Hm, much of that sounds similar to here. (Southern Ontario, Canada, that is). I guess American TV shows often just show the daylight pieces!
In related Halloweenie news, my boyfriend and I are starting to think of house hunting, and I asked an important question: "How would you feel if I built a graveyard on the front lawn for HAlloween?" His only concern: "A real one?"
We did this in the back garden last year. If you get some family members dressed up as zombies you can take some awesome pics of zombies coming out of graves. We made them out of cardboard (We had loads after moving) and used the lids to stand the side bits up with, painted them and added textural bits on, angled some and then covered these stands with soil when they were done to hide them.
We are in a close so didn't get too many trick or treaters last year but hope now we have been here a year that the kids know us now and will
Finished another one but onto a treat now that may take some time.