us (as a nurse and a doctor) in the hospital scene. Starring Jeri Ryan, the production was filmed in Ferndale and metro-Detroit. It revisits a time-honored theme: a creepy old house haunted by a spirit that won’t let go. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

10 thoughts on “Halloween “Secrets”

  1. I think we boomers really do have a “thing” for Halloween.
    Since I work with children I’ve found some really good books for this holiday. One of my favorites is by Jerry Seinfeld. You should read it…hilarious!

  2. Yes, we boomers have such wonderful memories of Halloween–the carnivals, trick-or-treating when neighborhoods were safe havens for children going door to door. Everyone left their porch light on to welcome the little goblins!
    I am so glad I “stumbled” upon your blog! My childhood friend and I write at Stick Horse Cowgirls (yes, we galloped all over the neighborhood on our stick horse ponies)!
    I can so relate to your dealing with your aging mother’s dementia. Did you happen to see the ABC News series on Alzheimer’s Disease this week? Maria Shriver brought to attention that this disease falls far behind heart disease and cancer in research dollars.

  3. You know I’m a fan of Halloween too so my eyes lit up when I saw the words “vintage Halloween decorations”. Nice!

    I’ll be looking for you in the movie. Fingers crossed you and Doug make it on screen.

    Happy weekend.

  4. Even I, a holiday challenged person, put up some decorations and such for Halloween! But nowhere near at the level you do 🙂
    Adorable! Remember the days of filling our pillowcases to the brim with all kinds of stuff and running around late into the night with our friends? Sigh…
    Happy anniversary guys!

  5. Thanks for those anniversary wishes! It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since we married, then spent our honeymoon in New England. We happened to hit Salem, Mass, on Halloween — and it was a blast! We bought a cool chair in an antiques shop in Salem that day, and it’s still in our living room in front of a desk!

  6. Happy Anniversary, Cindy! You have this whole week to celebrate and enjoy the lead-in to Halloween. Hopefully your scene was not cut. I would have looked for you if I was able to get the Lifetime channel.

  7. Thank you, Cindy, Deb and everyone, for the good wishes! And yes, we both showed up in “Secrets” … I got a bit of background face time as the nurse behind the desk in the hospital scene, chatting with the doctor, while Jeri Ryan is looking over her daughter in the hospital bed. Doug, dressed in a white lab coat (a doctor) is more of a blur, walking back and forth in the background. (There’s a good reason we’re called “background” in this business!) We record our shows ahead of time, so we can use the pause button! 🙂

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