Highbury Cemetery, 2021

Where to begin on the 2021 version of my display? After the success of last year's haunt, I felt confident in setting up my display a week before the big night. Only after setting up most of my display, I immediately took most of it back down due to 7 straight days of measurable rain. The frustration became my biggest barrier. The unpredictability of Ohio weather has always been the one issue that I cannot control and has always been the one issue to infuriate me the most. What can you do??

I thought I had caught an incredible break with the clouds finally parting on Halloween morning and peeks of sun beginning to break through. I got up early and quickly put everything back up in anticipation of the night's trick-or-treat festivities. The props had all been placed and the display was looking great.

And then the winds whipped up. It ended up blowing my large scarecrow centerpiece over, snapping the base completely off. And then we saw a tombstone go blowing across the yard, hitting a retaining wall and breaking the skull that had been attached to the stone's face. After a few (okay, more than a few) F-bombs, we jumped into action, trying to fix the broken props as quickly as possible. We were able to get both props repaired and put back into place, but it put us way behind schedule for the rest of the set up.

We were somehow able to get all of the props in place, run all lighting and electricity, lit all of the jack-o-lanterns, and got into costumes just as the first trick-or-treaters arrived at the driveway.

In all honesty, I wasn't completely happy with this year's display. Having the rain kept me from getting a few nights to really dial in my lighting and I could tell. And having the winds damage my props really took me out of my groove. Overall, I ended up feeling rushed and I personally think this year's display reflected it. But I hope I'm the only one who notices...

But even with all of that, I will admit that this year was still a lot of fun. We hit a new trick-or-treater attendance record on our third year at our new location, we had the usual group of friends and family helping put the show on, and for the first time ever, we ended up having a Halloween party along side the display. So we had people all over the place, laughing, enjoying themselves, and enjoying the display. It added a fun new dynamic to the evening that will hopefully become a new tradition on the big night.

And even though I wasn't totally happy with this year's display, I had a lot of fun chasing my son's friends down the street as I was dressed in my plague doctor character. And my new props all worked great throughout the night. And we received a ton of compliments from everyone who came to check us out. It was our third year at the new location and word is getting out about the "spooky house." And that definitely gives me motivation to do this all again next year. Regardless of the damn weather.

As always, a humongous thank you goes out to everyone who helped out (and endured my F-bomb tirade) with this year's display. The annual Highbury Cemetery thank you shirts go out to Sharon, Karen, Laurie, Mrs. Highbury, Stacey and Vince, and my son's friends Mason, Bryce and Kyle, who came over to trick-or-treat with my son AND work the haunt for their first time!! I love nothing more that passing this crazy, unnerving, yet unbelievably fun tradition on to the next generation.

And an added thank you to everyone else who showed up for the party. I hope you all had a great time and I hope you'll all come back next year!

So ladies and gentlemonsters, boils and ghouls, without further ado I present Highbury Cemetery for 2021. Enjoy!

The Harvester of Brine. A little damaged and missing a few detail pieces, but he still looks great as the centerpiece of the display. He will be repaired with a few minor upgrades for next year.

Even after TEN years, Little Dustin Horner, my static trick-or-treater prop, STILL gets people stopping to see if he was a real boy...

This was a bit of a last minute prop idea. I ended up making a laser vortex up the walkway where the trick-or-treaters went to get their candy. Unfortunately, it didn't really work well until it got dark. And once the winds died down, I was able to get some really great effects! Definitely going to improve this one for next year!

240 total trick-or-treaters, parents, neighbors, friends, and curious onlookers visited Highbury Cemetery this year. Our biggest total yet at our new location. Not bad for 2 hours. The word is slowly getting out.

We'll see you all again next year. Be ready...



Lady M said...

Everything looks great Highbury. New eyes never notice the shortcomings. I think your growing popularity says it all.

The October boy said...

Beautiful work! and great pics as well to show the scope and work you put in.
Thats 240 lucky TOT's.

Richard said...

This apartment dweller is jealous! Thanks for letting me share in the fun through the Countdown to Halloween!

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