That's not what happened this year. After the Howl being a major part of our lives for the last 15 years or so, this year we backed off. Mutually the Sick Puppies (Jeff, Rob, Bob and myself) decided that we were officially burned out. Time to let someone else take over.
We still gave suggestions. Jeff did a lot of consulting, and finally couldn't stand it and built one scene. Bob and I helped a bit at the last with some decorating, and I got people into costumes. For the Howl itself, we opted to work the line, keeping the customers entertained while they waited. That's actually really fun--I get more scares on the line than I ever have on the Trail itself. That--and get our pictures taken a few dozen times. I did get a costume made to go with the Swamp Beast mask. (not obvious from the pictures, but I did made hooves (which meant wearing high heels, something I'm not used to) and the legs were padded to give that animal "backward knee" look. I was pleased to no end when I heard someone comment "how can they stand with their knees locked backward like that??"
Bob reprised his Spider Lamprey persona:
And yes, that will freak the hell out of people when it comes at them in the dark (I'm very pleased with that mask)
It felt good not to be exhausted, but a little strange and sad. We used to start coming up with ideas around - - - May. Start building in June. Lots of enthusiasm. But over the last several years we just sort of ran out of ideas. And energy. And there is that desire to do "even better" every year, with the constraint that we had to build from scratch (and then immediately tear it all down). It's just time to make room for something else in our lives (although Halloween will always be my precious and my biggest holiday. I just love the idea that people give into whimsy for one month of the year).
Oh--remember the Toucan mask? Laura made a costume to go with it. Maybe one year *I'll* go cute instead of creepy---yeah, no.