Monday, October 31, 2022

Hallowe'en At Greenfield Village 2022

Originally,  I was going to post my Greenfield Village Autumn pictures along with my Hallowe'en pictures all in one post,  for the two go hand in hand.  However,  there were just too many photos depicting each to have in an all-in-one post - something like 80-plus images!  So,  I separated the two into separate postings,  and since this very date is October 31st - Hallowe'en - I decided to show you the way it's celebrated at my favorite historic open-air museum.
I went to the Hallowe'en event two separate times:  once on October 16 as a solo dressed in my colonial clothing,  and the other on October 29 with my family.  Therefore,  that's how I plan to show them here. 

Now for some Hallowe'en fun from October 16:
A beautiful autumnal tree with Jack o' Lanterns beneath.

Much of the running theme of Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village is based around the early 19th century American story of the headless horseman.
Author Washington Irving  (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859)  is considered to be the greatest American writer of his time:  mentor to Poe,  Longfellow,  and Hawthorne,  his country’s first professional author  transformed copyright laws to give writers and artists more representation,  and cultivated a previously non-existent literary culture throughout the United States.  He was idolized internationally,  and adored by great authors of the day,  including Byron,  Walter Scott,  and his greatest supporter,  Charles Dickens.  His works and influence have left their mark on American and even global culture.  
Have you read Washington Irving's 1820 tale
"The Legend 
of  Sleepy Hollow"?
You should!
Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village does a fine job in its depiction.

A bit of Hallowe'en can be enjoyed, 
even in the daylight hours.

What's so Hallowe'en about this picture?
If you are familiar with Washington Irving's above

mentioned tale,  then you may understand this sign
and its significance a bit more.

This pumpkin scarecrow,  affectionately known as  "Mr.  Irving"  by Greenfield Village employees,  has become as standard a decoration for Hallowe'en here at the Village
as a Christmas Tree is for Christmas.

A hearse in front of the Hearse Shed.

I think you know which movie this came from....right?

The following two pictures are,  I believe,  based on the Ray Bradbury book,  The Hallowe'en Tree:
I also have the cartoon/movie of the same name,  which is actually
very well done and even suitable for adults.
In other words,  it's not for young kiddies.

Such a great depiction - can't wait to see it at night!

In the evening,  Hallowe'en takes on a different look with all of  the festivities,  so let's visit the bright lights where all the excitement and action was taking place.
Isn't this a cool set up?
I should do something like this at my house.
Unfortunately,  I would be afraid my barrel would become
a permanent Hallowe'en prank,  leaving me barrel-less and angered.

There were witches about.
I did see a few young ones dressed as the Sanderson Sisters from the
movie  "Hocus Pocus,"  but these two seemed to fit in more with the
wicked witches from  "The Wizard of Oz"  fame.

Since I mentioned  "The Legend of  Sleepy Hollow"  earlier,  it's with this tale that my night ended.
Ichabod and the headless horseman...
Don't lose your head,  Ichabod!
~An opening in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that the church bridge was at hand.  He saw the walls of the church dimly glaring under the trees beyond.  He recollected the place where Brom Bones’s ghostly competitor had disappeared.  “If I can but reach that bridge,”  thought Ichabod,  “I am safe.”  Just then he heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him;  he even fancied that he felt his hot breath…Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish,  according to rule,  in a flash of fire and brimstone.  Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups,  and in the very act of hurling his head at him.  Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile,  but too late.  It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash, -he was tumbled headlong into the dust,  and Gunpowder  (Ichabod’s own horse),  the black steed,  and the goblin rider,  passed by like a whirlwind.~
A quick duck,  and just in time!

