Hello Eyeball House

The twisted celebration that Halloween has become boldly invites us to go overboard, and many people oblige.

That’s how we get the annual Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis and that one macabre house in your neighborhood where the front lawn looks like a mortuary supply truck crashed into Dracula’s estate auction.

Hey, that would be a good theme for next year!

At our house, we’ve adopted the self-limiting tactic of declaring that the place shall not be adorned with any Halloween decoration that can’t go up the day of the actual event, and can’t come down the next day.  That has the wonderful effect of lightening the work load and reducing Hallow-stress.

As for the creepiness factor, I’m far too squeamish to decorate with skulls split by bloody hatchets and mutilated corpses.   My dear and clever wife, who shares my feelings about gore, hit upon the idea one year that eyeballs are sufficiently creepy without being  totally repulsive.

Thus was born the Eyeball House.


Eyeball House 1b

All in all, aside from some exotic and (usually) invisible internal organs, I would say eyeballs are the body part that best represents Halloween.  They generate a certain quality of undefined menace.  Yet they are completely approachable –  not totally horrible, like feet, or inexplicable, like ears.

As the proud lifelong owner of two completely natural eyeballs, I’m delighted to be able to collect new ones for our annual display.   And yes, I’m always on the look out.

And while there’s no element of political commentary in this bit of seasonal decoration, whenever I go out to the street to see the window eyeballs looking back at me, the surveillance society feels very real.

I know we’ll get a lot of Ninja Turtles and Disney Princesses this year, the kid who gets two candy bars from me will be dressed as Edward Snowden.

How do you decorate for Halloween? 



111 thoughts on “Hello Eyeball House”

  1. We don’t, really. Since neither husband nor I grew up with this tradition, and he generally ignores holidays of any kind, the few times I have attempted to rally a little spirit around Halloween, it has been a rather pathetic one woman show. Basically, it amounted to a carved pumpkin.

    This year, since I will be going to see Sweeney Todd with my friend, Helen, he will be home alone. I’m sure he’ll retreat to his upstairs office with Fred, and the downstairs will be dark. Last night we donated the candy I had bought for the occasion to the young couple across the street since their display, no doubt, will attract lots of trick-or-treaters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. enjoy sweeney todd. im going the next and final night. almost waited too long. the last seats together for me and my daugher.
      sweeney todd may be the perfect halloween tradition to begin

      Liked by 3 people

      1. im going to a thusands clowns at the theatrein the rounf the following weekend. i love the story and have always wanted to do the theatre in the round experience. i will report back. i am very impressed with latte da and am looking forward to gypsy they will do later in the season. cat brindisi and her mother michele barber will do the show. should be wonderful

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi– We saw Sweeny Todd a few weeks ago. FANTASTIC!
      I want to do theater like they do theater.

      The touring version of ‘All is Calm’ will be coming through my college theater on 12/1. I’m very excited.

      Kelly and I will be at Colin Hay tomorrow night at the Pantages. Anyone else going to see him?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. we got the keys to our new house last night and i asked if anyone wanted to go and sit at the house and give out candy. no takers. i amy do it alone just to meet the neighbors. corner house with neighbors all around like living in a fishbowl could be very busy . after 10 years in a driveway that scares off 90% of the population it might be fun to see little ninja turtles and princesses again. and its never a problem to have a few extra butterfingers around.
    bi=ring a radio and a chair the only stuff there will be what i bring over today.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. sure will but dev boy and spence will be down in the cellar the girls are all in hollerin distance which is a new deal after remote privacy in the labyrinth we have been in for 10 years


  3. pumpkin on the step is it for me. we have a stash of stuff like witches on a broomstick that smash into the door. welcome mats that make spooky sounds when stepped on and an assortment form when my wife used to have a house that attracted kids. we will see how next year goes.


  4. oh … i love the eyes. i may copy that one. last night the family came over to see the house and all the lights were on to show the rooms in the grand tour. the front of the house has abundance of eye possible windows. and the up and down in one day idea is great.


  5. I love decorating and holiday food stuff, but of late cannot get to it, so we are mostly just admirers.

    Saw a shirt on a mom at a cc meet that said, “not everybody can run a 5k, somebody has to stand on the side and clap”.

    I’m taking that role as a decorator again this year, but am planning to really embrace it instead of sighing over my lack of “get ‘er done-ness”. Life is too short to be a regret-filled spectator, best be an enthusiastic spectator.

    Eyeball house us flat-out awesome, Dale. Do you wear eyeballs on springs to hand out treats?

