Tomorrow will be both Halloween and a full moon. This makes complete sense that 2020 would be the year this falls upon. It fills one more space on my bingo card.
When I was young ... very young (like, 4 years old), one of my favorite things to do was to curl up with my dad on a Friday night and watch the famed horror movie show starring Sammy Terry (a play on the word cemetery), “Nightmare Theater.” The low-budget series was just scary enough to capture my interest, but not so scary that DCFS needed to be alerted. From that time forward, it’s been somewhat of a challenge to see what could scare me.
Those are good memories. Since that time, I have really adored all things scary. Although I prefer not to dive into the psychological aspects of why, I would suffice it to say, many things in real life are much more frightening than the unraveling hand of a mummy coming up from the dregs of the earth after a 6,000-year slumber.
Fortunately, I am not alone in my fondness for the macabre. Halloween is a multibillion-dollar industry and Utah is not a small contributor to that amount. While we love our holidays in general, Halloween is certainly at the forefront. Whether it is costumes, candy, pumpkins or Halloween entertainment, such as corn mazes and haunted houses, we do our part to keep this holiday fiscally healthy.
A few days ago, I attended a listing appointment. Upon approaching the home, I was met with a veritable graveyard of scattered bones and foam tombstones. The porch sported a mélange of carved and painted gourds and pumpkins as well as a healthy variety of chained up zombies, ghosts and monsters. As I approached, one of the zombies flashed its sinister yellow eyes and yelled out, “Help me!”
“Should we take all this down before we list?” my client asked. I explained our local love for the lurid and advised her to minimize the gore.
“Removing the ornamental blood stains, the decayed skull and the puking pumpkin would be a good idea, and perhaps minimizing the scattered skeletons and packing away the severed head on a platter would also benefit us. Otherwise, minimal, tastefully selected Halloween decor will only help the sale, not that anyone needs much help in this market.”
The next list appointment, unfortunately, was not as simple. It was slightly more frightening than the last. This home featured the startling sight of orange shag carpet, a terrifyingly tiled wall covered with wallpaper and the putrid stench of an elementary school lunchroom. Ghosts and goblins are much less intimidating. Even so, I’ll take the brown wood paneling over a global pandemic, an earthquake, street rioting, panicked worldwide political divisiveness and the unkind thoughts and opinions of the masses any day of the week.