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2010 - Scaring and Sharing

> Halloween

We didn't go to the SeaWitch Festival this year; it landed on the same day as Halloween, so we stayed home and scared some childred.  The turn-out was so low this year, I even had time to make a little music video in the cemetary.  The Salisbury Trick-or-Treat date this year was the day after Halloween,  so we did Halloween at home, and then took the girls to Salisbury for candy-begging.  They had wanted to be something else for Halloween, but we ran out of time to make costumes.  They went as mummies.  It took about 3 hours to wrap each kid up in bandages, and by the end of the night, they were ready to get out of them.

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2009 - Seawitch Festival

This year was a big hit!  We had a good Seawitch Festival in Delaware, and Halloween night went well, too.  This first set of pictures is from the Seawitch Festival in DE (the Saturday before Halloween).  Tess was magically transformed into The Last Unicorn.  The mask is paper mache, the horn is carved from white oak, and the hooves are "fun foam".  Eliza's costume used to be Tess's from a few years ago.  Eliza was really good about wearing the wig, and it worked so well on her.  We had pizza and ice cream at Grotto Pizza, Eliza and Tess ate a scone, Tess had an "Abbey Road" moment, and Eliza made friends with a witch.  Good times...

 
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2009 - Halloween Night

We had a lot going on this October, so we got a late start on everything.  We were decorating, carving pumpkins, and setting up flood lights all the way up until 4PM on Halloween afternoon.  Trick-or-Treating was from 4PM to 8PM this year, and we had a decent turn-out.  Luckily we had very few obnoxious teenagers, and lots of cute (and polite) kids in costumes.  I handed out lolipops in my Gatekeeper costume to the little kids that were brave enough to come close.  I scared one boy so bad that he threw his bucket and candy all over the lawn as he scurried on all fours to get away from me.  A pre-teen was dragged kicking and screaming (literally) toward me by her mother.  There were tears in her eyes and you could hear her screams for a couple blocks, I'm sure.  Tess and Eliza were on candy-duty, and even got to scare a little at the end of the night.  I was surprised by how many kids were scared of another little kid in a white sheet.  More good times.

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2008 - SeaWitch Festival

We planned differently this year.  Since it's too difficult to take the girls Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night AND be at home for handing out candy, we decided to take them candy-begging at the Seawitch Festival in Rehoboth, DE.  This annual festival is great.  It's an all-day Halloween event with costume parades, games, activities, candy, and lots of dogs in costumes (mostly owned by couples living alternative lifestyles). 

Months ago, Tess decided (with some persuasion) that she wanted to be WordGirl.  WordGirl is a cartoon on PBS; the 10 year-old alien superhero fights crime with a colossal vocabulary.  WordGirl has  an alien monkey side-kick named Captain Huggy Face.  Tess was WordGirl and Eliza was Captain Huggy Face.  As a last minute whim, I dressed up as WordGirl's nemesis Dr. Two-Brains and Erica dressed up as one of Dr. Two-Brain's Henchmen.  Both of the girl's costumes were made completely from scratch; the adult costumes were 90% constructed from eBay.

Tess made an excellent superhero, and Eliza made for a very convincing monkey side-kick.

 
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Halloween Night 2008

 

Well, although we spent a ton of time getting ready and planning this year's new decorations and costumes, the trick-or-treater turn-out was terrible.  In previous years, we'd get anywhere between 75 and 150 kids/teenagers coming to our door.  This year, we got about 20... and that's estimating on the high side, and including the adults.  We still had fun, though.  The pumpkins are listed in order:  Tan, Erica, Tess, and Eliza.  Eliza drew the face, and I carved it for her. 

Harris and Linda came down to see the festivities as well.  Thanks to Harris, I have decent pictures of my costume.  It's difficult to take pictures of one-self in a costume like this.  Harris and Linda also helped scare the few kids that came to the door.  Frightening small children can be very addictive.