And off they went,  deep into the fields of Firesto---er...Van Tassel's farm.
At one point,  as I was walking along dressed in my colonial clothing,  a man came up to me and asked if I worked there.  I told him I didn't.  Looking a bit embarrassed,  he apologized,  and I told him not to worry,  that I am there often.  He then said that he thought I worked there because I looked  "comfortable"  wearing the clothes I had on.
I suppose as often as I wear them,  I do feel comfortable in them!
One final photo of  me standing in the very same spot I stood earlier,  only now
it was a bit scarier than during the afternoon,  when the sun was peering behind
a very thin layer of clouds.
And that was it for October 16th.
But...two weeks later I brought my entire family:
-my wife
-our four kids
-two daughters-in-law
-and my four grandkids  (my youngest grandchild is only seven months old but came just the same!).
Once again,  the weather  "played nice"  and we were able to have a grand old time.
You see,  last year I could not make it so I gave my tickets to my son and his oldest child,  my grandson Ben,  who was seven years old at the time.  Well,  he had such a good time - he brought it up to me often throughout the year.  So I devised a plan to buy all of us tickets...and I did...and all 12 of us came out and had a blast
First off,  here's my wife and I.
We didn't do anything spectacular with our clothing.  Just a simple cloak and hat/cap
 was enough to have a few kind people give us their seal of approval.  However, 
our grandson,  Liam,  asked,  "Why are you dressed like that?"

My three oldest grandkids recognized  "death"  (the Grim Reaper)  walking behind them,  with his black robe and scythe.  He is the,  um,  main character  in their favorite book "All My Friends Are Dead."
All three can recite the book by heart. you probably already know, 
we step out of the norm in my family.

The Ackley Covered Bridge,  built in the early 1830s,  was turned into a spooky,  fog-filled wooden tunnel.  According to the program guide:
"Covered bridges are known to be places of enchantment and portals to other dimensions.  (The)  Ackley Covered Bridge is no exception..."
My son and three of his kids were silhouetted as they exited the Ackley Covered Bridge.

Well,  here's yours truly.
I'm just a shadow of my former self at the Daggett House
Of course I am---I am dressed like a Victorian at a colonial home!

My granddaughter testing out a new broom.
Samantha the witch - named for Samantha Stevens from  "Bewitched"
at Witch Hazel's Used Broom Lot.
Harry Potter,  eat your heart out!

The Witches Dance.
A group of witches - The Potion Sisters - danced for the on-lookers.
My wife told me of a thought she had about this showing of witches;
she said it would be neat for Greenfield Village,  being the historical place that it is,  to show what a typical witch of the 17th century looked in a sort of Salem Witch Trial.  How cool would that be??

We then boarded The Hallowe'en Express,  the ghostly passenger train ride.
The twenty minute ride gave us a tour through a variety of Hallowe'en legends.
This is a great addition to this event. 

The ghostly caboose.

A number of Victorians boarded the train as well -
it was very much a scene from the past.  

As we waited in line to board the train,  this person was singing the old Roger Miller
classic  "King of the Road."  Of course,  I sang along with him.  Much to his surprise,
  I knew all the words!  I think the others waiting in line got a kick out of it!

Looking toward the front...with a ghost car to the right.

A ghost passenger train car.

Green and red smoke coming out of the roundhouse smoke stacks.
It is very unfortunate that my camera does not seem to do too well at night while bumping along a train track,  so most of my photos taken were blurred - some very bad while others somewhat acceptable.
But the next few photos were taken on the Haunted Express Train ride:
A cemetery...

A very interesting tree before we headed into the enchanted forest.

As we rode along the tracks,  we headed deeper into the woods that border Greenfield Village.
This is one of my favorite pictures taken this night.

As we moved out of the forest - - - - 
I do not recall what this was,  but the picture didn't blur so here you are!

You really have to look close in this picture,  and you will see a sort of ghostly, 
skeletal figure playing baseball.  The white-ish center specter just hit a phantom ball, 
which can be seen bouncing along on the right.
What I have here is nothing compared to what else was along the track.  I hope to figure out how to take night time non-blur photos before next year.  Then again,  it is  a pretty bumpy ride.

From the train we wandered a bit and were witness to the wonders of Hallowe'en and how Greenfield Village put it all together.  One of the scenarios was that of  "The Wizard of Oz" - - 
My daughter with one of the Flying Monkeys.
The quality of  the costume work was outrageous!

