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...
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
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.
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.
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 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
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...
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...
PLEASE SIGN MY
BOOK OF THE DEAD
İHolly A Zell
All Original Artwork Copyrighted.