I was just leaving my place the other day to do some shopping and driving up the highway noticed two jack-o-lanterns decorating some porch steps. They caught my eye for a number of reasons, that I am on the lookout generally this time of year for folks to begin setting out pumpkins on porches as they bring them home from lot, farms, markets, etc. and because these particular ones had already shrunken inwards. I determined that they were in service from the night previous (otherwise I am certain to have noticed them before) and thought it an odd thing considering its quite early to be putting these winter squash under the knife. It left me wondering just why they’d been sacrificed so soon. Early celebration of Autumnal glee? Birthday party? General exuberance? Dry run? I suppose I will never know – just another Halloweenesque mystery that will remain unsolved. I do however appreciate the effort. It is just a simple thing, really, whether in abundance from your favorite pumpkin ranch stand or picked up as an afterthought as you roam a supermarket, the bright orange beckons and betides. A definite herald of the Season. Whether sitting alone atop a mantelpiece or countertop or in mass upon the porch steps. Minuscule or jumbo, tall, fat, round, smooth, pebbled, even white, gray or cinderella, this annual tribute to the Eve is welcome in its forms and prized in its function. Though diminutive in comparison to grand displays of Haunters everywhere, it remains the definitive measure of Halloween involvement, maybe even more than the porch light. The superlative harbinger of mischief, mayhem and madcap.
Just a quick note today, Labor Day activities are tugging away, its 55 days to Halloween and if you haven’t yet, it’s probably a good time to start looking through the garage, sheds, closets, under the bed, all those places we store our goodies for the big night. Also, for the long season – can’t wait to get everything up and going, lights, action, and smoke and mirrors! My best to you all and Happy Haunting!!
Rogers Gardens has announced their annual Halloween Boutique Opening “Grimm Tales” will debut on Friday, September 2nd @ 9:00am! Visiting this amazing boutique yearly has become a favorite for me and I hope you find time to stop by, it will not disappoint.
“The forest is dark and enchanted…branches creak and leaves rustle as trees close in, obscuring the path home. Wander deep into the shadows and you’ll find frightful folklores, fantastical stories and chilling tales. These bedtime stories will give you nightmares, and you’ll discover that not all fairy tales end happily-ever-after.” –Rogers Gardens
A lovely New Yorker cover from my collection. Edna Eicke has captured a wonderful moment. Everything the night should be, the “ghosts” peering through the gate to judge if the walk is worth the risk. I think the lighted windows highlighting the porch seal the deal. I love the importance of the porch, the threshold, the approach to the door. So much anticipation, exhilaration, consternation. You get it. Sometimes with haunters its meant to be a very long walk, even when its a hop, skip and jump to the door from the sidewalk. Like running the bases through a gauntlet, real or imagined. With only the thought of reaching the porch, the door, safety always to be found at home, even if for just a moment, someone else’s. A lovely tradition I think. Thanksgiving has the turkey shared with family and friends, Christmas gets the tree with thoughtful gifts to be given out amongst nearest and dearest. On Halloween we invite neighbors and strangers alike to our doors. We wait upon the knock, the doorbell, we pause and savor the shrieks and hesitant approach of children and adults through the keyhole or from between the blinds. The magical ‘say “trick or treat!” and enter’ that signals a kindred spirit whereupon we open our doors and distribute rewards for stopping by. Simply marvelous.
I have attended the first day opening of the Rogers Gardens Halloween Event for the past few years and I will be there early to enjoy it this year as it looks to be especially creepy. The four rooms they usually design/decorate traverse beautiful to bizarre, worth the stop if you are near Corona del Mar, Ca. See you there? Click pic to link to site.
As the nights grow longer, deeper and darker, this may help while away those hours between sunset and sunrise.
This is a quick bit of video footage taken by my husband (Redwire), he is very proud of the automated cauldron prop, it was the first mechanical prop I’d asked for and I think he did an amazing job putting it together. This is the walk up to my front door and the entrance to our “Shoppe”. The music overlay is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, episode “Hush” a great piece of music called “Golf Claps” by Christophe Beck.
Just click here…Strolling to the Shoppe door
I hope that everyone had a Halloween filled with rare wonders and spooky spectacles. Professor Auds and Doctor Enns Malevolent Mercantile was a big hit, we had visitors from as far away as Connecticut and enjoyed folks coming right in and looking over the rooms that were decorated for our shoppe concept. Photo ops were high and we were really excited by the turnout this year, the neighborhood was lively with great displays and one of our neighbors was handing out bbq hot dogs to the parents! The weather was what you hope for, crisp, clear, just a hint of breeze (helps with candle flicker). Our “Party” was last night and its nice as a kind of dry run for the Big Night. Many thanks to all who support and assist. Hope all you Haunters out there had equally splendid evenings.
I look up and down our street, the porches have gone dark, the jackos have been pulled in, so far I’ve resisted the leftover candy. That good kind of exhaustion is settling in. 2013 a very good season. We had a skeleton theme to support the Malevolent Mercantile concept based on a weathervane designed by the great Edward Gorey. I received one for my birthday last year and it was our mascot of sorts. I wrote this in honor of that, and I post it here to close out Halloween 2013. (Pics and vids to follow in coming days). Into the Cauldron will continue throughout the year so I hope you keep coming back.
Twilight heralds the coming Eve
and hastens Spirits to reprieve
as boney denizens take flight
Along the Currents they alight
Above the cloudveil of the skies
that masks Their path from gazing eyes
On whirlwinds They softly drift
Exulting in this yearly gift
If clustered cloud should clear a view
And chance should cast your eye on through
Perhaps you’ll glimpse Their spectral trail
Outlined by Moon set low and pale
And should you happen to espy
These knobby specters gliding by
Don’t wonder why They’ve passed the Gate
’tis Halloween They celebrate
They’ll skim the coasts and float o’er hills
Defiant in Their ardent wills
They’ll fright the throng, a fitting task
Down lanes bedecked with mischief’s mask
This flight, this dance, this soulful weave
This Queen of Nights – this Hallow’s Eve!
Well the final days are slipping by and are filled with lists and projects and re-dos and nudging. All to get it just right. Furiously working by day to test at night. The timing this year allows for a pre-weekend no doubt filled with parties and these are nice as they extend, broaden the holiday since the Big Night is still to come.
I am especially glad this year that the streets roundabout where I live are particularly festive this year, no less than 16 homes nearby have some sort of lighting or scape or even pumpkins adorning yards and porches. This is quite a rare circumstance and I wonder what it means, such surge in activity that I’ve not seen in many a season. Its reassuring and simply delightful to see. My excitement, anticipation, even consternation are on the rise in these coming up days and I will smile as I look outside my windows to those orange lights across the street, to the cobwebs draped across bushes in that yard down the corner, at pumpkins standing proud, orange and round dotting the landscape here and there as I think of the children, families that will soon use them to connect the dots as some primitive GPS for sourcing candy. Soon now, very soon.