The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 28, 2013

Murray: Put a fork in Halloween, the kids have grown up

(Continued)

The real fun comes when we’d head out, though. When we used to live on Nicollet Avenue, my favorite part came on the 500 block. That’s where our friends the Morrisons lived, and while mom Cyndi was out with their daughters collecting candy, Scott would be on the porch handing out candy to the kids and, more importantly, beers to the dads.

At our current residence on Lakeview Avenue in lower North Mankato, we don’t get a lot of trick or treaters on our street. So we head over a few streets to Harrison, Tyler, Jefferson and Center, where hundreds of kids gather.

One house on Center turns their yard into a welcoming, yet slightly creepy experience, complete with bonfire by the garage and graveyard imagery on your path to getting there.

Another house on one of those streets — this one closer to Range street (McKinley, maybe? Or Jefferson?) has a similar feel. It goes full-tilt party on the front yard, with dry ice for fog, mechanical flying bats in the trees, creepy dudes and creepier chicks in costume, raging bonfire — total loony fun.

Over on Tyler, there’s a guy who comes up with something different every year. One year he created this scene where it looked like a guy had been cleaning out his gutters or hanging lights when something went horribly wrong, his corpse still dangling on the side of the house. It’s always fun to see what he comes up with next.

Several of those years, my friend Shandy and her son Noah accompanied us. It was particularly fun when Shandy, a dental assistant, dressed up in a costume with a bunch of tooth-extraction tools hooked to a belt around her waist, along with a shirt that read “Orifice Explorer.” (Tooth orifice, you guys, not, you know, what you were thinking.)

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