It is that time of the year again. There is a chill in the air, the leaves are turning shades of red, orange and yellow and children of all ages are dreaming of ghosts, goblins, witches and trick or treat candy. But it is also the time to make our annual visit to that special, magical town of Hauntsville. Here in south Florida Hurricane Irma delayed my construction plans for this year's village. Still, Hauntsville has to live on so my collections of witches, ghosts and all things Halloween created a special village for 2017 -- Let's take a tour of this year's village. Most of this year's village has been built into downed and dead tree trunks something we have a great deal of here in south Florida.

Our tour begins on the lonely country road that leads to Hauntsville and our first stop will be at Doris' Pumpkin Patch. Doris has been growing, selling and carving pumpkins here entire life, and this year is no exception. Surrounding towns and villages have long standing contracts with Doris to get their pumpkins. As we approach Doris' pumpking patch we can her husband Tom and his handy man Henry loading the old horse drawn wagon for a delivery. Doris' paatch is open from daybreak until dark, or until the last customer leaves with their pumpkin. Staying in the patch after dark is certainly not suggested as strange things happen in Hauntsville after dark (just keep reading) Mike and Marge Wilson have brought their son to select his pumpkin. All appears to be save as the patch is being guarded by the "fearsome" watchdog Spookster.

Next to Doris' Pumpkin Patch is the old farmstead of Nan Wood Graham and Bryon McKeeby (look them up). The two of them have run this farm since 1930. Let's get a closer look at the farm.

Nan and Byron are getting older now and slowing down a bit. They have had to hire some help to work the cornfield Charles Bones is a good worker, and doesn't seem to mind living in the old carriage house even though it is haunted with bats. Nan and Byron know it is best to stay out ofthe cornfield during fall nights. It is then that Brom Bones is known to ride his black horse through the fields as he searches for his lost head.

Careful where you walk, Brom has been known to hurl his burning pumpkin at folks who get too close.

Thus house at 666 Hauntsville Lane belongs to Bruce Banner. While Bruce looks elderly he really is quite strong.

On Halloween night Bruce always stands in front of his home offering candy from his bowl to those children daring enough to come by. Maybe children don't like stopping because of the ghosts that are often seen flying above the house.

At the end of Hauntsville Lane is the haunted pumpkin home of the Evil Queen Grimhilde, a witch well known in fables for making poison apples.

When witches need poison apples rather than make their own they all come to Grimhilde. Her apples have been known to keep people asleep for more than a year. In addition to her "special"apples Grimhilde is a brewmaster of renown fame. Her special brews come from crushed bone and if you look carefully you will see several jugs of her brew and her own frosty mug all in front of her house. If you are hungary, this is not the place to snitch a snack.

The old growth forest above Hauntsville Lane features some ancient trees. People hace said for years that those old trees have voices. Well, this year a careful investigation has revealed that there really is life inside those old trees. If one was to looked in the cracks directly above the pumpkin house you would discover the home of the Hauntsville Witches' Coven

If you look to the left side of the crack you can see witch Evanora who is busy turning her hostages into frogs. Most of the newly created froms leap into the pond below Evanora's house where can grow quite large. Right in the center of the pond you can see one old green frog who has grown quite large. Above the pond, on the left witch Cassandra is brewing some concoction from her collection of skulls.

Below you can see Evanora still hard at work with her frogs. Evanora also watches over the the old Haunts Mill. It is here that the corn from Nan and Bryon's farm is ground before it is used by the local pub to make their special brews. In the background witch Priscilla oversees the flight training of young would be witches and warlocks. It looks like one young warlock is having trouble with the skills required. You can see him struggling just above the flight school.

If we continue our climb up the tree -- wait, be careful not to touch that spider. . .

 

(just a note to viewer's: While this view does show of evil spider I include it here so you may see the detail of the styrofoam trees that were carved for this display. Once the dispolay was completed I attached strings of fall leaves to help bring the trees to life. The ghost flying by is one of the former residents of Hauntsville.)

Now, as we continue to climb up the tree we come to the next portion of Witch Hallow and the social center of the community. Here stands the famed Witches' Brew Pub. Here is where the locals of HJauntsville come for an evening with friends and to enjoy the special ales created by Ophelia the local brewmistress.

While her cauldrons produce some amazing beverages if we look closely we can see some of her secret ingredients. I'm quite sure Bat Wings and Dragon Brains will add a great deal of flavor.

Ophelia has a large staff to help with all the various brews. the white foamed cauldrons are nearly complete while that strange green mess overflowing the kettle on the far left seems to ahve a long way yet to go. Mistress Elspeth has just flown in with her cat to pick up her "take out" order.

