27 October 2011


You may not find this word in the dictionary, but it is one that has a clear definition, use and implication in my life. It is both a noun and adjective and can be described as follows:

Noun – A person who is addicted to Halloween
Adjective – A description of something spooky and Halloween-esque.

Halloweenies (of the noun variety) are a rare and precious breed. We are the people that put more stock in frightening the bejesus out of children than we do in honouring all the other holidays. We are the folks that turn our lawns in cemeteries, build tombstones in the summer, and are always on the lookout for the next great prop or discounted black curtains. Yes folks, I am a Halloweenie and I am guilty of all the aforementioned activities.

My obsession with Halloween stems back as far as I can remember. Perhaps I was an odd child with a penchant for the macabre. I’m not sure how many 10-year olds would wait patiently by their dot matrix printer, slowly churning out highly pixilated gruesome graphics to colour and put in the windows. I would also gather old castoff clothing from my family members and use it to construct dead bodies for the porch. I remember walking to the dollar store, allowance in hand, to purchase red poster board to cut into little blood puddles that I would lovingly scatter around my corpses. I’m sure it all looked a little budget, but to my child’s imagination, it was awesome! I always vowed that I would have THE Halloween house on the street when I would one day own my own place. Thankfully I married a man that shares my vision…or at least tolerates it because he loves me and is an exceedingly patient person.

This year’s haunt is going to be bigger and better than ever. No cheap and tacky ornamentation for us – the vast majority is homemade but done tastefully and with a great deal of love and care. We are not ones for cluttering the lawn with plastic animatronics or inflatables, we are more focused of setting a realistically eerie scene. Our porch is swathed in black curtains with hanging metal lanterns, smoke, webs and eerie lighting. Our ghost is not friendly, it looks like a black-eyed Madonna, floating freely in the wind. Our cemetery contains tombstones that have been painstaking carved by hand and an entrance gate with real glowing lanterns and posts. We want to give people the illusion that they are really stepping up to a haunted place.

People often ask me, “Why on earth do you do it?” My answer is simple – the children. When you see kids regularly driving by on their bicycles and slowing down to look at your lawn, when you hear their exclamations of excitement – that’s the ticket for us! People don’t do enough anymore for children. I want to give them a fun memory and something to look forward to every year. Don’t think that they don’t appreciate it – they do!

Each year we have countless children thanking us for the effort , not to mention their parents. It is also something fun that we can enjoy doing with our whole family. At the tender age on two, Drew is already showing a good deal of interest in all our Halloween stuff. I look forward to incorporating some of his ideas in the future and letting him build a few props of his own. I can't wait for the day when he asks to go to the dollar store to buy his own red posster board.

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