Halloween always takes me back to my childhood, of the good ole days when we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood, but I lived in the country so there were no sidewalks and it was tough on all of us to collect lots of candy since the houses were far apart. But living in the city now, we have to prepare for the massive amounts of little goblins, lady gaga look-a-likes, skeletons, some presidential candidates, and lots of neighbors passing out jello shots. Oh, the times have changed since I was younger, as I could never image my parents passing out jello shots to the parents back when I was younger, although that would have been real funny to see that! But, Halloween is just not for kids these days!
In the past few weeks, we have been in full force getting all of our Halloween props out of storage, checking our stock of extension cords, flood lights, and fog juice and every year we try to come up with a new idea for the yard, and this year, we have gone a little overboard! We saw these really neat 6′ tall skeletons online at KMart and we knew that we wanted them! We purchased three of them to add to our home haunt and so far, they have made a big hit! People have been slowing down as they pass the house to take a look at what we have done and a few have stopped to take a picture or two. So, with the skeletons purchased, we needed to make something truly remarkable to go along with them in the front yard, and we thought that we should make a casket. We were going to make the casket out of cardboard, but then thought against it, since the cardboard would fall apart if it rained so we noticed that we had a lot of pallets behind the garage that we collected over the summer and started cutting up the pallets and created a wood casket for the skeletons to carry. We are amazed on how well it turned out and now the skeletons & casket are the focal point in our front yard.
We stood the skeletons up in the yard and attached them to some metal poles with some tie strips – one, for they would not fall down, and two, so no one gets the idea to steal any of them. It would be hard for them to grab them and run, because those metal poles are so far down in the ground, that they would never be able to pull them out (without being caught). We would love to think that people would be honest and just leave our props alone, but we have to take precautions and make sure that everything is tied down. That is why we wait until the morning of Halloween to bring out the really expensive props, like our animatronic Jason Voorhees or Freddy, as these guys really put the scare in the kids.
We have handmade all of our tombstones in the yard out of wood, painted them, stenciled and then sealed them well with a clear coat to protect them from the weather. We decided to not use our styrofoam tombstones any longer since all we did was chase them when they blew down the street from the high winds. We got a little creative in what we stenciled on our tombstones like: High Gas Prices Killed Me, Texting Killed Me, the word Economy with blood dripping off the letters (lots of parents got a kick out of this one), and we are still working on a few more that need to get finished before Halloween night. We also found some cheap black bird at the Dollar Store and we used the staple gun to attach them to the top of the tombstones which adds a nice detail to the graveyard. Sometimes, it’s the little things like paying attention to the little details that make all the difference in your graveyard.
And don’t think that we have forgot about our dogs when it comes to Halloween, as we have already picked out their costumes! Since I was sick for almost a month with a bad chest cold, I ran out of time to make their costumes myself, so we decided to find something at the store instead. Bella is going to be a skunk (since she is a little stinker) and Nikita is going to be a squirrel (since she loves to chase them in the backyard). Bella did not seem to mind her costume when we tried it on her, but Nikita looks so sad when we dress her up as she really hates any kind of thing that is on her head. In her costume, Nikita has a squirrel hat that she has to wear, so we are not sure as to how long she will keep this on. That’s ok though as long as I can get a few good photographs of her costume on her before we have to take it off.
Stay tuned as we transform our front yard in our nice quiet neighborhood into a remarkable home haunt!