The congregation and clergy of the church whose parking lot we have been using for our Haunted House for the past four years do not actually own the church, nor the parking lot. So we were sad to receive notice last April that the owner of the building had sold off half the parking lot and thru-way rights to a development company who are building a housing complex behind the current location of the church. The plan, we’ve been told, is to sell off the church and the remainder of the property next year to be developed into a second housing community depending on the success of the first one. With that in mind, I am sad to say that this is most likely the last year of our Haunted House.
We showed up at the church, soon after receiving notice, to dismantle the cemetery mausoleum. We built it our first year in the church playground, which ran parallel to the parking lot and had long before been overrun by berry bushes. After reclaiming much of the playground, we built the mausoleum and converted the playground into our zombie cemetery. It’s been standing alongside the parking lot ever since, so the congregation was probably happy to see it go after all these years.
Two weeks later, the building we’d used for Zombie Saloon and Haunted Bayou was torn down along with the picket fence and what was left behind of the playground. A storage building at the far end of the lot along with our shipping container storage bins were moved via bulldozer around the back of the church. And before the month was over, what was once a major piece of our Haunted House was bulldozed and cleared.
In late July, they started clearing trees, and by September, the new road had been cleared, graded, and compacted. No evidence remained that the area had once been inhabited by spooks and zombies.
The single advantage to this whole thing is that the Haunted House is visible from the main road for the first time ever. We decided to capitalize on this, and build our façade 30 feet forward from where we have built it in the past. This also allows us to use one of the few remaining trees as an anchor point for the opposite end of the façade since we no longer have the bayou building for this purpose.
Now we’ve got to figure out a decent design. We’ve lost 20 feet of width along the length of the parking lot but gained an extra 30 feet up front, so the house this year is going to be longer and narrower than ever before. We’re talking about using some of the space out behind the church, so we’ll have to see if that’s available or not, and if so, what we could do with it to affect the design.
Our fifth year of building the house may be our last, but it’s gotten bigger and better each year, and I expect the same this year! We’ve acquired quite a lot of really cool stuff over the years, so I’m not sure what we’re going to do with it all after this year, and I’m not sure how this change to our Haunt Space will affect the layout and design of this year’s house. But I do know that we’re not holding back, especially if this is to be our last year!
A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time… You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book, or achieve any number of goals… who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.
~ James Clear
Tags: Haunted House