It occurs to me now that I have two vivid memories involving halloween animatronics. The one I mentioned here involved a small witch with a cauldron that my aunt owned and brought out every year. When you pushed a button it would move around a little and recite the following monologue, which I will remember until the day I die:
Nyaaahahahaha! Let’s see, here’s eye of newt… Liver of muskrat… Venom of snake… Garlic powder! Delicious? Yes! It’s my very own chowder! Nyaaahahahaha!
My cousins and I spent a lot of time at her house and after a few years the above was ingrained in our collective memory so deeply that when someone activated the witch, which they always did for reasons I can’t fathom, we would all recite along with it. To dispel the mind-numbing repetition we would vary it slightly, exaggerating its subtle idiosyncrasies of pronunciation (“venom of snehhhgg…”) or the garbled quality of the recording (“GARBAGE POWER!”).
The other memory is an earlier one revolving around this fabric ghost that my grandmother would hang from the kitchen ceiling around halloween. This one would go “woooo-ooo-ooo” and jiggle frantically when activated by loud sounds, particularly A) my grandfather angrily slamming the phone down, B) yelling “Dammit I hate that thing!” at the ghost, and finally C) stomping out of the room and D) slamming the door behind him. I am ninety percent sure she only put that thing out because she knew it would trap him in an endless loop of being angry at a friendly jiggling ghost.
Have I told you that both of my grandmothers were basically trickster spirits hiding in human form?
Have I told you the story of the time my other grandmother ambushed my grandfather from under a table and bit him on the leg, or that she once told me she was contemplating painting his toenails while he was asleep
I assume if you found a really accurate genealogical diagram of my family there would be two dead-end lines a few generations back that just said “Loki” and “Coyote.”