Yes, yes, we all know what day it is......BOOOOO! Here's wishing everyone an overflowing bag of treats...especially KitKats. A full report on the 29 Whitfield festivities will be included on Monday.

To get us all in the spooky mood, here's the Halloween Friday Five:

1. What was your first Halloween costume? I was a super-70's orange burlap jack-o-lantern, with green felt cutout eyes and mouth, and a green turtleneck and tights underneath, circa 1978. Note that my sister Becca was an angel...still bitter! :P

2. What was your best costume and why? It's close, but in 8th grade I went to the Halloween dance as a cub reporter from the 1940's, complete with fedora, pad and pencil, trench coat, and my grandmother's brownie camera. It was unusual, uncomplicated and very comfortable -- the costume trifecta. I almost went as a flenser (a la Judy Blume's classic, "Blubber"), but correctly decided that would be too weird.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat? No...though I always rolled my eyes at the folks who gave out rolls of pennies -- is that just a Jersey thing?

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? All the kids would trick or treat right after school, between 4 and 6, by ourselves -- nobody went around after dark, which I understand is anathema here in Massachusetts. At least I never had to wear a coat over my costume, heh. We would then drive over to a few key houses, like the mayor, who always gave out something good like potato chips from the local factory. Then we'd stop in at the grandparents for pictures and gobs of loot. By the time we got home, the Disney Halloween special would be on -- I still get freaked out by the animated "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"! We could eat as much candy as we liked that night, but on November 1 my mom poured everything into a big bowl and we had to share...sigh.

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend! I'll resist the urge to link to something about Iraq, the Congo, or some other global injustice...instead I'll relate the true life tale of Why I'm Scared of "The Blair Witch Project." Say what you like about the movie, I was one of the people terrified out of my wits by it -- not because it was such a successful film, but because it brought up memories of a certain family camping trip...circa 1987, in Wildwood NJ, summer vacation, and we were staying in three tents at our campsite. In the middle of the night, I decided I couldn't wait anymore and would walk down the road to the restroom/shower/laundry building. I tried in vain to get my sister to go with me, and instead just took my little flashlight. In flipflops and my favorite pajamas (from Camp Beverly Hills, i am not ashamed to admit), i scooted down the middle of the road, with the insect noises loud in my ears. I passed several other campsites, but it was pitch black out and I couldn't see or hear anyone. The bathroom was flooded with fluorescent light, and after a few minutes in there it seemed even darker outside. I stood in the doorway a minute to adjust my eyes, and then looked down at my flashlight -- and of course, the battery was dead. Hmmmmmmmm. I peered down the road into a complete blackness...I wasn't even sure how far down my tent was, and I knew I'd have to walk slowly so I wouldn't stumble. Well let me tell you, it was the longest couple hundred yards of my life -- entirely dark, hearing every rustling leaf, snapping twig, insect buzz, and each lonely little scuff of my flipflops, which sounded like they were carrying me to my doom. Just as I got to the edge of the fluorescent halo of the bathroom light, something small and fuzzy darted across the road! I nearly went back and waited out the night in a shower stall, but thought my sister would flip out if she awoke and I was gone. I steeled myself and stretched my hands out in front of me...I wandered into a shrub or two, and then almost opened someone else's tent! My heart was racing and by the time I found my own sleeping bag I was in a cold sweat, sure that someone or something was breathing down my neck the whole way. Rebecca, of course, woke up to note, "You didn't zip the tent and now there's mosquitoes in here." I couldn't sleep for the rest of the trip! Now whenever I go camping I have to bring headphones to block out the woodsy noises...It just goes to show that Stephen King is right, your brain is the most terrifying thing you own. BOOOOOO!

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