Even our website teaser was invisible this year, but a few #HallowsGarage posts began to hint at exactly what you wouldn't see this go round...
> The BackstoryVisitors were greeted at the door by a very chipper lady with a very British accent.
"Oh, we have guests! Welcome to The Lion's Head! You look like you've all traveled a great distance to get here. So, I s'pose you'll be wantin' to see him then."
She pauses for recognition, then continues, "You know, the doctor. Dr. Griffin. Dr. Claude Griffin? The one that's been messin' 'round the the monocaine invisibility... The Invisible Man! Yeah?
"Right, well he's so well known 'round these parts. This fellow had a great, great... something ancestor who stayed here many years ago. Caused a bit of ruckus. We didn't like that at the time. But this fellow, he's alright. He's actually working to reverse the invisibility formula, isn't he? And he does draw a bit of a crowd.
"But, I do want to warn you... When they were first working with this monocaine powder they tested it on a dog. It turned the dog stark white, but also stark raving mad. So, you might say our doctor is a little loose in the attic. He's fairly harmless though, so, would you like to see him? I mean, you can't actually SEE him, can you? But maybe we can see what he's working on. Come on in!"
She leads you through the pub and into the current quarters of Dr. Griffin. While he's nowhere to be seen, his typewriter is working furiously.
"Oh look at that!" she exclaims. "He's typing up some notes, isn't he?"
Suddenly a male voice is heard...
(More to come!)
> The TrickThis being a mid-week Hallow's Eve we wanted to stick with the classics, and "The Invisible Man" was one of the few Universal horror flicks we had yet to recreate.
While our scene was set at The Lion's Head pub and inn where Dr. Jack Griffin briefly stays hoping to reverse his invisibility formula undisturbed, we chose our doctor to be a descendant of the original, much in keeping with the film sequels. We did, however, give our doctor the name Claude Griffin, a direct reference to Claude Rains, the actor who portrayed the first Invisible Man.
In addition, our pub keeper was called Gloria after Gloria Stuart who played Flora Cranley, the love interest of Dr. Griffin in the movie.
As it happened, an old pub scene wasn't too hard to create. Wiring everything up, however, proved a bit more of a challenge, and occasionally we'd have to claim some type of "pub accident" while trying to reset for the next show. (Honestly, the wires just snapped a bunch.)
> The TreatWe were a bit nervous with rain in the forecast, but a handy tent borrowed from our church and some good timing on the heavier downpours worked out great. We still managed to hand out about 80 treat bags, along with a number of glow sticks for our early visitors which we were gifted by local police after a recent neighborhood National Night Out event. Thanks, police!
The rain put a damper on our haunted wagon friends, but they showed up anyway, this time in a small caravan of regular vehicles. This year we learned that we are affectionately identified by this group as "The Duck House," a title we happily embrace.
Freaky Fact: Speaking of ducks, this year's themed duck was a bit accidental. Purchasing began before film research, and a very plain white duck seemed best to mimic invisibility. It wasn't until we watched "The Invisible Man" again and heard the mention of a bleached dog in early monocaine experiments that we realized we could actually work the duck into the presentation, which quite nicely tied the whole thing together from start to finish.
Our treat bags also contained some pretzels, Wonka candies, and a fun treat NOT to eat—a bottle of magic disappearing ink.
The story on this year's theme card played on some visual references, in part to draw out the reality that even if we can't currently see God when we look around, we can definitely see what He's doing. It was printed on some classic blue parchment paper, and read just like this: (Visible soon!)