Halloween will be here in less than 48 hours, and that means you’re running out of time to get the house ready for the little munchkins who run around terrorizing the neighborhood demanding free candy. If you’ve got neighbors who show off by painstakingly setting up hundreds of paper bag lanterns lit with real candles while you sit on the front steps glaring at them and drinking wine, or relatives who insist on hand-sewing elaborate outfits for their offspring while you hit the dollar store at 4:30 p.m. on the 31st to try to find your kids something halfway decent, this guide is for you. If you want to be the hippest house on the block this Halloween, you’re going to need to get into the spirit (pun intended) and learn the inside secrets to foolproof Halloween hipness.
–Whatever you do, don’t give out generic candy: Listen, forget about being cheap on Halloween. Period. Spring for the premium candy. That means Snickers, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey bars. If you get over 25 kids, it’s acceptable to give out miniatures, but if you only get a couple of kids, for goodness sake, spring for the full-sized candy bars. Really. The kids love premium candy and the word will spread quickly that your house is the place to go for the best loot.
–Don’t commit the mortal sin of handing out anything healthy: Is this really even necessary to reiterate? It should be common sense. Earlier today, a viral post went around Facebook of a horrible letter some woman from Fargo wrote and placed into certain kids’ candy baskets on one Halloween about how she wasn’t going to give out candy to obese children. It read, in part, “Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.” Really? Wow. Some people are such d****. Don’t be a d***. Give the kids what they want. It’s only one day a year for heaven’s sake. And forget about apples or other dumb things like McDonald’s coupons or homemade candy corn. Break out the chocolate or be rightfully considered a Halloween failure.
–Go scary, not cutesy: Kids love to be scared. Don’t be fooled by their screaming and in some cases, crying and hyperventilating. It’s an act. They secretly adore being terrified, so don’t be timid in freaking them out. Engage other neighborhood children who are swathed in ghost or grim reaper attire to stand very still as if they are props from the Halloween shop. Then, when the kids approach, have the makeshift actors jump and scream at them. It’s a hoot! Don’t decorate your home with stupid cutesy scarecrows, Casper the Friendly Ghost pictures or those God-awful overpriced inflatable characters. Instead, go for a graveyard or Dracula’s castle theme. The kids will love it even if they look as though they’re getting ready to pass out from fear.
–Save leftover candy for the kids with the kooky parents who won’t let them celebrate Halloween: Nothing is sadder than getting a little knock on your door the day after Halloween and looking down to see the somewhat pathetic big eyes of the neighborhood children with the weirdo parents who think Halloween is the devil’s work, or whatever, who have come to your house to see if they can score some treats after the “evil” evening is over. Make sure you set some candy aside so these poor kids can have a moment of joy in their otherwise terrible lives.
–Break out the creepy music, fake smoke, flashing lights and scary jack-o-lanterns: Put on some of those scary Halloween tracks and blast it out through speakers on the front lawn; grab some dry ice to compliment your themed yard; carve up a bunch of terrifying jack-o-lanterns and string up a bunch of lights. Kids love the glitz and glamor of Halloween, and if you deliver it, your street cred will rise immeasurably. None of these things have to be remotely expensive; you can have a totally tricked out yard for under $50.
You can be the hippest house on the block this Halloween and bring in All Hallow’s Eve in style, and don’t forget to stash a bowl of candy away for after all the young ‘ins go home.
An Editorial By: Rebecca Savastio