Halloween is a time of screams and fright, horrible faces and hideous (1)costumes. It's a time when people who love to be scared can fill up on that experience(2). Those of us who don't like witches, skeletons, zombies, and Draculas hope that the day of Halloween passes quickly. Though the roots of this holiday are ancient, it has become a very modern celebration. By this, I mean that each year Halloween is updated. My almost daily(3) trips to Walmart showed me that that is very true. If you want to give your neighborhood a full Halloween night of fright, you have to jump into the world of shopping. It's no longer enough to carve out a pumpkin(4), put a candle in it, and leave it on your front door step. Your house has to undergo(5) a full theatrical production. While most houses in our town had not been decorated, there were some that should have received awards for their effort and creativity.
We took our two youngest children out to 'trick or treat', and we knew just where (6)to go to make the occasion memorable. The neighborhood up the road, ironically next to the cemetery, has one particular house that has to be visited. We weren't sure which road the house was on, but as we walked along the dark road, flashes of blue light and sounds of screaming were coming from the next street. When we got there we found a house on a steep hill, fake fog floating all around, robotic spiders and skeletons, and three humans at the top of a very long flight of stairs, but they certainly didn't look human. My children, who are usually very brave, stood still and stared. They didn't want to go up the stairs. “Come on,” I said. “I'll go first.” I took my daughter by the hand, made a joke about the silly dressed up teenagers who were trying to look like zombies, and up we went(7). My son followed right behind me. By the time we got to the house, I was actually a little scared, but I didn't admit it. The zombie teenagers were hideous, and the atmosphere was even worse. Was it worth going through this(8) just to get some candy? Well, we didn't stay to find out. Before long we were back at home, and the kids were counting out their candies. They soon forgot about the house of fright as they made their Halloween harvest disappear.
'Hideous' is another word for ugly or scary. Or more like really ugly or really scary.
a. At the Halloween party I couldn't look at him, his mask was so hideous.
b. That chair is just hideous, plus it looks terrible with the rest of the furniture.
'To fill up on an experience' means to have a complete experience, or a lot of it. This expression can be used in different ways.
a. The night at the opera really filled us up; it was a wonderful experience.
b. You should fully experience what it is to be a patient, if you want to be a doctor.
'Almost'. I'm sure that you're very familiar with this word; however, it is used in many different ways in a sentence. In this instance I am using it in front of expressions of time and routine.
a. My almost weekly visits to the spa soon stopped my migraines.
b. His almost hourly snacking makes him fat.
c. Their almost constant complaining drives me nuts!
'It's not enough to …' It is useful to learn how to copy this sentence format.
a. It's not enough to appologize; he needs to give back the money he stole.
b. It's not enough to talk about the dinner party; we need to plan it and invite people.
c. It's not enough to eat right; we have to exercise as well.
'To undergo' is used for surgery, and for building renovation. Sometimes we use 'to go through'.
a. Our house will undergo a complete renovation.
b. You'll have to undergo some surgery if you want your hip to function.
'Just' in the given sentence 'we knew just where to go' has a special meaning. It's the same as saying 'exactly' or 'precisely'.
a. He knew just what to say to make me feel better.
b. She knew just what to cook on a cold wintery day.
c. I'm sure they'll know just what to do.
'Up we went.' You know in English we usually always use the verb before a word like up. But, if you have already given the context of going up by mentioning stairs, or a mountain, or an elevator (etc), then, a phrase like 'up we went' or 'up we go' can be used as the final mention of the action.
a. We will dive down into the cave. Come on, down we go!
b. We thought a long time about going into the Halloween house, and finally in we went.
c. Your plane will climb to 35,000 ft.. You'll get in your seat, put on your seat belt, and up you'll go.
'To go through something' has 2 meanings. It is the physical act of passing from one place into another. Or it is the same as 'to experience'.
a. I can't go through another night of no sleep.
b. They went through the forest and out into the field.
c. She'll go through another divorce if she's not careful.
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Direct download: a_house_of_fright.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00am EDT