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It’s Trick-Or-Treat season people. Or, for those of you who haven’t procreated yet, it’s drink beer and hand out candy season. Either way, practically the entire neighborhood is getting in on the fun when it comes to decorating.
Whether you’re shepherding your child around and wondering how much of this chocolate they’re going to eat that same night or wondering when it’s time to turn off your porch light and just watch the Spurs game, you’ll get your fill of your neighborhood’s decorating game.
Nothing At All
No pumpkins, no skulls, nada. This person is the Grinch of Halloween. They either turn their porch light off the second the sun starts to set, or set out a bowl with like thirteen pieces of knockoff Tootsie Rolls and a “TAKE ONLY ONE” sign. As disinterested as this person seemingly is on Halloween, they’ll spend the entire night peering through their window blinds to make sure no kids step on their grass (which TBH I can respect the hell out of).
One Carved Pumpkin
You might react to seeing one solitary pumpkin on a porch by thinking “Wow, this person did literally the bare minimum.” While that technically is correct, someone posting up that Jack-O-Lantern on their porch signifies something a bit deeper that should be acknowledged. Carving a pumpkin takes a decent amount of effort, and seeing as this person chose to participate in the season at all deserves a golf clap. Also this person will be the most mad when a teenager smashes their pumpkin in the street at 1 a.m.
Wreath & Carved Pumpkin
It me. Speaking from personal experience, I’d consider this foray into decorating the “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” portion of festivity. They say 85 percent of statistics are made up on the spot, and this one is no different, but 90 percent of homes that feature a Jack-O-Lantern and a Halloween wreath are on a highly decorated street. One is more motivated to go out and purchase that festive wreath for trick-or-treaters to gaze upon simply because they’ve got a real go-getter (more on this neighbor in a bit) within their vicinity.
They’re also likely to ask at least one person who stops by “Pretty cool wreath, huh?”
This is where you start to see a separation in who really gives a shit about Halloween, but this tier is for the neighbors who want to really appear like they’re all about that spooky season without putting in a whole lot of effort to get there. Drop $80 at Target for a big ass inflatable pumpkin and a few signs that say “BOO!” & “TRICK-OR-TREAT” and bam, you’re at least grading out at a B+ without putting in more than 5 minutes of setup effort. This person will put out a fantastic candy bowl, but not be there to pass it out themselves, because just like their decorations they really don’t want to put in a shred of effort. Money over time, always.
Lights & Exterior Touches
We’re getting into All-Pro territory here. These are the squads that started thinking about decorating even before the calendar hit October. It’s likely the whole family got involved, with the youngest kids sticking spiders onto the garage door. The lights serve two purposes, as they’re a chance really participate and draw attention to the home (light-hangers love the shit out of attention being paid to their home) and a warm-up for Christmas season.
Any lights these neighbors hang for Halloween will likely be tripled for Christmas, as Halloween decorating is really just Christmas decoration pre-season. They’ll be there to pass out the candy; not because they want to see all the kid’s faces light up when they get a Twix dropped into their bag, but to gauge reaction to their lights & decorations and plan improvements for next year.
There’s always one. A house with a fake corpse hanging from the tree or a bloody ass skeleton; something that creeps out everyone, not just little kids. These people need to chill the fuck out. Halloween isn’t an excuse to give your neighbors’ kids nightmares, because it isn’t the 1950s anymore. The person putting up something that makes people’s stomachs turn a bit is the same person who says something super shitty to someone but follows it with, “Oh you know I’m just kidding.” Save the scaring for the real haunted houses my guy.
All-Out Haunted House
Holy fucking Jack Skellington, this person loves Halloween almost as much as I love excessive comma usage in my writing. Like all-time great TV couple Phil & Claire Dunphy, these neighbors have turned their home into a Halloween wonderland. They’ll beam with pride the night of, inviting your entire trick-or-treat squad in to tour their humble abode, now filled with skeletons, blacklights, and at least twenty hours of hard labor that made it all happen.
Fittingly, most of the neighborhood kids will adore it, while you’ll simply get stressed at the thought of someone having to get ready for work in a house that looks like a cross between Count Dracula’s castle and 3AM at 1 OAK in Vegas. The candy they give will be surprisingly mediocre (maybe Nerds or jumbo Tootsie Rolls if you’re lucky) but no one can fault them because they’ve spent every ounce of their free time over the past month putting in work for three to five hours of pleasure. As everyone walks out through the garage exit that has a life-size mummy statue, the patriarch fully dressed in a $250 Frankenstein costume will surely say “Just wait and see what it looks like for Christmas!” .