The Writing Dead (Halloween 2016 wrap up)


clean-up-aisle-7And lo, it came to an end.

The final clean up, wrap up and dust-up of Halloween is over and boy am I tired.

Dead tired, yesterday, after working 6 hours on disassembling, boxing and stocking everything away in the storage closet. Too dead to write this blog post yesterday, which is why you’re getting it now.

It would be irresponsible of me to complain about my various pains and damages suffered during the affair, especially in light of people who actually work hard for a living. I only note that perspective does not make my back ache less.


So, to the highlights of this year’s Halloween events:

dead-thing-pen-in-the-dark – The Dead Thing Pen was everything I hoped it would be and then some. It was a show-stopper in truth, as people and even cars stopped to admire it.

– Those inexpensive LED rope lights I found at Wal-Mart ($12.88 @) were another exceptionally surprising win. A fraction of the cost of black lights, these 15′ linking lights were absolutely eerie in their purple glow.

dead-thng-pen-supplies-1– The cheap (97¢) black spray paint on the concrete edging stones worked perfectly, even after rains and sun. The gray highlights gave it a nice “aged” feel.



2016-graveyard-webs-at-night – The graveyard and fence gang never looked better, as the purple LED lights made them look more spooky when night fell.


– I seem to have turned a corner on my Halloween party, hitting a level of efficiency that allowed me to sit down and watch a portion of Young Frankenstein with my guests. Longest I’ve ever been able to relax at one of my parties.

– I finally disposed of all my cardboard boxes and picked up a bunch of plastic bins for all my Halloween stuff. They stack nice and should be better resistant to Florida humidity.


Of course, there were also lowlights:

– I need to come up with a new fill idea for the Dead Thing Pen other than black mulch. Between the lugging to set it up and the shoveling to dismantle it. my back and wrist suffered. I’ve got 330 days to think of a substitute, especially if I want to pull off next year’s plan.

– Weirdly, one of my concrete edging stones just snapped in half when I lifted it during take down. It was the only one, so I’ll just consider it a freak. I’ll need close to three times as many for next year (boy, that’s a lot of spray painting).

– I didn’t get my 8′ tall spooky inflatable tree, though my blinking pumpkins were a nice last-minute surprise fill-in. Based on next year’s planogram, I’m not sure how to employ inflatables yet.

– Customers were down this year, the second yearly decline in a row. My peak year was 2014, with 61 treaters. This year was a meager 46, none of whom showed up before 7 pm (on a school night, no less)!

storage-room-of-horrors– Despite the organizing help of plastic bins and throwing away a ton of old and useless stuff, I’m certain my storage closet has even less room than it did before Halloween.



– As an incurable perfectionist, I am insanely insecure about my cooking for the party. While I am able to graciously accept the compliments of my guests on how good the food tastes, I can’t shake suspicions they’re just being polite. I can’t make it better if they don’t tell me!


Summarizing, from a display and party perspective, it was my best Halloween home ever. If the customer count had been a bit higher, I would have said it was perfect (cooking paranoia aside).

I almost look forward to next year!


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