Jonathon's Closet

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why A Graveyard?

“Even with all the deaths you’ve experienced, you celebrate Halloween with a mock graveyard?”

3 folks have now asked this question and it’s a good question too, so here goes:

Yep, we sure do!

When I was a child, I always wanted to live in “that” house. You know the one – every neighborhood has one – where it looks like Halloween just crashed down from the sky and staged a hostile takeover of the entire property! My Mom was not a Halloween person. I can even recall her telling me to “get a marker and draw a face on that stupid pumpkin, the trick-or-treaters will be here any minute”. Yeah, we obviously weren’t “that” house!

When Don and I had just begun dating, we went to a nice Halloween party. We had fun. But that’s all it was – nice. Fun, but a little flat. And I learned that “fun but a little flat” is how his family celebrated Halloween. They carved pumpkins, made costumes, and went trick-or-treating as kids but that was it.

After we married we began throwing Halloween parties that could, well, wake the dead! We had property with an old barn on it and huge fields in which to park cars! The menu and costume planning would begin in August or September, and the creepy invitations would be delivered of course! We would hire a band and hire babysitters for the kids (on-site babysitting, in the loft of the barn!), and spend at least 2 weeks decorating!

We always grew a field of pumpkins and Don would carve about 75-100 of them (he’d have to start in early October to get them all done – we kept them in the spare fridge, in the garage where it was cooler, and also preserved their edges with Vaseline to keep them good!) His fingers were usually stained kind of orangish by Halloween night!

Around the barn was always our “graveyard” – filled with silly tombstones, scary tombstones, tombstones for literary characters, historical figures, and imaginary people. And sometimes our own stones, or those of our party guests! Our graveyard is just plain tradition!

The graveyard is smaller now and no longer accompanied by a rockin' party. This year’s graveyard contains the following tombstones:

Borden – rest in pieces
County Jail Mass Grave – here lie the souls of 10,000 murderers
Dear Aunt Sue – age 102 – only the good die young
Jonathon – Boy Scout – accidentally hung himself while learning knot tying
Here lies Ned – Ned is dead – a great big rock fell on his head
Count Dracula – oops! Bad Blood!
Here lies Les Moore - took a slug from a .44 - No Les, no more.

And about a dozen more! (And for those who wonder – No, my husband’s “grave” isn’t in the front yard this year - although he would’ve loved it!)

So, why a graveyard? Because it's good scary fun for the kids, it's tradition, and it's, well, Halloween!


  • I think it's great that you both can still look at death and see the .... humor... I guess.
    My SIL Tabitha loved Halloween. She would be thrilled to have a grave stone with her name on it. She was very morbid like that. Halloween 2004 was literally her last day alive as she died in the morning on Nov 1. So she spent her last day on earth celebrating her favorite day of the year trick or treating with her daughter... who was dressed like Grim (from Grim Adventures on Cartoon Network)

    By Blogger Chaos Mommy, at 8:15 AM  

  • Its nice to keep tradition alive and remember the times that you had. Plus you are still making memories and you will rememeber these times too.

    Take care xx

    By Blogger Britmum, at 11:12 AM  

  • I would love to be 'that family'- growing up I loved going tot he houses that really did Halloween. Keeping the tradition going is a wonderful thing!

    By Anonymous Jen-Again, at 11:38 AM  

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