Halloween was always a big deal in our house–not for all the free candy but for the opportunity to get dressed up.

One year, Park Lane Mall was having a costume contest for Halloween and The P’s had a sure-fire winner of an idea: they would dress us up like the Lion, Tin Woodsman, and Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz!

Mom worked hard sewing Rosie’s Lion outfit that had a wonderful furry mane hood. He looked so cute. Dad’s Tin Woodsman outfit for Nevada Girl was amazing. You’d be surprised what you can do with a cardboard box, a funnel, dryer duct tubes, and a can of silver spray paint. She looked awesome. And I, as the Scarecrow, got to wear my own old clothes stuffed with scratchy hay. I looked uncomfortable. It’s true what they say; being the Middle Child isn’t all that great.

Full of high hopes, we entered the contest. We were clearly the crowd favorite. We lost. Dad was upset over being cheated out of our victory, but when he confronted the judges they said there was no award for group entry, but if there was, we would have won. Whatever. We had great costumes, everyone loved us, and we had a lot of fun. That’s what Halloween is all about.

Anyway, here are my favorite costumes I saw this year, none of them contest winners, either.

Your Halloween treat!
Park Lane Mall is haunted by the ghost of a former shopper who was murdered there! In 1976, a young woman was found dead in the old downstairs bathroom. Her murder was never solved, and she is said to still haunt the bottom floor of the mall. The apparition appears most often around 9:00 PM on the third Saturday of the month.