Yesterday was quite a day at Winn Farm! In the afternoon, we had Kristen's 33rd birthday party and then, from 6:30 to 8:00, we opened the "Haunted Wizard's Forest". For those who don't know, Hank has created something of a rural theme park in the woods behind our house which he calls the "Wizard's Forest" because of the faces he has affixed to the trees along the path. There is a bridge and a treehouse and all sorts of other surprises which he enjoys bringing friends through (actually, he drags everyone through...) all during the year. But for Halloween, we decided to go all out and create a haunted forest back there for friends, family, and especially everyone's kids and grandchildren to walk through at night. Hank and our grandsons, Robert and Brian, worked for days getting the forest ready. A generator was dragged out so that there could be lights and spooky recorded sounds. Over 30 torches were filled with lamp oil and placed along the paths. Cobwebs were hung and pumpkins were lit. Then all we needed was a cast of volunteers to play the roles of wizards, hags, trolls and other creepy characters along the way. But who could have the starring role of the witch??? Informal try-outs were held in the afternoon with Nancy as the clear winner of the competition. Hank filled a big pot with dry ice and, as the kids walked by, a strobe light illuminated Nancy stirring a rubber fish in the pot with a big stick. Needless to say, the kids were happily scared to death! Among other family members in the "cast" were Nancy's son, Kit, as the Wizard, Hank's sister, Lillian, as the hag, and Andi's husband, Dave, as the Demon working the lights along the stream. Robert was a demon hidden on a bench, Brian was a dead man rising from behind a tombstone, Anthony was the troll on the bridge, and Nancy's husband, Aaron, was a monster hidden under the treehouse. Andi held the crowds back while Hank and our daughter-in-law, Wendy, led the visitors two-by-two through the forest. Our neighbor, Don even got in to the act, manning the cider and donut table, while "hag" Lillian distributed treat bags to each child who "survived" the trip through the forest. There was a huge campfire for everyone to warm up by during the evening and a great time was had by all. About 50 people went through the forest, including 30 children. It was such a success that we've decided to make the haunted forest an annual event (assuming Nancy's is available to play the witch again!).
Thanks to all who made Kristen's birthday and the haunted forest such a
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRISTEN!
p.s. This is Nancy's "week off" from chemo so she is feeling well right now...the next round of chemo starts on Tuesday, 10/21.