We also met the former Alpheba,  who became the
Wicked Witch of the West,  with her goody goody best friend, 
Glinda,  the Good Witch of the North.
(Check out THIS scene)

We were witness to dancing skeletons on the gazebo.

Which scarecrow comes to life?
This certainly is not  the scarecrow from Oz!

Evening in autumn~~~~~~~~~
This could just very well be one of my very favorite pictures of my wife and I...of all time.
Leaves are falling all around
It's time I was on my way...
But now it's time for me to go
The autumn moon lights my way
Yeah...the autumn moon was behind the photographer,  but I did think of  
the lyrics to this Led Zeppelin song  "Ramble On"  while we posed.

We came upon this man,  Anthony Lucas,  actor and storyteller extraordinaire.  On this night he recited Edgar Allan Poe's 1843 Gothic masterpiece,  "The Tell-Tale Heart"  with such passion - frightful passion - that held his audience spellbound.
I've not heard anyone ever bring stories to life as this man
Anthony Lucas,  does. 
You have to hear him for an experience you won't forget.

This man would not allow us into the Eagle Tavern. 
He said that there was already a party there and we were
not invited!  But he did allow us to peek inside the windows:
This is what we saw:
I thought I heard  "Boney Maroney"  playing on the piano.

That was followed by  "Diggin'  Up Bones." don't think I want to go to this party.

It's only a paper moon...
It sure does look like a paper moon in this turn-of-the-20th century shot,  but it's not. 
That is the actual earth satellite up there 

As we moved along,  we saw someone having a tea party,  perhaps to celebrate the autumn and Hallowe'en.  So I asked one of the presenters who those people were,  and she pointed to a young lady wearing a blue cape and said:
"Go ask Alice...I think she'll know..."
Of course,  my wife and daughter got in on the excitement and met the Mad Hatter, 
the Queen of Hearts,  the Rabbit who has one pill to make you larger and one pill
to make you small,  and,  of course,  Alice.
Isn't it a wonder?

We soon found ourselves moving passed the Ford Farm,  and what do my wondering eyes should appear?
Not one...

...not two...

...but THREE of the scariest scarecrows I ever did see!
I would like to create something like one of these in my yard for next year.

WE came upon a sort of Pumpkin Tower.
Speaking of pumpkins - - - - 
If you recall,  earlier in this post we visited  "The Hallowe'en Tree".  However,  it was daylight,  so it didn't have the effect as one would get when viewed when darkness comes:  
This tree is covered with carved pumpkins hanging from
the branches almost as if they're apples.  
According to Ray Bradbury's book,  "The Hallowe'en Tree," 
each pumpkin represents someone who died on Halloween.
"The Hallowe'en Tree"  come something like that.

Toward the top of this posting I wrote a bit about Washington Irving and his wonderful  "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"  tale from 1820.  Well,  most of my family had not seen this  'vignette'  live and in person as Greenfield Village has it.
My grandkids and my wife anxiously await to see what might occur...

And then,  seemingly out of nowhere - - - !!

My oldest grandson,  Ben,  could not take his eyes off of him.  And when the headless horseman moved up toward my grandkids,  pulled out his sword,  and wacked the corn
stalk right next to them!  Ben thought this was the coolest thing!  The other two weren't quite so sure...

And poor Ichabod Crane was fearing for his life!
Don't worry,  Ichabod!  Don't lose your head in fright!

This was a wonderful time!
And to have my whole family there with me made it perfect - I was so glad my wife and I were able to put together such a special celebration of  both autumn and Hallowe'en!
Please allow me to introduce to you the Autumn 2022 edition of my family:
My heart is filled.
I have been blessed beyond anything I could have imagined.
It's this sort of thing that I live for.  More than anything else,  when my time comes to be with the Lord  (and I do hope it's not going to be anytime soon,  no offense),  my greatest wish is to be remembered as a family man - a good husband & father,  first and foremost,  followed by a lover of  American history & patriot.  I believe my family had a walloping good time celebrating Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village,  as I'm sure you can see by the photos posted here.
To me,  this is what it's all about.
Well,  October is ending and November is nigh.  Soon the browns,  reds,  and golds of autumn will lie in the gutter,  dead...but there's more to do this season of the year.  And,  if things go as planned,  you shall see my next autumn adventure coming up in about a week or so.


