Halloween 2010, Jake, Lexi, and Emily. My first Halloween display. Look in the Window…

I have loved Halloween for as long as I can remember. The earliest one I recall was when I was in kindergarten. I dressed up in a little red devil costume and enjoyed trick-or-treating.  

But, was in High School that my fascination with Halloween began. On a school trip, we got to spend one day in Disneyland. I didn’t know much about Disney other than the main characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, & Pluto. As I wandered into New Orleans Square, there it was: THE Haunted Mansion. In line, I was slowly drawn into the experience. The closer I got to the ride, the more immersive it became. Lights, Music, Costumes, Props, the Hilarious Tombstones, EVERYTHING! Even the smells. I’d been to amusement parks but I never felt like I was PART of the experience. 

Then, as a new dad and homeowner, it was time for me to start decorating the yard. It started simple, a couple of strobe lights and an inflatable pumpkin. Then I added a little music, our Karaoke machine hidden behind the inflatables.

My next trip to Disney was 15 years after the first one. I got to see the Disney World Haunted Mansion. The experience was even better than I had remembered. I noticed more of how all the little details made me forget I was in a theme park and pulled me deeper into the experience. The transitions between lands were seamless, you never really notice how or where it happens, but suddenly you’re in another world. 

Then came the movies: Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd; All the dark fun that is Tim Burton. I sliced and diced the music from those movies and created my own special Halloween soundtrack. I also bought a DVD with some “spooky” talking heads and put those into the window. It was a cool effect, and I LOVED seeing kids’ reactions to the heads.

Then in 2008, something BIG happened. I went to Disney World DURING Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This was THE game changer for me. I was like a little kid. All the things, music, lights, characters. Just amazing. That trip inspired me to make my Halloween display better. I moved my computer to the big window, connected it to that TV, and ran some cables to the yard to my new “Halloween” speakers. I created a loop of music and the video of the Halloween Heads to make my first actual Halloween show. 

From then to now, it’s been a fun ride. More to come….