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Master of Disaster
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

This year (for the third year) we had a fairly large Halloween haunt in the front yard and garage of our house. Many WWM props, tombstones and all kinds of “dead and undead” things. We had over 600 kids (versus ~100 when we didn’t decorate) and countless adults making multiple visits, taking pictures etc. The hole family had so much fun, we were the talk of the community. I feel like it give everyone in our area something to look forward to. Everyone loves a good scare.

A week later we were in a fairly serious car accident involving our whole family, and while we all made it out ok, we are banged up, but OK (physiotherapy will probably take care of most issues)

One of our neighbors (a very, very nice couple) are quite religious and never participated in Halloween, for those reasons. They came to see us after the accident and ‘suggested’ that the evil spirits from our haunt may have contributed to the accident. Logically, I cannot rationally associate these events, I’m not religious, I have my own beliefs but they do not align with that of my neighbors. The trauma of the event does make us all feel somewhat vulnerable to suggestion and I guess a little spooked no matter how irrational that may sound.

I guess the real issue I have to deal with is how to, not defend, but explain to my neighbors that it’s just fun. Like I said they are very nice people and are not sticking their nose in our business, they are just trying to help in their own way. Does anyone have a moderate religious argument in favor of Halloween that I can use?

They are not interfering in any way with what I do (or plan to do for ’09), but I’d to keep good neighbors as friends as well. My plans right now is to go bigger and better for ’09, without offending too many people.

Any thoughts.
 

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Warlock
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Take a look at this thread:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/general-halloween/74698-halloween-condemned-my-town-newspaper.html

A lot of folks have tossed out some good info and you might find some of it of use and a lot of it as interesting.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that 'evil spirits' live in our props. Polystyrene, paper mache, pvc, latex and the back room of Radio Shack just don't quite fit the image of real evil ;) and my bad luck is less bad luck than bad judgement:)
 

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I think you would have to associate decorating for Halloween with intentionally doing something evil, which it is not. What we do is good and fun and makes people happy, or why would you get 600 people coming out to your home to see it.

I think maybe if you explain it to them that way they my not agree, but they may understand better.
 

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Master of Disaster
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks,

Just to explain, the accident. We were stuck in traffic, not moving. A car traveling the opposite way (at a good speed) lost control, hit the median, became airborne and struck the front drivers side of our SUV. The SUV caught fire and is now a write-off. We were sitting ducks.

I know, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, rather than some sinister spirit following me. If that was the case, then I guess there would be a really high turn-over at the year-round professional haunts.
 

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kakos
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I'm glad you and your family are all ok.

I would just say you respect their opinion and leave it at that, why do you have to explain anything?
 

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Hauntless
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I second taking a look at that thread ondeko recommended. Not all Christians believe as they do (in fact I would say it's a minority) and there were some great counter-arguments in the thread from other Christians.

I also agree with MrsMeyers666. Just say thanks for their opinion and leave it at that. I don't think a big religious discussion would enhance the neighbor relationship.
 

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I don't know that you need to explain/defend anything. Sometimes when there is a difference in opinion it's just best to let things be, and not say anything. At this time anyway. Now, if they start lecturing, my thoughts would change.

I guess they are entitled to their opinion as to why you were in your accident (so glad you are all ok!), as small minded as I think it is. Although I don't think their comment to you was appropriate. Jeez!
 

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Warlock
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Wow, talk about bad luck. I'm glad you and your family will be OK in the long run. I wasn't trying to mock you or the situation in any way, but I think part of the explanation to your neighbors should include some of that--plastic, while environmentally ambiguous, isn't inherently evil. Thank them for their concern and good wishes. What we do is theater. It's entertainment and it's harmless tradition that you happen to believe is important enough to keep alive. it's very different from Passion plays where the re-enactment of the Crucifixion is more than theater because it incorporates both ritual and doctrinal religious concepts as the primary focus. In a Passiom play the acting and costumes and sets are all secondary to the message of the play. A Halloween display is entirely about the staging and there isn't really a meassage beyond having some fun and confronting our fears by facing 'paper tigers'.
 

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I don't think you should look at things that way at all.

A good friend of mine has always referred to my life as 1's and 20's. What he is refering to (insert nerd here) is a twenty sided dice in role playing games.

Usually when you roll a (1 )some thing great happens, when you roll a (20) something terrible happens. Such is my life, and most everyone's really. You have your ups and downs just sometimes they are more pronounced then other times and bad things can happen to good people.

For instance, August 2004 I moved into my new house (rolled a 1, Yay me!) :p
A week later I fell shattering my foot leaving me on bed rest for 8 months (20) :O

I was distraught wondering, how the heck am I even going to make my 1st mortgage payment! Then It happened...A state official showed up at my house and told me they were widening the street behind my property and needed the use of my backyard for about 6 months and presented me with a check for $1100.00.

I was greatful and invited him into my house. It was over 90 degrees outside and this poor fellow had been at it all day handing out checks to other homeowners that were less then happy with the amounts they were receiving for the inconveniance the project posed on them for the better half of a year.

He was tired, overheated, and frustrated so I invited him in for a coke and a spell in my air-conditioning. Well, this guy was so relieved that I was pleasant with him he tore my check up :O !!!!

Well, he then asked me if he could look at my backyard. After looking at my trees, garden and stuff he then wrote me a new check for $3700.00 (1) !!!!!!

I got the biggest check on the entire block!

So don't read into other's ideas too much, just do what you got to do and live.

And hope ya roll more ones then twenties :p
 

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Glad you and your Family are all OK. THAT is the most important part of the entire situation.

