Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When the Crypt Doors Creak and the Tombstones Quake

My sister and I ready to trick or treat
in a year she'd probably prefer I didn't mention.

Getting ready for Halloween! I love it. My house has a few tall trees out front whose canopy makes a great stage for hanging, dangling and spinning all types of ghostly props and effects. Basically, I've ripped off everything from Disney's Haunted Mansion and put it in my yard. Every year I try to add something new, and think I've got a good one on deck for this year. Won't know for sure until I finish creating it and try it out in the dark. That's the deal with ghosts: they're all about the lighting. Things that look unimpressive in the light of day can be amazing at night, and vice versa.

Yes, in my neighborhood I am that guy. Luckily for my neighbors, I am not that guy at Christmas or any other holiday. I put everything up the day of Halloween and disassemble it all the next morning (you can tell how long ago I built something by how heavy it is). That's part of the All Hallows Eve magic: it only appears for one night before vanishing into the mists like Brigadoon. I very deliberately try to make everything as unscary as possible--nothing screams or jumps--but one of my most gratifying moments was a few years ago when a very proud little boy told us it was the first year he'd had the courage to come to the door. You just want to hug a kid like that.

Making people smile is the fun part. Feel free to drop by and help pass out candy. Look out for mischievous spooks; you may not believe in them, but they believe in you.

1 comment:

Jim O'Kane said...

When the kids and I were living in Virginia, my next-door neighbor was *that* guy. He was very simple in decorating design, but absolutely magnificent in delivery.

Our houses were directly across from the local elementary school, so the kids going to school there would see my neighbor Larry put a scarecrow on a lawn chair in front of their house about a week before Halloween night. So, the scarecrow would become yet another easily-forgettable feature of the Halloween scene in the neighborhood.

Except, of course, on Halloween night. Larry would dress up as the scarecrow and sit in the lawn chair when the sun went down. Nothing like having one of the decorations come to life and say "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" to the local trick-or-treaters as they knocked on the front door.

As technology improved, Larry would rig up video cameras to record the reactions on his front lawn. He had quite a "Best Of" tape every November 1.