Just in case you missed my first Quirky Home Haunt Experiences entry, I’m reliving my somewhat strange, but funny encounters with trick-or-treaters and their parents. Last time, I wrote about “The Rock Thrower” and “The Grave Robber’s Opponent.” This time, it’s all about “Sucker Toucher,” “Mr. Partial” and “Pillowcase Boxer.”
3) Sucker Toucher: It was Halloween 1998, the third and final year for hosting our indoor haunted hallway. The hallway began in the driveway, wrapped around the outside of the garage and led up the walkway, where it connected to the covered porch and front door.
At certain intervals, throughout the haunted hall, there were “windows” (no glass) that peered into rooms; each room contained a scene. Inside the room, an actor (family member) would play out some sort of scenario as the trick-or-treaters walked by.
My particular room, the graveyard, was situated under the porch and was the last stop on the way to the precious candy. Inside the graveyard, there was an adult sized wooden box (minus a lid), sitting on the concrete. Around the box and throughout the room, I used lots of camouflage and burlap material to build up the “ground” so it met flush with the lip of the wooden box.
Next, the camouflage was covered in leaves. This disguised the box and gave the appearance it was an open grave plot. After filling the room with headstones, jack-o-lanterns, a strobe light and my fog machine, I was ready to rise from the ground as one of the haunt’s undead.
The final touch came in the form of building an extra-large viewing window (think 1990s big-screen television dimensions) for even the smallest of children to catch a glimpse of my zombie-like activities. The bottom of the window came only as high as my knees, giving the kids ample space to reach over and interact with me and vice versa.
After an hour or so of being exposed to the constant strobe light effect, my vision and equilibrium became pretty poor. In fact, my movements probably resembled a drunk more than they did a re-animated corpse. All I remember is seeing the shape of someone approaching the window. I darted rapidly — not gracefully — out of the box, from a lying position and onto my knees — only to feel something very wet stick to the palm of my right hand.
There I was, face to face with what was probably an eleven or twelve-year-old lollipop eating girl. Correction, she hadn’t actually been eating it; unfortunately for me, she had only been licking it.
“You touched my sucker, you nasty bastard,” she screamed into my ear!
And instantly, Sucker Toucher was born. Of course, I was actually the “sucker toucher,” but since she coined the phrase, that name will always firmly belong to her in my mind.
What is it with trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood busting out foul language at the drop of a hat?
4) Mr. Partial: In an all too familiar vein with Sucker Toucher, I bring you Mr. Partial. The same graveyard room; the same year, and the same messed up vision and equilibrium, only fast forward an additional two hours without having anything to eat all night.
For the previous 120 minutes, ever since Sucker Toucher accused my parents of not being legitimately married when I was fathered, I had been bombarded by candy. The kids were taking any opportunity to throw mini Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers, Oh Henrys, etc., at me.
Since my vision was already in bad shape, I couldn’t see them doing the deed – hell, I was staring into a rapidly blinking strobe light every time I rose from the grave. However, I could feel things hitting my face and assumed they were pieces of candy.
At one point, we had a lull in trick-or-treaters. So, I settled back down into my grave plot. Not knowing when the next batch would shuffle through the haunt, I didn’t want to leave my post. Lying there, with my stomach doing somersaults, I became aware of a lump under my back. Reaching behind me, I pulled out the familiar shape of a mini candy bar; it was some trick-or-treater’s spent ammo in a game of zombie target practice.
Visually checking it was out of the question, but I did my best to make sure the packaging was still intact. I unwrapped the treat and popped it into my mouth. The familiar taste of Snickers barely had time to alert my taste buds before the chocolate and peanuts disappeared down my throat, or so I thought.
In the all confusion and chaos, not to mention having a ravenous appetite, I neglected to notice several strands from my “zombie wig” were also in my mouth. As the Snickers bar was swallowed, so were the long strands of hair, however, they were also still attached to the wig on my head – not a good thing!
Off in the distance, I could hear the next group of trick-or-treaters being scared by our ghosts and ghouls throughout other rooms of the haunt. In a matter of a few seconds, I knew I would receive my cue to rise up from the grave.
As I prepared myself for launch, I suddenly became aware that a portion of the Snickers bar was lodged in my throat! Swallowing harder to break it free didn’t help, but swallowing did alert me to the strands of wig hair that were in my mouth.
Scrambling to pull the hair free, I could also feel the candy bar coming up my throat. I had swallowed the whole neat little package — Snickers wrapped in hair… bleck! Suddenly, I received my cue! With freed lumps of Snickers bar swinging from my wig, I leapt from the grave; the back of my hand making contact with flesh and once again something wet, but this time not sticky.
“Ugggg, you knocked out my partial, you motherfudger (only he didn’t say fudger),” yelled a very irate sounding parent!
As the expletives continued to pour forth, I recognized the voice; it was my boss. I had been telling him about our haunt for the entire month of October. Right before leaving for my annual Halloween week vacation, I gave him the address and told him to bring his kids by – so, he did. Oh brother, did he bring them by; getting his dental partial smacked from his mouth in the process!
Thankfully, he was a good sport about the whole thing and he wound up catching the partial in his hand as it fell from his mouth… whew! If not, the partial would have been toast with all those kids traipsing through the haunt.
And that brings us to “Pillowcase Boxer.”
5) Pillowcase Boxer: When compared to the two previous encounters, this one is fairly uneventful, but definitely not innocuous. Pillowcase Boxer predates Sucker Toucher and Mr. Partial by two years.
Halloween 1996 featured a very early incarnation of the haunted hallway of ’98. With a straight shot to the porch, minus the driveway segment of the walk-through, and only one room to view; ’96 was a smaller haunting endeavor.
Since there was only one room, I decided to cut a hole in the hallway wall, a few feet beyond the viewing window for the solitary room. From this hole, a ghoul (one of us) could appear, scaring the kids. However, the hole was only large enough to poke our masked faces through it.
Throughout Halloween night, several of us traded off working the “hole” segment in the haunt. My second time through the rotation is when I encountered my fifth character in this quirky home haunt cast.
Armed with a pillowcase for a trick-or-treat bag, this kid was hell bent on making me pay for playing Halloween peek-a-boo! Apparently, he was still reeling from the surprise scare he received walking by the solitary room. As he quickly backed away from the viewing window, I let him have it with a loud growl, simultaneously ramming my masked face through the hole.
Spinning around, he swung his pillowcase, clocking me in the jaw with what candy was in his bag, and then he proceeded to punch the candy repeatedly against the side of my head! Thankfully, he was only about thirteen, so there wasn’t a lot of force generated by his fists of fury. But I’ll tell you what, that was one time when the shoe was on the other foot – I was the one doing the swearing, but I won’t repeat what was said.
I know this was a fairly lengthy post, but I hope you got a kick out of it. As I reminisce over my home haunt and Halloween experiences, I’ll do my best to share more stories with you in the future — some funny, some not, but still a lot of Halloween goodness.
About the haunt images in this entry: All the way up top is my graveyard room at the end of Halloween night ‘98. The camouflage, burlap and leaves are scattered everywhere.
The second photo is a shot from either ’97 or ’98. It’s looking west, away from the front door and porch. If you turned right, you’d be going towards the driveway segment of the hallway haunt, which is where the trick-or-treaters entered and exited.
The third pic is of my cousin, hard at work on some fiendish project in the first room of the haunt! He’s actually donning the same mask I was wearing in my Quirky Home Haunt Experiences: Part 1 photo.