Saturday, November 2, 2019

We Came, We Saw, We Ran Out Of Candy

Ohhh, you guys. What a Halloween!! 

First a shout-out to the fact that I've been vacuuming around a Thestral in our front room for the last 2 weeks.

It was 90 degrees and absolutely sweltering as we set everything up around 5:30 Thursday night. 

Then we packed up the group:


... got a grip, came equipped:

 ... and then, we waited.


I think the heat kept everyone inside a little longer this year, because it was a slow start. We spent the time taking pictures of each other & taking turns going inside to cool off. (And also showering with bug spray. Ahhh, FLORIDA.)

Oh yeah, my headgear lights up!

Then, a little while after sunset, and almost all at once, WE WERE OVERRUN.


 This was a real Field of Dreams situation: if you build it, THEY WILL COME.


John ran down to the end of our block at one point and snapped this picture:
 You could see Stay Puft from at least one or two streets over. Ha! OOPS. (All our neighbors ran out of candy, and one asked John incredulously, "Why are there LINES in your driveway?!" I think they all got a kick out of it, though. :))

Which reminds me, here are the little Slime cups I was handing out:

Since last year we only had 60 kids, and I figured not everyone would want to play a "kiddy" game, I thought 48 slime prizes would be enough. HA. Aha. ha. [sob]

After those ran out I dashed inside and grabbed a bucket of individually wrapped Halloween cookies and gave those out... which lasted about 10 minutes. So then everyone just got an extra piece of candy for a prize. 

Thankfully our friend Matt was in charge of candy distribution, and better still, John had purchased an absolutely INSANE amount of candy, figuring we'd return the excess. Then our friend Arielle (who arrived a few hours later) brought us more. All of which lasted us 'til 8:45.

I thought we'd have to pack it up then (we usually go 'til 9), but as we were calling out to the approaching crowds that we were out of candy, they asked if they could still take photos! So the last 30 minutes was actually quite delightful, helping people pose with the proton pack.
 Our only ghostbuster of the night was this dad, who had his own pack! So here he's helping his son catch Slimer.

The adjustable-height proton pack worked really well, although about 80% of the kids had no idea what it was or how to hold it for a photo, lol. (Come on, parents. TEACH THE ESSENTIALS. ;p) 

Here's the range from the lowest to the highest:

 The guy in the wolf mask had us howling, he was so funny. (Get it?) John was taking the picture with his standard "Aw yeah, you're a tiger! I mean, you're a werewolf!" and the guy did this:



Our friend Karen (who ROCKED IT as Dana, did you see that pic earlier??) ran the marshmallow game, and was amazing with the kids. She'd show them how to throw and encourage them to try again 'til they got it. Although a lot of kids made it on the first try! We all tried to cheer when we saw someone land a shot.

Our friend Alexie was the perfect Janine; I screamed when she got out of her car looking like this:

"What, like this is hard?"

Since a lot of folks didn't know Ghostbusters I was asked about my helmet a few times. 

  (This video made John spit his soda out he was laughing so hard. That's right, sweetie, THIS IS ALL YOURS.)

I told the kids it was reading my mind, and saw a few jaws drop, which was adorable. Then one girl looked at me thoughtfully and said, "You're thinking about strawberry ice cream." 

"HOW DID YOU KNOW?!" I asked, and she gave me the biggest grin. 

My only (minor) regret of the night is that it was so crowded I didn't get to have more interactions like that. I really love complimenting the kids costumes and seeing their eyes light up when someone "gets it." When John and I both fangirled over a little D.Va from Overwatch, her mom looked at us incredulously and asked, "You know that game?"

The wind died down later in the night, btw, so Stay Puft did great!

Plus, since it was so still, our fog looked AMAZING.


This was taken AFTER we'd been outside sweating for hours, but once I realized I had both of Tully's love interests with me, it had to happen:


(This is John's favorite photo of the night, he says I have to frame it, lol.)

And finally, one last treat for us adults:

SUPER sweet, and super tasty! 

