With only hours to go before the big night, we began erecting the mausoleum. We added a lot of the final touches as we worked, cutting foam to its final size, touching up paint, etc., and by the time it started getting dark, we had the mausoleum constructed. It can only be described as awesome. This mausoleum will be dark inside, which is a trick considering we have a bright street lamp right in front of our house. With a flickering flame light going, the interior of that mausoleum is creepy and dim.
There are corpses in the crypts now, along with individual LED-based lighting for each crypt. Some glow with a reddish hue, others green, others yellow. All are awesomely creepy when you open those doors. It is going to be a simple matter to scare people with this setup, because this thing is creepy in daylight.
We also got our black light puppet show stage built and the action blocked out. The new story is notably better than last year's, it's shorter, and has some great looking special effects that really add a lot to the show. This year, we get to witness an actual magical battle between Sarita and Marius, and the spell effects, simple as they are, just look great. And the two new characters are super-creepy.
Finally, we had our second annual Pumpkin Glow tonight, where we invite all the neighbors to bring their Jack-O-Lanterns and have local retirees judge them in various categories for prize giveaways. We had double the number of pumpkins this year, and we had some stunning work to enjoy. But the competition was secondary to the simple fact that these events seem to really get the neighbors to connect with each other. Everyone was laughing and talking - the neighbors all came out and seemed to have a really good time. It's really great to see the effect our work is having on bringing people together.
Speaking of people, I want to say again what a great set of volunteers we have this year. I couldn't ask for a more talented, dedicated, and generous crowd. About twenty people came out here and worked until they were exhausted, and then turned around and worked more. One has even volunteered to sleep in the mausoleum tonight to guard against vandals. What a great, great bunch.
I've uploaded a lot of photos of the mausoleum, mausoleum construction, and all the pumpkin glow entries to my Halloween flickr set.