    I like your idea of temporal boundaries. I’ve gotten that way with costumes. Give me an idea or 2 a couple of days ahead and I’ll think about what I can put together for you in an hour. I’ve enjoyed the process a lot more with that approach.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No costumes for me, MIG. The children hardly look at me anyway – they’re dashing from house to house and don’t want the delay that a conversation would require. At least that’s the way it seems to me. But I do enjoy seeing them. Lots of Batmen and Princesses this year.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Have you changed browser? In my browser (Firefox) all I need to do is type in Tr in the search window, and it brings it right up.


  6. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    We left for AZ yesterday (in Wichita as I type), so I took the decor down: usually a bale of straw, a couple scarecrows, and some fake pumpkins. I am rarely home Halloween nights.

    Love the eyeball theme. The Bing page has a fun thing up today.


    1. driving to az usually means being gone for a while. did lou ship his bike down ahead of time or is he ridding along side? or are you riding on the back? i really like az\ arizona highways makes you realize how pretty it is. ill bet a minnesota highways could do a similar pr job for minnesota but would anyone suscribe.
      how long are you gone for?


  7. I have spent this week rediscovering and trying to understand my past, especially as it relates to special days. At my great age I only now see how impoverished my family culture was in this area. We acknowledged Halloween by handing out candy, but my mother would have been startled to hear we should decorate our home too.

    I now see my parents were survivors of The Great Depression. They didn’t have the luxury of seeing holidays as fun events. And now I also think the Midwestern culture itself is sterile in this area, having less fun than other regions.

    As a young man I went on a binge of discovery, learning how other folks take great joy in special days. This was a romantic transition for me, so it would surprise nobody that I embraced the most traditional theme of Halloween. In my thirties I became passionate about jack o’ lanterns. Jack o’ lanterns are cool. They don’t seriously scare anyone. They are a harmless connection to exotic traditions from Europe. They’re cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If your family had decorated for Halloween in the fifties or sixties, they likely would have been the only house in the neighborhood that did. People had pumpkins then. Kids had homemade costumes. That was pretty much it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Agreed, Linda.

        But I do remember that there was always a Halloween party in school complete with costumes and treats and games. It was one of the big three, including Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

        My mother the elementary school teacher was very big on inside decorations and themed food, still loves to do to it for that matter.

        My school was very homogeneous (there was one family of Jehovah Witnesses who always had to leave school early on those days, we felt sorry for them). Today, I do get that this would not be appropriate, we live in a very different world. I don’t think the kids are deprived of treats and celebrations today either.


        1. You are right and wrong, tim. The Fifties saw a major reinvention of family. Earlier eras had houses with special rooms for entertaining outsiders (parlors, front rooms, etc), but no rooms for families. In the Fifties they invented the “family room,” a special place where families spent time together. That mirrored a change in cultural expectations. Fathers and mothers were now expected to spend recreational time together.

          Another change was how families experienced meals. In my family we never ate alone (except maybe breakfast; my mom didn’t do breakfast). Every lunch or evening meal for my first 18 years was spent eating with my parents.

          So we had families in the fifties. But parents didn’t know much about the kids, and kids didn’t know much about their parents. My parents were nice people I didn’t socialize with.

          Modern parents often feel they don’t spend enough time with their kids, given workforce time pressures and moms who work outside the home. Research shows the opposite. Parents spend vastly more time with kids than they did earlier, but they feel guiltier. Fathers in particular spend more time with kids than they used to. I feels to me that the big switch came in the late 60s and early 70s.

          Sorry to go all Cliff Calvin on you.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Steve, in my understanding of things, there really was no expectation of “recreational time” of any sort on a regular basis prior to the 50s. More like later in the 70s in farming families.


  8. Good morning. I don’t remember seeing the kind of elaborate Halloween decorations found on the lawns of some houses in Minneapolis in other places where I previously lived. We do have a small collection of table top Halloween decorations which might include a pumpkin or two. It seems to me that there has been a big increase in front yard Halloween decorations this year. Maybe if I went back to the other places I previously lived I would find that front yard Halloween decorations have become more common in those palaces.


  9. I live behind woods on a country road….in the 40+ years here I have had a total of 6 kids come to the door. I don’t decorate…I’d be the only one to see it, well, I could decorate inside the house, I suppose…but then it has to be put away in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas decor and, well, that is the hard part. So I just don’t. But, the eyeballs. Perfect.

    Reminds me of the house with the eye in Leadville.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, that’s us too. Out in the country. Course the gates across the driveway doesn’t encourage visitors, haha.

