Saturday night was still delightfully warm. After arriving home from a family dinner at Applebee’s, my young niece and nephew were not quite ready to go inside. As the evening grew darker, they asked if we could go for a “night walk” so they could show me the Halloween decorations that had popped up in their neighborhood.
It seemed like they knew the location of each house that had lights up or spooky figures in the yard. Their words tumbled out eagerly as they pointed in varying directions to tell me what we would see.
“This street has a house with a MUMMY in the window!”
“There is a big pumpkin in front of the house over there!”
The highlight of the night walk would be the home of their former teacher, who lived just up the street. Her Halloween and Christmas decorations were always a hit with these two, both because she was a beloved teacher-friend and because her house was always lit up early in style for the season.
We traipsed up a little hill and turned a corner. The “mummy window” was indeed creepily fantastic. A yard with two grasping hands reaching right out of the ground was another favorite. The kids chattered on about their own favorite decorations and all the things they loved about Halloween.
Then I realized the chatter had stopped. Their footsteps faltered as they approached their teacher’s sidewalk. I turned around in surprise to find them standing completely still on the street, gazing with laser focus on the brightly lit house.
“Lights of terror,” my niece whispered, in true kindergartener fashion, shaking her head. “Lights of terror…”
This was the home of their PRESCHOOL teacher. She had in her yard an adorable light-up Frankenstein monster with a friendly smile and wave of his hand. And a cheerful Jack-‘o-lantern. And a happy little ghost.
Lights of terror…