Marc Lopez Law October 2018



Marc Lopez

I love fall. For many folks, the seasonal associations include bonfires, football, changing leaves, theWorld Series, and a welcome end to the sweltering summer heat. For me, though, it’s all about Halloween. Before you start judgingmy enthusiasm for costumes and sugar binges, let me assure you that this is a case where a long-dormant interest has been reignited by the demands of fatherhood. Simply put, I didn’t observe our most hair-raising holiday for about 13 years. Now, as I experience the world vicariously throughmy daughter, I get to reacquaint myself with what I loved as a child. A couple of years ago, I took my daughter trick-or-treating around our neighborhood, and she seemed to grasp the concept on an intuitive level. What I had assumed would be a quick trip up and down the street turned into a two-hour quest to accumulate as many sweets as possible. It must have made an impression on her, because last year she was excited for the end of October and the avalanche of candy it brings. She even insisted that my wife and I coordinate our costumes with her own. This year, her zeal has only intensified. In our home, the Children’s Museum’s (lights-on) haunted house is a frequent topic of conversation, and we seem to devote an unusual amount of time to the practice of being spooky. Daily viewings of“Frozen”have been temporarily suspended in favor of“Coraline”and“The Nightmare Before Christmas.” These days, the Lopez family can’t even complete a shopping trip without at least visiting (and discussing) the Halloween aisle and its offerings. It’s funny how having a child gives you the opportunity to relive your youth. I spent over a decade of my adult life neglecting the cultural delights of All Hallows’Eve, and I was sure that the experience of wonder was no longer available tome. Now that I have a little one, though, the world is new again. I can play dress-up and eat a whole bag of bonbons, all in the name of maintaining holiday spirit. It’s glorious.

Ghost stories are a rite of passage this time of the year, but sometimes it can be hard to determine what stories will be appropriate for kids. If you have a youngster who is a budding scare-o-phile, here are some stories you can feel safe telling them. SPOOKY TALES FOR THEWHOLE FAMILY A ppropriate G host S tories for A ny A ge

Feel free to shape these stories into your own. Knowing the age of your audience and what kind of spooks they enjoy will help you craft your tale.

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN This story is perfect for little historians and those who love maritime tales.

Legend has it that ship captain Hendrick van der Decken and his crew have haunted the Cape of Good Hope ever since a storm ravaged their ship more than 450 years ago. Van der Decken was an avid seaman and captain of The Flying Dutchman. In the midst of a horrifying storm, he insisted that the ship keep pressing ahead. His crew begged him to change course, but, according to folklore, his famous response was“We’ll sail for eternity!” Van der Decken and his crew vanished in the storm, but sailors over the past five centuries have often claimed to see a mist-shrouded boat sailing toward them, only for it to disappear from their sight as they drew near. Sailors warn that if a ship crosses paths with The Flying Dutchman, it spells doom for the ship’s occupants.

As you prepare for this year’s festivities, I encourage you to remember three pieces of advice:

1). JUST SAY NO to vandalism;

2). try not to snack yourself into a diabetic coma; and

3). always plead the Fifth. Happy Halloween!

TIP: Characters and locations in this story can vary depending on your location and audience.

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