What in the world?  I had to stare down a neighbor's Halloween decoration to figure out if it was his actual daughter hanging from the tree, or a ghostly likeness.  This is weird. 

Every day when my two elementary-aged daughters get out of school, I'm waiting to pick them up on a side street across from the school.  It works out well because I avoid the carpool line, and around Halloween time it gives me a chance to notice some really odd decorations.  On one side of the street, I saw five ghost and witch inflatables with the air out of them because it was the middle of the day and those are only blown up at night, and on the other side of the street, well, there's this.

Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
Jen Austin - Townsquare Media

Just across the hood of the bright red truck, there was a girl in a bright red dress on a swing, hanging from the tree.  The wind was blowing at the time so the swing was moving and her legs moved with it, and she gently tilted back and forth just like a child would rock on a park swing.  Even though I was 68 percent sure it was a Halloween decoration, I had to stare her down to be sure.  I zoomed in a little closer and got a glimpse of the white, plastic, ghosty-looking head with dark gray circles under fake eyes, and could be sure it was a Halloween decoration.  And 100 percent strange.

This is the only decoration in the whole yard.  There is no sign that says Happy Halloween. There are no cobwebs in the bushes, no fake spiders hanging from the trees, and no fake cemetery in the yard to accompany this poor girl.  She's all alone.  And people who drive by (or park across the street to avoid the carpool line at the school) are left wondering how crazy that house must be.  OR, how utterly cool and creative.  These friendly neighbors stuck a half-dead-looking girl in a red dress in a swing in their front yard and then let us make up our own stories about why she's there.  They're helping us find new ways of entertaining ourselves.

Maybe the plan is to leave her there past October 31st and even through the end of the year.  Her dress is red, after all, and she would fit right in with Santa and Rudolph.  Why not.

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