Last year, 'Spirit Grove II: an enchanted forest' was arguably our best-decorated yard haunt. You can check out the video clips, on October 31 and November 3, in last year's archives. We had our smallest crowd (133 trick-or-treaters) due to 'Hallocane' Sandy, but the haunt was truly magical. For the fourth consecutive year, we held the yard haunt at Mother in Law Holidays' home. Mrs. Holidays, Baby Holidays, Grandmother Holidays, Father Holidays, Stepmother Holidays, and several friends were in attendance. Father Holidays, Stepmother Holidays, and Mother in Law Holidays helped with the decorating. Father Holidays in particular was a huge help for the second straight year.
This year, the theme will be 'Spirit Grove III: a new beginning'. It's a new beginning because we will be holding the haunt at our house. We moved about 9 miles away from Mother in Law Holidays, so it'll be more convenient to host at our place. We still expect her to contribute to the haunt, though.
It's also a new beginning because, for the first time in two years, Father Holidays and Stepmother Holidays will not be here. They will be visiting us in August, and I plan on putting them to work on a couple of yard-haunt related projects.
So, what will 'Spirit Grove III: a new beginning' look like?
There will be a lot of purple and orange lights. Our front yard is much smaller than Mother in Law Holidays' which means the decorations leading up to the front door will be more densely packed. Here's a brief video clip to help set the scene:
At the entrance to the walkway, I'd like to place our two artificial trees, replete with purple twinkle lights. On each side, in the mulch beds, I'll place 4 shepherd crooks, each with a glowing orange lantern hanging from it. I will then connect each pair of crooks with an overhead archway of tree branches, which will be littered with hanging ornaments.
Also in the mulch beds, I plan on erecting 24 tombstones: 11 foam tombstones from years past and 13 wooden crosses. An orange lantern will be placed at the base of each tombstone. In the cherry tree, I plan on hanging 12 purple lanterns. Fog will be pumped in and around the area.
I think I'll put two glowing pumpkins on the steps, then an array of glowing lanterns on both sides of the brick walls. Probably a decoration or two on and/or near the front door. And of course, ethereal music will be playing in the background.
I'm also thinking about bagging a bunch of fallen leaves and strewing them along the walkway below the stairs, as well as all over the front porch. I could spray paint some of the leaves with fancy glitter.
That's probably a good, general outline. October always brings fine-tuning and new inspirations. This year, I'm considering holding 3 nights of haunting: a separate night for the local Goodwill organization, trick-or-treat night on Halloween, and one night for All Souls Day.
I've heard that the Halloween crowds are fairly small around our neighborhood. We'll see if we can't figure out a way to boost the numbers.