Monday, April 30, 2012

6 Months Till Halloween

Can you believe it? 6 months have already passed since Halloween 2011.  At that time, Mrs. Holidays was about 4 months pregnant with Pee Wee in the Womb Holidays. 6 months later, Baby Holidays is 4 weeks old.

Last year's Halloween yard haunt was dubbed "Spirit Grove", and as usual, the outdoor display was graciously hosted by Mother-in-Law Holidays.  Grandmother Holidays was in attendance for her first yard haunt, and Father & Stepmother Holidays made the long trip out to help with the festivities. I believe it was Father Holidays' first yard haunt. He helped set up the display and cut dry ice. Stepmother Holidays, a Halloween buff, helped set up the display and counted all the trick-or-treaters.

We had a record 215 trick-or-treaters, even with some passing wind gusts and rain showers. In 2010, we had 148 trick-or-treaters with our "Wild West" theme, and in 2009, we had 210 trick-or-treaters with our classic Halloween theme.

My close friend arranged a splendid playlist of ambient-type music, which added a mystical feel to the event. This year, we will be largely repeating last year's theme, with a few, strategic alterations.  Officially speaking, the title of this year's Halloween yard haunt will be "Spirit Grove II: an enchanted forest".

So, without further ado, here are some pictures with commentary mixed in.

A frontal view. This year, I'm thinking that I might bring the tombstones in a bit closer to the walkway for a more intimate feel. In addition, I'd like to buy some orange, submersible tea lights to put in the 8 hanging lanterns leading up to the door so that I can have dry ice bubbling over the top of each one. I'd also like to rake up most of the leaves for a more pristine, intentional-looking appearance.      

Left frontal view. Can you see the enchantress?

Right frontal view. This year, I'd like to put two artificial trees behind a couple of these tombstones. It will help to balance a 'leftside-heavy' display. I'm also thinking that, since Mother in Law Holidays had planned on throwing away the trees anyway, I might spray paint the leaves black, put some glitter on the leaves, and hang a few Halloween ornaments on them.

Right side. Last year, I bought 50 lbs of dry ice. This year, I'm going with 100 lbs since the yard is so large. I'm also going to take Father Holidays' advice and start pumping the majority of the dry ice as it begins to get dark, which is about an hour into Trick or Treat night.

In front of the door, right before trick-or-treating began. This year, I'm thinking that I might use our two fog machines by the door so that the dry ice can be focused on the yard. I'd also like to hang several lanterns on the bushes next to the front door for added light.

Looking out to the right from the front door. The hooded enchantress was a manequin that Mother in Law Holidays found on the side of the street. This year, I'd like to tape some orange or clear Bethlehem lights to her cape to really highlight her. I'd also like to move her closer to the walkway & tombstones.

Mother in Law Holidays bound up some dead flowers from her backyard garden and leaned them up against each tombstone. I'd like to spray the bouquets with glitter this year for a more enchanted appearance.

Same picture as above, but with the flash on. Most of the tombstones were reused from the 2010 Wild West haunt, but with the help of two friends visiting from Germany, we added a few extra. One thing I'm considering for this year is laying out a couple of strands of orange lights on the ground around the tombstones. With more dry ice and fewer leaves, this might make for a sparkly display. Or, I might just put the lights on the two artificial trees.

Blurry, I know, but gives you a sense of the glowing lights at night. We had 65 lanterns (glass jars), each with a single battery-operated tea light inside. This year, I'm thinking of buying about 40 more tealights, so that I can put two in each lantern for a greater glow. Also this year, there probably won't be any purple lights. The vast majority, if not all the lights, will be orange.

Last year, we had 6 bats and 6 ghosts hanging from the trees. We'll do the same thing this year, except I'd like to hang some of them closer to the ground, right above a few of the tombstones if possible. Also, instead of putting so many of the lanterns on the ground, I'd also like to hang some of them from the trees to give the appearance that they are floating in the air.

Our faithful, but disarticulated Blucky.

A view from the front door. Can you see all the cars & vans pulling up? Father Holidays had his hands full passing out candy last year. This year, he'll have Baby Holidays snuggled up next to his chest, as he doles out the goodies. Hopefully, Baby Holidays will be in a good mood for the big event.

As visitors streamed up the walkway all night, Grandmother Holidays and the crowd of family & friends gathered around her, got to watch the spectacle from the sun room behind the bushes.

A view from across the street. The kids just kept coming and coming. Truth be told, we'd do our annual yard haunt whether 5 or 250 trick-or-treaters showed up. It's just so much fun to see all the kids and their families enjoy the display.

'Spirit Grove II: an enchanted forest' should be even more fun this year as we fine-tune things a bit. Grandmother Holidays will hopefully be in attendance again. Father Holidays and Stepmother Holidays will once again make the cross-country trek to participate in the festivities. Baby Holidays will get to experience his first Halloween outside of the womb, and Mrs. Holidays will not be dealing with exhaustion and "morning sickness". And once again, Mother in Law Holidays will solidify her beloved status as a beacon of community camaraderie, exquisite artistry, and Halloween spirit.

1 comment:

  1. I love the magical feel here. The lamps along either side of the walkway look awesome! And what a perfect house to haunt...

    Fantastic job!