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The Villages
Sunday, November 27, 2022

Hope you had a happy Halloween

Lisa DeMarco

Halloween is a kind of holiday you either love or could care less about. Do you live in a home in the neighborhood all decorative and festive or a house with no lights on or decorations to be found looking like it’s been abandoned? I’m the type of person, being related to the Addams Family, who lives to celebrate “Allhallows Eve.” Therefore, I don’t really care whether you consider me a heathen or a creative genius. I’ve been called both.

Ever since I was a child, I have had a passion for the holiday and being a part of anything imaginary and mysterious. I longed to be in costume, decorate, and attend community haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides. I’d volunteer to make props or bake treats. Whatever was needed, I was the go-to gal when it came to “Eating, Drinking, and being Scary!”

One would think I would have grown out of it with age, at least a little bit. Yet somehow, my fondness for Halloween grew stronger over the years. Not to mention, my doctor enjoys reminding me that I’m over 50 now and should stop eating like a 14-year-old boy who just got home from trick-or-treating.

When my daughters were young, the DeMarco family was known in Tavares for our Halloween madness. Our parties each year were filled with everything a kid could only imagine. It was like a day in “Halloweentown” sometimes even to the parents. From carving pumpkins to bobbing for apples, haunted graveyards, and hayrides. Each year as our guest list expanded, so did my need to outdo myself. 

Lisa DeMarco embraces Halloween
Lisa DeMarco embraces Halloween

It wasn’t until preparing my booth for my grandson Jeremy’s elementary school’s BOO HALLWAY celebration that  I remembered how much fun Halloween is. I was dressed in a “good witch” costume, and I made sure to greet every child that passed me by, which according to the PTO count at the end of the evening, was way over 500 kids! 

Joey, my husband, was set up at one end of our haunting display, and I at the other. As the little monsters paraded down the dark hallway, they came to him first. He was seated next to our new censored doghouse that I had decorated with cobwebs, spiders, and beware tape. As people approached, Joey would motion to them with a long skeleton hand to take some candy from a big bucket on the floor in front of him. Then as they leaned into the bucket, Joey would tap the skeleton’s hand on the roof of the house, and Bubba would come jumping out growling. His eyes were shining red, and it looked like he was drooling. It was spooktacular! Even some parents screamed out loud. 

After passing my devilish hubby and my hellhound, I mesmerized them with flashing lights and dancing figurines. You would have thought I put a spell on all the kid-os. One by one, they walked up to me in the dark hallway. I asked each one to turn their hand palm down for me so that I could put a superhero sticker on them. Then I told them I just gave them superpowers because everyone has a SUPERHERO inside them! 

I had three rolls of glow-in-the-dark stickers. Over 600 stickers in all, and they looked incredible in the blue light that captivated my booth. Everyone wanted my stickers. I even gave teenagers and adults stickers on their request – running out way before Joey ran out of candy –  proving treats don’t always have to be sweet. They just have to be interesting. 

I had a fabulous evening. It was a good thing the DeMarcos were on the same team. Otherwise, it would have been a tight race between me and my dogs. But together, we took first place, and this Grandma witch proved she still had some cool tricks under her hat. 

I also entertained all the adults I didn’t scare to death with my off-color jokes about how I used all the DNA I collected from the children in my gingerbread boys and girls. Then I would cackle and say, “It’s my secret ingredient that makes them taste so good.” 

The faces I got from my husband alone were priceless. But it didn’t stop me from playing my part. I had everyone wondering if I really wanted to “eat the little ones.” 

Although I do always say, “Babies are delicious!” I only want to nibble. I’m a bat-crazy witch, not a cannibal.

Laugh on. Peace out!

Lisa DeMarco is a columnist for Villages-News.com

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