Sunday, October 30, 2011
The party featured "trunk-or-treat" for the young kids, where parishioners decorated their cars and had treats to hand out. Not bad - there were some 20 to 30 cars, whch meant a lot of candy for the trick-or-treaters.
After that, we had a easy dinner for all of hot dogs, chips, and chili, and a "safe" hayride for the little kids. But really, what people wanted to see was when night fell and the "big kid" ride started: our Haunted Hayride!
Some background: in late September, our pastor asked high school students and their parents to attend a meeting to start a Youth Group. I went with my high school freshman daughter, Katherine (that is her in the picture above, on the right). At that meeting, the Youth Group committed to putting on the Haunted Hayride. Not much time to get things together, but . . they did it.
With help from the Mens Group, these kids mapped out a story along the trail on bthe back part of the church property:
Scene 1 - cemetery with the Grim Reaper warning the people on the wagon not to go any further, or one of them would die. I played that part - as a freeze was expected in Eastern Tennessee that night, I was a rather pudgy Grim Reaper given my multiple layers of clothing.
Scene 2 - ruined Boy Scout camp. Body parts strewn. Dazed and shaken survivors (lucky parents - they built a campfire that kept them warm) saying "he" had come out of the woods and it all happened so fast. Meanwhile, the Mens Group had rigged up a narrative on a computer, with speakers, on the wagon. Our local troop did the wrecked camp; one Scout proudly showed me the severed hand reching for the manual on how to control severe bleeding. Nice.
Scene 3 - the riders learn that a local man was falsely accused of the death of the Scouts and lynched by a mob. Scaffold with hanging dummy. Thank the Mens Group for building that.
Scene 4 - accused man's crazy mother in a rocking chair, telling the rides they killed her baby and laying a curse on them. The mom playing that had on long johns, multiple layers, and a lap robe, lucky woman. I loved the fake crow she found and glued to her shoulder.
Scene 5 - the drag off! Unbeknownst to the riders, the young (and not so heavy) child sitting at the very back of the wagon was a "plant", one of the teens' younger siblings. As the wagon approched this scene, two girls with creepy masks stood silently to the left while music played. This distracted the riders, so that two teens in hockey masks appraoched on the right . . . and as one grabbed the plant - who was instructed to scream as loud as they could - the other brandished a chain saw (chain taken off for safety), meancing the riders. Screaming heard.
Scene 6 - one of the surviving Boy Scouts was there . . . but he had gone mad. Sitting at a sort of Mad Hatter tea party with two puppets, he chastises one when it "reveals" the imminent danger ahead.
Scene 7 - the grand finale. Highway flares are set off and lights blink . . . and as the wagon stops, the teems emerge from the wood line as zombies. Hungry zombies. They lurch towards the riders and chainsaw boy appears again. Just as it seems the zombies will attack the wagon - it pulls off and heads back to the safety of the parish picnic area.
Cool, huh? I was too busy to take many pictures but more can be seen here.