Thursday, October 31, 2019

It's Halloween Boys and Girls!

Growing up in New Zealand meant that Halloween was some strange, exotic and definitely foreign thing that we saw referenced in the cartoons we watched and read, as well as other TV shows. I have vivid memories of the Charlie Brown TV special that introduced Linus's sad dream of sitting in the pumpkin patch waiting for The Great Pumpkin to rise in order to bring presents to children.

Not until I got to live and work in the USA did I realise how big a thing it is and how much Americans, with their characteristic Joie De Vivre approach to life, get into it. It's not just for little kids.

But what has made me really laugh is the degree to which Halloween has become a thing here in NZ, at least in Auckland and Wellington.

Naturally my family is all into it, although with the kids being too old for Trick-or-Treating, it's slowing down a bit now as the burden falls more on me to prep the place.

You see it's not just the people who get into costume - it's the houses. Here's some of my faves:

The pirate ship crashing out of the garage is probably my No.1. The amount of work required is ... daunting. But these others aren't bad.

Stuck in my favourite decade!

I actually copied the UFO one as best I could a couple of years ago, with plywood, canvas and aluminium spray paint producing a good result, though I couldn't figure out how to build or find a clear, plastic dome for the centre of the spaceship.

Oh well!

Of course if you have an old-fashioned looking house then it makes things easier, especially in giving it that Monster House look.

But even modern houses can be made to look pretty cool, as the following  examples show.

And then there's the lawn art, which can be effectively and cheaply done with little more than black plastic bags, cardboard for fake gravestones, wire netting and so forth..
Lawn Ghost done with wire netting

Witches from Black Plastic & Op Shop stuff.

Right. Well having been inspired I'd better go get ours set up so the local kids will know where to go. Last year was a zero effort!
I figure the usual dry ice ready to go with hot water. The youngest is carving a pumpkin to sit atop one bowl on the porch so that gas will leak out through the eyeballs. Ghosts to float in the front yard and the usual gravestones - last year's still usable if beaten up.
I also have the stereo system set up in the front living room with all the horror noises ready to go at 45 on the Power Amp with the windows wide open. Chains sliding, wolves howling, Mad Scientists cackling, bells tolling,.....
The little ones can get a bit frightened but their parents, especially the Dads, love it. The teenage girls just scream.
Oh - and candy. Lots and lots of candy.
 …. Come in little ones. Be corrupted by America……
Heh, heh, heh.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

.....And on Halloween it's.....

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me-ee,

Happy birthday to me!

Hip ray, Hip ray, Hip ray.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Adolf

And enjoy a Waikato Halloween Tom.

Even though we’re out in the country locals do some limited trick or treating.


Tom Hunter said...

Have a place in The Big Smoke as well Paranormal - but you're likely to see the actual address and phone number soon at the rate things are going around here. 😂😂😂😂

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

3 Railway Cuttings East Cheam.......

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Time for reality check.....Halloween in 60's and 70's NZ was completely unknown. As kid who was pretty wild at times I never heard or saw anything to do with halloween, right up until 1968 it just did not happen....I left NZ for a couple of years and when I got back its still hadn't happened.

NZ did not get mass TV until 1961 and then it was only for the rich until about 1965 when the working class had a reasonable chance of buying one....we bought ours in in 1966......there were no kids cartoons in those days we had to do with Bill and Ben the flowerpot 1960's and 1970's NZTV programs

I have never seen a Charlie Brown Cartoon in NZ before the 80's and the Pumpkin Patch did not come out in the states until 1986....were you a late developer Tom or is your time machine in need of a tweak?

Tom Hunter said...

Yawn - back to your true beliefs about me eh?

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime time animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts....Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966, on CBS,

And here I thought you were supposed to be good at research.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Yup....I meant the certainly was not aired in NZ until the video turned up at Blockbuster 1986/7. Surely you can remember....there were no cartoons for kids AT ALL.

There was not even daytime TV until about 1979 maybe later...(Come in Dodger).

In February 1966 the average price of a 23-inch black and white television ‘consolette’ was £131, equivalent to nearly $5000 today. We scimped and saved to watch TV for five hours a night.

TV was deregulated in 1989 allowing companies to buy overseas content including Charlie Brown....prior to that all TV programs wee purchased by the Govt and they thought American cartoons were a bad influence on children.....boy did they have a point.

Your vivid memories are not as vivid as you imagine...were you really here aged 10.

Tom Hunter said...

there were no cartoons for kids AT ALL
There was not even daytime TV until about 1979 maybe later...

As I said the other day, you pull cast-iron assertions out of your butt, spray them with gilt paint and insist that everybody treat them like Gold.

I keep extending the benefit of the doubt to you in the hope that you'll one day be able to comment on my articles without this petty, bitter sniping - most of which feeds back to...

... were you really here aged 10.?...

... the conspiracy theory you just can't let go of.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

You mean arse.....and you weave little imaginary tales and expect everyone to think you are a Hans Christian Anderson and a jolly good fella.

Not petty sniping...just fact checking and yes sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes it's me and sometimes it's bad info.

However it beyond reasionable doubt that you never spent your informative years sitting around the family TV in NZ watching Charlie Brown in the 60's and 70's. comes Oddball to say he did.