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I’m starting a Halloween scary contest

Let’s break an old Leaside law

I would like to see a return to the days when Leaside was famous for Christmas/Holiday lights and add gory glory for our Halloween spirit!

I have created a Halloween Decorating Contest with the help of Patrick Rocca of Bosley Real Estate, Rob Tremblett of valu-mart and Marian and JD of Sleuth of Baker Street. For contest details please visit www.halloweencontest.org.

Enjoy the spooktacular entries and winners on the site and the winners at www.leasidelifenews.com/.

Enter, if you dare! The deadline is midnight Oct. 28.

Our ghoul is neighbourhood and family fun.

In North America Halloween is now second only to Christmas in decorating splendor. 50 percent of adults celebrating will decorate their house and 81 percent will do it with new decorations. 

Leasiders may not go over the top like television’s Ina Garten with her black and orange dinner parties featuring black espresso martinis, but each year the outdoor decorating is more elaborate and stays up longer.

All that spree of zombies, pumpkins and inflatable scary things to greet revellers makes me remember that trick or treating was once illegal in the town of Leaside.

Under the guise of safety concerns, youngsters reported to their school for a Halloween party. This was incomprehensible to me.

The night of tricks, ghoulish goings on and ill-conceived mayhem fell flat in the school where you spent every ordinary day.

So I trick or treated across the border of Leaside.

I understand that kids now come to Leaside where candy foraging is the best. We are doing our share of carrying the Canadian load of candy spending — $322 million for October 2010.

And it’s not just kids who enjoy Halloween. As you move through the age cohorts the level of participation increases.

In the old days my spookiest moment was always the trip into the heart of Leaside to let my grandparents see my homemade costume and to get my loot bag stuffed.

My parents were children of the depression with the usual era-induced terror of authority. Taking me to Grandma’s house was living a Grimm fairy tale for them. They were terrified of breaking the Leaside law!

I was smuggled from the car into the side door (no outside light to welcome us this night). This was the true other worldly spirit of the day for me.

Today my Halloween fun is more sophisticated with gravestones from the movie Resident Evil and wooden crosses from Anthony Hopkin’s error in judgment Dracula 2000.

My neighbour told me that he was stopped at my house by a passersby who wanted to know when the small graveyard had been closed and did it bother the homeowner to be next to grave markers.

He gleefully re-enacted the man’s expression of amazement when he touched a grave and realized that it was styrofoam.

One person’s illusion is another’s reality as I discovered last year when the local raccoons ate my row of pumpkins — burning candles and all. The enjoyment of spooky illusion for me was just a hot vegetable for them.