Halloween in Hyde Park, 2016

Once again this year, we gave out candy at our house for Halloween. And then around 7:30PM (before the event officially ended), we made our way to Harper Avenue for their annual display of Halloween awesomeness.

On arriving, Liz and I were surprised at how few people we saw. Last year, it was teeming with people. As we made our way further in, we saw more and more. But it felt like there were tons more folks out at this time, last year.

Nearly every house along the block was decorated. It was interesting to note how some houses chose to block off access to their doors through the use of decorations.

Because this year’s election isn’t scary enough…

Lots of scary porches. Dig the use of a custom animation and computer screen, on the left.

Table for two.

Giant spider (which would ranodmly rotate its head, side to side). Really kind of awesome.

Fiery cauldron in the yard. We didn’t see it on our first pass, but in walking back there was a small fog machine that went off, filling the lawn and sidewalk.

// Edit: Randomly, while walking through the street, I ran into my old workmate Mark! I met his wife and kids briefly, and we chatted a bit about the different houses we had seen. A fun and entirely unexpected encounter.

There was mention of some of the houses letting people through, so perhaps that’s something we can arrive earlier for, next year.

A cool, custom mask that I couldn’t quite see or photograph 100%. Looked like it was built from a ton of robot spare parts.

The main “attraction” this year was some kind of giant wasp nest (or, more accurately, a giant killer wasp nest). Do those even exist?

Well, they did on this street. Complete with a microphone broadcasting someone’s periodic “buzzing” noises.

I didn’t get much of a look inside, but my guess is that this was more of an interactive setup – where kids could crawl around inside. As always, there was a huge line.

Not one but two robotic chesire cats, with rotating heads.

Cool light beacon.

This house mostly just used string lights, but it made for a neat effect.

Various faces, and a sign indicating they’d run out of candy. The mummy looks a little nervous and sad.

More giant spiders. I overheard one mother say to her kid “You’re dressed as Spiderman! This is your house!”

Not sure why my camera behaved in this way, but the extra streaks are part of the photo.

Back at our place, we went across the street to check out the neighbor’s house. Like last year, they set up a fake cornfield and had loud music (with scary noises) playing all night.

Hard to see, but there’s a person dressed as an actual scarecrow who stands in the field. He’s motionless for a while, then slowly gets off a post and starts walking towards people who’ve gotten candy from the porch.

While we were in our house giving out candy, we would oftentimes hear lots of screaming. Sometimes, it would be kids who be actually crying. Othertimes, it was adults who were letting loose with some genuine shrieks of terror. Liz and I cracked up a lot, every time this happened.

A view of the porch, by the cornfield. I was watching one kid work up the courage to go up there, while her father was standing near me on the sidewalk, laughing fit to burst. He kept saying “Go on, it’s ok” but kept laughing. I mentioned that here, kids “really had to work for the candy” and he agreed.

This year, we went through three jumbo bags of “snack-sized” candies (and spent about $45 on it). I was giving away 2-3 pieces per kid at first, until Liz reminded me we needed to ration. I switched to giving one piece per kid, and that felt kind of wrong for a while. It made sense, as we barely made it through the evening – but it just didn’t seem like enough (they weren’t the “mini” size, but the next step up).

Had we stayed at the house instead of visiting Harper Avenue, we definitely would have run out of candy. Next year, Liz had a good suggestion: we get home early, check out Harper Ave first, then stay at our place the remainder of the night.

We talked a bit more about decorations for next year. Still trying to get myself back in the mood again, but we did discuss a few plans for making our place more interactive/fun.

Halloween in Hyde Park, 2015

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