 
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2007

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Well, this was a very busy year and we only had a few weeks for preparations.  Tess wanted to be a mummy.  Eliza was a pirate, and I decided that I needed a new "scare costume" because the kids have learned to look for the guy in the bushes with the black cloak and grey mask.   My costume this year was "The Gatekeeper" whose design is mostly pulled from the creatures in M. Night Shyamalan 's "The Village".  It's not really supposed to be the same creature, but similar.  It worked out well... many small children screamed, and some adults, too.

I finally got around to building a fog chiller out of a big cooler and lots of sheet metal ducting, but when I went to power up my fog machine, it stopped working.  A phone call to tech support yielded almost no help, so I broke out the tools and dismantled it myself.  I got it working for about 2 hours, then it stopped again... so no fog this year =(

On another note, we promised Tess that she could actually Trick-Or-Treat this year.  In years past, we took her to the 8 closest houses and then rushed right back home so we could prepare to scare kids that came to our house.  This is a big dilemma for us; Halloween is only 1 day, and you can't be out taking your kid around to strangers' houses AND be at your house trying to get strangers' kids to pee themselves - like I said - big dilemma.   Erica had a great idea.  The plan was to take the kids to a "Trick-Or-Treat Street" that takes place on the preceding Saturday!  The plan was perfect.  Tess was satisfied with candy from a different day, and we get to scare kids without interruption.  BUT - things didn't go as planned.  The Saturday event in Salisbury was canceled due to "possible inclement weather".  What the hell, man!  It didn't even look like it was going to rain.

Anyhow, Erica quickly scoured the internet for other possibilities and we ended up driving to Rehoboth, DE for their annual SeaWitch Festival Parade.   Luckily, the event runs until midnight - so it wasn't a big deal that we got there around 7:30PM.  It was a big hit - we're definitely going back next year.

 
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2006

 

Tess wanted to be a witch this year for Halloween, and Erica spent a lot of time and effort in building this costume to make it just right.  Tess had a great time Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood, and then we rushed back to the house to scare young children and hand out candy. 

This year, we didn't get as much done as last year.  I was working a lot in October, and things just didn't get done as quickly as we had hoped.  I still didn't make the fog chiller that I wanted to; but it was a little windy this year, and all my fog ended up blowing away anyhow, so no big loss.  I'll have a fog chiller next year.

 
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2005

 

Tess is so thrilled about being Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz this year.  She's watched the movie dozens of times and knows most of the lines.  Yes, we let her watch the same movie over and over again.  Sometimes we just rewind it and push "Play" over again.  We've also got some great new decorations this year!  The Cemetery is a new addition.  I've constructed a faux fence with 1/2" dowel rods, some trim wood from the lumber store, and cast iron finials purchased on eBay.  Painting the fence was such a pain.  I ended up buying one of those Wagner Power-Sprayers and several gallons of black paint from Walmart.  Did you know that the paint department doesn't make black paint?  What they call black is just a really dark grey.  I'm not sure how I expected them to take a can of pure white paint, add a few ounces of color, and end up with flat black... but it was close enough.  It turns out that the "black" latex house paint is almost exactly like the "black" spray paint you get off the shelf. 

Lots of work, Erica also gets tons of credit for finding our life-sized ghouls and demons.  Tess likes them a lot, too.

 
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2004

 

Monsters Inc. was the big movie of the year, and Tess was a perfect fit for Boo.  Tess's costume was almost entirely made by none other than myself.  We found some huge shirts that matched the color, and then I made the long shirt and tights.  I didn't make the socks - those are from WalMart.  Erica is sporting a two-part white dress that I made for her.  It's a tailored slip underneath, and a shear gown over top.  That's her in someone else's graveyard below.  We also got creative with a few pumpkin designs; Erica made the devil woman pumpkin and I made the Linux pumpkin.  This was my first year with a "scare costume".  I covered myself in shredded black cloth, hid in the bushes next to the front door and scared people as they came to the door.  Many screamed, some laughed, a few cried... one little girl wet herself, I think.  Ah... good times.

 
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