The big macabre dance that was Halloween 2014 is over.

It’s funny, but every year, as I approach the cleanup the next morning, I feel strangely philosophical. You look forward to something for the whole year and you have a month, a FULL MONTH to celebrate it and yet it all happens so fast. Too fast. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

This was our first year in our lovely Cedar Park, Texas neighborhood and we took the opportunity to start fresh with our yard haunt. We’ve had some fun in the past with it, but really felt it was time to “come correct” with it and step up to the plate. The house / yard layout are very well-suited to this approach and that was just another impetus for us as well.

This is year one, folks. We will build on what we created this year each year we’re in the house. The goal is to create something pretty darn magical and memorable by the time our daughter graduates high school.

For year one, we created a solid basic graveyard theme with hand-done gravestones and wooden crosses, spiders of varying sizes, a hand-created “reaper” ghost, torches (gotta have some real fire), loads of skeletons, dramatic lighting and of course, lots and lots of cobwebs. It was a fun way to kick off a new era of the “Johnson Family Halloween Haunt” and we look forward to building on this initial base.







We also always take great pride in co-creating our daughter Logan Blue’s costume for the night as a family. You can see last year’s here. The only rule we have ever had from her birth with this is that is must be a spooky or scary costume. She has always been up for it and, God bless her, always willing to stick by the rule.

This year, Logan Blue wanted to be “Bloody Mary,” based on the urban legend and some scary costume pics she had seen on the internet. We thought it would be fun to give it a context and we went with a “scary nurse” theme, using a vintage 1970s uniform my wife found “out there” and makeup effects. We wanted to remove the religious themes often coupled with this costume and associated with the “Bleeding Nun” imagery from “American Horror Story Asylum,” so we took it in this direction. The result was creepy and effective.


In our attempt to shift the costume away from anything religious, we failed to think about fears about ebola. We are not people who research disease or symptoms in any way, so we would not have known anything about the specifics there. Apparently, a couple of people last night made a connection between the costume and the disease while Logan was out trick or treating. Unfortunate.

Here is the original “Asylum” image.


Still, it turned out well and Logan Blue was very pleased with the result.

We will definitely miss creating those costumes together when it’s time for our daughter to finally leave the nest. See… A philosophical state of mind.

Hope your Halloween holiday was horrifying! Here’s to next year.


Author: David Edward Johnson

A bit about me :: My name is David Johnson. I'm a senior creative with over 20 years of experience. I am currently serving as the Director of User Experience and Product Design at Inmar. Previously, I have served as the Global Digital Creative Director for Whole Foods Market, several agencies at the VP level and co-owned my own agency in New York for seven years. I love genre film, a full range of music, art, kung fu, TM, design, good food and a great joke. I'm based in Austin, Texas and addicted to BBQ.

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