Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Halloween 2012

Learning from the previous year, we settled on a graveyard theme- tombstones, spooky music, ominous fog, that sort of thing. If you read my first rant- THAT. The goal was to create an atmosphere of foreboding, a sense that something was going to happen, but no idea what. To engage all the senses, assaulting them with multiple inputs and overwhelming the central processor to the point where the primal brain takes over.

It was a complete success.

We have a lot of little ones in the neighborhood, so it can't be too scary, and a lot of teens and tweens, so it can't be too cheesy- we went right down the middle. The younger ones had no problems, but the older they got, the more they hesitated. The nervous laughter, the false bravado, the joking, you could really hear the tension in their voices as they approached the door. With the blinds angled just right, I could see out but they couldn't see in- so most of the time I'd wait until they were about to knock, then yank the door open. Most jumped. Some stood in shock, dinner-plate eyes, unable to even remember why they were there. A few ran. Excellent...

Some of the returning kids were bringing friends, and played up their status as "veterans." One young man happily informed me "I was here last year, remember me?" Ah yes, I thought- you were the one in the costume. I told him I was glad to see him again and thanked him for coming. Another young lady asked why I was dressed as Dracula again (another one displaying her "veteran" card). Her friend slapped her arm. "Duh, it's Dracula's castle! What'd you think?" What indeed. Their reactions make it all worthwhile. Just for one evening to create for them a world where the imagination reigns supreme, where Hollywood hasn't spoiled the surprise by spelling everything out for you- where you provide the monsters...

Dracula and his Spider Witch

The front entrance, a few minor changes this year  

The rose spotlight died and all I could find was red. Blood red.  

Badly lit, but it shows off our green glowing cauldron.  

The red spolight casts MUCH deeper shadows than the rose.  

View from the street before the foggers get going.  

The green and red spots mixed to create an effect similar to old 3-D movies.
A bit disorienting in the dark and fog...  

Fog is starting to get going, but it's lifting too much. Need to work on that.  

A bit better. Dark, sinister shadows. Fog. Where's the Ripper?  

Light and shadow, red and green, haze and clear. The eye can't keep up with the changes and the pupils keep expanding and contracting.  Hard to detect motion, but the eye keeps thinking it sees motion- creating "ghosts"...  

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