I’ve always loved Halloween, but traditionally, our family kept the holiday pretty simple.
That was before The Haunt.
A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law Scott and husband Jon started dreaming of an epic Halloween display. A “haunt” that would get the neighbors talking, make cars come screeching to a halt, and infuse our small town with Halloween spirit.
So the two of them put together a spectacle: a fully animated skeleton pirate display complete with sound and light effects. Oh, and a pirate ship.
I admit, from inside the house I rolled my eyes quite a bit. The guys spent hours out there: hammering and sawing, tinkering and building. The kids would wander outside to watch and help just when I wanted them to do their homework or chores. While my interior Halloween decorating is low-key and I refuse to spend a lot on costumes, I felt like our lives had suddenly been taken over by The Haunt.
But on Halloween, I realized it had all been worth it.
Neighbors we’d never met gathered in our yard to chat. Kids stood, awed, pressing the button to start the dead pirate display again and again. Our house was THE place to be on Halloween evening, and the whole block was buzzing with excitement. It seemed to fill our street with a community spirit I hadn’t experienced before.
A few days later, an older neighbor — who, it turned out, was a professional photographer — came by with some 8 X 11 shots of the haunt he’d snapped, processed, and developed for us. He thanked us for the display, expressing how much fun it had been to be part of a neighborhood really getting in the spirit of the holiday. How can you argue with that?
We took last year off of the big Halloween Haunt, but this year it’s back and better than ever. The pirate display has grown and this year we have a full-sized mausoleum with its own spooky inhabitants. Plus, we now live on the main street of our town, so even more people get to see it.
My indoor Halloween decor is still simple. But I love the fact that just outside my front door, something very cool is coming together — for us and for our whole town.
Here’s a sneak peek at our Halloween Haunt:
Want to stay updated on our Halloween Haunt? “Like” my Facebook page and look for videos as the holiday approaches!