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front view This was the most involved and detailed excessive decoration, and as it progressed over a couple weeks, the neighbors loved it. Rowland piled layers and mounds of dirt and sand across the driveway, dug from a hole in the backyard. A path was outlined with branches, and the rest covered in a month's worth of grass clippings, with taller grass from our front flowerbed added to accent some areas.

Arranged within this were a bird-bath statue, a shovel and sixteen headstones of various shapes and sizes that he'd formed cement bases for so they would stand freely. Some were labeled R.I.P., others were blank, and four had names: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Elvis.

Around the protruding air-conditioner on one side, and the neighbor's gas meter on the other, two fake trees were constructed. This was done by first erecting a wooden trunk with rows of nails along it, nailed to the eaves of the houses. From the nails, wire was pointed out in various directions for branches, and the whole thing was wrapped in crumpled, brown butcher's paper that was then textured with black spray-paint.

rear viewFinally, through vents on the side of the house, we had a very slow strobe light and a rented fog machine, under the house so that no one could damage them. Since we would have no access to them once started, in an attempt to guarantee we didn't run out of fog throughout the night, the timer was set at minimum. This turned out to be too conservative, and it was shut off early anyhow, so in the morning we realized we'd barely used any of the liquid.

At the end of the graveyard we had a black tarp curtain hung to block the light from the courtyard. Throughout the night, this provided a dark area for some of the hornier guests to make use of. By the end of the party, the inevitable trampling had utterly destroyed the entire thing, with only two headstones left undamaged. Gloria was rather perturbed at the destruction of her former statue.

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

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