Anyone who knows me well can probably guess my favorite holiday: Halloween. OK, sure, Christmas is more meaningful and Thanksgiving is more sentimental. But hour-for-hour, I enjoy the times when Jenny and I design, build, and execute our annual Wood Family Halloween Theme Porch more than any other ritual of the year. Thus far we've done a pirate dungeon, a corpse wedding, an alien autopsy, and a psycho circus (check out the video from 2007).
This year I think it's time for "Dr. Frightmarestein's Haunted Laboratory of Horrors" (and, yes, I got the character-name from The Simpsons). Off and on, I might return to this post with thoughts on props, scripts, and other inchoate notions. Right away, I envision the construction of a demented mad scientist's lab with eerily lit jars filled with body parts, some sort of creepy electrical device that creates cool effects, and a gory medical experiment gone horribly wrong. As usual, Jenny and I will dress the part and develop some funny patter to add life to the scene.
We always post signs up the stairs announcing the PG-13 rating for our porch, not wanting to traumatize kids too young for our brand of Halloween fun. But each year some parents still choose to trundle their wide-eyed moppets into our lair, inspiring Jenny and I to downshift our act to a more toddler-friendly vibe. But our "target audience," pre-teens from 8 to 12, loves the show. Some years we've had to shoo a few off after they'd seen the entire show and couldn't pull themselves away, producing a traffic jam of kids waiting to climb the stairs. As usual, I hope that this year will be the best Wood Family Porch yet.
Any suggestions for ways I can flesh out the Mad Scientist theme? I hope you'll post a comment.