Our yard display was much improved in 2008, with the addition of a fence (for crowd control), foam tombstones, two spotlights and flying ghosts above the cemetery. Our “fence” was made of garden stakes screwed together and pounded into the ground, then connected with creepy cloth stapled to the “posts”. Small foam skulls served as finials, with larger skulls at the entrance. It was cheap and easy – we got all the creepy cloth at the dollar store, but not really all that sturdy when the wind started blowing. Another problem we had was that the fence just wasn’t high enough – it kept kids from stepping over, but not parents…and I’d really prefer that people don’t walk through the graves due to the cords and such that are needed for the lighting and effects. We’re planning a “fencing upgrade” in 2009 that I think will really add to the atmosphere of the display as well as keeping people from wandering through the cords.When we first decided to set up a yard cemetery for Halloween, rather than spending money on tombstones, I came up with the idea for these white markers you see here. They are simply wire hangers, stretched out then bent in half, with white garbage bags stapled around the wire. We made a tombstone for each invited party guest, without names, but just a short quip that would be a clue as to who was buried there (with the date of our party, of course). They’re rough around the edges, but I’m not quite ready to retire them just yet. You can also see one of our flying ghosts in the picture there – we had two on cables running over the graveyard. $10 each at Walmart…not a bad investment. They make spooky wailing noises that are somewhat cheesy, but fun at the same time. And of course the very cool wooden tombstones that Brent made a few years ago...we're still working on a better method of keeping them upright.
The “foam” side of our graveyard was new this year, and turned out far better than I thought it would. The spotlights really made the difference – after reading a lot on the Halloween forum, we bought a few cheap floodlight fixtures at Lowes, and some outdoor spots in blue and red. Aside from the problematic garage floodlights across the street from the neighbor’s house, we have no streetlights, so once the neighbor’s light was off, the yard looked really dark and creepy. Our next goal is to get fog pumping through the graveyard…We had a bubble fogger near the front steps that was the hit of our display – and this year, I’m trying to decide how to integrate it *into* a scene, rather than just have it as a stand-alone prop. It was under our big picture window, where you can see our pirate flag, though it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped this year, but still brought an element of our party theme to the outdoor display.
And of course the basket by our front door – rather funeral-esque this year. I was pleased with how it turned out – very dark and foreboding.Next post – party pics!