Other people's homes always felt mysterious and strange to me as a child; perhaps I just couldn't yet comprehend that people actually lived their own disparate lives apart from mine. But on Halloween, this perplexing concept was always brought to the fore as neighbors opened their doors one after another, offering quick peeks into their private worlds. Do you have memories of these fleeting glimpses of your neighbors' homes?
Perhaps it can be said that some kids, over the years, develop a mental trick-or-treating map, whose geography is based not on street names or house numbers, but on what kind of experience to expect on Halloween. One grumpy neighbor always doles out toothbrushes; another offers a bowl of full-size Snickers; at the corner house, a haunted hallway awaits. But what I remember best is the little voyeuristic thrill of getting a peek inside the homes of neighbors we didn't know.
One house, the outside of which was beige and unassuming, had a bright red hallway—blood red, even—that kind of gave me the creeps. Another had a large mirror hanging opposite the door, where the sight of myself in costume always shocked me. Yet another always smelled like someone had just scrubbed the whole place down with Murphy's soap. And the biggest house on the block, which was rumored to shelter some kind of cult, had a dim foyer packed full of fake plants.
On the eve of the big day, will you share your memories of Halloween glimpses into your neighbors' homes?
(Images: Flickr member tomeppy, licensed under Creative Commons)