When late October rolls around, I get motivated to start decorating. I can buy lots of stuff of course, but I prefer to make my own. I rummage around in friend’s attics and garages to gather materials for a DIY look in the front of my house. I can whip up a ghost or goblin with some fabric, fake hair, black paint, and glue. The reason for all this work myself is that I like to change things up every year. One time I did all carved pumpkins, as I adore them, especially when lit. It takes a lot of skill to carve them well and to make them amusing and odd. The spookier the better. In lieu of gourds, this year I am collecting some old, cheap soccer balls from https://www.topcornermag.com/best-soccer-ball/ that I don’t mind ruining. They will never grace a playing field again. I try to outdo myself every season by spending as little as I can. This challenges my creativity and spurs my neurons to spark. It is all about imagination with horror overtones for me. All the kids that wear pretty costumes don’t get the idea. If you don’t scare trick or treaters, you are not spreading the right holiday cheer.
Every holiday has its special symbols like Easter eggs, rabbits, and bunnies. It is all about color, happiness, and glee. Christmas requires red and green and lots of pine cones and plaid ribbon. Valentine’s Day is pure schmaltz and only red velvet and lace will do. I would take Halloween over other special days any time if I am in charge of decorations. My friends and family now expect something new and super fun. So what can you do with a soccer ball? You can paint it black and adorn the front with big white popping out eyes. You can drape ugly torn spider web fabric from the bottom and insert creepy bones. Then you hang it and hope the kids notice. You can also take the balls and group them as long as one face is more horrific than the other. They can be splashed with red paint and voila, you have a bunch of severed heads found in a ditch in the graveyard. You can add a tombstone or two in between the frightful balls and cover everything with that weird white filmy stuff.
My mother asks me all the time how I can scare little kids like that, and I just laugh. They expect to feel fear and miss it if they don’t find it here and there around the neighborhood. They don’t shy away. In fact, a few little creatures who come to the door ask if they can have a soccer ball for later. I imagine that their parents would be surprised by my severed head idea and want to wash off the “blood.”
Next time you want to throw away your old deflated soccer ball, don’t. Keep it for Halloween. It can become something ghoulish in no time flat. Use your best painting skills. Set the adorned faces, blood and all, in your front yard trees or peering out of your car parked on the street.