The Graveyard Beneath My Window

29 Oct

We stood in the graveyard; my husband, his parents, my three kids and me, looking out onto the crop of scattered, moss covered tombstones. The headstones were surrounded on one side by a black, gothic iron fence.

Shivering, I pulled my sweater tighter around me. Then I bent down to adjust a section of leaning fence.

“Leave it,” Chris said. “It’s better that way.”

Chris piled the last of the dirt onto the mound and spread the soil evenly across an area he had outlined with large fieldstones. The sight of three freshly dug graves under the darkening sky added to the haunting feeling that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

We all stopped talking and stood still, taking in the somberness of it all.

Chris brushed the loose dirt off the front of his jeans. “Well, I want to get this finished before nightfall,” he said with a hard sigh.

“You did a lot of digging,” I nodded.

My eyes scanned the eerie landscape and settled on a skeleton, its skull partially exposed in the piled dirt.  I gazed at the desperate arm reaching out and the bony knees, drawn.  A headstone glinting in the spotlight marked a dead person’s life: Fester N Rot, RIP.

It filled me with joy.

“It works!” Chris shouted. In his hand, he held a remote control. I heard a spraying sound. A fog rose above the tombstones and consumed us. The vapor created by our fog machine lent just the right touch.

This, of course, was no historic graveyard. This year, for Halloween, we gave ourselves permission to explore our darker side.  We moved beyond fake spider webs and carved pumpkins and went full strength, all-out creepy with fake headstone props and freshly dug “graves” which, next summer, will double as garden plots.

With the help of my in-laws, my family created a grim and gruesome graveyard scene on our front lawn, replete with controlled weather elements.

Sometimes all it takes is some haunted graves and severed skeletons to bring a family together.


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48 Responses to “The Graveyard Beneath My Window”

  1. Debbie October 29, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    of course your graveyard is now going to blow away in the hurricane!

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody October 29, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Talk about multitasking – what a great way to get a jump on spring gardening – wish I’d thought of it! Oh well, if the weather clears up for long enough between now and Halloween night, then maybe (or there’s always next year; )

  3. G M Barlean October 29, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Love it. Good writing. You had me holding my breath in the beginning. Makes me want to write a story!

  4. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer October 29, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    at first i thought you were burying a pet hamster; you’re family outings and projects are much more fun than the ones i remember….

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      I don’t know about that, Ronnie. We may have skulls but we’ve never owned miniature horses. 🙂

  5. Tina October 29, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Now this is a great tip! “Sometimes all it takes is some haunted graves and severed skeletons to bring a family together.”

  6. nursemommylaughs October 29, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Veery skeery! Hope you and the fam are safe. Praying for you all! Keep in touch.

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      “Skeery.” I love how I can hear your voice even when I can’t hear it. 🙂 Thanks for your concern, Stacey. Will keep you posted.

  7. Honie Briggs October 29, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    This is so funny to me because the reality of it, in my family at least, is too true. The only time our family seems to get together is when someone dies!

  8. Shalagh Hogan October 29, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Haunted graves, severed skulls, and Frankenstorms to get the family together. Fear and a little burying are great for family bonding. I’m so happy for you.

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Ah, yes, how could I forget about Frankenstorm? Hopefully that will keep us together and not flying through the air in different directions.

  9. funnysister October 29, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Very cute! Hope you and your little grave diggers have a Happy Haunted Halloween.
    P.S. if I ever need to hide a body, I’m doin’ it in October….”I swear Detective, it’s my Halloween landscape!”

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks, sister! Happy Halloween to you and yours too! And just don’t do the hiding in my yard. I have enough skeletons in my closet. 🙂

  10. gabrielablandy October 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    So creative – I love it!

  11. LuAnn October 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I love Halloween and haunted houses! Wish I could be there to see your lawn. 🙂

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      I love Halloween too. And I hope I’ll continue to be here to see my lawn and that the hurricane doesn’t whisk me away!

      • LuAnn October 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

        I am praying for all of you back east as I continue to watch the weather reports.

      • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

        Thanks so much, LuAnn. So far just forceful winds and light rain. Meantime, we’ve hunkered down and grandma has a homemade apple pie baking in the oven. Taking advantage of power while we still have it!

  12. Carrie Rubin October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    That looks fantastic

    • Carrie Rubin October 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Sorry–hit the ‘post comment’ button too soon. I was saying that looks great, and I bet the neighborhood kids (and adults) will love it.

      By the way, I responded to your comment on my blog about Facebook. I’m actually not doing much with my personal account–just mostly family. The bulk of my interaction is on my public page, so maybe I’ll see you there. I’ve already subscribed to your site, but I didn’t see where I could ‘like’ it, so it must not be a page. Hopefully, I’m getting this FB thing down…

      • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

        It’s fun to share our spooky decor with our neighbors, but it’s more fun to share with them our summer harvest!

  13. Debbie October 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Ooooh, creepy! Good idea, and one the kids will remember to tell their kids!

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

      I hope it creates lasting memories. I’ll never forget the pumpkin man we used to set up on our porch growing up. 🙂

  14. Perfecting Motherhood October 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Nice! Any real being actually buried in there? 😉
    I’m not looking forward to my boys growing up and eventually liking the gross and scary part about Halloween. I think I’ll have to set limits on where the gruesome gore stops (i.e. not inside my house!).

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      Yeah, I hear you. A fake severed pinky finger is my limit for indoor props. It shows up in the strangest places — my pillow, the cookie drawer, a bowl of onion dip . . .

      • Perfecting Motherhood October 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

        Argh, I hope I never see that but I know it’s only a matter of time…

  15. rebecca2000 October 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    My kids want to make our yard look super scary. I just worry about the young trick-or-treaters but a graveyard is cool!

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      My husband likes to wait for kids to come to the door, then sticks his hand through the mail slot and screams loudly. Thankfully he only plays that trick on older teens and not helpless young children.

  16. Storkhunter October 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    That is some great writing. Really had me holding my breath at the beginning. And the punch line is fab

  17. I suck as a parent October 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Great read! I was really sad at the beginning and, by the middle I was concerned that you were confessing to a crime. I’m glad you found a new family bonding experience – who needs a family dinner, right?

  18. dorannrule October 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    LOL! What a way for family bonding! This is soooo funny and so well done. 🙂

  19. Browsing the Atlas October 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    What fun! A couple of people in our neighborhood made graveyards in their yards. It’s so spooky and festive. I love Halloween. 🙂

    • Main Street Musings Blog November 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      We love Halloween too. Sadly thanks to Sandy it’s been postponed this year, and that’s the least of our worries!

  20. earthriderjudyberman October 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    I had to double check to make sure you hadn’t moved into the neighborhood, Lisa. Our neighbor across the street has a fog machine and many of the grim acoutrements that you described. It’s a real kid-magnet come Halloween. Great fun!

    Have a boo-ti-ful Oct. 31st.

  21. Katie Checkley October 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    How festive! One day I’ll be creative enough to pull off something like that!

  22. Grown and Flown November 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    My kids would have loved this – maybe someday we will do this with grandkids!!!

  23. Audubon Ron November 4, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    He stands there with one hand over his mouth, the other under his chin with the index finger pointing at Lisa and whispers, “Addams Family!”

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