Courtesy of a friend on Twitter who goes by the handle @DemonJuice, we have our first House of Crap for the season.
There was some discussion as to whether it’s actually a Halloween House of Crap or if it’s just super early for Christmas but DJ is leaning toward those being Halloween lights.
They’re out there, people. You know who they are. There’s one on every block. They’ve got a basement full of holiday decor and they’re not afraid to use it.
These are the caretakers of the Houses of Crap.
It used to be, years ago, that these HOCs were only identifiable at Christmas when they filled their yards with elaborate illuminated holiday scenes. Who doesn’t love the light-up Baby Jesus? And who among us didn’t at least know someone with a three-foot-tall plastic Santa that lit up the night?
But, in recent memory, more and more Houses of Crap are advancing their agendas and branching out into other holidays. There’s (at least) one here in Portland that goes pretty much year round. A friend of mine is convinced that the caretakers there actually make up holidays to celebrate. I wouldn’t be surprised. In addition to the Big Three (Halloween, Christmas, Easter), they have managed to find illuminated leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day. They have achieved a whole other level of Craptastic.
Also here in Portland is another fantastically Octoberesque locale: the Davis Graveyard. They’ve taken what was once probably just your standard yard display and have built and built and built until it is a landmark Halloween attraction. Elements of haunted house and creepy graveyard take over what is normally just a lovely house in SE Portland for a month each fall. Guess which month.
But it doesn’t stop there. They sell do-it-yourself items so you can build your own haunt as well as t-shirts and videos of past years’ events on their website. They offer classes on how to create some of the FX they use. And they sell refreshments curbside to spectators to support a local high school dance team. There’s a whole lot going on there. If you’re in the area, make sure you check it out.
Now here’s your call to action. I don’t think I’ve ever suggested this before, but this year I’m encouraging you all to go out and spend a little time creating your own house of crap. It doesn’t have to be outrageous or elaborate. Think of the coming trick-or-treaters. Give ’em a little yard decor theater. A ghost in the dogwood tree, a witch on the front porch. You can do this.