 We ended the night sweaty messes - after all that we had to pack everything up before coming inside - but it was totally worth it. I learned so much for next year (starting with buy more slime), and I also learned that Halloween is so much better with friends. Since most of our local crew doesn't get any trick-or-treaters, I'm hoping to make this a new annual tradition. I never want to take for granted that we get to do something special for so many kids.

Yep, we've officially caught the Halloween bug, bots. BUCKLE UP. :D

I hope your vicarious visit to our Ghostbusters Halloween was a treat! And I hope your own Halloween was just as sweet. I love you guys. Now quick, go do something silly to feed your soul.

If you like Epbot and what John and I do here, and if you've got a little spare change handy, then you can support us directly through Paypal! Whether it's a one-time tip or a monthly donation, every little bit helps us keep pouring our heart and soul into these projects and posts, so THANK YOU. 

I know most of us don't have a lot of spare funds, though, so please know that the most important thing to me is that you're still here reading and laughing and geeking out with me. You're my tribe. I'd do this for free. So thank you for being here.


  1. Great account of a spectacular night! But here's some perspective: while you were dealing with heat, my neighbors were spreading salt on the steps, after shoveling the snow that fell Thursday. Your pictures feel like they're from another world....

    1. Fortunately no icy steps here, but it was cold enough that I didn't even bother complimenting the kids' costumes - I just threw candy in their bags and closed the door to keep in the heat!

    2. Same here in Wyoming. Isn't it crazy how different parts of our wonderful country are? Jen and John were roasting hot and we were freezing cold and snowy. All the kids had to wear coats over their costumes.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Amen, Anonymous. It was cold and icy and pretty miserable here in the dairy state. But at least the snow had stopped by then. We found every driveway fire pit in the neighborhood that night...

  2. I've been checking in today hoping to see how things went! Looks awesome! And I, for one, am excited to see where this all leads!

  3. Glad you got such a good crowd! We had a lot less trick-or-treaters than normal, and it didn't really start until 7:45ish, which I assume was due to the heat.

  4. I have great memories of the houses that went "all out" for Halloween. All of time, effort and resources that you and your crew put into this Halloween is a blessing to the children (and adults!) in your neighborhood.

  5. I love it!! Isn't it fun to do something that makes so many people happy? Our friends live a few blocks from us and they go all out like you for Halloween every year, and I love helping them with it! They build it mostly out of cardboard and other recyclables, and we help them with some of the prep work, set up, and by dressing in costume to help with the crowds. They get about 1,000 trick-or-treaters plus extra adults who stop by, and it's inspired others on the street to do more decorating as well so it's turned into a real neighborhood event. A few years ago they did Ghostbusters, too, and I showed them your set up and made them wish they'd gotten your ideas before they did theirs! This year's theme was Jurassic Park, complete with a giant t-rex head peering out from a bunch of branches a neighbor gave us from their banana tree. I wore a lab coat and had a baby dino puppet and had the best interactions with kids trying to figure out if it was a real dinosaur, and a few tiny kiddos who were convinced it was real and were adorable. Just google "Albertson Halloween House San Jose" and you'll find their website with pictures from previous years! I don't think they've gotten the pictures up from this year yet - they're still recovering and taking everything down.

    1. Oh my goodness, this sounds AMAZING. Talk about goals! I love how Halloween can bring neighborhoods together: since I rarely leave the house this was the first time I met some of our newer neighbors, and I know for sure some of them would help out in the future!

    2. As someone who takes YEARS to feel comfortable with people, it was seriously overwhelming when I first started helping them 15 years ago. But kids somehow make it easier. There's something about a small child's enthusiasm and joy that makes it so much easier to talk to their parents, and the next thing I knew I had met a family that lived down the street and we started stopping to say hi when we saw them out and about in the neighborhood, and then they're texting us when their orange tree was going crazy and they had gallons of fresh squeezed OJ.
      And now our friends have started posting on the neighborhood facebook group when they're going to do prep work for the house, and people show up with donuts and Mexican pastries and help paint cardboard. I'm still not 100% comfortable with all these people, but it's so much fun to be together as a community that I'm able to (mostly) ignore my awkwardness and just be in the moment. And people get so excited about helping out!

