no rest for the wicked

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We opened last night. And, of course, Murphy’s Law dictated that I left my camera battery charging away in my bedroom. As such, I have no evidence of the glory that was my costumes. I’ll do my best to snap some tonight, though. (But seriously, fuck Murphy.)

I took these photos last week, but I haven’t had a single spare moment to edit and post them until now. “After Halloween” has become my stock answer when invited to do anything. From now until the 31st, I operate on three settings: work, haunt, sleep. Last night Josh and I stumbled in at around 1 (his haunt opened last night too), glanced at the pile of clothes on the bedroom floor – let’s be real, they’re mostly mine – and agreed “we’ll clean it up after Halloween.”

I wanted to show you guys what a haunt in progress looks like, though. To most people, haunted houses are perfectly polished spook, but it’s funny how normal it becomes when it’s your bread and butter. The unusual nature of the work kind of gets lost when you’re clomping around all “where’s that goddamn coffin?!” I suppose the same is true for any unusual occupation: our work looks exotic, but we’re just people. And I appreciate anything that humanizes the absurd and the larger than life.

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The Forest consists of a series of self-contained scenes all united by a single theme. This year’s is Merry Olde England; particularly inspired past themes include Twisted Fairy Tales and Creepy Carnival. Groups of audience members are led by cloaked guides through a meandering trail, with scenes installed along the way. Actors do each scene 40 times on a light night.

The entire Forest is lit by pumpkins, carved by a crack team of volunteers. That’s mine second from the right.

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Our venue serves as a series of bike trails for most of the year. During Forest time, the lodge’s racks of helmets and rows of spare tires are swapped out for greasepaint, pumpkins, and capes by the dozen.

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Our super haunted headquarters, filled with super haunted things like…uh, couches, and snacks, and floorboards.

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I love that I work in a place where no one bats an eye at this label.

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My super spooky sweater. One day I will own tacky sweaters for every holiday, even the obscure sectarian ones.

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I’d really like a pet ghost.

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It’s just like any other volunteer event, except for the coffin sneaking into the frame. No biggie.

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The wax museum is one of our classic scenes, though with content modified to fit each year’s theme. As this year’s theme is Merry Olde England, the museum features the first three wives of Henry VIII. I filled in last night as Catherine of Aragon, and I got a few good scares by periodically disrupting my frozen stature to beckon to the audience.

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It’s still running! Get tickets here.

not dead yet

Frolicking in a pretty dress between gravestones under a canopy of flowers encompasses, like, four of my favorite things. All I need now is a bowl of pad Thai and a few eyeballs.

Copyright Brent Gould 2013. Many more to come as I receive them.

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I’m a puddle. Or a mushroom.

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“Antebellum” is the word that comes to mind.

incantatrix VI

The only possible response.

~

Bonus pictures of my boyfriend, who I realized yesterday is basically a dead ringer for Inigo Montoya.

josh looks like inigo montoya

steampunk josh

Those were taken on a totally normal day, by the way. He loves dressing up as much as I do.

halloween the reboot: and you thought you could escape

If there’s one thing I know in this world, it’s that you – whoever you are – do not love ghoulies and ghosties and all manner of creepy-crawlies as much as my boyfriend and I do. We are hard. core. We do work at competing haunted houses, after all.

Yesterday was National Paranormal Day. In honor of the auspicious occasion, we attended a special-edition Queen City Ghostwalk. (I am such a goddamn Thea Lewis fangirl.) And, of course, I dressed the hell up. Less than six months until Halloween, you know. Time to start celebrating!

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I couldn’t find my bloody-skeleton hair clips, and I hated everything for a few minutes.

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“Vermont Spirits Detective Agency: Private Eye for Those Who’ve Died”

A couple Octobers ago, I attended a demonstration by VT Spirits, at which they went over some of their techniques and played footage from houses they’ve successfully exorcised. Now, I’ll say straight up that I’m not sure what I believe. As a religion major, I’ve found it most useful to keep my mouth shut and maintain agnosticism about spiritual matters. I’ve also found that my personal opinions on paranormal matters have absolutely no bearing on my ability to enjoy them. I appreciate the ability of a good ghost story to drag me out of my world and into its own. Does it matter if it really happened? That seems incidental to me.

Anyway, the point of this story is that I won a t-shirt and a book about haunted Burlington hotspots in the nightly raffle, and that incited my fangirl obsession with Thea Lewis. I wore that very shirt last night in hopes that she would remember me. She did. I squeed. Boyfriend and I lingered after the tour to talk to her, and I was doing my very best to stay collected.

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T-shirt: Raffle Skirt & Necklaces: Old Gold Skull Pendant: Battery Street Jeans Shoes: Gaiam Gloves: Gifted