Every year at this time I find myself thinking back to when my children were young and filled with the delicious spooky anticipation of Halloween. One early memory was of a nearby haunted house created by neighborhood children, and located in an abandoned, dilapidated garage. Converted for one night into an authentic spooky shack, it was the perfect venue; and thirty-five years later the garage yet stands, in even greater disrepair, still bearing a sign reading DANGER in red on an old wooden plank.
One vivid memory was of my five year old son who pleaded with us to take him inside, then buried his head in his dad’s shoulder the entire time, too afraid to look at the headless creatures, spooks, witches, and ghouls playacting inside.
Have you seen the ghost of John?
Oooh Oooh Ooh.
One Lippy Chilly became “Wouldn’t it be chilly”, and it all now made sense. By this time my son was grown and we had a good laugh over his perspective and articulation of the lyrics. The song lives on, and Youtube has many examples. Enjoy this particular rendition of “The Ghost of John”.
Somehow Halloween seemed less contrived back in the day. Costumes were homemade and simple, and the night was mainly for kids. Now adults have gotten into the act, holding onto their childhood with ghoulish fervor, as they enjoy elaborate costume parties and dressing up for work. Even the checkers at our local supermarket are decked out. Downtown Edmonds is cordoned off and children come away with bags of candy and treats, as they go from one store to another. Mega haunted houses sponsored by various organizations, and commanding a healthy entrance fee, abound. They make that little old garage look insignificant by comparison, but no one will ever convince my children that theirs was anything but the best spooky experience ever. Hopefully one thing will live on for generations to come and that's the "lippy chilly" in "The Ghost of John"
For now, a happy Halloween to you all. May your treats be many, your tricks be few, and your costumes be adding to our economy during these financially strapped times.