Tim As Monk Reaching Out Front Door, Halloween, 2009

Halloween at the House in Manhattan Beach

Steve As the Red Devil, Halloween, 2009The devil’s mask was just too frightening for the younger children. It had to go, and it was much too hot. Then my standing on the balcony over the front door shooting silly string terrified a few unsuspecting parents. (I didn’t shoot the young children. Middle-aged children begged to be shot.)

The entrance to the house was also just a little too frightening for some of the younger children–that, I didn’t anticipate. Perhaps they found it scary because of the loud sound effects from the DVD playing in the lower main front window, or maybe it was just so busy with scary things: pots of fire, large hanging bats, a hanging mummy, tombstones, a spider skeleton (I didn’t know they had them either), a jar of eyeballs, chains, a giant rat, etc.

Unexpectedly, about half way through the evening, the fog machine set off the smoke alarms, adding even more drama to the scene. I then moved the fog machine to spray the fog out the front door.

Tim As Monk Reaching Out Front Door, Halloween, 2009Tim As Monk Reaching Out Front Door, Halloween, 2009 (Close Up)

Tim As Monk Hold Mummie Head, Halloween, 2009But many parents said the house won the award for best haunted house in the hood. In the beginning there was a large caldron full of candy–24 bags of candy. It was all gone by 8:30pm. Hundreds of children came by.

Favorite quotation from the night:

“What do you say honey.” after the child took candy from the caldron.

“May I have a fourth?” answered the child.

Clicking on any of the pictures will enlarge the shot. And, presented below, is a short video I shot of the DVD that was playing in the lower main front window of the house along the street where many children and adults stopped to watch. Showing the DVD, Hallowindow, while the haunted house was “open for business” was my favorite part of the evening. You can click on the movie to watch a brief excerpt, but to see the movie, visit Mark Gervais’ site. He really did an awesome job with these animations!