All the ghosts, zombies and whatnot that come out in October need not terrify children.

All the ghosts, zombies and whatnot that come out in October need not terrify children.

These supernatural stars of the Halloween season turn out to be pretty lame upon closer examination. Sure, Hollywood has built them up to be terrifying, but strip away the film magic and what you see are some decidedly incompetent ghouls.

Here's what I'd tell kids about them:

Ghosts

Wow, what dopes. Kids, if you were invisible and wanted to haunt a house, wouldn't you pick out one of those 9,000-square-foot edifices in New Albany, with media room, wine cellar and four-car garage? You could live like a king, rent-free and undetected.

Yet where do ghosts hang out? In the attics of drafty old Victorian places with cobwebs, vermin and banging shutters. Or, worse yet, they haunt mausoleums, which lack even indoor plumbing and central heating. Anyone being that devoid of real estate savvy is too dumb to be frightening. Don't give them another thought.

Zombies

Yes, children, it might seem a bit disturbing to have the dead rising out of the ground in search of human flesh to eat. But what you must realize is that most zombies are shockingly clumsy, what with that stiff-legged gait and all.

What this tells me is that the average zombie has no hope of successfully invading the typical American home, which is a virtual obstacle course of furniture, toys, shoes, dogs and electronics cables. One step inside the family room and the zombie is going be flat on his face, with the dog barking its head off and the burglar alarm blaring at full volume.

The only nimble zombies I'm aware of are in the Michael Jackson Thriller video. But remember: professional zombie dancers struggle for years to get to the top and are unlikely to jeopardize their careers by eating a stage technician.


Vampires

They dress up, go out at night and suck blood. So basically, vampires are just oversized mosquitoes in formalwear. What kid is afraid of a mosquito? True the fangs can be a bit alarming, but that's really all the weaponry a vampire possesses. He is, however, repelled by garlic and vulnerable to wooden stakes. That means that anyone with a Caesar salad and a corn dog on a stick possesses the lethal force to defeat a vampire attack.

Werewolves

Listen kids, your average golden retriever has no hope of running loose for more than 20 minutes before someone calls Animal Control. So you can rest assured that a werewolf, also a member of the canine family, would attract even prompter attention. In fact, in werewolf homes, they probably tell scary tales about young werewolves who stayed out after curfew, got arrested and were taken to a shelter, where spaying and neutering are the first order of business.

Then the young wolves were adopted by a suburban family that made them wear cute dog sweaters and chase Frisbees. If you think you hear a werewolf outside, just threaten to send them to Puppy Kindergarten. They'll flee in terror.