It's a Dead Man's Party

I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween.

I love the kids in costumes and carving pumpkins and all that but I kind of hate the creepy/ghoulish stuff. We never got to do any of this when I was little. At least until we came to the U.S. That's when we began to get involved in the dress-up-and-beg-for-candy novelty that is Halloween.

But my friend, Wendy embraces all that is good and scary about Halloween. And I appreciate that about her.

Wendy & me

She and I met while working on sets last year for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Our daughters were both in drama.

Wendy's flair for the theatrical is evident when you first drive up her street and see that her house is decorated (I use the term loosely because what she has done goes way above and beyond mere house decor)  in a scary circus/carnival style with a graveyard on the roof and a classic 1969 Cadillac hearse parked in front of the house haunt.


Her attention to detail is phenomenal and everywhere you look there's a token of what scary adventures lie ahead. In fact, it has a certain Disney-Haunted-Mansion vibe going for it.

(Yes, that's Jon getting his Joker on - in keeping with the theme. =D)

Web gates
Her pièce de résistance is what she calls The Haunt, which is a scary maze enhanced by strobe lights and black lights with frightening surprises along the way.

As much as I appreciated her creativity and hard work and the drama of it all, I was very reluctant to walk through the maze. (Yes, I'm a big chicken/coward/wuss/insert-insulting-word-of-choice-for-fearful-here.) Wendy, who was unfazed by my personal cowardice, offered to lead us through in broad daylight and without the special effects. I say "us" because I made Eric, Jonathan and Amy walk through in front of me. (I know. Shut up.) =D

No scary clowns.....yet.  (Except for Jon, of course, but that's not important right now.)

Jon in maze

They taunted me enough that I caved in to peer-pressure (Peer-pressure is a terrible thing!) and decided to brave The Haunt after dark. Actually, I was impressed with Wendy's creativity and was, frankly, more curious than anything. And yes, I'm well aware of what curiosity did to the cat.....

So, the intrepid Darbys enter The Haunt...

Black light
Actually, I'm not even in this picture. Amy was just holding those glasses up to make it look like I was. Ooooh, how cool is that amazingly scary invisible-man effect?

We survived (but just barely).

Look at how deeply terrified we all look here in the funhouse mirror room...

Either that, or my concealer eye make-up EPICALLY FAILED.  =D

If you live in So Cal and are looking for a most excellent, scary Halloween Haunt, here are the details:

"Killer Klowns KarnEvil"
open to the public
on Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st, 2009.
15432 Florence Circle, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Everyone is welcome! (Even you fraidy-cats like me.)