  6. Kids on Halloween are so much fun. I handed out candy in front of the business I work at for a downtown trick or treat. I set up a simple spinner wheel with cheap prizes. I had lines down the block to just spin the silly wheel. The kids must have been going out their minds with how cool your house was. Awesome job and I can't wait to see what you do next year!!

  7. ...when *all* of the kids in the neighborhood think you rock. :D :D

    Glad it went so well. Now I have to watch the movie again. And maybe eat a marshmallow. :p

  8. This is so awesome!! I'd have been in line for pictures. Ghostbusters was my fave movie for years. (Currently, #1 is Clue.) My hubby and I would love to do something like this, but weather in October in Central NY is too unpredictable. It might snow. It might downpour (like this year). And our street doesn't have kids anymore. Besides, we have zero yard space. Ok, enough excuses! We're going to move to your neighborhood! Haha! ;)

  9. We had over 200 kids again this year, running completely dry of candy and toys around 8pm. WE thought we had enough for 300, but lost count somewhere. Next year, we're using a clicker. They started coming at 3:30 when school got out because we are the house that gives out masks and bags and they wanted to be prepared for the other houses.

  10. Epbot feeds my soul.Totally love your style. Greatly appreciate your wip's and personal shares keeping it real. Thank you so much for the prep and hard work. I am delighted you have found a path to living your dream and sharing it with the rest of us. You and yours are inspirational

  11. We were out sick for Halloween, so thank you so much for sharing yours.

  12. This made me so happy! It's cold where I live, and not super accessible, so we really only get 2 or 3 kids. You guys look like you had a blast! I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who loves to dress up and goof around for Halloween.

  13. I'm so excited you had such a big crowd! You probably made those kids' whole week.

  14. Our Halloweens are usually much calmer affairs. My partner and I hang out with friends while our A/V friend runs a curated Halloween Playlist (old Halloween commercials and music and other surprises!), our resident horror-fan dresses up all spooky and passes out candy to kids, and we gorge on snacks and good times :) These are the same friends we tend to spend Thanksgiving with, since they don't do anything crazy for Turkey Day - just more snacks and/or a light meal while we watch the MST3K marathon. It's good to have chill friends :)

  15. We had six trick or treaters, in two groups. I had a ridiculous amount of candy left over. I had the kids who came tak handfuls of candy. The one little girl (about four) took on piece, then when encouraged to take a handful she looked at me with amazement, then went back into the bowl for TWO pieces. The middle school older sister helped her out. :)

  16. It looked amazing and I really enjoyed reading about it.

  17. I love your decorations, but next year, I think you should add a cat to your dog house. Just for the mass hysteria!

    1. Bwah ha ha ha ha! I see what you did there!

  18. THIS IS AMAZING!! Love that it went so well for you all! Everything looks great! Sadly we had blowing snow for Halloween and traffic going from my husband's law school indoor Trick or Treat back to our house. Last year's weather was so much better. The kids still had fun and we have too much candy, and I got some good pictures inside. Can't wait to see what you do next year!

  19. Jen thanks for sharing with us! Makes me smile. I loved the dad with his own proton pack. Your friends looked great. It looks like a good time was had by all. Oh, and love your colandar hat!

  20. I am so excited to see what you do next year! I'm sure it will be amazing. You all looked killer. I wish I knew more of the kids costumes that I saw - they ones I did know were really excited about it! I did learn that I apparently need to watch Disney's Descendants because I saw a lot of costumes from it and had no idea who they were.

  21. You both are so awesome. I wish you were my friends or neighbors! Love from NM.

  22. We had zero trick or treaters this year, so thank you for sharing your epic Halloween with us!

  23. Our dog and cat had a Ghostbuster-themed photo shoot this year!


Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>