In Memory of...the Spirit of Halloween

Submitted by Robin Olson on Sat, 11/01/2008 - 00:24


(Judith Feminella, My Mother. At Pumpkinseed Hill in Shelton, CT circa 2004)

My Mother loved Halloween. It wasn't because she liked to get dressed up in a costume or eat loads of tooth-rottng candy. No. She had one, specific goal each and every Halloween—scare the shit out of some little kid and make them CRY!

Yes. CRY!

This is my own MOTHER, we're talking about.

The one pictured above. Yes, her!

Every year my Mother would put on a striking, black witch hat, then wear one of her Halloween themed t-shirts. My favorite was the black t-shirt with the glow-in-the-dark, life-sized skeleton on the front. It wasn't a full skeleton, rather it was only the ribs and spine, as if you could see her own bones, instead of her torso, with her real head on top.

Mother would put out a table in the driveway, because she feared my Father would get pissy from all the kids ringing the doorbell. She'd put out candy for the kids and have cider and wine for the parents. It seemed such a generous act, but I wonder if it was only to lure the parents, who were most likely holding the smallest of their children. Perhaps they were the ones who were too young to start trick-or-treating and the ones who were the perfect target of my Mother's twisted passion.

Sure enough, after a few cups of wine were passed out and grateful "Thank you's" were offered, one young Mother or Father would foolishly approach, clutching their overly wrapped pod-baby, and trying to manage keeping an eye on their older child, who was no doubt running to the next house already.

As they came closer to reach for their cup of boxed wine, my Mother would let out a terrific cackle! The perfect witchy-cry! The adults would laugh, but the pod babies would not. Their eyes would grow wide with fear and before their parents could gulp down their Gallon of Gallo, the podlet would begin to shriek, followed soon after by wailing.

My Mother would act all concerned as the fledgling parents ran off to hush their screaming child. but when no one was looking, my Mother would silently chalk one up for that year, feeling the satisfaction of another dissatisfied customer.

I wonder how many babies in my old neighborhood grew up needing therapy?

Happy Halloween, Mother.

I cackle in your honor and I sure do miss you!