Life is too short to do "either/or" when you can splurge, and Halloween has become a great excuse to splurge. For years my children helped me build as fantastic a haunted house at our various front doors as we could invent, with hordes of lighted ghouls and witches engaged in indescribable acts, tons of spiderwebs enmeshed with all sorts of hapless prey, giant pumpkin mazes, scary music and spooky lighting. Since we moved often, new front doors and yards presented endless new opportunities. When spectators came by to take their photos in front of our displays, we'd twitch the curtains behind them for extra effect. During trick-or-treating, we'd add one of our favorite tricks: One of the boys, dressed in our padded frankenstein mask and body suit, would casually recline among the other ghouls, still as the dead, until someone walked up. Suddenly reaching out his grasping hand or egad! standing up would elicit delighted shrieks and retreats from the children, but gosh, the grown-ups would practically fall down! Or to distribute the candy, we'd snake a mummy-wrapped hand through a wriggling mass of shredded green plastic garbage bags hung in lieu of our front door. Now my son in Boston is continuing the family monster manse, and his children are happily reporting that they are the best haunted house in the neighborhood. Tonight another grandchild, dressed as a knight with gold-sequined armor, will visit his grandmother's haunted house and inspect all the gory details inside and out, just to be sure I'm safe. Then he'll stand guard at the front door and (ahem!) share the treats. Happy Halloween!