We don’t do scary at Halloween. We don’t do witches or ghosts or monsters. We don’t do zombies or vampires. We don’t even do scary jack-o-lanterns.
We do fairytale characters. We do clowns. We do superheroes and pirates and animals. We do happy jack-o-lanterns.
But it’s Halloween season. And Kaleb has apparently heard some of the other children at school talking about zombies. One day he came home from school holding his hands out in front of him and dragging his legs as he walked saying, “I’m a mazombie! I’m a mazombie!”
And now Kenzie has picked it up from Kaleb and she goes around the house saying, “I’m a mazombie,” though I don’t think she knows what it means.
This Halloween season instead of trying to make jack-o-lantern from pumpkins, I decided to purchase ceramic jack-o-lanterns and then re-use them each year. I actually decided to do this last Halloween when I discovered that I’m not very artistic when it comes to carving pumpkins.
So, I purchased two ceramic jack-o-lanterns with smiley faces and put them on the front porch. We’ve developed a ritual that each evening when it gets dark we go out on the front porch and light the candle in the jack-o-lanterns.
And, now that we have mazombies around, I’ve embellished the ritual by telling the kids that we light the jack-o-lanterns to keep the mazombies away because mazombies are afraid of happy jack-o-lanterns.
One night recently we were all lying down in Kaleb’s bed and they wanted me to tell them a story. I usually tell them David and Goliath or Jack and the Beanstalk (they like giants). Since it was late and they still weren’t asleep and it’s the Halloween season, I decided to tell them a scary Halloween story. Instead of Scared Straight, I was hoping for Scared Asleep!
Here’s the story I told them with some commentary. You may want to use it with your children. Maybe it can become a Halloween tradition at your house like it’s becoming around ours…
It was Halloween night and all the boys and girls had finished trick-or-treating. After they had eaten their Halloween candy, it was time to go to bed. But before they went to bed, they had to go light their jack-o-lanterns because on Halloween night, the mazombies come out. But, if you have jack-o-lanterns burning on your front porch they won’t come in your house because mazombies are afraid of smiley jack-o-lanterns.
(They were listening intently and pulling the covers up tight around them because to them a story is a true story…)
So all the boys and girls lit their jack-o-lanterns and went to bed, except for a little boy and a little girl who lived at one house (coincidentally, the same number and gender of children as live at our house). This little boy and little girl forgot to light their jack-o-lanterns after they went trick-or-treating.
As all the little children were sleeping in their beds on Halloween night, the mazombies came out. They would walk up to each house with their arms out in front of them and dragging one of their legs and saying, “I’m a mazombie! I’m a mazombie!” But, if there was a jack-o-lantern burning on the front porch, the mazombies would get scared and say, “Oh no, there’s a smiley jack-o-lantern burning on the front porch! We can’t go in there!” and they would run away and go to the next house.
When they got to the house of the little boy and little girl who forgot to light their jack-o-lanterns, the mazombies banged on the door of the house (I banged on the headboard of the bed for effect) and then pushed the door down because mazombies are super strong. And they came into the house saying, “I’m a mazombie! I’m a mazombie!”
(I could see that the story was definitely starting to scare them and I admit that I’m liking it, so I customized it to make the drama even more realistic to their own sleeping arrangements.)
The mazombies climbed up the stairs where the little boy and little girl were sleeping in their rooms. As they came up the stairs looking for the little boy and little girl, they were saying, “I’m a mazombie! I’m a mazombie!” (banging on the headboard of the bed for each of the footsteps of the invading mazombies).
(Now I’m on a roll but I’m noticing that the story is really scaring them. So I’m figuring that unless I want to stay here all night huddled in bed between two pre-schoolers, I better find a not-so-scary ending to this story and a way to extract myself from this bed.)
The mazombies came into the bedrooms where the little boy and the little girl were sleeping….. and limped over to their beds….and reached out with their cold mazombie hands….and grabbed the little boy and the little girl….and gave them a big kiss and said, “Happy Halloween!” (and I leaped out of the bed).
After a brief moment of surprise, this great sense of relief came over the kids when they realized the little boy and little girl didn’t come to a tragic end at the hands of the mazombies.
And, they were so relieved, they burst into uncontrollable laughter and I made my escape!