I’ve been watching the Game of Thrones recently, so Sunday night, when I was off in the land of Nod and heard blood-curdling screams coming from my backyard, I figured someone was invading my lands.
No worries! I envisioned my army, rising up, striking the enemy with maces and swords, knives and arrows! We shall overcome! They shall protect me, the … lord-ess, or whatever.
This is not the first time I’ve woken up to a murder in my backyard, so I know the protocol. Go back to sleep!
The first time it happened, when I moved to this lovely burg, these hellacious screams were coming from the tiny mouth of a kitten someone dumped in my backyard. It had found its way to my window — or more accurately, my screen, where it was clinging and screaming, well, bloody murder, right in my ear.
The bloody murder in my backyard Sunday night wouldn’t stop. So annoying. I mean, really. If you’re going to off someone, can’t you do it at — my eyes suddenly flipped open wide. My chickens.
I fled the warmth of my bed, flashlight in hand — where IS that sword when you need it?! — crossed the yard in two bounds through a cloud of feathers in time to see something slowly ambling toward the curb. A crowd of neighbors had gathered, thinking I was hosting cock fights. Cats I’d never seen before were watching from the sidelines, hoping for leftovers, I’m sure. The crowd started to cheer.
One lady — I’ll call her “Sharon” — was throwing stones and kept missing. This angered her, so she marched toward that critter and with a wind-up that would impress any soccer player, kicked the perpetrator! Right in the ribs! It glared at her before waddling off.
My poor chicken, her black, blue and gold feathers were now splattered with blood. I patrolled the area and found the varmint in the tree and, like last time — although not in a nice skirt and heels — started throwing rocks at it and yelling.
I have done everything in my very limited knowledge to protect my chickens. I built them a coop with thick pallet wood and 2-inch screws, which, by the way, the raccoon was apparently able to detach. You ever seen those little tool belts they wear? They’re equipped. This rodent even has a hard hat.
Holcomb said he’s been creating scares for about 20 years. He started with a haunted yard and a tent in 2005.
In a previous interview, Holcomb said he was inspired by the lengths people went to decorate their front yards when welcoming trick-or-treaters. Universal Studio’s classic horror monsters, especially Frankenstein’s creature, also serve as an inspiration.
The first room of the haunted house houses the creature from the black lagoon, Dracula and a mummy.
A team of volunteers help build the house and tear it down every year. Volunteers also don costumes, masks and makeup, becoming the zombies and monsters that will creep up on unsuspecting visitors.
Admission for the haunt is $5 for children younger than 12 and $10 for teens and adults. Tickets are available at Del Norte Office Supply and the Crescent City Harbor office.
Layton said half the proceeds will go toward the Friends of the Harbor while the other half will be put into creating next year’s production.
The haunt today (Oct. 21) and Sunday, Oct. 22, as well as Oct. 27-31. There is a lighter version of the haunt from 6 to 7 p.m. The “real scare” will be from 7 to 11 p.m. There is no age limit to the real scare, although children must be accompanied by an adult, Layton said.
Holcomb said his haunted manor has its regulars. Some folks have been returning to the haunt since they were children, he said.
“I just think we have the knack for it,” Holcomb said. “We’re doing it because we love to be creative; we love to scare people. This whole macabre — it’s why we thrive.”