At any rate, Halloween has special meaning for me, and as I've mentioned before, my novel begins on Halloween. I can cite multiple reasons for this, and as I have multiple book events next week (see schedule in right-hand column), I will use a deep dive into the meanings of Halloween as a launching pad for at least some of my presentations.
What I've noticed this year about the weeks leading up to Halloween relates to decorating trends. When I was a girl, although Halloween was a time of great excitement, people didn't decorate their houses at all (at least not that I remember). Of course there was the pumpkin on the porch or in the window, but that was it. Gradually, Halloween has become a marketing phenomenon, and decorations have become more and more extensive and elaborate. But they have also changed in character. A few years back, it was all about those nylonish-inflatable-type decorations. Bright colored and friendly and silly, at least until they collapse in a dirty pile on the front lawns. You know what I mean.
And there are pretty little lights. And pumpkins, of course: Real, ceramic, and plastic. Plastic or wood gravestones with funny inscriptions (can't think of any at the moment) are also common. Bony legs and arms and feet emerging from the ground. Skeletons hanging from trees. Witches that have crashed into trees.
What I want to say is that this year, I have noticed a decidedly more ghoulish look to the decorations. Large plastic rats. Zombie-like faces emerging from spider webs. Big hairy bats with fangs. A skeletal bride and groom enclosed in a cage and hanging from a tree. Other skeletal creatures with really horrible faces.
When I mentioned this "trend" to my husband, he said, "Scary things for scary times."