This is Halloween...

Welcome to our nightmares and fantastical dreams.

Each year for a few we've done something over the top in our garage on Halloween while tying in a snapshot of the story of God Himself from some pretty unique angles. Preachy? Not so much. Bizarre? Sure, why not?

I learned from the best long ago, generosity gets attention. (No matter where you lived in my neighborhood growing up, on the last day of October you visited the guy handing out Happy Apples.) We also know people love a show. So we try to go big with both.

Here you'll see what a classic rock couple with a taste for the creepy and strange can do with a regular garage, a little imagination and a lot of time.


2011: Mummy of the Pharaoh

The classic tale of a mummy's reanimation fueled our imaginations this year. As this blog went "alive" for the first time a few months before, our online teaser text read:

> Suddenly there came a wrapping. 
Timid? You might want to bring your mummy for this one.

> The Backstory
An archaeologist and her assistant welcomed visitors to Egypt, and to our excavation of the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep. Stepping inside, they were treated to a tour of the chamber featuring mummified animals (one of which had some disturbing eyes), archaeological tools and bones that had been dug up, hieroglyphics and, of course, the sarcophagus of Amenhotep himself. The mummy box, crated in preparation for shipping to a museum, was covered, so the lead archaeologist slowly revealed the fine art work on top of the box. As more was uncovered, it was discovered that a hole had been made in the lid. Some bandages were strewn about, and the mummy appeared to be gone.

Just then, Amenhotep appeared from underneath the crate with a moan. He was promptly chastised and told (apparently yet again) to get back in the sarcophagus. Guests were promptly hastened out by the much embarrassed and apologetic tour guide, and her assistant handed them something else to remember them by. Hopefully. How embarrassing.

Watch the slideshow. (A 404 may pop up, but it still plays.) On mobile, click "View all" below.:

> The Trick
We had some expert help on this one, as my own mummy, er, mum... I mean mom.., who also played my assistant, has done a bit of digging in the dirt herself. The archaeological tools and books were hers. She actually purchased the posters featuring artifacts of Ramses III after we saw his mummy and items from his tomb on display at Canada's Expo '86 World's Fair. (Teachers save everything.)

Also from the Expo was an unopened Egyptian alphabet set which helped us to phonetically spell out the words, "The mummy rests in its tomb," on the chamber wall. (Who knew that would come in  handy after all these years?)

The symbol "hotep" is real, and can truly be translated "at rest" or "at peace." It is a picture representing bread on a table.

Freaky Fact: The art on top of the box was very loosely based on the mummy case of Amen-Nestawy-Nakht displayed in the St. Louis Art Museum.

While Amenhotep was the real name of several Pharaohs, we named our mummy specifically for Pharaoh Amenhotep III as featured in Universal's classic film "The Mummy" who stopped Imhotep (played by Boris Karloff) from practicing evil. Or so he tried.

We had a great deal of inspiration during a visit to Universal Studios California's Halloween Horror Nights event earlier this month. Mazes and scare zones aside, they feature the indoor roller coaster "Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride" based on the Brendan Fraser films. Within we saw how they created their mummy outfits, as well as a coffin with a hole in the top where Imhotep (who was portrayed again in the new films) had busted through. Yep, we could do that.

Take a tour through the mummy's tomb...

We learned to modify our technique for the youngest visitors. (Sorry, princesses.) A mummy's hand, we found, is a lot less scary if you're small, but not so much if you're a teenager. We hope the duckies made everyone feel better.

> The Treat
This year's treat bag included skeleton duckies (which took some effort to track down), mummy suckers, gummy mummies, and our standard issue pretzels and Wonka Mixups. Thankfully, it didn't take much effort to determine what Biblical story we'd focus on here. The story of Lazarus immediately came to mind. Cards were printed on parchment paper again this year for that classic look, and also included the address of our brand new and highly requested blog:

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