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Discussion Starter #1
I was the first-born and the first born Grandchild, an only child til I got to kindergarten. I guess I was made to feel important or even special by most adults I came in contact with, good or bad for the ego...
I always had my own fantasy world available to entertain myself with.
I started performing in front of groups of older people on my own, what drove me to do this, I don't know?
I had a ventriloquist dummy and a joke book, I was "set"! ("We" never "Talk" anymore)
My Mother and her Mother loved Halloween and costuming. My older female Cousin would dress us both up in womans' clothing circa 1880, she also dressed up her cats, pushed them around in a baby buggy.
I was the youngest kid in my neighborhood, but I had lots of toys so I had many older playmates (They liked my toys too)
My Imagination seemed to always be "ON"... and give me a customer for my Haunt or a potential customer and I will come up with some surprising things to say or do, which even surprise and entertain me!
 

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I used to dream of the Addams family showing up and claiming me as their own. I always identified as a 'goth' even before there was such a thing. I always loved Halloween. It's just who I am.
 

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Oh, Gym, I was certainly made to feel 'special' when I was younger, which is part of why I cannot even think straight half the time:rolleyes: To me, Halloween has basically always been an escape of sorts. Along the lines of what lilibat said, the darkness is just a part of myself, which I can more safely embrace at that time of year.
 

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I grew up comfortably middle class, but in a very rural area that had quite a bit of poverty. Now this wasn't desperate urban-style poverty. Everyone seemed to have food and shelter, but there often weren't a lot of extras for many. I lived 8 miles outside of a little town that didn't have a town pool, that didn't offer summer Little League or dance school or enrichment lessons of any sort. Most of my friends were rural, and lived more than walking distance away, so while I did have friends over or go visit sometimes, I also had a lot of time to myself. (I have an older brother, but we didn't really have common interests.) My parents provided me with a lot of materials to do things with, praise when I was done, but not much hovering in between. I think that helped me develop a degree of creativity and fairly broad interests. I always enjoyed a bit of light "creepy"-- among other things.
As an adult, I find Halloween decorating to be a pretty good way to keep challenging myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As a kid, Halloween was always very fun for me.
As an adult I always worked harder or longer on my costumes. there was one adult who did the same and very sadly .. I always won, he always came in 2nd.
He was a local school teacher , the kids would try to guess which potentially prize-winning Monster was him or me?
Years after I got my Haunted House and could no longer make the Parade, I was walking down the street a half a block from my house when a car stopped in the street and the driver began seriously motioning for me to come over to their car?
She then demanded that I get into her car! (A very attractive local woman, I really didn't know )
She proceeded to" chew me out" for always "Winning" the costume contest because SHE always worked So Hard on her and her Daughter's costumes, Yet I ALWAYS WON!
I really did not know what to say to her? (Maybe squinting out from inside my costume I never noticed she was only winning 3rd place? Sorry?.)

Many times I felt bad for those who never ever "Won", that meant I got the prize money of THREE DOLLARS! (and they didn't!)
I usually spent as much as 5 to 10 $$ on my costumes.
Silly People........
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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I've always loved spooky things. Before I started trying to make my own decorations, the only things that we had were die-cut cardboard decorations (one-sided, for many years), honeycomb decorations, and an electric Jack o'lantern. We did both get a pumpkin to carve, too. My sister is 8.5 yrs older than I am, so I don't remember her dressing up with me; I was too little when she was still ToTing.

So I guess the two things that I remember best about my earliest Halloween memories were that it was a special holiday just for "me", because my sister was too old, and it was the only holiday that we could go visiting. That was a big deal to me. There was excitement at home with the decorations and costume prep, but we also got to go see everyone else enjoy the same fun.

With other holidays, that just doesn't happen (not for me, anyway, we were not a religious family). The only other holiday that we ever left the house for, was Thanksgiving, and then I had to either eat stuff I couldn't stand (turkey and oyster dressing), or be hungry the entire trip--which was not a short trip! We only went one place, and it was the same family members every time.

With Halloween, I saw friends, got candy, admired all of the decorations and costumes, and I just had fun. It really did seem like a holiday just for me.

I never even really had an enjoyable birthday, because it's July 3rd, and everyone was always so busy with 4th of July plans, that my birthday was generally overlooked by everyone except close family, and my best friends. And even then, it was all that they really talked about; what was going on "tomorrow", and they had to leave at this time to get ready, or get groceries, etc. it was always just a rushed thing. (I know, Christmas babies have it worse, but it truly sucks!)

Once I started making my own decorations, and the compliments and "I'm not going up there!" comments started rolling in, there was no stopping me!
 

