Happy Halloween season

Some holidays need a whole season.

They swell with such sweetness and ingenuity, magic and mischief, community spirit and love that they burst beyond their allotted day and spread those good feelings through weeks and even a whole month.

Halloween is like that in our neck of the woods, a celebration of kindness, childhood and chocolate. We’ve already had the occasion to wear our costumes to festivities a couple of times in this house and the big day is still a week away.

We’ve also been lucky enough to tour some astonishing Halloween displays.

This weekend, we visited four of them and each of them stunned us with their creativity and cheerful creepiness.

We saw our old friends the Munnsters, who made their display even more incredible with a pair of Cerberus-like dogs that seem to jump out at you, a popping Pennywise and about a thousand other cool characters. You can swing by 412 East Tallgrass Drive to see all the action.

Later, we checked out the Darboy Halloween House, at N9370 Exploration Ave. in Appleton, and we loved that one too. A conveyor belt carries pumpkins into the Carv-omatic, which transforms them into Jack O’Lanterns. A giant witch rises up and cackles warnings, two skeleton dogs guard the entrance to the yard and a very creative skeleton mermaid keeps an eye on the door. Last year, the Darboy Halloween House collected over 604 pounds of non-perishable food items at their display and donated it all to the St. Jospeh’s Food Pantry. They are hosting a food drive again this year.

Our third stop left us speechless and particularly thrilled our seven-year old, who has a taste for the macabre. “Can you believe this?” he kept shouting as he ran around the displays. I really couldn’t. The whole mind-blowing display started in the front yard, went through the driveway, and involved the entire garage and backyard. A large tent featured a detailed pirate display on one side and scary cool clowns on the other. We really need to run through that one again because the scenes were so detailed and so clever we’re sure we missed a bunch. You can find the Louise Street Spooky House at 115 Louise Street in Kimberly.

Lastly, we stopped at the Bone Hollow Cemetary at 1509 East Cass Street in Appleton. We have been trying to grow our own Venus Fly Trap here in this house with no luck, so we were all excited to see the various Venus Fly Traps at this display. A trio of singing pumpkins kept us entertained along with a headless horseman and a skeleton witch whose head pops off when you shake her hand. Amazing.

Most of the display hosts began setting up Labor Day weekend and have been hosting their sites most of the month. I salute their creativity and generosity and thank them very much for adding such a festive touch to the Halloween season.

The Munnsters added a couple of dog houses to the corner of their lot, with big barking Cerberus dogs that jump out at you.
Chucky and a swinging doll will also talk to you if you stare at them long enough.
Sometimes, the coffin thumps and a cloaked figure appears.
Ghostly figures also appear in the windows and you have to look at the full yard display carefully because some of these figures are actual humans, though they stand so still it’s hard to tell.
This ticket booth marks the corner of the Darboy Halloween House display. A lot of these figures move and speak.
This giant witch rises up and cackles at you.
Pumpins move along this conveyor belt and turn into Jack O’Lanterns.
The whole display is astonishing.
And, speaking of astonishing, the Louise Street Spooky House was the kind of amazing you have to see to believe.
An outdoor tent displays talking clowns on one side, and pirates on the other.
A couple of the million skeletons that welcome you.
Pirates playing poker.
A nice nod to Stephen King.
In the backyard, they had an electric chair display that smoked and hissed.
Then we moved on to Bone Hollow, another must-see on the Halloween tour.
If you shake this witch’s hand, her head pops off. Very startling.
This is another one we’ll have to see again. There is so much color and wittiness, we know we missed some things.
Our four-year old loved the skeleton spider.

I didn’t have time to edit or even sort my pictures from the weekend Halloween visits and I know I have lots more. I hope these entice you to visit these cool displays if you’re in the area, and to find some comparable displays in your own neighborhood if you don’t live near here. Happy Halloween season to all!

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