This year I went into a little more details on creating gruesome scenes in a somewhat sectional environment. As always, the goal is to make it through the horror gauntlet to play Skee Ball and win some candy.
Originally this was intended to kind of set the vibe for the "zombie" theme, but it also kind of has the unintentional side effect of being a disclaimer in case some dumb kid manages to hurt him or herself on our property. I have no idea if it would hold up in court (probably not). It's really sad that this thought even crossed my mind. Also, I can't write in a straight line to save my life.
Here's the entrance. Just for some background, we live on a culdesac that intersects a major street. The majority of our neighbors are wusses and they go dark on Halloween, which means our culdesac does not look very attractive to potential trick or treaters as far as bang for the buck. So this year I used our bubble tube lamp (seen in the lower left corner) as my pumpkin light and placed it way outside near the curb so that it would be visible from the main street. There was also rope light leading the way to the gauntlet.
Speaking of pumpkins, here was my attempt at a Michael Myers face. Unfortunately, the design didn't work well with the bubble lamp, so I gave up on this one.
Here is Tina's pumpkin, which is a butterfly. If there's one thing I learned this year it was to not be too scary right off the bat. I think next year I will have Tina make more cutesy pumpkins to give people a false sense of security. Mouse over the pic to see it in the dark.
OK, now here's my real attempt and this one worked out quite well. It's a little hard to tell what it is in the light, but mouse over it to see it in the dark. This design had excellent visibility at long range, so it fit the bill.
As we move closer into the fun zone, you can see how I built these makeshift walls out of plywood to sort of section off the different scenes and make the place look a lot larger and foreboding than it was. Also, you might notice that there is iceplant everywhere. I was clearing this stuff out of the backyard when it dawned on me that it would probably make for pretty good decor.
Here is the same area from the opposite side more in the dark. The light pictures don't look all that scary of couse, but when you factor in roughly 90% darkness and a fogger - the creepy factor ramps up considerably.
We bought a new fogger this year. This one is ridiculously powerful and I think I need to use it in a larger open space because it was darn near choking people. The biggest advantage is it has an auto timer so I don't have to babysit it. It just starts shooting out fog at regular intervals.
We bought a beautiful light-up fountain to decorate our front yard. Add a grim reaper and stick it in a weird place and it's now a Halloween decoration. I was originally going to fill the fountain up with red dye, but I was afraid it would ruin the fountain for regular use. It still ended up looking pretty cool. It also made for very good ambient noise. Mouse over for a pic in the dark.
Last year's costume was so awesome, I definitely needed to add it to the environment. This setup was low down in a cave like area and slightly obscured so that it wasn't immediately obvious.
I put our Frankelamp inside the bin to give people that feeling that it was peeking out at them. It looks more like Oscar the Grouch though. Roll over the image to see it in the dark.
Here is Tina prepping our most violent scene.
This alien wants a divorce. And she wants half of everything. Tina did a good job of making home-made slime since normal blood wouldn't have looked as good, nor would it have been visible on the black fabric.
This creepy little thing served as a distraction to turn people in the opposite direction before hitting the graveyard. The black box senses motion and says stuff like "Happy Halloween" and flashes a little light. The coolest thing was that in the dark, the light would create a fairly large shadow of those bony hands.
Ah, the graveyard scene. Bob once again makes his appearance as a partially dug up corpse. Black light shined on this whole area so the tombstones lit up. What's the empty spot in the middle? Why, that's my hiding spot. More on this towards the end.
Once again, Mr. Giggles offers entry into the game room. I liked this setup last year, so it remained mostly the same. A fan blew on him while a strobe light flickered in the background.
We went all out on decorating the wall of the game room with stars. I heard many comments of "oh, it's so pretty in here!"
And of course, here is the goal of the whole event. Mouse over the picture to see the transformation that darkness brings...
We had our friends Adrienne and Billy over this year. When I heard they had a couples costume, I let out a groan. But this one was pretty cool. Go go Speed Racer! It's a heck of a lot better than ketchup and mustard.
Tina went as a "dark fairy" this year. This isn't a good pic of the outfit because she isn't wearing the complete costume and opted to put on a sweater since it was cold. Oh well.
Little Atty in his ultra-cute teddy bear costume. Be warned, my pic following this is not as cute!
Here's me in corpse position, ready to ambush unsuspecting children and adults!
We hope your Halloween was as fun as ours. See you next year!