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I'm not sure I qualify as a "haunter" but, like many people here I grew up with The Addams Family and all those late night horror movies. As I grew older I was drawn to the more macabre musical acts, "Alice Cooper", "Black Sabbath", that sort of thing. Many years later when I slowed down a bit and started writing music for a fun/sideline kind of thing it all came out sounding spooky. It was my daughter that pointed that out to me early on, I wasn't really aware of it until then.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When i was in high School I often seemed to have some kind of sometimes "complicated" music running through my brain, sounding "Classical", as in a 100 years ago , or more "classical".
Maybe those Football concussions knocked part of my brain back a few hundred years?
I did discover that in High School that I could sit in study hall and read classical English poet's works and make a slight "Tickling" sensation in my brain.

If you have never read the old poem by Mr. anonymous called "Daemon Lover", you have been missing something.
 

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I am not a haunter per se but love to take part in Halloween activities.

I am more into character creation and costuming.

When I was a child, I was very shy. I always wanted to do what the other kids did, like dressing up for Mardi Gras and Halloween.

When I was in my early 50's I was invited by GF to a special activity and had to wear a costume.

She had a costume for me and I dreaded what it was. It was a prince outfit that her nephew had used.

After going to the party, I got so many nice comments that I really enjoyed myself and from then on love to costume and create characters.

As you can see from my pics I do various characters, including lady characters.

I went one Mardi Gras and Little Lord Faunteleroy. Everyone wanted to take a picture with me.

So that's how it came about.

I am now doing some female characters like Granny Lou, Charley's Aunt and a Duchess. I am also doing elderly ladies. I have several beautiful dresses in my costume wardrobe.

A lot different from that shy kid who would not wear a costume.

Love historical and Halloween characters.
 

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I am now doing some female characters like Granny Lou, Charley's Aunt and a Duchess. I am also doing elderly ladies. I have several beautiful dresses in my costume wardrobe.
I love the Duchess! You do great work, Costumer, and I can tell you have a blast!
 

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I always loved Halloween as a kid. I saw the "Halloween" movie in the theater and I was hooked forever. Fast forward to 6 years
ago when we moved to this neighborhood and realized most of the people on our block setup their yards and put on a show. Im
a blacksheep kind of person never going with the flow and keeping up with the jones. Im different and will always be. Im competitive
but in an underdog kind of way. We set up our yard and put on a show for 2 hours. Im always Michael Myers and we come up with
a theme and change every couple years. We have a great time performing for everyone. It's a tradition I like to be at the front of in
our neighborhood anyway.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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I don't know why I haunt anymore. It started out being that I wanted my kids to be in the cool house...they're all grown now. I got nothing else I guess
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Grew up loving animals, dinosaurs, and monsters. Always loved Halloween. Found a talent for drawing at an early age and spent my childhood and teens drawing dinosaurs, monsters, and aliens. Got married and kicked around at a few different jobs for a while before finding a good one then the youngsters arrived and we started celebrating holidays as a family. Halloween, having always been one of my favorites, was one I wanted to make super fun and memorable for my kids. Just so happens my artistic abilities and experience just so happens to mesh perfectly with prop building. After years of not drawing or creating it's great to have an outlet for it again. I had forgotten how much fun it is.
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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I try to think back to a specific spark that made me love Halloween. Seems that I always embraced it over other holidays. I still have the 1970's era Halloween decorations my family used back when I was 5 years old. Couldn't wait for the Charlie Brown Halloween Special every year. Grew up buying every Scholastic horror and mystery book I could get my hands on. Had to watch every Creature Feature and Son of Svenghoolie TV night (in our area). No one else in my family decorates or enjoys the holiday like I do. Guess I got the recessive Halloween gene. But that's okay. Everyone knows it's my thing. I couldn't bear to compete with another relative for Halloween party rights.
 