Having said that, I think that you have already stated the best path ... that is, to explain to them that although their suggested interpretation is one possibility, it is not one that you would tend to embrace.

From that point you could proceed in several different directions with varrying degrees of disagreement with your neighbors.

You could say ....

... you found out that the people in the other vehicle who caused the accident were severely injured and that they had just written a scathing letter to their local paper condimning Halloween, and your family was essentially uninjured, so you just aren't sure how to interpret the accident ... maybe it was just an accident.

... that perhaps it was God's way of allowing you to get out of big SUV payments at a time when your family had been talking about the need to get into something more economical with better gas mileage.

... you think that God was protecting your family from serious injury because you have brought so much enjoyment to the community and you think it's a sign that you should increase the size of the haunt.

... ???
 

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Master of Disaster
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks so much for the well wishes and awesome input from everyone.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to write a few encouraging words.

It sounds like the best approach is to not get into a debate, there's no winners in that. But at the same time, it's all on for 2009 (on a Saturday no less).

Is it too early to hope & pray for good weather?
 

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Thanks so much for the well wishes and awesome input from everyone.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to write a few encouraging words.

It sounds like the best approach is to not get into a debate, there's no winners in that. But at the same time, it's all on for 2009 (on a Saturday no less).

Is it too early to hope & pray for good weather?
Not too early to ask the neighbors to help you by praying for good weather. ;)
 

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i wouldnt worry about your neighbors beliefs.
I say just keep the haunting going!
I agree with the others; even if they depict "evil things", they are in no way evil themselves. it is all about the scare. people enjoy being scared; it is fun!
i also wouldnt worry about the news letter posted; the author has no real idea what she is talking about.
 

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likes candy & razorblades
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I am so glad that your family is going to be ok!!

If what the neighbors said was true, then this board would be full of people having horrible things happen to them all of the time. And i think most of us do ok.

I think you are right to just let it go. They were being kind in their approach to you, you felt no malice.

Your site rocks, by the way :)
 

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jester girl
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i am very glad you are okay and your family. so i wonder if every time something bad happens to these neighbors of yours if they freak because they have done something evil. life happens for all of us. i agree with not getting into a debate with them, it's good for neighbors to get along. but if the subject comes up again point out that you all came out pretty dang good because whatever evil force threw that vehicle in at you, well an angel must have stepped in front to save you.
when my daughter was little, i was divorced and lived across from a married couple who had a daughter the same age. i worked two jobs most of the time but her husband worked and she was a stay home mother. so we had here an attitude of i'm better than you. one day i went across to get my daughter and they were playing with a doll house. it was in the corner and they were standing in the corner leaning down trying to play in it. i thought how silly, i pulled it out from the corner so they could sit down to play. the mother came in and pushed it back. she informed me she had a place for everything and it was to stay in it's place. wow! anyway, the kids always wanted to play at my house. i guess that made the mom not to happy. one day my mom and i were putting in the garden out back and the kids were playing on the front step. i went around to get a glass of water and there was a mess all around on the step. i went in the house and the 2 girls were putting a plastic bowl in the oven just full of every spice in my cupboard [except the spice that had overflowed onto the ground]. the only thing that had deterred them was they couldn't figure out how to turn the oven on. whew. i took laura home and told the mother what they had done. she decided we would not let the kids play together for a couple of days so they could register what they had done. i just felt my daughter was so little she didnt know and just needed explaining that stuff like stoves needed parental guidance. they were trying to surprise me with a treat. later the mom came over and told me it was my fault because i supplied no parental guidance and that was why the kids would rather play at my house. after this if my daughter wanted to play with her daughter it would be at her house. i bit my tongue so i could think how to handle this. well, two days went by and laura invited my daughter over. 2 hours later their mom brought my daughter home. guess they got every spice in the house out and mixed it in a plastic bowl up in lauras room. where as mine had been outside where i could just wash it away with a hose, hers was inbedded in the carpet. [parental guidance?] i will give the parent credit for one thing, she even found out it was her daughters idea both times and not my daughters and admitted it. they were allowed to play at my house again, but her upidity attitude never changed and the kids always preferred my house.
 

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I try to avoid these threads that bring up Christianity and Halloween. To me, it's too difficult to discuss the topic over the internet without getting words misconstrued.

But I just can't seem to avoid it.

I am a Christian, and a faithful one to boot. My wife has just started the process to become a pastor and will be starting seminary next summer. We both participate in the church quite a bit and I'm about to cook dinner for a small group (Bible study) we host at our house.

That's just a quip about my beliefs.

It's bologna.

That's a quip about what I think of you summoning Satan's minions' from Hell because you celebrate Halloween.

...
I just deleted a bunch of ramblings about religion, Halloween, etc, but I don't think it was going to help. If you have any more questions or are looking for an opinion, you're welcome to PM me.

Glad you were all safe.
 

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dont talk to them about it---,,the whole " we deserve bad things to happen because we have offended god "thing is stupid... church busses crash all the time---i cant stand people like that
 

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Is it too early to hope & pray for good weather?
I have to admit that after reading the tone and topic of this thread, I chuckled at the line above that you wrote, DrDoom! :D

Glad to hear your family came through the accident with no major injuries.
 

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Resident Lunatic
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Glad you're OK.

I too am a Christian. For that reason I avoid religious symbols. Other than that, I have tombstones, Grim Reaper, ground breakers, and am planning to add zombies. If this is wrong, I need to give up giving candy to the TOTs, watching horror movies and scary TV shows, and reading scary books. I don't think so. Accidents happen to righteous people too. Don't expect to change the neighbor's opinion.
 
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