Halloween 2012: The Party!

Webmistress and the Dining TableMy most epic Halloween yet was a success! 62 adults & kids attended my 19th annual Halloween party! My glowing fiber optic cloak for my medieval warrior queen Ghostly Guardian was a big hit. It was fantastic that all the adults were impressed at my multiple hauntings, but I think my favorite reactions to all 6 ghosts were from the kids ages 3 through 7 who absolutely loved them and had to keep going around looking at them again & again! Thanks to everyone for a great party, and HUGE thanks to Cat for taking such fantastic photos! Very nice to have a professional photographer as a party guest! πŸ™‚ I’ve included some of her shots here, but check out her whole party album at Photography by Cat!

How was this party so epic? Not only did the castle get a new tower and 5 faux copper verdigris spires, but there were 7 moving portraits and 6 ghosts that were all members of the same family throughout its history, starting with the founder of Castle Brittahytta almost a thousand years ago. Except for the Ghostly Guardian which was Castle Brittahytta - can you see 2 ghosts in the towers?my new costume for this year, each character was inspired by a costume I already had, then my “ghost writer” and I created a story for each of them that informed the performance and setting of the portrait and the ghost. I filled up a full terabyte hard drive with video footage & render files from all 13 filming sessions throughout the summer with me as actress, wardrobe, makeup, set design, and editor! I was very glad to have my “ghost writer” assist as writer, director, lighting design & cinematographer. We have more background & story than we expected anyone to notice during the party, since we The Ghostly Guardianwanted the moving portraits to seem natural with less frequent content repeats, plus telling the saga of this family will continue for years well into the future. There was some additional planned epicness that didn’t make it into this party, which explains all the steampunk stuff I collected that you won’t see, but I won’t reveal any of that yet since it definitely WILL happen for 2014! Next year is already set as the 20th anniversary of Nightmare Before Christmas as my 20th annual party, you see. πŸ™‚

Partying People InsideI was extremely thankful that my “ghost writer” was in the trenches with me with only 3 hours sleep and frantically getting everything ready all day. Amazingly even after such a trial by fire, he still wants to help again next year & onward! πŸ™‚ At least I was getting into costume before the party start time of 7pm, but the final food prep would never have happened so well without Melanie’s help from 4:30pm well into the party! She did the Violent Vertebrae, veggies, fruit, cheese, crackers & cookie setup! Thank you SO much! Guests started arriving at 6:59 and kept coming! Partying People OutsideIt was so warm inside I cut the final oven use from the menu so no bat wings or brie in pastry, but we still had plenty of food. It was so warm inside that my food on the dining table was left idle in favor of all the Creepy Cuisine brought by guests since that table was outside where it was comfortably cooler. By 10pm people were starting to talk about leaving, so I herded everyone to the back patio for the awards. Each winner received an Edible Medal of vegan shortbread on a stylish black & white ribbon!

Outstanding Owl Ogler was tricky because 11 owls were all in the portrait and frame of one of the characters, including her necklace! I know some people found the necklace so it was definitely visible, and that was expected to be the tiebreaker owl, but there was still a tie with 20 of 21 owls found by both Patrick & Angie!

Outstanding Owl Ogler Patrick Outstanding Owl Ogler Angie

Supreme Spirit Savant was who found all the true names of all 6 ghosts and 1 character. This required searching for clues around the castle, even some edible clues! We expected many people to stop at the 4 easiest with nameplates on their portraits, but Cyd & Angie both deciphered the “rosetta stone” Tasty Tombstone to translate the runes on the First Queen’s portrait! Angie even double-medaled…woohoo!
Supreme Spirit Savant Cyd Supreme Spirit Savant Double-Medaler Angie

After 13 consecutive years, I took a year off from Spooky Name That Tune, so it was only the costume contest and Creepy Cuisine left for awards. It was already getting late so I didn’t collect written votes this year, but collected everyone out back to cheer for their favorites. I think this worked pretty well, and definitely easier than me Scariest Costume = Ashlyng the Weeping Angeltaking the time to tally up all the votes!

Scariest Costume was Ashlyn as the Weeping Angel from Doctor Who…she was creeping up on everyone all night then revealing her scary face, just like in the show. Most Creative Costume = Jen as Hurricane SandyBut keep out of the way of her cardboard wings!

