My Halloween Husband, My Haunted House

Almost eight years ago, when my husband and his ex-wife separated, he left their home and moved into a studio apartment.  While he admits that re-starting from scratch was partially freeing because he’d been so unhappy, it was difficult for him to give up his home and all of its contents, on top of his marriage and day-to-day access to his sons.  He felt like a failure.

So, when we moved into our home four years ago, he was deliriously happy—to be so content with his relationship with me and my son, then a newborn; to be within minutes of where his two sons lived with their mother; and to have a home that he loved.  And, ever since, he’s demonstrated his happiness and his pride in our house by going all-out with exterior Halloween and Christmas decorating.

We live in a 1920s Mediterranean-style house, and he is adamant about his outdoor decorations being as classy as he feels our house is.  Our neighbor across the street, a widowed woman in her 60s, describes his annual Halloween theme as “elegant goth.”

When she told us, he was so proud. 

The first Halloween that he decorated, he created a graveyard, complete with fog machines and sinister music to complete the effect. 


And, each year, he goes out into the tacky Halloween-store world with our sons to find an appropriate addition to his outdoor scene—a very serious expedition, for it’s nearly impossible to find high-quality, “elegant” Halloween décor. 

Over the years, he’s added skeletons, a bat, a vulture, signage.

Signage, Skeleton, Vulture

But, this year, he triumphed above all previous ones, in his view, because he found faux-stone gargoyles to display on top of our two front-porch stone planters.  But, he didn’t stop with the gargoyles:  He added spotlights specifically designed to make these gargoyles more frightening. 


He’s pretty much the cutest man in the world.  My husband, that is.  Not the gargoyle.

So, every year our house is haunted.  Every year, kids refuse to leave our yard, in awe of the sights, touching the skeletons, asking their parents if they’re real.  Parents admit to us that they feel like stalkers, spending night after night in our yard for the weeks that our decorations are up.

I say, “That’s what they’re there for.” 

But that’s only partially true.  They’re there because my husband is a little boy at heart, a little boy who wants our home to be a big, fun, spooky attraction not only for our sons, but also for every trick-or-treater who comes by tonight.

Full Gargoyle Shot

Me?  I’m in charge of candy procurement, and, every year, I buy bagsful, allowing each child to grab not just one piece, but a huge handful of treats.  The kids gush with thanks, as they say how cool our decorations are. 

I understand that a high-profile, haunted Halloween house can’t skimp on the handouts.

And, being pregnant, I’m more than willing to eat any leftovers.  Actually, I’m hoping for some.

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