Back Yard Bone Yard
I had several ideas for the back yard before the Halloween party, but I won't tell you about those yet (because maybe I'll put them to use another year), but among all the decorations I borrowed from Shanna were a lot of grave stones and bones.  You've seen my front yard; I already had a graveyard out there as well.  It was too late to resort to cremation, so I expanded it on into the back yard as well.

Styrofoam grave"stones" this thin don't necessarily stand up very well.  However, Shanna uses snipped sections of wire clothes hangers (white) and metal "T"s (black) as mini-stakes and feet, respectively.  I cut up another couple clothes hangers to supplement what she had made already.

Nice spacing, but it's a little too manicured and monotonous to look haunted, right?

Next I added a shovel because that's almost like saying, "Oh, there's room for more.  Just you wait."

Being the eco-freak I am, I don't put cuttings on the curb for the garbage man but rather in a pile in a corner of the yard.  I drug a few of the limbs out...

...and placed them between, behind, and alongside the rows.  The pug really sets the scene though.

I came across this ax at Kristin's while helping her move.  "Yeah, you can borrow it," she said.  The stump was a freebie I found on Craigslist.

Oh, but we aren't finished yet...

See, if you've got an ax to grind, you need to surround the chopping block with severed heads.  These were in Shanna's collection as well, but I didn't have any idea what else to do with them.

The one on the stake at one on the left is filled was originally too top-heavy.  It was a hollow plastic pole so someone filled it with metal screws to compensate.

Night mode shot.

Wide shot.

The aftermath: All packed up.  The wind picked up right before a thunderstorm, so I ran out and gathered up the gravestones and bones before it poured, only to find this sight when I came back with on the porch with the last of it.

He's actually lying on the styrofoam bones.  Who knew stupid could be this cute?

2010 Additions
I didn't do anything different with the back yard graveyard this year other than the use the original tombstones back here since the saucer crashed in the front yard.  We also placed a ghoul in the tree, but that was about it.

One plan was to have blacklights out here, but the effect was too weak.  I will have to experiment with blacklight spotlights, but the effect was too diffuse with even a bank of two T8 bulbs.

Bender's friend (Gilly, I think he said) had fun hanging out with the skeletons.  They didn't steal his beer or try to bum any smokes.

I forgot to light the tiki torches, but it was nice having them set up in case the skeletons got cold.

I never came up with anything imaginative to do with the coffin, so I just set it out as part of the graveyard.

These guys were awesome.  You can find them for $50 at the beginning of the season, but not close to Halloween.  They're all bought up by then.  Hinged joints, so they're very pose-able (with support).  Made pretty solidly.  You can't go wrong.

True story: I bought two of them at the beginning of August almost as soon as I saw them.  Why two?  Because I was worried that I might think I'd need another and didn't want them to run out.  Then I got home and thought to myself, "What am I going to do with only two skeletons?"  So I went back and bought a third!

Regrets?  I never got around to digging out the fog machine (and cooler) for the party.  There was just too much else going on, lots of friends I hadn't seen in a while, too many good photo opportunities I was missing, and so on.  Maybe next year...

Copyright 2008-2010 the Ale[x]orcist.