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Updated: May 12, 2020

Lavinia had waited until dark to head out to her garden. There was no need for prying eyes tonight and she could never be sure that the hedge would keep out the nosey. Pulling her shawl into place and securing it to her waist, she strode to the garden. It was time.

Turning toward the full moon, Lavinia raised her arms and called out. “I have placed some milk for thee, here beneath the old oak tree. I ask that you Lesidhe come and spend a moment with me.”

Lavinia lowered her arms and patiently waited, silent in the dark. Moments passed and finally she heard a faint rustling in the leaves. Slowly a branch separated itself from the tree and transformed into a little figure. He shook his fist angrily at Lavinia.

“I apologize for disturbing you. I hope you weren’t quite asleep yet. The snow has not yet begun to fall and the leaves on still on the apple tree.”

The little creature lowered his fist but continued to frown petulantly. A few moments passed before he gestured impatiently for her to go on.

“I know the time is short, but I need your help with a little problem. I know you love the wild places as much as I, likely more. There is one who is not so inclined. If I give you his name, will you deal with him for me?”

The little creature shifted from one foot to the other as he considered Lavinia’s request. Tormenting an unworthy human was a treat and well worth a slight delay in a Lesidhe’s winter sleep. If he waited until the Spring, it was possible this opportunity would no longer be available. A wicked grin began to cross his face. With a sharp nod, he agreed.

A slow smile touched Lavinia’s lips. “Thank you. Now, you can find this monster at . . .”

This year a new creature can be found at Chabby House. I have created my version of a Lesidhe (Lay-shee). According to A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk by Edain McCoy, a Lesidhe is a solitary forest guardian. These creatures are always disguised as foliage, so actually seeing one is very difficult and you might only see one when they move. They are most active at dawn and dusk but seem to prefer to be nocturnal. They do not like humans as a rule and like to lose hikers deep in the woods by mimicking the sounds of birds and people. Their dislike of people seems to be based in our treatment of the environment. Contact is not advised because no one really knows what they will do.

I found it difficult to find much more written about them. They are grouped together with other nature spirits, if you are inclined to find out more about them.

My Lesidhe was built using a small plastic skeleton for the frame and then sculpting the figure from different types of clay. Then I painted him and gave him a thick coating of leak seal. If the weather is favourable, you might be able to find him in the garden.

I will post a full picture of my Lesidhe after his debut this year.


The Lesidhe

As the 2019 design and build season begins, I have also started working on a backstory video for the haunt. My plan is to have the "movie" ready for a fall release. The original print version of the backstory is available on my old blog - for as long as Blogspot wants to keep it up. Of course, this is merely the story Chabby House is based around. It is fiction. A combination of historical fact and fictional persons and events.

However, you may still be wondering why I decided on the name Chabby House? Or why anyone would go to such lengths to decorate their house so elaborately for Halloween in the first place?

To start with I love Halloween. I really don’t know why but I don’t remember ever not loving it. I love most things about it – witches, bats and spiders, ghosts and goblins. I love the dark, mysterious vibe and magic of this night. In one overused word it is AWESOME!

For me, Halloween is a night to honour and celebrate our ancestors (the dead) which is why I incorporate historical facts and events into my haunt. Halloween also marks a time between fall and winter. In this “in-between” time the veil between the living and the dead is thin thus we have ghosts and goblins. I could go into a whole piece on the history of Halloween, but I think that would be going over the top. I will add though that in my opinion, Halloween should be a fun, scary, but fun experience for all – including children, which is why I try to keep the blood and gore to a minimum.

But why Chabby House?

The name Chabby (pronounced Shabby) is actually a shortened version of our last name and was my husband’s nickname when he was in the army. I went with House because it seemed more fitting. I certainly do not live in a manor. It also honours other horror/ghost stories that have gone on before (ie: Hill House, House of Usher, etc.).

The decorations? The cemetery? The walk through? Well, just in case you didn't catch it earlier, I love Halloween. I started decorating when I was 16, still living under my parents' roof. It started with Paper Mache tombstones and grew to include headless dummies. Things were limited though by storage (only so much room in a PMQ) and my parents’ wishes.

Then I grew up, moved out, got married and we bought our own home. Suddenly I could decorate as much as I wanted. For the first few years I kept to the front yard building a nice cemetery. I received many compliments on Halloween night from the neighbours. Of course, this encouraged me to continue.

Halloween took on new meaning in 2011 after our daughter passed away. I built her a tombstone for our cemetery so she would be included. It is the first tombstone to go up every year. Chabby house became a way to honour her memory. A baby girl gone far too soon. This is also the reason that we have a Wishing Well at the front of our haunt to collect donations for other families that are in crisis. We have been there and know how hard it is to deal with regular tasks when a child is in the hospital for an extended period.

So that is briefly the reason for Chabby House. I hope you can join us in October and visit the haunt in person.

So, it is that time of year again. Time to look back at the work we did last year and get a video ready for the Canadian Haunters Association Awards. I tried a couple years ago (as you may remember, 2017 was a bust) so since we got it together this year I decided I would throw my video into the race again. The competition will be stiff. There are a lot of awesome home haunters out there! The actual awards show will probably be sometime in March.

But without further ado here is my video.

Now onto 2019! New ideas! New Props!

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