Tuesday, November 1, 2022

We Haunted, We Flaunted, We're Ready To Follow You Home

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope your Halloween was a treat, and I can't wait to see any pics you care to share over on the Epbot FB page. (I want to see ALL the costumes, decor, & carved pumpkins, please!)

Look how gorgeous my friend Karen is as one of the Mansion ballroom dancers. LOOK AT HERRRRR

Our Haunted Mansion Halloween was a smashing success; we had steady waves of trick-or-treaters, but not so many that we were ever TOO overrun. (And still nowhere near our Ghostbusters year numbers, so John says we need another glowing beacon on the roof to draw them in, lol.) I'd guess we had 150-200 kids? And lots of big families.

My attempt at a crowd shot really captures the chaos of the moment.


It also helped that we had 6-10 friends there helping at all times, and three separate areas to keep the kids moving through the yard.

We set up an extra table between the candy distribution and the buggy (by the green lights) where two friends helped apply glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos all night - or at least until we ran out. That really helped pull the kids toward the Buggy, which often had a line!

I'm also grateful for our friends being there and taking photos & video, since I'm terrible at remembering. Here's a compilation of some of them:

And an amazing Reel by Melissa:

At one point a couple on a motorcycle pulled up outside the crowd, and it took me a good 10 seconds to realize it was my parents. Eeee! They're full-time RVers who just got to Florida for the season, and they drove three super long days just to be here in time to see our display. ::happy sob::

A few gorgeous photos by our friend Kelsey, another happy surprise guest:

Traci had an inflatable alligator she named Oscar, and her skirt flowers glowed in the dark!

And when Karen fluoresced under black light she gave perfect Lady Carlotta vibes:

Doom Buggy crowd:

I have a handful of photos of adorable kids in the Buggy, but to be on the safe side I'll just show you this little Spider-Man making his own reins out of webs:

(He was so excited, also ran over to pose with the Hitchhiking ghosts, and dragged his Mom all over the yard, haha.)

All the kids had a blast climbing up into the Buggy for photos - and honestly, so did teenagers, and their parents! Made me so happy, y'all. Gah. So happy.

Speaking of happy: Traci is amazing at greeting kids by their character's name - and reminding us to do the same -and I'm pretty sure we made a pre-teen's whole night when we called her Winnie (from Hocus Pocus). Her face LIT UP. "You know who I am?! MOM THEY KNOW WHO I AM!!!" I could hear her excitedly telling people all the way out of the yard that we recognized her costume. My heart.

That's such a good reminder to brush up on pop culture & kids' characters before Halloween; so we can give more kids & teens moments like that. <3

Sending you lots of love, peace, and hope for happy moments this week, my friend. Tomorrow is John's birthday, so we're putting off the Halloween cleanup so we can spend the day being lazy and eating pizza together. :) After that, though, we will of course be activating FULL CHRISTMAS MODE.  ::evil laugh:: Stay tuned for more holiday geekery!


P.S. My October Squeegineer winners are Miranda M., & Christy R.! Congrats, you two, and please check your inboxes for a message from John to choose your prizes.

Everyone else, you can already enter now for November, and it's free!


P.P.S. PSA: My favorite wire-free bra is on sale right now for the lowest price I've EVER seen. If you've ever wanted to try these, run. Or, you know, click quickly:

Check all the colors in your size to see what's on sale; some are nearly 70% off, so less than $13 each! I just bought 4 more, which is the highest recommendation I can give.  I love the under-arm smoothing panel - no dig or pinch! - and like most Warners, these are incredibly comfortable.

(Be sure to check the image gallery for a better idea of how they look on larger tracts of land. I usually wear a 34DDD and wear a Large, if that helps!)


  1. I wish I was closer so I could come by and see everything in person! Alas, Kansas is quite a drive/flight. But everything looks so awesome! Thanks for sharing the pictures, videos, and how-tos with us!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing all this wonderful stuff! I love it all.
    I 100 percent agree with trying to know who characters are. I was dressed as Jigglypuff from Pokemon and since it was so nice outside (55 in Minnesota -- INCONCIEVABLE) I sat out and let the kids pick their own candy. I tried to greet each by name and if I didn't know them, I would ask. There was one teen who was a very obscure character from Resident Evil 8 or something, so I just said that it wasn't my fandom, but I was sure she captured the character perfectly. Got a big smile for that one.
    How also very cool for your parents to surprise you. I'm sure the squees could be heard on the Space Station.

  3. DH and I went to Disneyland a week ago, and we gave up on the Haunted Mansion ride: that attraction is notorious for breaking down. Your post totally made up for it! Even better in some ways: stories about happy kids! Love to you all!

  4. I absolutely love everything about this!! So fun to see your creativity and I love that your parents surprised you!
    Totally agree on calling everyone by their costumed character's name - it's so fun to see their faces light up! We had anywhere from 8-12 of us at the Pixar house in costume so we had a good chance of someone in our crew recognizing 99% of the costumes we spotted, and it was great to see how everyone reacted to being identified as their character. 17 year old Grace (dressed as Russell from Up) was the best at it - she was so enthusiastic and would gush over all the obscure costumes and ask if she could take a selfie with them. People just lit up and loved the attention. And another friend dressed as Edna Mode made a point of talking to all the kids dressed as superheroes to discuss their costumes, and chatted up the adult superheroes telling them to make an appointment for a redesign with her. I was Merida, so I tried to find all the other Disney princesses in the crowd, and Buzz Lightyear was on a mission to find all his Toy Story friends. It was crazy chaotic - over 1,000 treats handed out, plus all the adults who came by to see the display - but between all of us we tried to greet at least every kid and teen. It was so much fun!!

  5. So fun!!! Thanks for taking us along on this! But didn't you get any photos of your and John's costumes? We just see the back of John and am I missing yours? What did you end up doing? So lovely that your parents came <3

    1. Oh, now the Instagram preview is suddenly showing and I see the first one is of you. Sadly I don't have Instagram so it won't let me watch the video compilations you put up (boooo!) but what I can see of that preview image looks great!

    2. Shoot, I didn't realize IG had changed the embed feature so you need to have the app to view them! Arg, that's frustrating. :( And yes, both our costumes are in the videos, so I didn't want to clog up the post with duplicates. I'll see if there's a way to embed the vids directly, so it won't re-direct you to IG!

    3. OOOOH, Thank you, I was able to watch the first one there! The 2nd one still took me to IG but it was fun seeing the first one, WOW! You looked great by the way :-)

    4. Oh, and I clicked on the IG one anyway and...it played! Whatever you did worked!

    5. Yay! I uploaded my Reel to Youtube and then embedded it that way, ha, A reel pain (get it?) but at least now y'all can watch it here. I'll do that in the future, too - but any Reels I share from other creators will still bring you to the app.

  6. Every year I have at least one kid who is SUPER excited when I recognize their costume. It's such a small thing to call out their costume (and not too hard for a lot of us geeks!!), and it has a big impact.

  7. The portrait of your parents is so cute!


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