It is absolutely no surprise to anyone that knows me that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have enough costumes already in my closet I can choose what to wear any given year – and I usually have a tough time deciding. I have plastic bins full of Halloween decorations that get added to every year. Halloween may statistically be the #2 holiday in the country for seasonal purchases, but for me it’s definitely #1.
I affectionately blame my dad. I always loved decorating with him, and when I moved out I got to take a bunch of the decorations with me. One of the first Halloween’s I remember clearly, I think I was about nine. My brother was very young, and there were landscapers putting in a new brick front walkway at our house. Dad and I ran amok… and managed to get in trouble with Mom twice.
Both times involved ketchup.
First, we took a couple of old rubber monster masks, stuffed them, and used them for the heads on a couple of scarecrows. Then we “killed” the scarecrows in a number of gruesome ways and liberally splattered them with ketchup. My little brother took one look and went inside crying to Mom. We got sternly talked to about scaring him, and got to show him they were all make believe. (I still don’t do the most kid-friendly Halloween, but the scarier parts are generally indoors.)
The second thing we got in trouble over was how we hid the front yard landscaping work-in-progress. There was a pile of bricks in the front yard. We covered them with a tarp, shoveled some top soil on top of that, and then took one of the old paving slates we were getting rid of and wrote in Sharpie “R.I.P.” on it. That was propped up behind the now mound of dirt as a headstone. As a finishing touch, I took one of Mom’s kitchen gloves. We stuffed it, partially buried it so it was coming out of the dirt, and then poured ketchup over it.
We had to buy Mom new kitchen gloves. And a big bottle of ketchup.
Now I’m an adult, and own my own house. I don’t have any kids to corrupt with my Halloween craziness yet, but I try to put on a good display for the neighborhood kids. I still chuckle about our first Halloween here, when we’d lived in the house all of two weeks. Adults were amazed we already had the house all done up with pirate stuff. Believe me – the Halloween decorations were some of the first things I unpacked.
This days, we have a crowd of gamers coming to the house around Halloween, and I run a bit amok for everyone. In honor of that, and to build the excitement, I’m going to share all of the little fun projects I take on to make the house awesome. And in the end, you’ll get a photo tour of the hopefully creepy finished project. Happy haunting!