Classic Monsters Halloween Party

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It’s almost Halloween! For me, it actually seems like the holiday is already past, as my family gathered last Saturday at the house of my sister, niece and nephew-in-law, for the annual Halloween party.

The theme this year was Classic Monsters and as usual, Debbie, Ashley and Jon absolutely wowed us. This is a big event in my family. It’s so fun to drive up to the house and experience the transformation. I show up early so I can get the grand tour and begin taking photos, before the other guests arrive.

The majority of the party attendees dress up for the occasion. Classic Monsters is a broad category. We had witches and vampires in attendance with some werewolves and several who put clever spins on the theme.

Come inside, if you dare, and have a look around. This post is photo heavy. And for the first time, I’ve included a four minute video at the end, if you want a room by room tour and a peek at the guests.

Classic Monsters Title Meme

Classic Monsters in the Yard

The Halloween decor, at the party house, starts outdoors and continues throughout the house. It is always a thrill to turn the corner onto the street and get a hint of what’s inside the house, by seeing what’s outside. Debbie, Ashley and Jon make most of the decorations, using basic materials, creativity and a lot of hard work. They are masters at repurposing objects and decorations from previous years into new creations for the current party.

A cemetery, complete with a fence and tombstones, filled the front lawn. I enjoyed reading the clever inscriptions on the stones. Actors who portrayed classic monsters, such as Lon Chaney and Vincent Price, lay buried in this graveyard! And beware the creatures lurking among the graves.

Classic Monsters Cemetery
Debbie, Ashley and Jon created each of these tombstones.


Classic Monsters Werewolf
Watch out for the Beast!

“Werewolves howl, Phantoms prowl. Halloween’s upon us now.”  Richelle E Goodrich

Classic Monsters Throughout the House

Inside the house, the transformation is magical. I don’t mean a few decorations tucked here and there. I’m talking about a complete transformation. These ultimate party planners cover walls and ceilings and take decorating to an extreme level, to create authenticity. Take a look!

Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab

Classic Monsters Frankenstein
Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab, complete with one of the most well known classic monsters. This figure began its existence as a Santa Claus!
Classic Monsters Frankenstein's Lab
Close up of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. Pick up the classic book HERE.

Count Dracula’s Castle

The living room and dining room became part of Dracula’s Castle.

Dracula's Parlor
Dracula’s Lair. Grab this classic tale HERE.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Dining Room
The castle dining room. By the time guests arrived, a smorgasbord filled that table.

“Being normal is vastly overrated.”  Aggie Cromwell

The Witches’ Wood

Jon claimed this spot, as the “potion” maker. He is an excellent bartender and keeps guests supplied with their potions of choice.

Witches' Lair
This is an adult party, with the exception of a few younger nieces and nephews. Jon serves up creative drinks from this creepy room.

The Spider’s Web and Creature from the Black Lagoon

The downstairs hallway was filled with spider webs. And the creature’s lagoon wasn’t recognizable as the guest bathroom.

Spider Spider
Imagine getting tangled in this spider’s web!
Classic Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon
Classic Monsters – Creature from the Black Lagoon. This room was stunning.

“It’s as much fun to scare, as to be scared.”  Vincent Price

Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Mummy
Classic Monsters – Mummy
Anubis at the Halloween Party
Anubis in the Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Upstairs

The theme for the party continues up the stairs.

The Invisible Man on the Stairs

Classic Monsters Invisible Man
Classic Monsters – Invisible Man

The Phantom of the Opera

Being a fan of this musical, I loved this surprise at the top of the stairs! The soundtrack from the musical played on a loop, which was such a nice touch.

Phantom of the Opera
Classic Monsters – Phantom of the Opera

“I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”  Evan Peters

The Costumes

Here are some of the attendees, in costume. Unfortunately, I did not get photos of everyone. My sisters and brother and I all dressed up as vampires. Each year, at the Halloween party, we take a sibling photo. It was fun to get a sibling vampires shot!

Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests
Miller Family, Mom and her girls, Sibling photo with fangs, Sibling photo without fangs.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 3
Bryan & Christel, Cindy & Greg, Nate (Cookie Monster), Elissa & Adriel, Nate & Adriel
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 2
Scott & Nicole (monster under the bed), Barnes Family, Cody & Ciera, Christina & Brian

“Halloween is not only about putting on a costume, but it’s about finding the imagination and costume within ourselves.”  Elvis Duran

Our Phenomenal Party Hosts

I am amazed, every year, at the work that goes into the annual party. These are people with jobs and responsibilities and busy lives. And they possess an extraordinary level of creativity and resourcefulness.

