We love Halloween.
Every year, someone from our circle of friends hosts a Halloween party. In 2010, it was our year. On October 1, I decided I was going to go all out on the party. "Epic" was the term I believe I used when The Hub asked me how big I was going to go. "Epic on a budget," was the revised term when he gave me his "are you insane?!" look. I came up with a plan to transform each room of the house using a different Halloween theme. I researched haunted houses, horror movies, and the occult for inspiration. On October 2, I realized that I was going to need some assistance to pull this off. I called on a few of my fellow Halloween enthusiasts to help.
My brother-in-law, "Lunchbox," practically cleared out Party City to add to my homemade props. My gal-pal, MP, dropped off a huge box of Halloween decorations from her party the year before. My buddy, WK, borrowed his company's projector so we could show movies in our backyard. The entire month of October, I made decorations and worked on putting it all together. On the day of the party, several friends stopped by early to set up the movie screen, hang outdoor speakers, and do some last minute prep.*
Here is how it all turned out. (Note: These pictures were taken during the daytime. It was way spookier once the sun set.)
The living room was set up like an old haunted house. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling and the furniture. We placed drop cloths on the couches and the entertainment center. I turned the TV to a static channel for the Poltergeist effect. I pulled out all my creepy porcelain dolls and placed them throughout the room. Add some spooky candelabras and eerie old portraits and you've got a place not too many guests wanted to stay in by themselves.
The Witch's Kitchen was one of my favorite rooms to decorate. I spent hours and hours researching items one would find in a witch's kitchen. I printed off labels for potion bottles. I saved bottles and jars for weeks to fill the counters with witchy ingredients. I found old nature books and stacked them all over the place. I even consulted a Wiccan friend for tips and pointers. (She loved the room!) I liked the look so much, the Witch Kitchen was the last room to tear down after the party.
The bathroom was a no brainer. I hear that it doubled as a photo booth.
I am a Pirates of the Caribbean fanatic. I transformed our covered porch into a pirate's hangout. It was also where we kept all the booze.
I wanted to have something going on outside since our house is pretty small and does not hold many guests. Line up hay bails, throw down some blankets, set up a bonfire, hang a giant screen on the shed and BOOM! instant backyard movie theater! (The scariest part of the day was watching my friends walk along our shed roof to hang the screen.)
There were so many fantastic costumes that year. There was Cinderella, Where's Waldo, characters from Alice in Wonderland, pirates, a red shirt Star Trek zombie, Snookie and The Situation, Buddy Christ from Dogma, a couple of goddesses, a biker dude, Batman, a hockey player, a Quick Trip race car driver, a blind referee, and a few sexy (add non-sexy professions here), just to name a few. I went as Calypso from Pirates of the Caribbean.
An estimated 75+ people walked through our door that night. We even had a few party crashers... that was a first for me. The next morning, I woke up to an incredible mess. Not until we rescued our dogs did the carpet looked so thrashed. Beer bottles were scattered everywhere. Pieces of costumes were hidden in the couch cushions and kitchen cabinets. It took a month to set up and a month to clean up. But, for weeks, I received many compliments on our Halloween party. So much fun was had by all. I believe our party achieved "epic" status. And that, my fine friends, is awesome.
*My memory is not what it used to be... I know I left some names off, but it was not intentional and please forgive me! To everyone who helped with this party, attended this party, and enjoyed the night with me, I thank you again.
Photo Credits: Linda Lavallee, Oracle, Erin Parker - 2010