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Now Playing: The theme from the television show The Munsters



The Parties
If you can't get rid of that skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance. -- George Bernard Shaw

I threw my first Halloween party in 1994 and have been doing it yearly since. I usually have my party the weekend after Halloween (less competition). Of course, I set up my graveyard out front but most of the decorations are moved inside. Room by room descriptions follow...


The Entrance Way

I hide screaming mats under rugs outside and inside the front door (an appropriate welcome). Lightweight decorations are connected to the door with transparent fishing line. As the front door is opened, a large honeycomb spider drops down on the top stair rail and a blowup plastic skeleton dressed as a pirate lifts up in the stairwell.

View looking towards the Living Room from the front door



The Living Room

The living room is set up as a funeral parlor. The furniture is covered with white sheets, with spider webs on the walls. Lamp shades and pictures are askew. Various noise activated items are hung/placed around the room. The coffin with the stuffed body is at the far end of the room surrounded by dead flowers, small tombstones, and a lit candelabra.  Another screaming mat is hidden under a rug in front of the casket. I put up a note that says "To Pay Your Respects, Please Clap LOUDLY" and when they do, all the noise activated items start wiggling/oohhing/flashing/etc. Since 2003 I;ve added two walking/crawling hands in the Funeral Parlor to add to the fun. (After Halloween 2005 bought several more crawling hands... next year will be fun).





The Dining Room

The dining room is my snack area. For the Halloween party, I serve orange colored foods and homemade "treats" (sugar cookies in ghost shape, choc chip cookies, pumpkin pie decorated as jack-o-lanterns, devil's food cake or choc covered brownies, a Bundt cinnamon cake decorated with a spider web pattern white icing, jello cheesecake, rice-krispy treats, caramel and poison (not really) apples, and carrots). All over the food and table I spread an infestation of small plastic bug, snakes, mice, etc. The table centerpiece is a  small gargoyle fountain filled with red water and floating eyeballs. Other ceramic decorations are also present. On the ceiling is a black plastic spider whose legs hang down encircling the room.  A small wiggling/noise-making creature is hung from the hanging lamp over the table. The walls are covered with spider webs and paper spiders. It looks like I really need an exterminator.

Decorating Hint: Buy yourself a couple dozen roses two and a half weeks before Halloween and enjoy their beauty and fragrance in your home. When they start dying, dump the water and leave them in the same vase to dry-out, Use them in your decorating for that "special" night.



The Kitchen

All my cauldron ingredients in their jars are on display in the kitchen and a large pot of water is kept warm on the stove. I occasionally throw dry ice in the pot causing lots of bubbling and sending smoke streaming down onto the floor.  Again, some small noise-making items are hung from the ceiling lamps.



The Bathroom

Using the bathroom can be a hair-raising experience. There's a screaming mat under the bathroom rug. The bathroom tub is rigged with a blow-up skeleton wired to the door with fishing line. The shower curtain is also rigged to open and close with the door. As the unsuspecting party go'er closes the door, the shower curtain pulls open and the skeleton rises up out of the tub. When the door is open the closed shower curtain hides the surprise. For this coming year, I think I'll fill the tub with red water and include some floating items. 



The Party/Billiards Room

The main party room walls are covered with cardboard Halloween pictures, masks, spider webs, etc. A screaming mat hides under the rug at the room entrance. Small skeletons, bats, and ghouls hang from nails in the unfinished ceiling. Another black plastic spider (like in the dining room) hangs over the pool table with it's leg hanging down encircling it. At the far end of the room, I've run a line across the room for my Flying Ghost. He's operated throughout the evening via the remote. There's a wiggling/oohing ghost hung in one corner that is set off at every break of the pool balls. I rigged a large spider above the corner pocket using fishing line and run the control to the other side of the room.  He's stored in the ceiling rafters and I send him down on people as the situation dictates. I decided to leave him up year-round and I've startled many folks with him. He comes all the way down to the table and rests in the corner pocket. It's hilarious when someone's about to shoot on that pocket and he comes down and blocks the pocket or they're shooting from that corner and he comes down next to them or lands on their shoulder. Of course, I never interfere with someone's actual shot...


The Costume Photos

For my first party I told people that costumes were required and warned them there would be consequences if they didn't wear one. A few folks tested this and wound up dressed as babies with loaded diapers or hospital patients (gowns open in the back) or wearing very unappealing masks. Since then everyone gets in the spirit with some wearing very elaborate and imaginative costumes. Word has spread and friends bring new acquaintances to share the experience. It's always lots of fun and I try to take lots of pictures of everyone. The photos are grouped by year and accessible via the links below...


1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012



Sign Guest Book


İHolly A Zell
Revised: 10/28/09
All Original Artwork Copyrighted.