Halloween hijinks

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Seven-year-olds Colter Figg, left, and Max Rowley visit the house of Lisa and Ray Dant Wednesday. This was Colter’s first year trick-or-treating and he said he was having fun.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Lisa and Ray Dant take great care in decorating their house to make it spooky. They even hide a CD player in the front yard to play scary music.
Ray Dant was called into work at the railroad this Halloween, so Lisa Dant enlisted the help of her sister and brother-in-law, Corine and Johnny Yulibarri.
At the Dant house, trick-or-treaters must earn their candy.

6:13 p.m.: The first trick-or-treaters arrive. A small angel, devil and witch hesitantly walk up the Dant’s long entry way. Their goal: a big orange bowl overflowing with candy — is barely visible.
Donning masks and sitting still among other scary figures, Dant and the Yulibarri’s wait for the children to approach. When the first child, an angel, reaches into the bowl, Dante springs to life grabbing the angel’s wrist, saying “Happy Halloween.” The angel is frightened, but recovers, receiving her candy and running quickly away from the house.

6:35 p.m.: A gaggle of witches arrive. After making it past the motion-activated talking skeleton, Dant’s creepy mask comes in to view, right above the candy. The witches freeze, scream and run down the entry way. Dant removes her masked a few seconds too late.
“One kid screamed when you took off your mask,” Johnny Yulibarri said, laughing at his sister-in-law.

7:12 p.m.: The talking skeleton doesn’t faze a princess dressed from head to toe in pink and lace. But as soon as the three figures at the end, holding the candy, start moving, the princess freezes.
Corine Yulibarri tries to coax her to come get to candy. The princess takes a few steps and reaches her candy bag out as far as her little arms will allow. Dant drops a few pieces of candy in the bag, trying to calm her.
The princess starts crying when she hears the sweet voice coming from the dark mask.

7:25 p.m.: Gilbert Swain, 4, dressed as NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., says the obligatory “trick or treat” and receives his candy. He looks directly at Dant: “Can you take that off? You scared me.”

7:34 p.m.: A long line of costumed children fill Dant’s entry way. A little leopard shouts, “Mommy,” as he retrieves his candy. Embolden by numbers, the children seem a little more at ease. After they leave, four more bags of candy are added to the bowl.

7:45 p.m. “This is the scariest house I ever been to,” 7-year-old Cameron Sena said. Sena is dressed as a princess, with a head full of synthetic blonde curls. “The guy with the little head freaked me out.”

Under the spooky facade of the Dant’s home, there are good intentions.
“Kids are just everything to me. It touches my heart to see the children dressed up and so happy. And I know my candy is safe,” Dant said. “Halloween is suppose to be spooky, but we just want the kids to have a good time.”