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Not so my a talent but more of a feature of the house I grew up in. I lived in Chicago - Jefferson Park to be exact, in a house that was quite old. It was there LONG before the Kennedy (I-90) went in half a block away. As a child my parents told me of all the wild life that would run through the area I only dimly recall the new apartments going in around us. The house was technically a 2 story, bedrooms upstairs, kitchen, bath and dinning/living rooms down. It had what was called a daylight basement... we were the only house in the newly created neighborhood around us to never flood when the storm drains backed up. There was a smallish room in the center of the main floor we called the pantry, it had a small serving window in the shared wall between the kitchen and the dinning room to more easily move food and dished back and forth... can we say drop panel??? LOTS of scaring possibilities there. Also in the pantry was the "trap door". A LARGE panel cut into the floor to allow inside access to the daylight basement... How creepy is that. It had rickety wood stairs, the "door" was super heavy, and had an old chain as a handle... all Halloween parties started by going through the pantry, pulling open that heavy door and going down those steps. The basement was made up of 6 smallish rooms. Mom's laundry room had a partial concrete floor, with a dirt strip along on wall, two oversized sink basins and a ringer washer, it also had a creepy cabinet in it for dad's tools, no windows and exposed newspaper insulation in the walls and ceiling. Most of the other rooms had old barn wood floors, they all had very low ceilings. An OLD gas furnace with a small window to see the flames, very dated gas run fridge and cooking stove, all were still working. Mom's clotheslines were strung all in most of the rooms and a few had old steam pipes hanging from the ceiling too. The space under the trap door steps was dark with a dirt floor, a great space to jump out from oh and in front of the opening was a loose wood board "bridge" over dirty to allow the concrete in the Laundry room to met the barn wood floor in the room the furnace, fridge and stove were kept. There was the creepy "front" room.. a room build under the front porch with even lower ceilings and lots of stored junk. Oh and don't forget the Skull room... a room built under the side porch with a dirt floor and a GIANT pirate skull and cross bones painted on the wall. With atmosphere like that who couldn't have grown up as a haunter.


Oh nearly forgot this... recalling my cool trap door and the skull room and the space under the trap door stairs... the bedroom wall and ceiling feature... SQUIRRELS. Yes Squirrels... no matter what dad and later after dad passed, the handy man attempted to fix the access under the peaked rook eves the squirrels found ways in to live in that space. Imagine at night trying to fall asleep to squirrels scratching around just behind those old wood lath and plaster walls. I would just tell people the place was haunted.... It was less embarrassing then saying squirrels lived in my bedroom walls. I recall one year a squirrel making it's way through the walls all the was down to the broom closet in the kitchen the ONLY space with no plaster on the wall. We had some fun that night trying to get it out of the closet, then the kitchen.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One night i spotted a Racoon walking along the edge of my roof! I got out a Bb pistol and shot at him a few times (hit him only once, just made him mad!) He then waddled away for the night.
The next day I am up on the roof looking for his damage he seemed to be doing to the roof.
I was shooting Bbs at an innocent Racoon! He wasn't chewing on the roof, he was chewing alright, chewing on the rotted , smelly carcass of a dead Squirrel caught in the hole in the eaves "YUMMY!"
Sheet metal went over the hole .
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Also in the pantry was the "trap door". A LARGE panel cut into the floor to allow inside access to the daylight basement... How creepy is that. It had rickety wood stairs, the "door" was super heavy, and had an old chain as a handle... all Halloween parties started by going through the pantry, pulling open that heavy door and going down those steps.
Oh my gosh, you could almost have been describing my childhood home! We had the same type of door for inside access to the basement, but ours was in our back porch, our entire basement was dirt floor, and there was only one separate closed-off room, and two open rooms. There were two or three small windows, though. In the small room was a wicker wheelchair (Dad promised it to me as a Halloween prop when I was an adult...my sister freaking SOLD it without asking me, knowing it was MINE), a twin size bed frame with springs but no mattress, and oddly, a bathysphere. That always baffled me.

There was a coal bin on the opposite side of the outside entrance, which was a pair of flip doors that led to a staircase, and an interior door. It also had a built-in cabinet that was filled with old bottles, some with liquid still in them (dad jokingly--or maybe not so--called it moonshine, because the bottles were not labeled). I often dream of that basement!

We didn't have squirrels in our walls, although in later years, raccoons moved into the attic. Mostly we just dealt with birds getting stuck in the chimney, and making a ruckus trying to figure out an alternative exit...and not finding one.

I couldn't convince many people to go down there with me, though.
 

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I grew up in a house that was built in 1860. It was "that house." The one no one wanted to pet sit in while we were out of town because it was so spooky despite my parents' gorgeous renovation of the property. The town I grew up in was TINY. Stereotypical small-town America. Farmlands, one traffic light, one gas station, untouched by fast food chains, etc. We lived in the "village" part of the town-up the street from the post office and country store.

Halloween just fit the whole scene perfectly. Halloween parades down Main St., my parents threw big neighborhood Halloween parties in the old horse-drawn carriage barn, the streets were tree-lined with crunchy bright leaves. Tons and tons of kids in the neighborhood. It was perfect. It triggered a love for Halloween which has manifested in different ways as I've gone through life. When I was a kid it was all about trick or treating, high school and college were all about DIY-ing the best costumes, and home ownership meant going all-out with decorations.
 
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