The Lope: Trick or Treat

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

We wish you a Happy Halloween !

I love to combine Halloween with tiki stuff; here's a display I did in 2005. The mask is a Philippine "dragon mask" and, though I do love it for this sort of display, it has more to do with tourism than tradition.

And here is 2004. The mask is from "Aloha", a defunct Polynesian restaurant in Springfield, Missouri. It was made by the equally defunct "Orchids of Hawaii", a company that specialized in decor and barware for Polynesian-themed restaurants and bars. The Easter Island Moai was from Spencer Gifts.

This past year, I had the delightful opportunity to meet in Kansas City with other enthusiasts of tiki, mid-century architecture and miniature golf. Their company inspired a tale of tikis, mini-golf and supernatural mayhem, The Cautionary Tale of the Missionary's Grandson, which I posted in a thread over at, a meeting place for tikiphiles.

We like to be at least a wee bit literate here at the lope, and so for Halloween last year, we presented a few lines from Bram Stoker's Dracula (it was a book before the movie, you know) combined with appropriate scenes from Dracula's London

While across the pond, we encountered the werelopes of London.

Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a particularly good read right now. After all, it features the subtle invasion of the October people who ask: "when comes the storm?"

For Halloween of 2005, we attempted to explain Nosferatulope, not that we understand him ourselves.

The first inkling I saw of Halloween this year was this hay bale near Aulne, Kansas on September 19. Obviously. it was painted by enlightened folk.

For this year's Halloween display, I used a smaller Orchids of Hawaii mask, also from the defunct Aloha restaurant. The hot smoke rises too fast for my tastes in the cold air. There are ways to cool the smoke by moving it through an ice-filled chamber, but I have not tried any yet.

It is fairly easy to add light behind the openings of any mask. For this one, I cut and taped pieces of white paper towels behind the eyes for diffusion, and hung a 50 strand of orange twinkle lights behind. I find the lights easier to manage as a rectangular block, still fastened in the while plastic holder in which they come packaged.

The ghost is a point of purchase display sample pitched at 7-up by a holiday display manufacturer. There's nothing remarkable about it, however. The face is a common skull mask with hologram eyes and the body is cardboard with diaphanous white fabric. I got about a 10% scare ratio this year - one of ten kids was actually hesitant to approach the porch. That's about what I was shooting for; there should be a delicious creepyness in Halloween decor, even when you know it's all just plastic, cloth, wood, black light and smoke.

I am considering a Halloween-night blog project for next year and would value parental feedback. I'm thinking of doing "Trick-or-Treat Cam." I'd photograph all the costumed people coming to the porch and post them that night, sometimes even during breaks between visitors. I think it would be a great document of what was popular that year, but I can aslo see parents not being comfortable with someone parents don't know photographing their kids for the internet. Thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the werewolf photo. How did you get the hair on him -- or is he *real*?


Fri Nov 02, 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ace Jackalope said...

The werelope's hair is one of the following:

1. Yak hair painstakingly hand-applied by the ghost of Universal Pictures make-up wizard, Jack Pierce

2. Lycanthopic hair that grows on Ace when he has too many mai-tais

3. Ace was simply letting loose on vacation and hadn't trimmed in awhile.

4. All werelope hair was clone-stamped from pictures of either my brother or my girlfriend...which is kinda weird, really.

Tue Nov 06, 05:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Pierce applied yak hair? Neat!

Wed Nov 07, 10:12:00 PM  

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