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electric chairBehind the house, we have a deck surrounding a gazebo that encloses our spa. With the spa covered, Rowland placed a dummy in an electric chair in the gazebo, and completely surrounded it with various wires strung in every direction. This included two hanging black lights, and overhead a rapidly flashing strobe light to give the effect of him being shocked. To make it totally dark inside the gazebo for this effect to work, Dave and Rowland covered the whole thing with black tarp on all but the front side. Two large mirrors were placed behind the chair on angles to give more depth to the masses of wires and the lighting.

Madam ZeldaBeside the gazebo was Madam Zelda, which was our idea of a carnival-style fortune teller's booth. Patrick sprayed painted a refrigerator box black and cut a hole in the side. We put the bottom halfway up inside, arranged a dummy head and hands on a cardboard back, draped in various scarves and veils, and created a crystal ball using a slowly blinking blue light underneath a blue plastic globe, normally intended as a play thing for hamsters. Finally, the interior was spray painted silver. Underneath and out of site we put a cassette deck and had intended to have it play a variety of pre-recorded fortunes, but since no one ever got around to recording them, we ended up going with a cheesy recording of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart that we got for a quarter. It was spooky enough at low volume for a cool effect.

Finally, on a long table with black table cloth, black paper plates, black napkins and black plastic utensils, we had the food arranged. We put a sign Jami drew taped to the window above charting exactly what each item was and entitled it "Fresh Autopsy Snacks". The food, once again, was an edible dead body, and this year, though trying to be as detailed as last year, Robin and Rowland attempted to make it all more easily accessible and able to be served at room temperature. Here's the list:


The House The Graveyard
The Deck The Courtyard
The Yard The Garage
The Dungeon The Back

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