Holmes Asylum for the Criminally Insane Part II

Last night’s blog post shared photos of the themed decor at the annual family Halloween party. Debbie, Ashley and Jon created the Holmes Asylum for the Criminally Insane, transforming their home from sprawling suburban to spooky institution. As always, they delighted us with their ingenuity and creativity.

Guests are encouraged to attend this special event in costume. Each year’s theme is announced 12 months ahead of time, during the current celebration. We’ve all had time to pick a character or historical figure to dress up as. Most of us researched our chosen person, to bring authenticity to our roles, which added to the fun.

Tonight, meet the inhabitants of the asylum, as the party attendees show off their costumes!

Jon as Sheldon Cooper…yeah his Mom’s had him tested, but…and Ashley as Sherlock Holmes’ sister Eurus.

Debbie as Abby Brewster and me as Martha Brewster, from Arsenic & Old Lace.

Greg as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. He nailed the role! When we left Kaleb made sure he took his parcel with him.

Roy as the Unabomber’s informant brother.

Pat (my mon) as a rather gleeful Lizzie Borden.

Linda as Sister Jude, in American Horror Story, and Nicole as Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch. The kids can dress up without following the theme. Kaleb is Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy, Weston is Hamster Boy, and Lola is Princess Minnie.

The rest of Linda’s crew: London as Batgirl, Aralyn is Princess Ariel and Eric and Tosh are Asylum visitors!

Nate as Ed Gein, Adriel as the Zodiak Killer, there I am again, and Elissa is former nurse Annie Wilkes from the movie Misery.

Ethan is the 11th Doctor, from Doctor Who, just after he regenerated from Ten.

Lisa as Bellatrix, from the Harry Potter films, and Josh is a Juggalo.

Sheldon and the Doctor having fun!

Upstairs there was a “padded cell”, perfect for photo ops!

This happy group includes Aiden and Shane, first time visitors, in the back next to Debbie. Kathy is a Mad Doctor, Allison is Alex Forrest, from Fatal Attraction and her mom, Kelly, is Baby Jane, from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Jerri and Steve are Nudists on Strike!

Christel as Angela from Sleepaway Camp and Bryan as John Doe from the thriller Se7en.

Lindsay as a Cult Follower and Cade as David Koresh, the Cult Leader.

Our yearly sibling photo! This is always a must have.

What an incredible evening. We missed family members who ended up having to work or couldn’t make it for other reasons. I enjoyed chatting and laughing with those who were there. Our family is unique in that we don’t mind taking our creativity, humor and fun beyond the edges and outside the lines. We aren’t morbid or dark. Think Addams Family! We are quirky and happy to be so, and when we get together, we have a great time.

Again I have deep appreciation and gratitude for Debbie, Ashley, and Jon and also Christel and Bryan, for all their hard work in creating a highly successful Halloween party. The work continues for them as the undecorating begins.

They are dreaming up new ideas as they enter the planning stage for next year’s party….Carnevil. I’ve already decided on a costume…

Journey 304: Halloween Party

My niece Ashley and her husband Jon, and my sister Debbie really know how to throw a party! Halloween is their favorite holiday and they spend months transforming their lovely home into something decidedly other. Last year, we entered the Lauderdale Asylum. This year’s theme was a haunted hotel, the Thirestane Hotel, named after after the family castle in Scotland. 


What those three do for this party goes way beyond decorating. Almost every room in the house under goes renovation, even the bathrooms. Food is plentiful and wonderfully twisted to match the holiday. Everyone arrives in costume. And some of the props and framed art are clues. The game is to figure out what spooky show they are from. The children all went trick or treating, with a host of parents and adults as guardians. And because today was Aubrey’s 7th birthday, Ashley had a cake for her and we sang to this dear girl as she blew out the candles. 


In this case, pictures are worth so much more than words. Welcome to the Thirlestane Hotel. 


Ashley, Jon and Debbie built a check in desk, complete with a guest book to sign in with, using a quill pen. 


This very cool photo, inspired by The Shining, had all the adults in the family, and Dayan, photoshopped in. It was fun to find everyone and each family left with a copy. 



I’m Helen the tourist, separated from my tour group. 


Greg as “Ben Noah Ware”, part of my tour group. 



My kids: Elissa – Sims character. Nathanael – Storm Trooper. Adriel – Cruella DeVil 

Nathanael (he made his storm trooper costume, except for the helmet and boots), Megan, Joey, Oliver & Aubrey


Jonathan, Josh, Elissa & Dayan. They were all characters from video games. 

 Adriel & Nate. Looks like Cruella has her first puppy!


Ashley, Jon, Kaleb & Ethan

 Scott, Roy, Linda holding Lola, Nicole holding Weston


Christel & Bryan

 Debbie, Mom, Walter, Linda, me


Siblings – Debbie, Linda, Bryan, me




 The birthday girl…is she naughty or nice? 😉


This was so clever! A photo wall built so that the pictures could be removed and we could stand behind and become the photos. Ethan, Dayan, Jonathan, Oliver, Kaleb, Joey & Aubrey

What a fun night, spent with family. All of my children, their spouses or finance, and all five grandchildren were able to be present, which is a rarity with everyone’s schedules. My whole family was there except for my nephew Eric and his wife and daughters. He had to work this evening. 

A huge thank you to Debbie, Ashley and Jon. Their creativity, hard work and generosity make this yearly event one that we all look forward to. As we left, the theme for next year was already being discussed. We are all excited to see it unfold. 




Day 298: Family Halloween Party

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My family enjoys Halloween. The theme song from the Addams Family is appropriate for us: “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky….” Really, we relish any opportunity to gather as a family and have fun. And, certain members of the family excel at party planning and being extremely creative! For years, my grandson Dayan has hosted a Halloween party and so has my sister, Debbie, niece, Ashley and her husband, Jon. Last year, both families were in the process of moving to new houses and there were no parties. This year, for the first time, we all gathered at one big party, hosted by Ashley, Jon and Debbie, in Broken Arrow, OK.

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An indication of what awaited us, inside!

These guys went all out. To properly showcase the enormous amount of work and creativity they spawned, this blog post will be primarily a photographic one. We had a fantastic time, feasting, dressing up, visiting and laughing, and playing a very cool game. I appreciate Debbie, Ashley and Jon so much, for turning their home into a spook house full of surprises and making sure we all had a wonderful experience. Seriously, these three should do party planning to generate additional income!

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Halloween Party 3

Dayan, Elissa, Josh

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Nicole, Scott

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Fox, Linda, Cade

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Great food, cleverly served.

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Greg and Roy didn’t wear costumes…or did they? Twins!

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Steve, Jerri

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The decorations gave clues to 30 + scary movies. We teamed up and hunted for the references. What fun!

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Jon, bartending as The Phantom of the Opera!

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Ethan and Kaleb

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Christel, in the Hall of Screams

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Bryan, Linda, Debbie, Cindy….siblings!

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Dayan, Ashley, Cindy, Pat, Linda, Debbie, Elissa, Josh

Jon, Ethan, Kaleb

What a fun Saturday. Love my family. I wish every single member could have attended. Perhaps next year! I suspect this annual event is going to keep getting bigger and more elaborate. Oh, the possibilities!

Halloween Party 1

The Hall of Screams