Halloween 2023 is over.

Halloween 2023 is over, and my decorations are all put away. 😞 This is the first time I got a little excited to celebrate the holiday in several years. Oh, it’s not like when I owned a home on a family-oriented street.

Skeleton and Girl in fire

In those days, I’d go all out, covering the front and two sides of my yard and even my back deck. I had hands sticking out of the ground as if zombies were trying to dig their way out from their graves. A plethora of tombstones would fill large spaces around the graveyard with gothic fencing. I had simulated fire, skeletons, ghouls, ghosts, and other assorted supernatural beings galore around the yards and entranceway to the house. I had skeletons fishing for mermaids, while another skeleton hung a recently caught mermaid by her tail while she flapped around, trying to free herself.

Another year, the year of cannibalism, I had a full-sized human spitted and roasting on a roterisie over a bed of hot coals and even mimicking smoke rising from fat dripping on the fire below. I had sophomoric scenes of skeletons hanging out, drinking beers, and partying around an ice chest with empties all about. In that scene, I also portrayed a girl skeleton in a red string bikini who got too much sun.

Halloween displays of the past.

I built guillotines and headless people underneath the blade, their heads in a basket below. Let’s not forget the fresh blood on top of the old blood from previous decapitations. I had a bunch of ghouls playing poker around a table using themed chips and cards of the season. I had ghosts peeking in the windows, or is that out of the windows? I built a meat market in the house, with fresh human delicacies displayed in a refrigerator case, which included finger fries (both cooked and fresh), bone-in thigh steaks, fresh leg of human, a frozen head in the freezer, rump roasts, and tenderloins. You get the idea.

Decapitated head in basket

Another year, I replicated scenes from Alfred Hitchcock movies. The ‘Psycho’ shower scene, complete with an audio track, was my favorite. In the guest bedroom, I replicated the desiccated corpse of his mother. We covered the inside and front of the house with hundreds of black crows, giving homage to ‘The Birds.’

Let’s remember the animated creatures I created or bought. The list is a bit long, and a large jumping spider, a man hanging by his neck trying to pull himself off the noose while missing the bottom half of his body from the pelvis on down. I’ve already mentioned the mermaid I built, using a windshield motor in her chest to mimic the flapping of her tail and fluke. My all-time favorite prop I made is ‘Lily,’ a floating ghost. Her translucent body would move up, down, and sideways while her eyes glowed, staring at you.

Lily, a hovering ghost

Setting the stage was erie music playing outside until midnight while thunder backed up the lightening strikes momentarily blinding your eyes.

Ah, those were the days of Halloween I will never forget, as well as the work that went into it for the neighbors to enjoy throughout the days leading up to and including Halloween. I’d get well over 200 visitors each year. More and more would show up as the years went by. I pity the homeowner who purchased my home. I’ll bet they were surprised.

Halloween 2023 is over

However, Halloween 2023 is over, and I didn’t miss the volume of work from the old days. I set up this year’s display rather quickly, featuring a ghoul that would rise from 5′ to 7.5′ high when you approached and reached out to grab you with skeleton-like hands. Hanging from my garage door were five decapitated heads I named in order from left to right: Debbie, Victoria, Victor, Janice, and Elsa. Add some string lighting, webbing around the front door, and a witch pedaling a bicycle through the wind, and there you have it.

Am I happy about it? Yes and no. Now, it’s time to set up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have two weeks to do it. I have enough stress, which will increase over the next six weeks. I’ll survive. I always do, but it takes a lot of management of time, resources, and realistic expectations.

Until the next time, be safe and enjoy your days.