It’s time to get back to celebrating Halloween because, uh, Halloween is always worth celebrating! And when you can throw in a little local history along with it? That’s near perfect.
With that in mind, we bring to you a positively clever design by Kristy Ellison. As part of her Moreno Manor display, Kristy created a huge Halloween presentation that details seven famous ghost stories that are legendary in her Ojai, Calif., hometown.
Kristy has been a longtime Halloween enthusiast, decorating for nearly 20 years, at first for parties. Her husband even proposed at a Halloween party they hosted together. Then, things changed. “When we moved into this house, Moreno Manor, 11 years ago, I started to get real serious,” she tells us.
No doubt! Now, Kristy’s kids also get involved – they will often change themes each year. As you can see from the above video, they’re no slouches when it comes to putting together an expansive Halloween display that is full of color, light and visual intensity. Kristy, along with her husband, builds props all year long.
For this past Halloween, Kristy wanted to tap into some of the local lore. Ojai is a coastal mountain town in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, and the ghost stories go back to the days when the Spanish settled the area. A local author and historian, Richard Senate, has published multiple books on the ghosts in the region, including “Char-Man and other Ojai Ghosts,” which Kristy used as the basis for her display. “Each part of the display told a mini story of ghost legends,” she tells us. “We even handed out a little story book to the guests, a little history lesson.”
If that weren’t thorough enough, she even asked the author to make sure the book she created represented his work accurately. Not only did he approve it, he later came by Moreno Manor to see it in its full glory.
Needless to say, the Ojai community loved it. They were able to discover local ghost legends, such as the European vampire who moved to the Ojai Valley in the late 19th century, the “Black Dog of Death,” and the three lanterns in San Antonio Creek that just might – might! – lead to a cache of ill-gotten gold … assuming you don’t first go stark raving mad!
And, of course, there’s Char-Man, the most famous of them all: A horribly disfigured fire victim who, it is said, still likes to emerge from the forest to yell at motorists and teenagers near a bridge. Especially if they are playing rock ’n’ roll!
It is great fun to go through Kristy’s video and search out the Ojai ghosts – and, too, the AtmosFX Decorations she used to create them. We see Inferno, Phantasms and Ghostly Apparitions decoration collections used to great effect, among others.
And we know the whole community enjoyed the ghost hunt, too. “Many people said we saved Halloween for our town,” she tells us.
What a great way to celebrate your community, Kristy – we love it! And we’re sure some of the local ghosts love the notoriety, too!
It is June, and that means you should be planning your Halloween display – what are you waiting for?! As you start preparing for Halloween 2021, send us your ideas and experiments – they give inspiration to tens of thousands of AtmosFANs around the world! It is easy to send your photos and videos – just do so using this easy online submission form!