Now I would like to feature a few photos taken by Miranda Renaud.
Miranda is an employee at the Museum and,  therefore,  is sometimes able to snatch a few awesome photos in the pre-dawn hours,  such as what you see here:
The look and feel is almost other-worldly...

And the fog in the background sets the scene.

Again...more morning  (mourning?)  fog sets this photo apart.
Thank you,  Miranda,  for allowing me the opportunity to share your photos.  They are terrific!

And one more stop,  though this time it's at my own home on Hallowe'en itself:
About 5:00 pm

About 6:00 pm

About 7:00 pm

I ordered this painting from artist Ken Scott.
It now hangs inside my  "Greenfield Village"  back gathering room.


Now,  before I take my leave,  and since much of  Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village is based around  "The Legend of  Sleepy Hollow,"  I should like to give my reviews of  two very different versions of this American tale as put to film:
The one closest to
Washington Irving's vision
The first one here I took a chance on and purchased sight unseen because from what I have read it is one of the closest film depictions to Irving's original Sleepy Hollow story  (originally published in book form in 1820).  This made-for-TV version from 1999 follows Irving's original much,  much closer than the Tim Burton version,  which was in theaters that same year.  Irving's short story wasn't necessarily a horror story as it seems to be thought of in our modern times,  but,  rather,  it was more of a love story with some fright and mystery interspersed throughout.  However,  it was framed in eeriness and the true fright does come in at the very end.  The version here shows this well  (Brent Carver is a positively PERFECT Ichabod Crane - straight out of the book in every way),  and the depiction of the story being told by elders to a young stranger at a dark,  candle-lit tavern right around 1820 on Hallowe'en helps to give it a more spooky feeling. 
And,  I have to say,  the atmosphere of the story itself,  taking place in 1791,  is also very well done;  few other versions capture that warm,  autumnal feeling that Irving illustrates so perfectly in his original story.  
There is talk of the John Andre Hanging Tree  (Andre was a British Major in the Revolutionary War and was captured and then hung as a spy),  though the covered bridge ending is left out,  which is okay because historically,  covered bridges didn't make it into America until the early part of the 19th century  (there's the historian in me).
Yep - this may not be the absolute horror story we've all come to know it as,  but then,  neither was the original.
But it is scary enough.
Without the gore.

There are a few cool
headless horseman scenes.
This second Sleepy Hollow movie I am writing about was produced by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane.  However,  is an entirely different narrative altogether.  Only the movie’s name and the character names remain the same as Irving's original.  Okay,  and the fact that the story takes place in the late 18th century with a headless horseman.   Other than that--- in this Burton/Depp film there is nothing that resembles the book.   Having just read the book the week before watching this I can honestly say I did have a difficult time with it.  It's not necessarily horrible,  though I have a tough time calling it  "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"  without adding Burton and Depp’s names to it to differentiate it from the other more accurate version that at least attempts to resemble Irving’s original.                  This Sleepy Hollow is definitely scarier and much gorier – more attuned to a modern audience who looks for those sorts of things for something to be suitable for Hallowe’en.  So,  in that manner,  I give it a 2 1/2 out of 5, because it’s not quite as bad as those Freddy Krueger-type slasher flicks.  As far as representing Washington Irving’s original short story,  I say  “nope ---- not even close"---stick to the other movie I watched a couple weeks ago...or read the book.
What else would I expect from Hollywood?
By the way,  it's not horrible.  It's just not Sleepy Hollow.

Until next time,  see you in time.

To learn about Hallowe'en past,  please click HERE

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~


Lady Locust said...

Oh what fun that you had your whole family with you. And what beautiful scenery you had. I read Sleepy Hollow so many years ago, I scarcely remember it, but I have read it. (I've also read Hoosier Schoolmaster which was a hoot! I know, unrelated but an old book nonetheless.)
They certainly went all out!

Historical Ken said...

I always appreciate your comments!
Thank you!