Dave Lowe is another example of “talent overload”! His haunt is one of my biggest inspirations because he dreams up a lot of budget-friendly props that still look fantastic! Who else could imagine a FedEx box as a tombstone or a plastic champagne glass as an apothecary jar stem? Take a look at these pictures and let them speak for themselves!
CZ: I already know that Halloween is the most awesome holiday out there but my readers may not, so can you give us your opinion why it is?
DL: Creatively, It's the only holiday so open to interpretation being based on the spooky unknown. It has its traditions and clichés, but the ordinary can be spun into folklore with good imagination. On Halloween day, you just don't watch a leaf fall from a tree in front of you, you wonder if there is something in the tree that made it fall. Personally, It's the only month of the year I don't have to clean up so carefully and worry about CSI sniffing around... the mess is just "decoration."
CZ: When did you start “haunting”?
DL: I prefer to call it an October holiday-themed temporary outdoor public art installation. It started back in the mid '90's when I placed an electric chair and coffin I had made for the set of a Sci Fi channel show called "Sci Fi Buzz" on the lawn. The neighborhood kids went crazy for it and asked if there was going to be more...I got bit by the "haunt" bug. I still have the electric chair and it's used every year. It's the oldest prop in the display. When I was a little trick or treater, just a single carved pumpkin on a doorstep was magical, I really believed in the folklore of the holiday. Now it's fun creating some of that magic for kids.
CZ: Creepiest man behind the mask – Michael Myers or Jason?
DL: Michael. When I first saw HALLOWEEN it was one of the last years I trick or treated and his hunting ground of Haddonfield looked like my suburban New York 'hood making him an even scarier character. I'm a bit biased though having seen the movie in the late '70's and how it inspired the entire masked maniac killer film genre that followed. I'd only ever say Jason, if he's wearing a Michael Myers mask. I do like Jason though, both guys are featured in my display. I've always imagined they're step brothers and Freddy Kruger's the illegitimate dad... that's the ultimate prequel movie surprise ending in my mind.
CZ: What is your favorite prop/decoration and why?
DL: That's tough one... each year spawns the new creation and the favorite that October. If I had to choose it would be my grandmother up in the attic. I'm waiting a few more years for the mummification to look just perfect before she officially goes on display. Fingers crossed for 2012 or 2013!
CZ: You must have one absolute favorite memory about your haunt - tell us what it is.
DL: The evil laughter my girlfriend had when she first heard the screams of little kids visiting my haunt. One reason she's my fiancée now and one reason she scares me to this day as well.
CZ: What’s the ultimate Halloween candy?
DL: Candy corn, it's the Christmas fruit cake of Halloween.
CZ: How much time goes into your haunt each year?
DL: Well, about 11 months of thinking and talking about it, and then a 2 week late September to early October manic storm of crazed hysterical creation, followed by a Xanax overdose on November 1st.
CZ: From whom or what do you draw your inspiration?
DL: I could list a 1001 "artistic" things, but it's really the 1001 reactions from kids over the years to my display that makes me love decorating. One year, an SUV stopped while I was out front. The mom driving pointed to the 3 little faces looking out the backseat window and said jokingly "You owe me gas money. They make me drive by everyday after school to see your yard." Those moments inspire me to run back into the garage and make something new that night to have on the lawn the next morning.
CZ: Morticia or Lily Munster?
DL: Elvira, best of both.
CZ: Is your family supportive of your haunting obsession or do they think you’re insane?
DL: They used to be. Every year, the first day I'd start decorating became a family get together. All would come over for coffee, sit on the porch and just watch...not helping at all and talk about how insane I was. I got tired of it. Now they're also in the attic with Grandma.
CZ: What does the future hold for your haunt?
DL: Creating a good fictional back story or theme and creating props that tell the tale. Something I could use as a title. A story that would keep the authorities' suspicions at bay when my family in the attic does finally go on display one year.
You can keep up with Dave’s Halloween progress (and other madness!) on his blog: http://davelowe.blogspot.com/