This Halloween is especially scary. If anyone shows up at your door the trick they might offer is a POTENTIALLY DEADLY VIRUS. I’m sure I’m wrong, but the Halloween decorations I spotted, many in SW Portland, depicted scenes of skeleton’s run amok leading me to wonder if we will all soon become skeletons ourselves. The creativity poured into these scenes of mayhem had me feeling even more uneasy. I long for next Halloween when fact and fiction may not be quite so intertwined which could bring back the sense of normalcy we’ve lacked in 2020.
Grim and Grime
In West Portland Park, a figure of doom carried multiple blades. Even a skeleton could be seen leaping away. Yet this black clad, modern day, grim reaper looking dude made an effort to protect the world from his respiratory droplets. How bloody kind of him!
This well dressed, half skeleton was spotted at the feet of that grim reaper. Looking like a lost Joy Division album cover, this image needs to be sent to the graphics department so they can gloss it up and dial in the right amount of black and white. Oh and could a seance with Martin Hannett be arranged so we can get his approval.
This scene is frightful. The pain on the skeleton’s face is amazing when you consider it’s only bones. It’s difficult enough to make those expressions with muscles and when one is just a bag of bones nothing is supposed to hurt. Right?
A headless horseman in the Grant Park neighborhood attempts to get away on a wooden horse. At first, second and third glance it’s hard to believe there isn’t a living, footless human underneath that denim.
This scene spotted in Grant Park presented an inventive way to get a message across. It’s especially scary when you have to consider that some people will not be wearing masks this Halloween. Oh, and that nice couple sitting on a bench—they’re HEADLESS!
Inflation is Scary
Inflatables air on the ho hum side of decor most of the time but this Pumpkin Master Beast Guy, spotted in the Grant Park neighborhood, is frightful. The bony, gnarled hands and the jagged smile made it especially photogenic.
Half Buried/Half Alive?
I always fall for this. It’s even worse to have to deal with this in my own neighborhood of West Portland Park. This guy isn’t buried alive. He’s parts, stuck in the ground. Yet when I took his picture, he wiggled his toes and reached for me. He begged me to dig him out. I told him I didn’t have a shovel.
Gellin’ and Skellin’ (In the Trees)
This year I spotted skeleton’s everywhere. The thought of them leaping about at Halloween time gives me the shivers. Seeing them living or swimming in trees was scarier. This display, seen in the Alberta Arts district, earned bonus points for using the bones of a Merman. They are as challenging to spot on dry land as they are in the trees.
What a Ghoul Believes
A ghoul baby and a skeletal nun from West Portland Park walk into a bar… No, but I swear I didn’t know what I was looking at when I wrote the above caption. This display freaked me out so bad that I couldn’t get close. The only thing creepier than a ghoul baby crawling around on a roof might me a ghoul baby slipping and falling onto a driveway.
I’m not sure this was what Bob was singing about with the line, “they’re selling postcards of the hanging” but these ghosts lingering in West Portland Park created a bleak scene that is no less mystifying. There is no way to actually hang a ghost.
In Lake Oswego the skeleton dogs are as fierce as the real thing chasing their obsession for bones straight up trees. This dramatic diorama is proof that dogs don’t give up easily–even when they aren’t technically alive.
Lazing in the Blazing
The bright sun takes all the fear and mystery out of Halloween displays like this one in West Portland Park. The skeleton in the back appears to be offering a neighborly wave. At least, the blood red sign lettering made me feel like I should really beware.
I’m reminded that skeletons are just plain weird. They don’t know how to sit in comfortable positions. They dangle their limbs in awkward poses. Despite the silly skeletons, the sight of sticks, stones and plastic bones scattered in the dirt was sending shivers up my intact spine.
PUMP IT UP!
In the Grant Park neighborhood even the poetry posts celebrate the season. The pumpkin picture is not as scary as the poem “Theme in Yellow” by Carl Sandburg. Not that the poem is scary, I’ve just developed a poetry phobia at this point in my life. As a matter of fact, the poem is about pumpkins that have terrible teeth which probably haunts your average dentist.