Within their municipal lines, each village celebrates Halloween in their own way. Some dub the day by another name: Fall Fest, Autumn Harvest, etc. Both calendars on my desk note October 31 as ‘Halloween’ so that’s why I’ll be digging around in my closet for some sort of costume to wear to the office.

Trunk- and trick-or-treaters this year reflected pop culture trends, politics and the economics of dressing up for one night of running from door to door. Since there aren’t any notable Marvel movies playing at the box office right now, I didn’t see as many superheroes on the sidewalks last week as I did last year. The tiny Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Superman that I did see showed signs of wear. Since older siblings marched ahead of each, the costumes most certainly were handed down from previous years. There were nuns inspired by a current horror flick, replacing 2017’s demented clowns. Bad Santa gave me a crushed candy cane at Columbus Grove’s “Nightmare on High Street.” When asked if I’d been naughty or nice during the year, I told him, “Both.”

“Always nice,” he growled, lifting the confection high in the air to break into tiny pieces (the better to sprinkle into hot cocoa on Nov. 1.)

Sunday evening’s presentation of all things haunted in Putnam County packed a crowd into the Historical Society & Museum in Kalida. It was warm and quiet, altogether soothing enough to keep chills from running up and down my spine as Ruth Wilhelm recounted tales told by locals as well as her own experiences. She asked if anyone in the room had encountered a ghost, or had an eerie experience that they couldn’t explain. I raised my hand.

When our child was very new, My Steven and I lived in a house on the banks of the Auglaize River. The house was very old by New World standards. Gingerbread decorated the full front porch, peeling ornamentation that was in better shape than the rest of the house. It was a house where lights turned off and on while you were in the shower, the culprit giggling just out of sight. It was house in which the cat sat on the staircase, her eyes rapidly tracking something that wasn’t there. It was a home where someone planted a kiss on your cheek after you applied fresh paint to the walls. It was place that, when I was away, I was afraid to return to, but one that literally welcomed me when I closed the door on the world outside.

Happy Halloween, or whatever you choose to call this day. Tuck in tight and save the candy for daylight.