I have this whole decorating scheme that I've done for the last few years that I think is pretty effective. There's a carved pumpkin on the front railing, nothing spectacular, maybe a line of lanterns leading up to the front door...ah, but once that door opens!
The whole room is lit with candles. Candles everywhere. Standing in the center of the room is a small table, draped to the floor in folds of black velvet and covered with ANIMAL SKULLS. In the center is a 'grimoire' with a goblet full of 'blood' (Mountain Dew Code Red) glimmering next to it. On each side of this book a coyote skull rests on it's fangs with bundles of incense tapers stuck in the eye sockets, smouldering away.
The centerpiece at the top of the display is a deer skull complete with a full rack of horns. You would not think it to look at a deer, but Bambi is one scary looking sonofabitch once the flesh is gone, lemme tell ya. I stick a red candle in the center of its' forehead and let it drip. This, I must say, looks fucking cool as hell.
In the center of the table is the 'evil grimoire'... this huge old book that I found at a garage sale. It's full of medieval manuscript reproductions, and I have it opened to the freakiest looking page.
I stand behind the door and open it up slowly so all anyone sees is the room. Then I step out from behind in full death metal costume, holding a bowl of candy.
One year the whole group of kids backed all the way off the porch and out onto the lawn. I had to follow them out with the candy bowl and convince them to take some. And we give out really good candy too-none of your cheapo 'Smarties and a handful of Brachs' here, we've got Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups! And Almond Joys! These poor kids RAN down the sidewalk going 'Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT?'
One year nobody said a word when the door opened. I peeked out from behind and mom, dad and all three little pirates were standing there with the white showing all the way around their eyes. I gave everyone extra.
Everywhere I've lived there's always a rumor about Satan Worshippers. I grew up with this. In fact the nearest local Satan Worshipper house was purportedly right down the street from my grade school. We'd go up their driveway and stand there looking at the place every day as we walked home from school. Now I can just imagine some poor old soul in there peering out through the privacy curtains at us little doofuses as she talks to her friend on her princess phone: "Yes they're out there again! Yes, again! No, just standing there! Every day at the same time, Shirley! "
If a pet went missing, it was blamed on Satan Worshippers. If some particularly egregious act of vandalism occurred-particularly if it happened on church property-it was the fault of Satan Worshippers. Everyone believed this. I believed this. You'd go over to a new friends house in a different neighborhood and eventually someone would ask 'Do you guys have Satan Worshippers?" and the house would be pointed out and the stories of pet mutilations and nighttime chanting would be told. The explanation "They moved here from California" was usually somewhere in the narrative.
Maybe they migrate north during Santa Ana season or something. I don't know.
Years later in high school when I was getting wasted regularly, the guy I bought from told me about going to some 'Satanic ceremonies' at his suppliers' house, and how it was all an excuse to get kids wasted and have an orgy. (This bunch were finally arrested in 1977.) The thing was, I remember hearing about them when I was in grade school...in fact, they were known as the "Stanley Avenue Satan Worshippers" to differentiate them from the 'Logus Road' Satan Worshippers'. So 50% of the rumors, then, were TRUE...after a fashion. This never ceases to amaze me...this was a small, ordinary town in OREGON for the love of Mike.
Out here in 'The Ozarks of the Northwest' there is a strong movement against the celebration of Halloween as such. Lynden, of course, leads the way. Out in Lynden they steadfastly refer to it as 'Harvest Festival!" and scatter the pumpkins and scarecrows about. Of course this is REALLY returning Halloween to it's pagan roots and it always cracks me up.
The celebration of Halloween 'as such' is the celebration of a CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY, dumbshits; the whole concept was invented by Christians in order to make people STOP CELEBRATING HARVEST. Oh, I love ignorance; I really do.
At one point in time we were the Satan Worshipping family for the Mt. Baker School District. Oh yes! Back when the kids were in Jr. High, one of my daughters dippy little friends came over for a Halloween slumber party and old mom here made the mistake of bringing out the Tarot cards.* I was a twelve year old girl once; I thought that kind of thing was cool, right? Oughta be a big hit, right?
My God I didn't hear the end of that one for years. The little idiots' idiot mother couldn't even look me in the eye the next time she saw me and refused to let her daughter come over any more. That went around that whole circle of kids and moms, too.
That's when I started doing the 'Satanic Altar' display. You want Satan Worship? I gotcher Satan Worship RIGHT HERE, baby. Look at the deer skull! THAT'S RIGHT THERE'S A CANDLE ON THE DEER SKULL! OH YEAH! IT'S BURNING! THE BIKERS ARE WORSHIPPING SATAN!
Here in town? My house is the most popular stop on the trick-or-treating circuit.
*the same good christians who think nothing of 'seeking a word of leadership' from the bible. ever seen that done? you pray for the answer to a particular question and let a bible fall open. one person in a blindfold holding a pin stabs it down onto the bible and whatever quote it lands on is your 'word of leadership'.
...and no, i don't believe in tarot cards. but i had them. yup...the same ones my mother gave me before she found the lord...and started speaking in tongues, being a prayer warrior and 'seeking a word of leadership' instead of doing the ouija board.