Having spent the past seven or so Halloweens living outside of the US, I am now blown away by the level of haunted decor that our new neighbors use to mark the holiday.
In London, it was easy to forget that Halloween had arrived. There were few, if any, decorations — at least in our West London neighborhood.
Here, it’s impossible to ignore. Each house has more elaborate — and more terrifying — decorations, from store bought headless ghouls, to homemade cotton spider webs.
One neighbor has built a mini graveyard, complete with ghoulish hands reaching out from the ground. Another has made an incredibly creepy looking parade of skeletons wearing suits.
I had forgotten about the over-the-top store displays, with an orgy of candy in each aisle.
You could find Halloween candy in UK super markets, but not nearly as much as you see here. And it was much more discreetly presented.
We asked a neighbor here how much candy we should buy for trick or treaters. Her eyes grew wide. “Tons,” she said.
Even our kids’ pediatrician’s office is in on the fun — with smiling jack o’ lanterns pasted on the door, as though to welcome trick or treaters.
If I were a kid, I’d have nightmares about the skeletons, ghosts and ghouls I saw in front of nearly every house. But if you grow up with it, you must get used to it. Kids seem to love it. In fact, I saw our neighbor’s son helping to craft the skeleton parade in his front lawn.
It all feels a world away from last Halloween, which we spent in Paris. It was a bit cold, rainy, and devoid of any spooky decor, but lots of fun anyway.