Friday, October 14, 2011

Frightful Friday's visit with the ghosts of Halloween's past.

   If you are like me, and grew up in a family that loved and celebrated Halloween, then you have a long history with the holiday. I have loved Halloween since I can remember. My Great Grandmother's birthday was on Halloween, which may explain why my family was always so big into All Hallows Eve.

   Every year as I pull out all of the decorations. I can't help but feel nostalgic. There are stories and memories attached to so many of my props and decorations, many of which I have had for decades. For today's post, I thought I would take a little trip down the haunted memory lane and highlight the stories behind some of my most treasured props. Let's start with the most recent shall we?


   Grimace is a relative newcommer to the wicKED household, but his story and place are no less impressive. I was leaving work one October day in 2008. I happened to look over in the truck bed of one of my closest friends and noticed a great deal of brush and trash with a big old foam pumpkin sitting on top. The face had been completely chewed off but the back was intact. I asked my friend about it and he told me his new puppy had gotten to it and chewed off it's face before he could stop it. Something about that pumpkin going to the dump just did not set right with me. I asked if I could have it. He just laughed and said it was going into the trash anyhow. 
   I brought it home, cleaned it up, added a burlap hood and a bright red light. Spookyblue had just posted some pictures of his great scarecrow, Bruno, so I tried to cut the face as close as I could to his model. I also went with the grapevine arms. The rest is history.
   Another odd tidbit of information about this scarecrow. I had been in a terrible wreck. I was run over by a jeep and out of commission for the better part of 6 months. They cut my favorite jeans off me in the ER. I took those jeans and stitched them back together to form Grimace's 501 legs.

   He has become a welcome fixture to the haunt as he watches over the graveyard. I literally mean he watches over it. He has a night vision security camera hidden inside him to watch over the fully visible security camera attached to the house (who watches the watchers? Grimace does!) . With his evil grin and broken face, he looks like he is ready to scrap with the best of them.

   I also used his head for the ranking system of my blog. I think he looks better than stars.

   He also looks better at night as he silently watches over everything Only deserting his post to run down and eat any random neighborhood children that gets too close.


    In November of 2004, I was Christmas shopping at a Tennessee mall. My friend and I wandered into Spencer's. Back in the day, Spencer's had some of the best Halloween props ever but with Spirit coming on board as a sister company, they stopped carrying any of the BIG Halloween items. As luck would have it, I wandered in on the last large prop sale they would ever have.
   I can recall the woman at the front writing on a huge dry erase sign "95% off on all Halloween". Under the sign were 4 awesome props. Without thinking, I ran up and said I would take them all. $29 bucks later, they have been haunting both house and parties ever since.
   The names on their boxes were Banshee, The Blue Lady, Crypt Caretaker, and Swamp Witch.

   The Banshee was meant to be a hanging prop. She has floated around the living room ceiling during Halloween ever since her purchase.

   She looks pretty menacing in the blue lights this year. She has a set of permanent hooks in the ceiling and her poor foam arms have to be repaired every Halloween. 

   The Crypt Caretaker welcomes guest into the kitchen during parties, and stares balefully at the TOTS as they are forced to walk by him to get a treat on Halloween.

   A funny story about the Crypt Caretaker and my mother. I had just set this prop up at the door to my guest bedroom. I had invited my mother over for dinner. I was late getting home from work and fully expected my mom to be waiting inside the house on me. Instead, she was sitting in her car in the driveway. Apparently she had entered the house and saw this thing standing in the back of the house. She called out to it, thinking it was me dressed up and trying to scare her. When "it" did not answer, she threw a pillow from the couch at it. All that did was cause this thing to swivel in her direction and drop it's jaw bone open. She was so disturbed, she decided to wait for me outside.

   The old stringy red headed Swamp Witch. She is only a bust covered with some clever robes, but still a good prop.

   She hovers in the air and stares with her one good eye. I always wanted to add a cauldron near her. Till that day comes, she will hang against the walls and pass silent judgement on party guests.

   The Blue Lady was actually designed to hang at the waist. She has a hook to allow her to do this. It creates the illusion that she is coming through the wall. I always liked her just "hovering" in the corner or over a gravestone. 

She is also very UV reactive. This works out well when she wanders into the front yard for Halloween night.

   She is also the vote taker for the annual costume contest at our Halloween Parties.


This is a prop that started out as a costume. I had purchased this on an after Holiday sale way back in 1994.

It was used by my best friend for our first Halloween party in 1995. He was definitely the ghost with the most at this party.

When I first bought my home in 2004 I used the costume to dress up the front of the house where he slowly evolved into the creepy Wind Ghost of today.


    When I was 14, I used to walk to my best friends house via a long alleyway almost everyday. On one of these trips, I noticed a white square stone jutting up from the ditch that ran the length of the alley. To my shock (glee?), it was a tombstone. There were three in all, haphazardly thrown away. After contacting all the neighbors around that alleyway, nobody knew anything about where they came from. I dug them up and brought them home.

   They have been a part of the wicKED Woods Graveyard display ever since.


   When I was 8, my mom took me to Malony's (for those that don't know, this was like the Walmart of 30 years ago). At the front of the store on a bale of hay was the first foam pumpkin I had ever saw. It had a cord and everything! It was pricey (20 or so dollars at the time), but my mom gave in and bought it for me. This pumpkin has followed me for 3 decades. He currently takes the place of my oldest scarecrows head.
   I built this Scarecrow back in 2004 as one of my first Halloween displays. It never ceases to amaze me how people think that this is somebody in a costume every Halloween. I love it because it takes the focus off the real costumed creeps in the graveyard.

   The Groundskeeper sits in his spot still. Waiting for small children to get too close.


  The two earliest items in my Halloween collection were gifts from my Great Aunt and Uncle. They were heavy into a ceramic class offered locally. I was 6 and just starting school . As a reward for doing well, I was presented with my very own Witch and Haunted House. Painstakingly painted by hand.

   You just can't buy stuff like this anymore. Not even at Hallmark. I have managed to keep these two treasures safe and in working order for the past 32 years. I hope to do so for 32 more.

   I hope you have enjoyed visiting my ghosts of Halloween's past. I know I have. I always loved the stories behind the objects that we treasure.
   It's Friday and the weeKEnD is starting. I have haunts to visit, scary movies to watch, and a party to plan for. It's going to be busy but lots of fun. 

Even Archie has wild party plans!
Hope your weeKEnD is wicKED!


  1. In response to a previous post of yours, where does one find pumpkin flavored cappachino? Man that sounds good!

  2. It's a creamer mix from Starbucks.

  3. Those are some great old props! The backstories are neat. Thanks for sharing!


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