a thought

Maybe Halloween Decorations Shouldn’t Make Noise

Quiet pumpkins. Photo: Ralph Smith/Getty Images

I don’t want to put a damper on anyone’s holiday. Anything potentially worth celebrating should be celebrated long and hard, with lots of decoration — this is my personal opinion and I believe it is correct, generally. Halloween decorations in particular are excellent, both indoors and out. Spooky ghosts, evil witches popping out of cauldrons, gravestones marked M. I. DED?: They remind us of death and of the general scariness of life, which is non-necessary. But they do it in a lighthearted way, which is important.

I must make one request, however, based, yes, only on my immediate personal experience, but also on what I believe are the basic needs and desires of humanity: The Halloween decorations should not make noise non-stop for the entire month of October.

If you’ll allow it, I’d like to talk about myself. Every year, across the street from where I live in Brooklyn, New York, my neighbor puts out a motion-sensored Halloween decoration that sounds like multiple cats screeching. It sounds like this: REEAAAAR! Reeaaarr. EeeERRAEEEARR!!!! Eerrreeeraarr. Okay. Very “scary.” Maybe this is an okay decoration for a place where people aren’t walking by all the time (it isn’t), but I don’t believe motion-sensored noise-making Halloween decorations were made for a very populous city. I dislike this decoration very much, and I disliked it even more when I worked exclusively from home.

However, I now see that this Halloween decoration — on its own — was, in fact, a blessing. This year, in addition to the cats screeching, a neighbor somewhere on my block, or perhaps even the next block over, has added a noise decoration that makes a zombie groan, or maybe a ghost groan, roughly every 45 seconds. I have not been able to find its source, which adds to both its spookiness and my frustration. The decoration, from what I can tell, is not even motion-sensored. It is seemingly just switched to “on.” It does this:

WhooooOOOOOOOOOooooooaooaaaah. WhooooOOOOOOOOOooooooaooaaaah. WhooooOOOOOOOOOooooooaooaaaah.

A set of three spooky groans, a brief pause, and then it begins again. It does this for most of the day and — from what I can tell — for most of the night, at least until I fall asleep at 11:45 p.m.

My colleague Callie Beusman recently told me she thought Halloween had been too long this year, and at the time I disagreed — all time is moving too fast, I thought, and while having the adult version of Halloween on a Saturday and the child version the following Wednesday did seem awfully stretched out, we have to squeeze in and stretch out as much joy as possible whenever we can. Keep our Halloween candy bowls on our coffee tables for sporadic candy eating; wear the HALLO WINE muscle tank we bought at Target for $13, because we love it so much. However, the zombie is still groaning and I am beginning to see her point.

Please, next year, consider not putting out Halloween decorations that make noise non-stop for the entire month of October. At least if you are my neighbor.

Maybe Halloween Decorations Shouldn’t Make Noise