something wicked this way comes

it’s that time of year again, when goblins big and small roam the streets

haunting us for treats as a payoff for not playing tricks

to add to the oddity of the holiday, in our city trick or treat is not on halloween, but on the sunday before (i know, don’t get me started; some years we are handing out candy six days before the holiday, grumble, grumble).

for two hours we are inundated with all manner of costumed creatures, traipsing up and down the block—we love it. the kids like our house well enough, but they love our neighbor bret’s house.

well, who wouldn’t?? it’s AWESOME.
first of all there’s bret, who stands outside all day to greet new arrivals. actually, bret spends part of every day outside talking to passersby—that’s just his way. he’s our mayor, so to speak.

every character, from the gently swaying friendly ghosts that hang at baby backpack height

to the ghoulish and gory stuff placed further down

is set there to thrill, scare, and entice the neighborhood kids.

bret’s house is where it’s at for the whole month of october—they can’t get enough of it.

and he enjoys it as much as the kids do—every year he creates a different arrangement of the previously-used stuff

and then he adds something new. this year is was a remote control rat that ran out of his curbside plantings and into the path of parents

causing them to scurry for safety while himself roared with laughter each and every time. he cracks us up that way.

my favorite new thing is this skeleton that appears to be climbing out of the climbing porch vines

but i’m also super-smitten with the decorations up on the porch itself, like this crazed bat troll that hangs from his feet over the stoop

and this hairy spider on the bench, hee-hee.

ok, now, are you ready to take a nighttime tour? i know you’ve been waiting.

night is when the scene over there comes alive, with lights everywhere and little ghosts appearing out of the dark to bob around your head

strobe lights on the porch and uplighting at lawn level are magnified by strategically placed mirrors so that the whole scene flashes and glows as if it’s being viewed form the very pit of hell.

bret doesn’t miss an opportunity to make it as real as possible—none of these items are treated like props. if you peek inside a box

or behind a tattered skirt

you’re going to see that thing you are dreading

maybe coming right up out of the ground near your feet.

if you dare to venture up the walkway, you’ll be further spooked by the presence of things you probably didn’t even notice in the daylight—like the creepy ghoul that lives in the outhouse

or the lost and wandering ohio state fan who somehow got trapped forever in bret’s halloween tableau

relegated to a fate worse than death?
hmm, maybe not—the kids, after all, love it

in the light, the spider web glitters with something sticky, while a nearby dark force hovers at the edge of those climbing vines along with the skeleton, waiting to pounce and grab

back on the front sidewalk, a last look reveals heads on stakes behind the central grouping of figures, shudder.

yes, better to back away and look at it all form a safe distance, like from the warm, bright inside of my own locked house.

happy halloween everyone!

20 Responses to “something wicked this way comes”

  1. Donna says:

    YAY!! I’ve been waiting for this post! What wonderful spirit Bret has!!

  2. Luisa says:

    I knew this was coming! Anne, I bet you never get bored! Happy Halloween!

  3. mkg says:

    Wow. Ya gotta love the remote-controlled rat!

  4. Wow! What a fun neighbor and neighborhood!

  5. Josée says:

    Now that is an impressive display!

  6. Norfolkknitter says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one too! :-) What fun!

  7. Cindy says:

    WOW that is some dedicated Halloween enthusiast!

    love neighbors like that!

    I live in fuddy duddy land and no one does much on our street.
    us included!

    I baked! woo hoo!

  8. Nancy says:

    Wow, impressive; some people have a lot of time

  9. josiekitten says:

    He is one crazy guy! I love the illuminated ghosts!! Happy Halloween to you too!

  10. Mary says:

    I so look forward to this post! The snow took a toll on the decorations around here-so sad. At least the weather today has much improved.

  11. Pat S. says:

    Every year I look forward to the Bret post. Thanks, Anne!

    PS – Manchester NH also observed Halloween the Sunday before until this year, when (due to so many of us protesting for so many years) it was scheduled for Halloween night. However, it has now been postponed until next Sat. because of a nor’easter that dumped over a foot of heavy wet snow on us, taking down trees and power lines and making it unsafe for the kiddies to have their Halloween trick-or-treat. Some trick!

  12. Bobbie in AK says:

    Love this yearly post! My DD is going trick-or-treating for the first time in our neighborhood. We now have street lights after many, many years of total darkness. And of course, we have our Halloween snow – thanks to Mother Nature’s gift Sunday morning.

    Is there a particular reason T or T isn’t allowed on Halloween?

  13. Dianne says:

    Your neighbor puts on a great show! I look forward to you pictures every year. Our trick or treat was last night. It was a little tricky as our power was still out here in NH, but lots of little ones still knocked on my door :-)

  14. KatJ says:

    It’s wonderful to see someone enjoying Halloween so much. I’ll admit it’s not my all-time favorite holiday, but I sure love seeing pictures of your neighbor’s yard and decorations.

  15. Torre says:

    Love seeing this post every year – what a great job your neighbor does! Very spooky

  16. Wendy says:

    Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I also look forward to this post every year. Your neighbor is quite a guy, and your photos are wonderful. Thanks, Anne!

  17. Kim says:

    The best part of coming to your house in October is seeing Bret’s Halloween house! (aside from seeing you and David of course. . . .)

  18. Jo Morgan says:

    thank goodness for the Bret in every neighborhood! I love that your trick or treaters are travelling during the day–they wait until dark here and it seems more difficult to enjoy the costumes and fun!

  19. Lisa in Toronto says:

    I found it interesting kids trick-or-treat in the daytime near you.
    In my area of Toronto kids wait until it is about 6:30pm and dark – so the pumpkins can be lit. Also the combination of porch light and lit pumpkin mean there is candy to be had. Dark porch or no pumpkin mean no candy.
    thanks for the photos!

  20. twinsetellen says:

    With the season that Ohio State is having this year, no wonder that fan looks anguished.

    One of the highlights of moving from Ohio to MN was to get to do trick or treating on Hallowe’en again, instead of on Beggars Night. I am in complete agreement with your dislike of that approach. Getting to visit Bret’s yard does a lot to make up for it!