Halloween Broken Down


Weatherly Manor

Weatherly Manor, Our Haunt

Halloween this year was full of good news and bad news, and I’m not sure which one won out.  On the good news front, we got to set up our haunted house twice, which is our goal each year.  On the bad news front, it rained right up until Halloween morning, meaning we didn’t start setting up till mid-morning on Halloween instead of the night before like we planned.  But with the help of a few friends and family, the house went up in record time so all ended well.


We had fewer visitors this year, but the house across from us had a record showing.  We estimate that somewhere around 350 people went through our house.  That’s slightly down from last year.  The neighbors across the way had 880 counted visitors, a 20% increase over last year.  The kids found fewer houses offering candy this year, but got better candy than last year.  (I know, because I raided their haul.)



We had better scares this year.  Jim, my partner in crime, counted 2 pee-talities.  The first group in ran screaming right out the front door.  The screaming sounds of success lasted all night long, and we only made a couple of kids cry.  We even managed to scare two separate people who refused to go inside.

But now, in the post-halloween mess, Jim and I have some hard choices to make.  Do we want to go pro?  Do we want to stay yard and small?  Do we want to toss out the current facade and start fresh?  Keep using the bulky, overworked and rusting metal shelves that we climb all over, or find something new?  Do we set up that hanky tent one more time, or invest in something new and better?

Moaning Lisa

The Moaning Lisa



More importantly, will we actually start early enough to accomplish something this year instead of waiting till the last moment again?

The next year will tell the tale.  A part of me really wants to go pro, and try to build a Haunted House for Huntsville worthy of Greystone Manor in Killan, or Slaughter on Meaghan in Gadsden.  But that initial move toward a pro haunt is scary, costly and riddled with doubt.  What’s the venue?  Insurance?  Employees?  Volunteers?  So much to think about.

Part of me wants to stay yard.  But we’ve pushed “free or cheap” about as far as it can go.  Do we really want to keep zip tying cardboard together?  Do we want to spend 10-15 hours setting up for a 3 hour scare?  I’m just not sure right now.

I’m in the post Halloween blues.  And Lord knows I’ve enough elsewhere to be blue about.  So I’m probably not in the best mind frame to make ANY decision about next Halloween.  So it may be a month or two before we do anything firm.  But these are the dark thoughts running through my Halloweenie mind.


2 thoughts on “Halloween Broken Down

  1. Reading your blog got me thinking about the best haunted houses I have visited or worked in. When I was younger I spent the weeks leading up to Halloween working as all sorts of scary creatures in a Jaycee Haunted house. (This was before Greystone Manor came to take over the Florence scares.) I really enjoyed that opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and become something entirely different. I know you talked about Halloween being about community and I agree but for me and my friends it was also about the chance to be something or someone entirely different. . Be it a scary clown, a fairy, or the walking dead it didn’t matter as long as we had the chance to transform into something else. It was that time each year that even grown-ups could play dress up and pretend. I don’t know about you but I miss that part of childhood. So I guess I can totally understand your desire to expand your Haunted ventures. Good Luck and let me know if you need some volunteers to scare the crap out of people!

    • But the ability to change into something else on Halloween IS about the trust and community I’m talking about. You get to be something you’re not, and you don’t get judged for it. You trust that being that scary zombie or slutty pirate is about fun, not about YOU. You can “let your hair down,” or maybe even your fangs, and not worry about it on Nov 1st, because it was all in fun.

      It’s a liberating feeling, Halloween. I wish more could embrace it. And I’ll put you on the top of the list next year. Greystone is an amazing haunt, if we go pro we know that’s the standard for North Alabama.

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