Monday, October 31, 2011

Devil Town

Halloween is not just another day in my house; it’s a spoocktacle.

For starters my younger sister was born on Halloween with an eerily costume-like head of spiky black hair on a dreary Edgar Allen Poe-esque day (Happy Birthday Cath!). Additionally, and more pronounced, I live in the “Halloween House” (see picture). So I found it rather fitting that I randomly be assigned a blog entry on Halloween.

One year I coached at a basketball camp and one of my campers happened to live down the block from me. I told him, “I bet you can’t guess which house is mine?” And when he found out I lived in the quote, “Halloween House” he told me my house was awesome. But it wasn’t my camper’s response which really resonated—after all what elementary school kid doesn’t love a decked out house which gives out goody bags full of candy—it was his mom’s. She came to pick him up the next day and shot right over to me. I will never forget her exclaiming, “I love your mom! Her decorations just make me so happy. I want to send her flowers every year.”

When I was in high school living in the most recognizable house on the block embarrassed me. I certainly didn’t love it, and didn’t really embrace it either. But as time has passed, and probably because I’ve removed myself from it by moving 700 miles to the East Coast, I’ve come to appreciate the house and all its over-the-top glory.

As I’m reminded by strangers yearly, the decorations are like a smile in their own way, small in the grand scheme, but contagious spreading happiness to the hundreds of cars and neighbors who pass by and stop to wander around. People now drive from different cities around the North Shore of Chicago to see my house each year. My mom, inadvertently, created her own pre-social media viral campaign attracting 600+ families to our house each year.

So tonight, while I pass out candy to the few trick-or-treaters in my apartment complex, my parents will be back in Chicago passing out 600 goody bags to kids, 280 water bottles to parents and generally entertaining an entire neighborhood and beyond.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Jennifer Schiller is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her at

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