      Just closed our fall kids play, ‘Frostory’. Strike is over and the cast has just left and I just have to lock up.
      Hopefully back on the trail a bit more now again.

      Decorations at our house are the three teeny tiny pumpkins I grew this year. Never had much luck with pumpkins in straw bales.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Decorating is minimal at my house. There is a small Halloween plaque on the front door, featuring a pumpkin and a black cat, and a trio of cat candleholders in the house. I have closet space devoted to storing all the Christmas stuff, but have mostly just said no to the acquisition of more stuff for other holidays. The square footage is limited.

    The eyeball house is immensely creative!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, we used to decorate quite a bit. Now, not at all. I believe that will all change when there are small children in our family again. I have all my mother’s elementary classroom Halloween decorations, plus other things that we accumulated over the years. I used to sew elaborate costumes for my children, but I think i have given those away. I also used to have a fog machine that I set going by the front door. I gave that to the high school theatre department. Tonight I will enjoy an extra hour of sleep and keep the front light off.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. gosh when i was a kid i really looked forward to halloween. when i hit about 6th grade i was told by lots of people i was too old. i didnt feel too old. i was just getting to the point where i had some stamina and could go form 5 -9 without wearing down. a pillowcase was the only option for the size of the haul. i dont remember ever having to figure out what to do with the extra candy. ate it all in a week or two, i dont like snickers 3 musketeers milky way or other like that but butterfinger, skittles m and ms gum jawbreakers popcorn balls licorice ummmm bring it on heath bars suckers wit gum in the middle tootsie roll pops and even tootsie rolls milk duds dots. ummmmm my wife comes for a humbug family and when i give out monster handfulls to see the kids smile she gets upset. this year she has decided to take the year off. i have a cowboy outfit, boots hat fringe jacket ala dennis hopper in easy rider with the long fringe. we will see if i do new house or current house. 200 pieces difference ill bet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is the last year my grand daughter and a family friend will trick or treat. They are in seventh grade. So Mr. Tuxedo in fifth grade will retire. too, he thinks. But they will always do pumpkins, they say.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My artistic friend in New York had an interesting experience that I probably mentioned once before. Her family, not very religious, decided to celebrate Easter when she was three or four. They bought her new Easter clothing. Sue was impressed with this new outfit. Then a memory clicked in. She had been given a new outfit once before, and that time she went door to door asking for candy. So she walked off to the neighbor’s house in her new Easter outfit, knocked on the door and called out “trick or treat!” The neighbors were so amused they gave her some sweets. Sue made it to about three houses, trick-or-treating on Easter, before she was captured.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. I don’t remember that, tim. I just happen to have the photos that Steve took, and they’re date stamped.
          Loved the play. Really fun production, and such wonderful talent.


  14. I’m holiday challenged. I have a difficult time coming up with decorations, etc. in a timely manner. If it wasn’t for my grownup kids, I would never have a decorated Christmas tree. I try to bring down the box of Christmas books on December 1st, but I’m usually several days, or even a week or two, late on that. Pathetic.

    I do like the eyeballs for Halloween, Dale. Well done.


      1. 8 oclock are you leaving the door or is there just a break in the action? how many pieces this year?

        my eden prairie house had 0 trick or treaters. so we have a full bag of candy to ingest on our own. i was runnning loads in the van to the new house ( 5 loads) so i got to see that there are indeed kids in the new neighborhood , maybe 50 but the parents on the block with the bonfire and beer seem to make a bigger deal than the families with kids do. i did notice that the new fad seems to be parents who dress up to take the kids out. either a family of space travelers or the kid does their thing and the parents do thiers. not all but not just a few either.


      2. I’m just not wired that way – to think about something almost a year in advance AND go shopping? The stars would have to align just right to get me to do that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. ill bet i have 100 christmas cds that i have always envisioned as the day after thanksgiving ransdom cd play in the 100 cd changer but never do, this aint gonna be the year either, but one of these years…. one of these years


  15. Afternoon all! I like to decorate but mostly inside stuff. Unfortunately the last few years I haven’t done much due to the devil cat. And now she’s aligned herself w/ the devil puppy, so I’m really not doing anything except a cornstalk and some jack-o-lanterns on the front steps.

    I just finished the graveyard pudding dish and am about to scoop out the pumpkins. Young Adult says she wants roasted pumpkin seeds this year so I guess I have something else on my to-d- list.