Most Creative Costume went to Jen as at-that-time-still-pending Hurricane Sandy, complete with inside-out umbrella, rain poncho and nametag sticker “Hi My Name is Sandy!” Very clever!

Ultimate Costume = Elisabeth as the Tardis
Usually Ultimate Costume goes to a group, and I saw two contenders, the White & Dwarves Mining & Construction team, or the Doctor Who Crew…but the overwhelming cheers went to Elisabeth and her handmade Tardis! Fantastic job!

Scary Jerry wins Creepy Cuisine for his Finger Cookies
Scary Jerry brought tasty almond Finger Cookies, but the Creepy Cuisine medal didn’t fit around his head! He said he liked wearing it as a headband…haha!

Louie's Buffalo Wing costume won Creepy Cuisine! ;)Ashlyn double-medaled with her Eye Candy Creepy Cuisine, and since so much of the other Creepy Cuisine had been consumed before I could see it, I awarded the last Creepy Cuisine Edible Medal to Louie since his costume was Buffalo Wing with Blue Cheese Dressing!



The Watery Wraith in the Well by CatNow delving into decor! To describe the experience, as you walk up to the castle, you first see the well under the front tree, hearing rattling chains and gurgles of someone in distress. Looking into the well you see the Watery Wraith, trying her best to keep afloat despite the heavy chains dragging her down into the depths (click for video)

The Tall Tower Through the TreePeeking out between the tree branches you look up and see the tall tower with the Ghostly Guardian medieval warrior queen on the balcony watching over everyone who approaches (click for video)Swashbuckler Sally in the middle towerTo the right in the middle tower windows you see the ghost of Swashbuckler Sally sparring with an unseen foe back and forth from window to window (click for video)

The Pumpkin QueenWalking up to the front porch through the pumpkin vines, you see the ghost of the Pumpkin Queen haunting the gate in her pumpkin patch, a few pumpkins already carved as jack o’ lanterns with flickering lights, even including an owl pumpkin. She appears in the distance, walking towards the gate, raising a big knife menacingly as she comes closer, but as she arrives at the gate, she bends down and starts carving one of the pumpkins in the pile…

The Living Room with Ergelise's portrait and the copper Verdigris shieldInside the house the big TV is now a wall portrait named Ergelise Queen of Verdigris at her piano, but every so often she moves, and sometimes turns around to play (click for video). You see her wearing an elaborate signet ring and a unique necklace of a copper dragon with a crystal orb. Other moving portraits are in the living 3 More Moving Portraitsroom (click for video), above the piano (click for video), above the dining table, and 3 on the wall in the hallway, but only some have nameplates. Above the fireplace is a copper & verdigris dragon shield that must be the Verdigris family crest, with a similar design in the
stained glass pantry door

The Ghost in the Bottle in the Library LaboratoryVenturing out into the Library Laboratory, on the table in the corner there is a large bottle on a stack of books that has a small ghost inside…it looks like she is laughing & toasting everyone, refilling her brass mug from a large bottle (click for video)

The Phantom of the Pipes taken by CatFarther out into the yard you hear pipe organ music coming from the chapel and the door is open so you peek in. You see the ghost of an 18th-century French style woman in elaborate white wig & tiara playing a somber tune on the pipe organ. She plays for awhile, turns to look over her shoulder, fades away, then reappears and begins to play again (click for video)

Trick or Treater pointing at a ghostWhen my friend who has attended 17 of my 19 annual parties arrived, she immediately said “I see what you mean by epic!” Everyone echoed her, which was extremely gratifying after so much work, and even trick or treaters on Halloween night were highly impressed, as you can hear in this video, even if you can’t see much… πŸ™‚

I know this was already a long post, but this is nowhere near the full story yet! Still to come are separate posts with details and behind the scenes how-tos about my Ghostly Guardian costume including the glowing fiber optic fabric cloak, the moving portraits, and each ghost, since the ghosts used so many different techniques. Stay tuned for those coming in the next couple weeks, and be sure to check out all the party & decor photos below!


This entry was posted in Halloween, Parties and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 − = seven