With Halloween right around the corner, I think we need to step up our game.

We’ve got to step out of the little leagues of dressing like a witch and putting up fake spider webs. This year, it’s time to do something really scary.

As we all know, the scariest things are real. But there are hyper-specific, northeast Indiana terrors that are all too real this time of year.

I’ve put together a primer on some key ones, and how to incorporate them into your Halloween festivities.

Getting stuck behind a tractor on U.S. 33

Imagine it — you’re running late already, and the fastest way to get from point A to B is to bite the bullet and take curvy, stoplight-riddled 33.

So, ok, that’s fine. You’re driving, going a little over 55, scheduled to arrive right on time.

But, oh no, when you pull up to a four-way stop, a big green John Deere pulls in front of you.

Now, while I know this doesn’t happen often and farmers have places to be, too, there’s no greater frustration than traveling at a snail’s pace on a one-lane highway, and the only chance to pass is if someone isn’t driving in the other lane for miles.

Your chances of arriving on time are quashed. Spooky!

To recreate this for your home Halloween party, ask a good farmer friend to bring her tractor to your neighborhood. When guests start to tell you they’re on their way, have her drive in front of them at about 10 miles per hour.

Getting lapped on the Kenney Park mile loop

Fall weather is great for running, and a nice place to do it is in Ligonier’s Kenney Park, since it has a mile loop that barely comes in contact with cars.

If you’re like me, you’re just now trying to combat the onset of holiday calories by starting back up your workout regimen. So, you lace up your shoes and hit the trail at the park.

You’re breathing a little hard since it’s been a little while since you’ve worked out.

And then, you hear light footsteps behind you. Is someone tiptoeing?

Nope. It’s just someone who runs so smoothly it looks like they’re treading on air, barely breaking a sweat, quickly coming up behind you and passing you like a graceful gazelle.

They’re training for a half-marathon. You’re training for stuffing your face.

To emulate this, invite your friends who run 5Ks for fun to your Halloween party. Tell them your other friends want to know all about their workout routine and how many miles they run a week.

Missing your friend’s pork burger benefit

They invited you like three weeks out, which is a fatal mistake. Nobody remembers things that far out, especially when it’s on a weekend.

You don’t think anything about it the day of, but later that night, you see them post on Facebook about it.

“Not as many people as we would have liked, but it was still a good day,” they post, shooting daggers into you as you remember that thing — their benefit — that you were forgetting all day.

This is a tricky one to pull off at a Halloween party, but if you have the tact, you can do it.

When everyone shows up and is having a good time, happily make up a story about a thing you had a month ago, and talk about how some of your mutual friends showed up.

Then, leave it at that. They’ll be wondering all night if you’re mad at them and how they could have forgotten something you clearly would have invited them to.

Sara Barker is a reporter for The Advance Leader and The News Sun. Send her your Halloween ideas at sbarker@kpcmedia.com.

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