I know I’m at risk of reading too much into something that matters disproportionately to me, but I’ve been troubled by what appeared to be a significant drop in house and yard decorating in my community this Halloween. In terms of outdoor decor, my town has always been more Christmas-oriented, but in past years you could always find at least a few houses on every block that put up orange lights, or a scarecrow, or a jack-o-lantern, or something. But this year was different; you could drive from neighborhood to neighborhood on the big weekend and see nothing but darkness.
I tried to take comfort in the fact that the Midwest was buffeted by several consecutive days of near-record high winds last week; it’s possible that many people either took their decorations down, or decided not to decorate at all, because of the wind. But the lady who cut my hair today offered a simpler and darker explanation. She was talking about how the economy was affecting local people; saying that more than one man had cried in her chair while describing this impact on their families and lives. Her theory is that people are just depressed; they’re having a hard time getting in the spirit of a holiday at a time like this. That’s a sad explanation, but it makes more sense than the wind. And it makes me wonder what Christmas is going to look like in my community this year.
As for me, Halloween is an obsessive calling. I’ll keep lighting up my little corner of the world until the trick-or-treaters stop coming, or until, in a bleak future, religious extremists are finally able to outlaw Halloween along with homosexuality and immigration. I can’t help thinking that–especially in times like these–the world needs haunting.
2010 Haunt-inventory (outside items):
Giant Spiderweb for garage
Giant Spider (the right eye needs to be re-wired)
Jack-o-lantern covers for the garage lights
Light up Happy Halloween sign for garage
Light up witch sign for garage (shorted out)
Wooden Zombie Danger Level sign
Zombie torso and head to go with sign
Light-up skull and hands (2 sets)
6 ft. cardboard coffin
Orange LED lights for bushes on side of house
Purple LED lights for bushes in front of house
Pumpkin lights for bush by driveway
Cornstalks wrapped in orange LED lights by driveway
7 pumpkins (only had time to carve four)
Baby-skeleton hung in wire fish-trap cage
Small ghost on a wire in front of house
Ring of five ghosts dancing around front tree
Large 2D skull lights for front tree (2)
Assorted disposable spider webs in bushes (6 or 7)
Zombie groundbreaker with moving head (broken by middle-schoolers)
Skeleton groundbreakers (2)
Foam tombstones (7)
Small seasonal signs on stakes (5)
Small zombie warning signs (4)
Witch figure with lighted, smoking cauldron
Fog machine for cauldron
Large werewolf figure with moving head
Large dog-cage for werewolf
Large witch-queen figure with lighted eyes
Throne for witch-queen
Large strobe-lit monster cage for living room window
Monster figure for cage
Skull lights and skull mini-border fence
40 foot wooden cemetery fence
Skull-topped gate-posts with lighted eyes (2)
It is a sad time when people can’t come together, dress up like zombies, and have good old, unintoxicated fun. Makes you want to turn on a shop vac, and run the vacuum hose over your head, just for the stimulation.
Impressive catalog, TomT. Maybe you can do like this guy next year.