To say that another "successful Halloween was in the books" would be a huge understatement for 2016. For once, everything in our yard haunt display seemed to go smoothly and was set up on time, and we were finally granted an evening of zero rain and calm, cool air for the entire night. I may have been working at a fevered pitch all the way up to late Sunday evening trying to make sure that everything was finished, staged and ready to go bright and early for Halloween morning, but we got everything set up without any major hiccups and were able to put on an incredible trick-or-treat show for everyone who came by.
I will confess that I had a slight doubt about Halloween 2016, as most of the surrounding neighborhoods had celebrated their trick-or-treat two days before, on Saturday evening. I hoped that everyone would resist burnout and still make their way to visit Highbury Cemetery on Halloween night.
And visit they did! We had a record turnout and 2016 was most definitely our best year yet! A huge thanks to everyone who made their way to our neighborhood to come check things out! Without the neighborhood (and surrounding) trick-or-treaters, their parents, neighbors and friends, we'd have no display. Without you, there would be no Highbury Cemetery. So thank you, all.
And an extra-special, monstrous thank you must go out to Highbury regulars, Sharon and Karen for their constant help in getting the walk-in crypt display finished and set up in time for the big night. Without their help, I would STILL be trying to finish it all! They were here to set everything up on Halloween morning and they stayed to tear it down on Halloween night. They have definitely earned their Halloween Service Awards this year! Now that Halloween is over, you can finally get caught up on some sleep!
And of course, Highbury Cemetery shirt thank you's go out to all the following people for their help in setting up, acting and tearing down: Brother Scrapes, Laurie, Andrew, James, Neighbor Joe and Stacy, Stacey and Vince Rager, Mike D., Dave from Closed Casket Studios, Chad, Mrs. Highbury, Little Christian Highbury and Nana. Without these fellow Cemetery ghouls, the show wouldn't get set up and torn down in one day and it wouldn't be the incredible show that it was. Thank you, crew!!
So without further ado, I present Highbury Cemetery, 2016:
The Highbury Crypt
This was the only major update to our 2016 display, but it took the entire season to plan, build, paint and set up. And outside of a minor fog machine adjustment for next year (cough, cough, sorry Sharon and Karen!) and some slight lighting adjustments, it went off without a hitch. And somehow, I got all of this to fit together AND fit inside the walk-in front porch!
This was an homage to the beginnings of Highbury Cemetery. This "Highbury" board, buried in the ivy, was part of my original cemetery sign, dating back to about 2002.
Even after a few years in our haunt, our little "trick-or-treater" Little Dustin Horner still gives a few scares to the unsuspecting!
The newest member of the Cemetery, Walden Friedrich. The First Gravedigger of Highbury Cemetery. This was repurposed from an old gravedigger figure I had created back in 2009. I had to get some new clothing (thanks to the mice in the garage) and a new Wormfood prop head from Closed Casket Studios. Thanks, Dave! At the last minute, I named him and gave him his own tombstone. A full prop and tombstone how-to will be coming soon!
The 2016 Highbury Cemetery Crew.
When all was said and done, we had shattered our previous year's attendance record. In just over 2 hours, we had 504 trick-or-treaters, parents, neighbors and friends come through Highbury Cemetery. What a night! Each year, we get more visitors and each year we get more excited, driven and motivated. I already have my wrap-up list for 2016 done, and I have already started on my 2017 list. Next year, we plan to go just a bit further with the haunt and we can't wait to celebrate the high holiday with all of you. Just remember, this show is only one night a year. Be at the cemetery on Halloween night, or miss it for another year.
Halloween 2017 is only 360 days away. Are you ready?