Our hosts adhered to the classic monsters theme in their costumes. They appeared as a vampire, wood witch, werewolf, Dr. Jekyl and Dorian Gray. See Ethan’s transformation into Mr. Hyde in the next photo!

Halloween Party Hosts
Debbie, Ashley, Kaleb, Ethan & Jon, our amazing party hosts.
Mr. Hyde
Ethan changed back and forth from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde. Such a clever costume…and teenager.

Video Tour of the House

Enjoy this 4 minute video tour of the house.

Classic Monsters Halloween Party

Another Halloween party here…and gone. I’m so appreciative of my family. Their party creating skills are off the charts, truly. They do it because they enjoy the creative challenge and they enjoy hosting family and friends.

I marvel at their ingenuity and their labor of love. For that  is what it is. Thank you Debbie, Ashley and Jon.

My vampire costume was steam punk inspired. I enjoyed a slightly different look that cost me almost nothing to pull together. I owned the leggings and jewelry already. The knee high boots, shirt, vest and long jacket all were thrift store finds and cost me less than $20, total. Daughter Elissa loaned me the hat and great nephew Kaleb supplied the walking stick. I purchased inexpensive teeth at Spirit Halloween Store.

Most of us create our costumes “on the cheap”, with clothes and props we have on hand and thrift store purchases. The idea is to be creative and have fun.

Mission accomplished.

“Every day is Halloween isn’t it? For some of us…”  Tim Burton

Classic Monsters Vampire
Steam punk inspired vampire.


Check out last year’s Halloween Party:

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part I

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part II – Costumes

Amazon Finds for Scary Fun:


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Journey 301: Treats & Tricks

October has been one gorgeous fall day after another. Even the rainy days were welcome, and beautiful in their own way. This week concludes the month, and my journeys have reached the 300’s. The year is winding down. On this perfect autumn day, had not one, but two highlights. 

I had the pleasure of having lunch with my cousin William in Neosho. We were overdue for a chat and a shared meal. William suggested one of his favorite local restaurants, Cafe Angelica, on the Neosho Square. I was delighted, as I’ve not eaten here before. 


What a great place! I loved finding a cafe with a cute name that had a charming interior to match. Even before we ordered lunch, I was captivated. The French country decor was so inviting. And the food was marvelous. We each had the lunch special which included half a sandwich, a salad and a bowl of soup. William loves the chicken curry salad sandwich and I had one as well. The potato soup was delicious and perfectly complemented the chicken curry. 

I enjoyed my first meal at Cafe Angelica and look forward to sampling other entrees. Most of all, I enjoyed seeing William and catching up. By anyone’s reckoning, he has had a challenging year. His mom’s birthday Monday was a bittersweet reminder of his loss. He and his uncle celebrated the day by preparing some of Mindy’s favorite foods. I find that very touching. He reminded me in his quiet, sincere way today that he’s here, he’s journeying, he’s figuring out the path that’s been laid before him. I continue to be so proud of this young man. 

After my return to Joplin, I totally switched gears, into high energy mode. For the first time, I picked up Aubrey, Joey and Oliver from school. Not such a big deal, except that not only do they attend different schools, the schools are in different towns! Fortunately Aubrey gets out 25 minutes ahead of the boys. We had plans for the afternoon and the kids were ready for an adventure. 
With all three kids in tow, we visited the Halloween Store, at the Northpark Mall. We have a big family Halloween party Saturday and I offered to take this trio shopping for costumes. That might sound overly ambitious, taking three active children into a store full of props and costumes and accessories. It was a blast! The kids were golden. None of them knew what they wanted to dress up as, so we looked and discussed and tried on options. 

I am very grateful for the help of a friendly woman in the store, who cheerfully fetched costumes in different sizes, made suggestions, and answered questions. There were lots of questions. The kids were great to sort through a variety of options and make decisions fairly quickly. I was very proud of all three. My only regret was that I completely forgot to snap pics of the process, which had comedic elements. It was a busy 45 minutes and I apparently needed an assistant whose only job was to take pics. Ah well. We have memories. 

We carried our purchases to the mall food court and had snacks before reversing our trip and returning home. I love watching these beautiful children as they chat and laugh and observe their world. I learn so much from them. We listened to songs on the ride home, everyone singing along. 

The kids humored me, once we arrived at their home, and donned their costumes so I could get a photo. Aubrey’s outfit is on over her clothes and Joey has other pieces of his costume to pull together. Oliver’s is complete. He cracked us up by saying he was smiling behind his mask, since I couldn’t tell. Saturday will see everyone fully costumed. It promises to be a fun day. 

Today was a fun day too. From Cafe Angelica to the food court, from Neosho to Joplin to Carthage, it was a memorable journey.