STOLLOWEEN Article: Halloween 2009-Behind The Scenes

Article: Halloween 2009-Behind The Scenes



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Monday, October 26th, 2009, five days before Halloween and as usual I’ve got a TON of things to finish before our display goes up on Friday the 30th.

This year the schedule was tight because I had started a new job the previous month working at one of our local Middle Schools for five hours a day.

Five days before the set up I still had a tremendous amount of props to finish, including eight pumpkins, four columns, two rats, two sentinels and two fence sections.


Tuesday, October 27th, 2009.  Tuesday morning I was greeted with a phone call asking me to sub for a co-worker that had come down with the flu. October was brutal because the swine flu was making the rounds and as luck would have it I worked extra hours everyday that week.

The extra hours proved challenging but the weather would prove to be the monkey wrench in the works.


During the week we had managed to get everything painted and Friday night I coated all the props with Spar Urethane to protect against the 100 percent chance of rain.


Friday morning it began to rain, scratch that, I mean downpour….hour after hour all day and night, to add insult to injury a high wind advisory was put into effect for Friday night and Saturday. Wind and rain, a haunters nightmare!


Saturday, October 31st, 2009. The big day. Saturday morning was very cold, in the 30’s but at least the rain had stopped.

Decked out in warm clothes my two boys and I headed outside to tackle what seemed like an impossible project…get our yard set up in time for the Trick or Treaters, a lot of work seeing that the bulk of props needed to be unpacked from storage, wiring for sound, lighting and special effects.

My wife decorated the inside of the house, bought last minute candy and fog fluid, baked Halloween cookies and kept me sane.


The yard came together over the next eight hours although we would have to take breaks as squalls passed through dumping freezing rain and blasting the display with 40 mph wind gusts.


To make a long story short everything got done thanks to the help of my sons. Over 100 props were displayed, the music blasted and the thunder and lightning shook the neighborhood.

We had about 200 adult visitors and trick or treaters resulting in a successful evening. The display stayed up until midnight at which point I reluctantly pulled the plug and started packing it away for the year.

At 3 am I called it a night, all the papier mache pieces were stored and I would spend my Sunday packing up the remaining wires, lights, speakers, fence and tombstones.

It has been a tradition for many years to tear down on Halloween night and I’ve come to enjoy the calm and silence of being outside at 2am by myself quietly putting stuff away and thinking about the insanity of this thing called Halloween.