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 - https://chabbyhouse.blogspot.com/ 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.