Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

Young Frankenstein projected onto the faded clapboards of an historic home. Intricate mazes in front and backyards. People in costume shoulder to shoulder on village sidewalks. These happenings can only mean one thing: Halloween in Bristol, of course. Halloween is the biggest night of the year in our small Vermont village. And residents go all out to create an extravagant celebration of the ghostly and ghoulish, with a characteristic creative flair that draws hundreds of visitors each year.

Families come from up to an hour away, descending from their cars to take to the streets. Some residents joke that the village should charge an admission fee to out-of-towners, but that would go against the spirit of the event. Decorating our front porches with creepy candelabra, playing recordings of eerie music, and donning flamboyant costumes in which to greet trick-or-treaters is as much fun for us as it is for visitors. 

Candy no doubt is part of the draw too, for the kids at least. Our household typically buys about twenty pounds and runs out every year. 

I love seeing the eyes of little witches and superheros and lions light up when they reach into the bowl to choose a piece, or sometimes a handful. 

We're visited by goblins and gorillas, both young 

and old.

But the best part of the night is walking around the village and seeing all the elaborate decorations, like this front yard pet cemetery.

Or this headless mower.

Or this collection of life-sized marionettes waving from their porch.


A roller-blading Phantom of the Opera might whiz by down the middle of the street,

and the beat of this funky band can be heard from blocks away.

Artistic jack-o'-lanterns glow in the dark, 

and neighbors give impromptu performances.

We stop in at some friends' house for a bowl of their traditional Halloween cassoulet and at another for a piece of homemade pizza. And then head back out into the streets of Bristol.


  1. Thanks for posting all the fun Sheila! just a great night for everyone!! :)

    1. Such a fun night, as always, and the music really added to the ambiance!

  2. I want to come up for this! This looks great! Love, Anne

    1. You'd love it, Anne. You'll have to plan on coming up when you're "empty nexters"!

  3. Lovely post, Sheila. You captured the glow of Bristol's Halloween, and the beauty of our special town.

  4. Thanks much for the post AND for the magnificent blog! (Discovered you on Front Porch Forum) and have become an instant devotee. Merci!