It’s over for another year and most of the decorations are packed away. It was a great year and we had a fair number of Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween considering that it was a school night. The 8th Annual Nightmare before Halloween Party was also well attended and as far as I could tell everyone enjoyed the food, refreshments, and activities.
The theme for this year’s party and yard display was Welcome to the CarnEvil. It included clowns and clowns are very scary to some people. At least one person messaged me to tell me that her Coulrophobia (fear of clowns) was preventing her from coming to the party. She wasn’t kidding either. I promised to have “clown free” areas and still she didn’t attend.
In the past our themes were: Pirates, Witches, and Zombies. I suspect that the main reason that most people that didn’t attend was that it was on a Monday, a school or work night. The original reason for the party back in 2010 was to show off a bit and test out all of the Halloween mechanical decorations. It had to be on the night before Halloween due to the fact that decorations in the neighborhood are at risk of being vandalized. However this year I had an alarm, a fence, and a video camera leading me to believe that I may be able to separate the party/dry run a couple of days from Halloween.
Every year I add a new prop. My last blog entry was on October 8th (Finishing—Building IT Part VII) describes the final chapter in building this year’s newest prop. The theme for last year was Zombies and the new prop was a Zombie pit in the front yard. I used it again this year but raised it up on its end and included a prisoner clown hanging from his wrists. When anyone walked by the clown would talk and kick his feet.
The Arduino controlled witch that appeared in 2015 also returned. 2015 was the year of computer control just as 2009 was the first time that I employed pneumatics.
Preparations this year were intense. I started spending time in the workshop when the Spirit popup stores started appearing in mid-August. Building and repairing continued throughout the time right up to the night of the party and during Halloween day. I lost almost 10 pounds and went to bed sore and tired every night. On the other hand, I had more fun this year than in previous years. Money was not a problem and I got started early enough to enjoy the build. At times I felt that there was an evil gremlin hanging out in the workshop. Things that shouldn’t fail failed. “Aha solutions” turned out not to be so spiffy and everything took longer than it should but I stayed with it and learned important lessons through the failures and bad ideas.
Ultimately the goal of having an impressive, scary, reliable Halloween display was achieved and now most of it is packed up.
I’m still a bit sore though…