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Grave Robber’s Ball Kicks Off Season

Saturday night’s Grave Robber’s Ball kicked off the official opening of the haunt season at Spooky Hollow.

We had a surprisingly light turnout this year, possibly due to a misprint on the invitations. Some folks just weren’t interested in coming to the Grave Digger’s Ball, and are probably still waiting patiently by the mailbox for their invitation to the Grave Robber’s Ball. It’s understandible given that the names are the difference between “Party in the graveyard! Wooooooooo!” and “Local 447 Hole Digger meeting this Saturday. Bring covered dish“.

Nevertheless, we had fun. I must remind Mrs. Spookyblue, however, to never again allow a karaoke CD into the house that contains Over The Rainbow. It was like somebody turned on a fire hose. Never saw Halloween Hall empty out so fast. Gaaak.

The main gallery will get a proper update soon. There’s sort of a back log.

The Sinister Truth Behind Halloween

Haunt time is here!

It’s time to pull out whatever stops that haven’t yet been pulled out and to go completely insane trying to get everything done by whatever deadline we each have set ourselves.

All the planning and preparing, the months of hectic activity, will soon reach critical mass. For some, it already has. Their haunt is up and running, drawing a nightly crowd. That haunter has entered into the recursive maintenance phase. Like a dowager tending her meticulous garden, this person is caught in a perpetual loop. Primp and adjust. Primp and adjust. The activity will continue uninterrupted until November 1.

For the rest of us there are still tombstones to set, miles of orange lights yet to unravel, and monsters dripping not saliva, but sealant. Heck, you can’t navigate the shop today without some creature tapping you on the shoulder and asking, “you think you could touch up this seam?”

Excitement is flavored with worry. Or possibly it’s the other way around. When will the rain stop, and is it going to short out my extension cords … again? Why won’t this stupid timer come on when I want it to? Do I have any fishing line to hang the skeleton? How much will the vandals tear up this year? Is this stand going to keep the scarecrow from doing a face-plant in the wind? Will anyone show up for the party?

Anxiety builds up to the point that one may actually hear himself say, “I’m sick of Halloween.”

The sinister truth behind Halloween is that it only exists inside us. Whatever manifests in the real world as a result of the Halloween Spirit is just whipped orange icing on the cupcake. Otherwise, October is just another month.

Halloween is special, magical because that’s how we make it. We put ghosts in the wind. We make dancing witches out of bonfire shadows. We hear skeleton fingers tapping on the window panes. That’s no mere pumpkin on the front porch. It’s an avatar.

We carry Halloween around with us like a candle, and whatever might try to snuff the flame isn’t Halloween’s fault. When it’s not fun anymore, we (I) look for reminders to help chase away the dreads and doubts.

Sometimes it can be as simple as a picture of a Jack-o-lantern and a bear holding a welcome sign. Simple. Sincere. Welcome.

Nightmare At The Fair

Our friend, and “Nightmare Ring Leader”, Josh Martin put together this commercial for the haunt sponsored by Clark County 4-H and Catholic Youth Ministries. It will air on “Indiana 9” for anyone in the Louisville metropolitan area.
Here’s the direct link.

Josh and his crew have been planning and building since mid Summer, but they will actually assemble the haunt in just a few days. Opening night is Friday, October 17.

I’m amazed at the coordination effort that has gone into this. It went from grid paper to reality in just a few short months, and we’re not talking about a few plastic skeletons stapled to some plywood walls. “Nightmare” will feature professional light and sound as well as props. Most importantly, they have thought through the psychology of their scares and they plan to cultivate a high “creep factor” into the overall experience. Patrons will not be disappointed.

Incidentally, those are all Spooky Blue props in the commercial. The Chapel Hill Witch will appear at the haunt along with The Grumble.

Nightmare At TheFair
Clark County 4-H Fair Grounds
Admission: $8.00
Hours: 7:30 – 11:30
Dates: 10/17 10/18 10/24 10/25

The Chapel Hill Witch

A cold wind moans through the misty hollow below Chapel Hill. Echoes of its dry lament drift among rotting logs and forgotten fence rows, a dirge to remind the dead of their current situation. And to the living it is a warning.

Throw salt on the stones,
‘Cross window and sill,
Or she’ll make of your bones,
A soup fit to swill.

Clutch ward and Book,
To shield from the troll,
And pray reaper’s hook,
Won’t snag on your soul!

We set up all of the tombstones, some zombies, and our new witch for a video shoot over the weekend. It will air locally to advertise the 4-H haunt Nightmare at the Fair.