Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I used to have a massive haul of Halloween decorations which I would use to decorate my bedroom - I had major lighting effects ( a strobe, black light, lava lamp, plasma lightning ball), a full scale glow in the dark skeletons and a very cool blacklight sensitive skull, tombstones, spiderwebs, eyeballs - I even had a fog machine. I cut out paper ghosts and string them to the blades of my ceiling fan and set it on low so they'd fly around the room. When I went away to college, I decked out my dorm room for the holiday - and then my hallway when I worked as an RA. When I was a band director, I threw a Halloween party for my HS band kids at the school one year and used all the same decor. I LOVE Halloween. I love the haunted houses, the costumes, the scary stories and local legends. It is the most creative holiday - you can be whatever you want to be, and the whole thing is like a pass from reality.
Pickle was never the biggest Halloween lover (not much into costumes or being scared...though he is a big fan of the candy!), but he has definitely gotten on board with more of the holiday since we've been together. One of the first activities we actually did when we started dating was carve jack-o-lanterns, and we've held up the tradition every year since. Though Halloween is not NEARLY as big a deal here in Australia as it is in the US, we managed to call around and locate 2 "Halloween" pumpkins from a Woolies near our campus. They reserved them for us, as they were the only ones they had, and when we picked them up, they garnered a lot of attention. The sweet old man behind me in line noted that I could make a LOT of pumpkin soup with my purchase. We didn't have pumpkin soup, but we had the only jack-o-lanters I've seen this entire season...
Since we bought a pack of tea lights and a lighter, we also grabbed some marshmallows (we couldn't find plain ones, so we just picked them out of a mixed bag with raspberry flavored mallows), chocolate (no Hershey here, so we had to go fancy), and, since we don't have graham crackers in Australia, we picked up some not-too-sweet-but-not-savory (i.e., cookie-ish) biscuits. (This is our dilemma every time we try to cook/bake anything here, by the way.) We made ourselves a little table-top "bonfire", put our takeaway chopstick stash to good use and had some s'mores.
Luna Park was having a two-night Hallowscream event, so we bought tickets and went all in with the face painting. Pickle was a trooper, and he actually ended up really digging our costumes. I didn't let him see his face until I was finished, and when he looked in the mirror, he was pretty stunned....he kept going back to the bedroom to stare at himself! The Hallowscream event itself was more of a spectacle to see than anything. The entrance to Luna Park - a gigantic looming clown face - is horrifying enough during the day, let alone at night with special lighting, fog and demented carnival music. The park was constructed in 1935 and is located on the water down by the Harbour bridge. This is no big corporate theme park - in fact, it looks like not much has been updated since 1935, which is not so thrilling in terms of rides and attractions, but is awesome when you're going for the whole haunted carnival effect. (Picture an entire theme park built around the Zoltar machine from the movie "Big".) The place has quite the history, as it's been shut down and reopened numerous times. In 1979, a ride called the Ghost Train caught fire and the bodies of 6 children and 1 adult were found in the rubble. In 1980, everything that couldn't be sold at auction (besides the Face at the entrance and the two oldest sections built in 1935, Crystal Palace and Coney Island), were bulldozed and burnt to the ground in order to rebuild. These still remain in the park today. It's one of two amusement parks in the world to be protected by government legislation. The venue's history definitely lent an aire of authenticity to the haunted old amusement park vibe!
The pics from the park aren't all the greatest, as we had to use the Pickle's iPhone and it doesn't always fare well in low light situations. We took some at home in costume though, and I had some fun with photo editing...
It was a certainly a Happy Halloween here in Sydney!