  16. Carved pumpkins last night – they will go out on the steps later today (to minimize grazing from the neighborhood squirrels). We have a few things outside, and a couple inside. Not much – it all fits into a single plastic bin. Hopefully enough that the few lights, the pumpkins and the porch light will let a few kiddos know they can get candy at our door. We don’t seem to get many – not sure why. We see lots down 53rd street from us, but kids don’t seem to make it to our block much. I’d take it personally, but my block mates sometimes get even fewer. Probably our proximity to two busy roads. If I’m really lucky, I might get 20 kids this year – might be a banner year being as Halloween is on a Saturday.


      1. You don’t mean to tell me, Anna, that you have a few spare eyeballs lying around just waiting for you to get inspired and put them out?


  17. How do you do the eyeballs to get them to look like that, Dale?

    I have a pathetic collection of stuff that fits into a tiny drawer. There’s a greeting card that unfolds to a pretty cute skeleton, that’s in the front window. If we’re lucky, I’ll light a pumpkin smelling candle…


  18. OT. Way OT. I’m touring Civil War Battlefields and just left Shiloh. I remember reading some juvenile fiction back in the early sixties that followed several young soldiers. Each book was titled after a significant battle. Does anyone recall the author? The series was along the lines of Red Badge of Courage

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Halloween is celebrated here with multiple indoor venues, especially the nursing homes and senior living settings. It is usually really cold here for Halloween.

    Our most horrible Halloween was the night that our daughter, age 5, had chicken pox but insisted on going out and collapsed on the sidewalk at the end of the block. Later that night, after she had an Aveeno oatmeal bath, about midnight, our anxiety-biting fox terrier, Belle, proceeded to attack and try to rip the face off of our elderly Welsh Terrier. Anna was sleeping on the sofa in the living room and saw the whole fight.There was blood all over the carpet, and we had to phone the vet and take both dogs in. The vet stitched up our old girl and convinced us that we had to have the fox terrier put down. I still really feel guilty about that situation.


  20. It was also that night, in the bath, that she confronted me about the fact that “Santa isn’t real is he”, and I told her the truth and also told her that her brother was the Easter Bunny.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. no santa no easter bunny her face got chewed off and you killed her dog. and you though you had a bad night,
          she didnt even get to do halloween. at least you didnt tell her that you adopted her that night


    1. I vividly remember the day my daughter came to me with The Question. It was actually kind of sweet. She had been involved with an intense debate on the issue with schoolmates, some of whom still believed and some of whom had been told the truth. My daughter offered to resolve the conflict. “I’ll ask my dad,” she said. “He always tells me the truth.” I was sorry to tell her about Santa, but I was touched by her trust. Instead of making a point of the fact Santa was not real I emphasized that he was real in the sense he existed in the hearts of people who wish each other well of that special day. Since getting the truth, my daughter has been extremely careful to sustain the illusion with younger children. Somehow that always makes me mist up.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I dressed up as an aging cougar, complete with ears, studded collar, and tail. I know for sure I’d have won the best costume because I took the tail and , well, pulled it up between my legs facing forward. Unfortunately, they had an R &B band and I hate anything but Motown. It gave me the first headache in a decade and came home after just one set.

    Where I live, not one kid’s come for candy in 15 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Just as the early trick-or-treaters were beginning to emerge, a young man driving slowly down our street had some sort of medical emergency. He drove up over the curb, and across the sidewalk before the car came to a stop one foot from a retaining wall on one side, and with a boulevard tree a foot away of the other. Very, very lucky no trick-or-treaters were in his path. Firetruck, police, and an ambulance, all with lights flashing, added to the confusion as goblins in all kinds of costumes seemed to materialize from out of nowhere. Set the stage very nicely as I headed out to Sweeney Todd. No one, including the driver was hurt, although he was taken to the hospital for observation.


  23. We don’t. In the past several years, we’ve gone out to dinner on Halloween. This year we carried it one step farther and left town for a long weekend. (Kids get too much sugar as it is. We decided not to condone that vice. Also think Halloween parties are much better and safer than trick-or-treating door to door in the dark.


    Liked by 1 person

  24. The apartment complex where I now live has many fine qualities. However, the total absence of trick-or-treaters is disappointing. I should concentrate on the happier fact that our pool rings with the happy whoops of kids every summer night. This is a gated community, but not a child-hating one.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. My internet connection is all messed up. They cannot come until Thursday to fix it. Tired of this battle. Think I might just dump the Internet entirely.


  26. We had two round windows in dormers at the attic. My kids used to make jack o lanterns to fit inside out of orange paper- then we`d shine the Christmas lights through them. It was probably our only successful year to year decoration. THe squirrels and mice either nested or dragged off our barnyard hayride theme. No more corn or in the Halloween decorations.


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