From this angle we get quite a view of tonight's activity. On the right we can see the witch sisters, Hazel and Phoebe, putting on and checking their make-up just in case some handsome warlocks show up tonight. I see they have a couple of "tall, foaming drinks" on their outdoor tabel. Witch Selene is preparing a special order drink for some of the guests inside the pub. As the night wears on things tgend to get a bit out of hand. If you look to the far left, seeral witches have gathered around a cauldron to "heat up" a missionary. These Halloween parties can really produce a "Hot Time On The Town"!

We will have to be careful leaving the pub. On the far right there is be beginning of the suspension bridge that connects the two trees above Hauntsville Lane. The walk across the bridge is certainly not for the faint of heart, so be very careful. We can access the bridge right by the broom parking area.

The old bridge joins the witch's Pub with the Grimsley Manor located in the tree to the right. The walk across the bridge can be a bit harrowing so I suggest you hold onto the one sided hand rail and don't look down. The Grim Reaper (seen on the left side ofthe bridge) checks to see if everyone on the bridge belongs there. If he asks, just ell him you are going to the Grimsley's Halloween Party--I hope that works and he will let you pass. Be careful when you pass the mummies, One wrong step and you could join the one flyer floating just under the bridge.

The hanging bridge ends at the corner of Grimsley Manor, near their tool shed. Bridge security is handled by the family dog Princess. Additionally, the Grimsley family has hired one of the Gravely boys as a guard. You can see him loafing in his chair inthe lower left corner. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to what is going one so we should be able to get by easily enough. As for Princess, well, she is a Princess.

I can see that the Grimsley family is all dressed and waiting for their guests to arrive for tonight's party. I'm not sure, but I would expect thatthey would get ore guests if they got rid of the snakes creeping out of the stone wall and maybe a cat would help rid the area of rats. Then, of course, there is the issue of all the bats flying about. A couple of party guests seem to be arriving early. You can see them on the far right.

Maybe the rat issue has been solved afterall. Gerold Grimsley has a rather large pet that seems to be eyeing one of the rats running along the stone retaining wall. But I don't know if that pet can handle the snake.

After leaving Grimsley manor, we can work out way backdown the tree toward its base. Near the bottom we will arrive at the Gravely Estate. The Gravely Estate is the oldest home in Hauntsville. Years of neglect have left the home in a state of ruin and the Gravely boys don't seem to inclined to do much restoration work. The old well on the estate has begun to take on an unseemly glow in recent years. I wonder what is living down there.

Hector Grimsley spends most of his time sleeping in his hammock watched by his pet vulture. He seems to be too lazy to even read his book, much less mow the lawn. Brother Boney spends his time resting on a bench in the yard enjoying a few brews from the Pub. The only one who seems to be active at all is their pet dog Skelly.

Across the tops of the decayed tree stumps that make of Hauntsville's Wich Hollow lays a fallen log. To most who pass by it appears to be just a log with a few stones, a variety of twigs and some colored moss. However, at night during the Halloween season the old log takes on the life of the haunted cemetery of Hauntsville. Let's take a closer look.

On the left stands the entrance to the village stone quarry where the stone for tombstones is mined. Master Mason Lurch does the carving and lives the the remains of the old mill. He is not a very social person and spend his time here alone. On part of the old log, above the mill is the location of the Gravely Family Crypt. At night it gives off a strange green glow. Most normal humans are convinced that this green glow is caused by Foxfire, but residents of Hauntsville know differently! Looking to the right of the Tombstone factory you can see some of the older gravesites and their headstones.

Toward the center of the log is the gated entrance to The Forsaken Cemetery. It is a private place, reserved for only former residents of Hauntsville. The entrance is carefully guarded by some of the more aggressive residents. Below the gateway is a cavity in the old log that Count Dracula uses to store his coffin and sleep during the daytime when he comes to visit his friends in Hauntsville. Looks like he is just getting up so he can head to the Grimsley's party.

On the far right end of the log is the Haunted Grove. Once again most outsiders think of this area as lit by Foxfire but there are several ghosts thata call this area home. Above the grove is the Gravely Family plot. Several generations of the family rest here. The tall white fellow standing guard is Great Grandfather Gravely. He certainly bears a strong resemblance to his great grandsons we saw at the Gravely Estate earlier this evening. The old lighthouse does not serve to guide ships to port. Instead here in Hauntsville it serves as a beacon to help visiting witch locate their landing site. I can see Witch Selene flying in now.

 

Thanks so much for visiting this year's edition of Hauntsville. The tradition of Hauntsville will continue next year so be sure to stop by and see what has happened in 2018. I also want to remind you that come Christmas you can visit this year's edition of "A Dickens Christmas" at the link provided on this home page. Thanks again for visiting, and I hope you have a great Halloween!

The Village Landlord -- Larry

 

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boy diaper cake
boy diaper cake