Last year, a little girl in a princess costume walked down my driveway on Halloween with her mom trailing behind her. The little girl was transfixed by the orange lights and spooky decorations. Her mom was looking around nervously.
“Nothing here will jump out at her,” I told the mom from the candy table.
“Really?” My skull face was friendly, but the mom was making sure.
“Absolutely. There’s a lots of creepy things around, but nothing too gruesome, and she can walk up and look at anything she wants.”
The little girl turned to me then, so I spoke to her, too.
“You can touch anything you want. It’s Halloween, and spooky stuff is supposed to be fun.”
The little girl smiled and looked around, eager to explore. But she turned back to ask, “Can I see your dress, too?”
I stepped out from around the table to show her my whole outfit of black gown and corset of skulls and roses. She smiled again and walked off to explore the decorations. The mom brought over her trick-or-treat bag for candy, but the little girl was much more interested in seeing the skulls and plastic rats up close.
I love creating a spooky yard. Classically creepy decor is my favorite. Give me bats and crows and skeletons. I have my favorite horror icons, but the only movie star you’ll see in my yard is Bela Lugosi as Dracula.
The graveyard is on a small hill in the front of the yard and includes markers for Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. There are skeletons here and elsewhere. Many of the lady skeletons have wigs and dresses befitting their elegant style.
Bats and other flying creatures hang from the pergola by the door. Rats and birds perch on either side of the walkway. Closer to Halloween, real jack-o-lanterns will join the pumpkin vine trailing along the walk.
Halloween is a time to delight in spooky things and the delicious feeling that something supernatural may appear before you. It’s a time to revel in the macabre and the dark aesthetic I love. And it’s a time to share this with neighbors and trick-or-treaters lured to the house by odd creatures and haunting music. Hopefully they’ll leave loving the mystery and celebration of Halloween even more.