I spend more than a dozen hours over the week leading up to October 31 fixated upon and fine-tuning a freaky frontyard for myself and a few trick-or-treaters and the occasional appreciative accompanying grown-up. I’m shepherd to a gaggle of ghosts, ghouls, fog machines, lights, ghosts, jack o’lanterns, tombstones, ravens, dismembered limbs, bones, skulls, fans, speakers, sounds.
The minute and twenty seconds of endlessly looping creepy organ music emanating from the study with the spinning ghosts? An original composition. Well… not so original. Listen closely and you might find a similarity between it and the creepy bridge of Wall of Voodoo’s delisiously creepy version of “Ring of Fire.”
I do it because I love this one night of the year more than any other and I don’t care who knows it or who judges me goofy because of it.
One trick-or-treater — a repeat customer — paid me the highest compliment. “You always have the best house! I look forward to coming here every year!” he said. Extra candy for you my good young sir!
An adult thanked me while marveling at the sinister second floor demon and taking in the details of our carved pumpkins. “This is such a wonderful experience!”
Kudos like that fill me with joy, but I’d go through all this trouble without a single attaboy.
There was one last ninja who climbed up the steps with his open goodie-bag at 9:15 as I was taking some photos. And then it was over. I took a few more snaps, then powered down the atmospherics.
But as long as it takes to put up, I don’t leave it. To me there’s something very wrong about Halloween decor left up even a day after. Â It’s not like Christmas whose lights that can stay up until New Year’s Day.
So I don’t hesitate to take it all down the next morning — and before sun-up. All that work gets gone in about 30 minutes.
Like a ghost.