Haunted Yard

Some neighbors a few blocks away put up a lot of house and yard decorations for most of the major holdiays. They had lots of lights at Christmas and some figures at Easter. Now they are going all out for Halloween, with a big banner that reads “Haunted Yard.”

At first they only put up the skeletons and gallows (and guillotine for us francophiles) and made it look like a graveyard. They lit it up with some lights, and I thought they had already done too much work, considering how much I like Halloween:

A make-believe graveyard at dusk in somebody

But then today, they filled the yard with grotesquely costumed mannequins all over the yard. They set out several veritable dioramas of witches, monsters, and ghouls. I talked to a lady working on the setup, and she said they invite people to come and walk through. There was also a large awning tent covered in black plastic, and I gather they have some sort of haunted house set up in there with spaghetti guts and grape eyeballs to feel:

Daytime view of the same yard with even more figures being set up

It’s late already, but if you want to see it, it’s on Lanakila Street in the Wailua Houselots. It must be a success because we can actually hear people screaming over in that direction!

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  1. Mark says:

    Is the blue in the first photo here the real color of the sky then? Wow!

  2. Andy says:

    It is real, but the long camera exposure does make it a richer color than you would see in person. Dusk is a better time to take “nighttime” photos than after dark. Lights are already on, but there is still enough daylight to catch silhouettes and see some details in the shadow. For the real Halloween effect, I should’ve waited 15 minutes for the sky to be darker on the exposure chosen by the camera.

  3. Andy says:

    As an example of how to successfully take a photo at dusk, please see this magnificent, professional quality panorama of Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

  4. Jim says:

    I learned the origin of Hollowe’en and costumes this year. For 63 years I thought it was just to get candy when you are young. But no. I was told it was an attempt by the superstitious (mostly in England) to disguise themselves to be indistinguishable from the dead things they expected to walk the earth the next day, all souls day. The idea being if you looked like them you were safe from them, they were looking for live people.

  5. Andy says:

    I think Halloween has some real and legitimate roots in the human psyche. Everyone has fears and it is good to face them or deal with them or trick them or whatever to deflate their importance. Many centuries ago, the main fear was death, it was all around and people knew that dying at 40 was not fun even if it was the average. Today, and this is why I think Halloween doesn’t work for me, our fears have changed and yet we cling to some ritualized fears that are close to becoming cultural neuroses (think yard decorating) and a bastardized mockery of death (think binge drinking).

    To get back to the original topic of why I think Halloween doesn’t fit with Hawaii, I advance the argument that those fears and rituals to deal with them were specific to Christian cultures of higher latttitudes (to group Europe and North America). The way in which Hawaiians dealt with death was different because the fears they faced in everyday life were less related to death in part because of the climate.

  6. Jim says:

    Ohh yeah, well i think halloween is kick ass and every single part of it makes me love it more. How can you go wrong getting candy and scaring people?

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