Autumn means Halloween
When the days grow shorter, the sunlight slants on the water at an increased angle, and there's a crisp chill in the air, thoughts of lazy summer days turn to the best season of all...Autumn. The aroma of cold apple cider and hot cinnamon donuts fill the senses as the leaves of the trees turn colors one by one; first the scarlet of the maples, then the yellows of the birches, finishing off with the russets of the oaks. Ah, autumn, as the year winds down and an old woman's thoughts turn to Halloween.
Time is running out! Must get the props made. That darn witch, I'll get her stirring that cauldron if it takes me all of September! What about the Pumpkinrot scarecrow ripoff I was going to put in front of the spooky tree? I'd better get some branches for his arms while they're still supple. Oh, no, it's mid September already and that display has to be up on the last weekend. Does the cemetery fence need touch up paint? Off to the local lumber yard to scarf up their gallons of mis-mixed latex paint for a buck. Buzz into Augusta to stock up on PVC pipe and Great Stuff. Into the basement to look for the jigsaw and cordless screwdriver. Arghh, what about the new tombstones I was going to carve? Where did I put that hot wire foam cutter? I know it was buried under the pile of Halloween lights. Supper? You want supper? Well the number to the pizza parlor is programmed into the phone.
Yes, that's what it's like every September around here. I disappear into my Laboratory aka the basement for some serious monster creating and don't come up until it's time for bed. Why do I do this? Because I love Halloween. I think about it virtually every day of the year. I plan and plot and design during the colder months, and in the warmer months start getting everything together. And I'm not alone in this. There is an entire community of us "Home Haunters" that do exactly the same thing as I do. And with more talent, resources and skill than I have.
Having started back in 2003 with a couple of gravestones placed along the roadside, things snowballed each year until in 2006 I had a full cemetery, posed Bluckies, an FCG, spinning spider victim and a new lighting plan.
For 2007 I plan on doing a witch stirring a cauldron, which didn't work last year, and more posed Bluckies, maybe having two dancing to the Disco is Dead group. The photo you see to the left is one from last year, accidentally taken with a flash, then automatically corrected. It came out a little different. so I saved it as is.
I have put up a few how-tos, including the Flying Crank Ghost. If there's one prop that every haunter must have, it's that one. The effect is so haunting, especially at night. I did it a little differently from the traditional directions, encountered a few problems along the way, but it all eventually worked out and on Halloween night 2006, Lily flew all night without a hitch. And for those of you who may think it's too hard, if I can do it, so you can you. It's well worth the time. And maybe my experiences will help others.
Another how-to I've put up is how to make windproof figures. Because I put up my display facing west, and the road it's on runs north and south, I'm battered by winds at times. In fact, last year the crypt I put together to hold Lily was smashed apart the week before Halloween thanks to 50 mph
winds. But most of my monsters stayed upright, or just a little bent over. It's worked for several years now, through major flooding, high winds, and more. It may not be for everyone, though, since it does kill off the grass. But that's not an issue with me.
There are only a few sites dedicated to home Halloween lighting, and I think that's one of the most overlooked areas. As my display is on the road, 200 feet from my house, and I have no electricity, beyond what I can bring down to the road, I have to get creative yet still remain safe. I haven't blown any circuits yet, so please check out the tips and tricks section, which will have a section on lighting. I went very different from my usual this past year, and I think it worked out fairly well. To the right is a photo from 2005, kind of a group shot. I don't reuse the same monsters every year, just the frames, unless I have one I particularly like. In fact, the crashed witch didn't even go up in 2006.
New Daylight Savings Time dates go into effect this year (2007), from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. With Halloween being on a Wednesday, this year looks to be bad for
TOTs due to the extended daylight hours and middle of the week school night. But on the bright side, the year 2008 is a leap year, and bumps Halloween to a Friday. With any luck, the TOTs will be able to wait until dark. If not, just remember, at least you will have an extra hour to get ready. It's not so bad here in Maine, but those areas right next to an earlier time zone are the ones that will really take the hit.
If you're in Maine in the month of October, be sure to drive by and see us. We're located on Maine Route 130 in Bristol, just one mile south of the Damariscotta town line. Damariscotta is right on US Route 1, about halfway between Bath and Rockland.
↑ Grab this Headline Animator
This HauntYourHouse.com Webring Site
by Roadside Haunt.