Go big (and gross) or go home

My neighborhood, Portage Park, is serious about Halloween decorations. They should be put up early – there have been Halloween installations up since we moved in late September. They should be large. And they should be gruesome. Store bought or homemade, it makes no difference, but fake blood seem to be required. I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart would hate how Chicago does Halloween. Honestly, I’m not sure they are my favorite part of the neighborhood either, but I do like that they are everywhere. I don’t think Portland puts on a show like for Halloween. Am I wrong?

These blow up decorations are a favorite here. Whether making a constant whirring noise to stay full of air or collapsed on your front lawn, they spread Halloween cheer while killing your grass. I’m not sure whether the palm trees and lanterns in the background are setting the scene for the witch, or if they are one Chicagoan’s preemptive strike against the impending winter. Also, there’s a creepy Grim Reaper hanging out on the porch upstairs. I’m not committed enough to Halloween decor to walk past that dude everyday for two months.

But whoever set this yard up wouldn’t even think twice about it.

I hope this is the yard of a Halloween lover. I admire their spirit and their substantial collection of rubber body parts, but I wish they would embrace the less graphically dead aspects of Halloween. You know, cauldrons and brooms, black cats, full moons, candy.

Is this a gremlin? I wonder how much you pay for a life size, winged gremlin. Probably too much.

There are at least four disembodied heads in this tree. And a python. Plus three skeletons. All within about ten square feet of yard.

Could that barbed wire box be for gardening? Or is it just adding to the generally creepy vibe?

This from a house in Pilsen, which is roughly one million miles away from where I live. See the lengths I go to for this blog? This is actually my favorite decoration so far. I think I like it so much because it’s so specific and vague at the same time. How did the monster die? His body parts failed. How did they fail? They fell off, of course. Which body parts? I don’t know. All of them, I guess… Where was the monster from? Transylvannia. Huh. Where’s that? Olde Europe. How old is olde? Very. When did he die? In 1902, when Europe was olde.

Our halloween decoration are out of step with the neighborhood mainly because they are so cute. We’re saving our festive energy for Christmas. Awesome pumpkin by John, awesome plastic canvas Boo Cat by John’s grandma, and awesomely bad photography by me.



Happy Halloween!


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