Halloween Village or Spooky Town for Tabletop Ghouls
Halloween treats and tricks entertain adults as much as children, perhaps more, just don't let the kids know. One of life's little disappointments came when it was explained that adults don't dress up for Halloween. One of life's greatest pleasures came when that statement was proven false. Not only can we dress up for parties and for greeting trick or treaters, but we can also create our own Haunted spaces. Some opt for entire rooms or houses, some like myself create small scenarios using ceramic houses and a variety of accessories.
Using buildings from Department 56 and Lemax makes it possible to create an eerie, moderately spooky, or fall-harvest scene on a small table or as part of a large display. I'm not concerned about mixing the two - my goal is for effect rather than 100% matching scale.
Sometimes the little accessories make a difference
Department 56 Fifty Six Street Lights Department 56 Street Lights are perfectly scaled for their ceramic Village displays, this is durable and can be powered by batteries or an optional adapter. It's eerie and elegant.
Set the mood with a couple lit houses
Consider your theme. Do you want an urban theme, a rural farm setting, a marine setting with pirate ship, or a fantasy spooky setting. I have a Monster Ball building with spooky couples dancing in circles around a moving floor and I have a Mausoleum where creatures slip in and out of doors and caskets open and shut. Both are incredibly noisy. If you want the noise, but not all the time, make sure that your house has a separate control for sounds where it can be turned off or the volume can be turned down. I prefer Lemax buildings mostly because they have more animation, lights, strange features and noise. There are also buildings that are exquisite with incredible detail but have only lights.
Lemax Spookytown Witch's Brew Haus Halloween only comes once a year so make the most of it. The Witches Brew Haus can last a lifetime (with care) and will create some memorable moments. This is well crafted, creative, and will last years if cared for and repackaged after every Halloween.
Behind the Scenes
It is possible to choreograph the lighting by using accessory lighting systems from Department 56 and/or Lemax Village. If you only have one or two buildings and one or two lit accessories, it's not worth the cost. Once you begin to light multiple buildings and power the sound in those buildings, plus you begin to power accessories and you want them all on timers, it's worth the time and cost to look into system lighting. Both have an extensive selection and both Department 56 and Lemax systems are available at other locations. Know that this exists and shop around for the best prices.
Lemax Sticky Max was my best find in 2009. Department 56 also has a sticky wax. These keep your street lights vertical and your figurines in place. This is especially important if you have wood floors and children or dogs that run past your displays.
All Haunted Villages look best in the dark
When the sun disappears
and the moon comes out
ghouls and goblins
come out to play
Decorating for Halloween has become widely accepted. The proof is found when walking through neighborhoods -- it's not unusual to see houses with spooky lighting and spider webs draped from tree to tree. We've moved far beyond the simple act of placing pumpkins in front. Decorating inside the house has also moved beyond placing a fake skeleton on a chair with its hand in a bowl of candy. Consider a small haunted village display on a table top. Begin small and build around it each year. Watch for sales and have fun. This guide merely scratches the surface of some wicked decor.
Joined:Jul 19, 2005
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