After moving to New Mexico, we found that our new home was just as infested with otherworldly spirits, perhaps moreso. We experienced strange occurrences in the night, and stumbled upon arcane artifacts in the dusty corners. That's when we realized that nearby was a graveyard on our property, filled with the restless dead. This one was even larger than the graveyard on our previous property, which seemed to be an evil omen for things to come.
As All Hallow's Eve approached, it became clear that our new domicile was home to none other than the infamous Carnival of Souls, and indeed, as that fateful night arrived, the minions of the dark spewed forth, and held a "swinging wake" right in our front yard.
Suddenly, the town's children, as if mesmerized by the spectral lights, began to gather in our midst. Lured to the festivities by sinister carnival games and the promise of toys and candy, the children came from miles around to take part in the nightmarish rituals.
Sinister carnies emerged out of the darkness to man the carnival games, and to our surprise, the children delighted at their macabre attractions.
"Help me make rat stew!" one would announce, cajoling the innocent youth into tossing live rats into bubbling cauldrons. "Become the master of the rings!" another would cry, encouraging the children to hurl magic rings of gold into a glowing boneyard.
One brave child, when told to toss the rat from afar, defied the instructions of the surly carnies, and boldly walked up to the cauldron to ensure success at her task (much to the dismay of the poor rodent!).
Another child, more than a mere visitor, was seen manning the boneyard attraction. What was more hideous - the children playing those chilling games or the thought of children actually orchestrating the games - I cannot say, but I felt the chords of my sanity strain upon seeing this terrible scene.
Though my hands trembled in fear, I managed to capture one of the carnies on my camera as he turned to me, teeth bared in a clear warning not to interfere with their actions. My blood ran like ice in my veins, and I backed away from his intent, piercing stare.
Nearby was a somber gypsy tent, where Madame Leota foretold whatever destiny lurked ahead for these children. The only light in her exotic domicile was the eerie glow from her crystal ball, which she would peer into to gain secrets from beyond the veil. The children sat mesmerized by the woman's prophecies and foretellings, as she told them of the great and wonderful things they would accomplish in the future ... should they survive the night.
As the night wore on, I witnessed a sinister meeting between Madame Leota and the mad scientist from up on the hill. What machinations could these two possibly be brewing?
Drawing near to the house, I discovered that the most hideous apparition of all had stepped forth from the realms of the dead: a skeletal bride, returned from the grave to seek the groom who left her to die on the altar long ago! A horrible light throbbed from under her chest, where her broken heart once was. Beckoning to me, she reached out to collect me in her cold embrace, but I managed to evade her bony claws.
As I ran from that horrible corpse, I came face-to-face with a strange artifact we had found in our new home - a tall, ornate mirror mounted on the wall above a dried-out lion's head fountain. Normally, we saw our own faces in the mirror, but on this night, it was a different face looking back! It was a magic mirror.
What sinister magic fueled this arcane creature? Perhaps we shall never know, but one thing is certain: the children were fascinated by it. One by one, they approached for their audience with the magic mirror. It spoke to them with a booming voice, and offered them tantalizing rewards for some unknown purpose. I looked into the eyes of those children as they left. I can only wonder what price they must pay for this gift from beyond, and pray that it is not something too horrifying to imagine.
(You can recreate this effect in your own front yard.)
All this was too much for us to withstand. As the otherworldly revellers reached their peak, we turned and fled. But the worst scare was in store for us after we had reached safety. You see, as we ran, our camera accidentally went off, and only the next day, when we had the film developed, did we realize the true danger we had been in, for in the final photo of the evening, lurking in the background, was a huge spider that had been bearing down upon us! Fully eight feet from spidery head to spider toe, it had already claimed one victim, and we were to be next! Thankfully, we hadn't seen it, for I am certain if I had witnessed the thing with my own eyes, I would have frozen on the spot and become a meal for the gargantuan arachnid. Truly, providence was smiling down on us that night.
But what is in store for us next Halloween? That's a question for another time. Until then, Happy Halloween from all of us at ImaginEERIEing!
In addition to all the setup, construction, and clean-up tasks, we'd like to thank the following people for their special character roles:
(Sorry, guys, if you didn't show up in a photo! A lot of my photos didn't come out...)