Thursday, November 1, 2012

Attack of the Zombies…almost

American Gothic House Center
Not exactly a Zombie Apocalypse, but last Saturday there was an invasion of sorts as close to 100 short spooks, ghouls, goblins, witches, fairies and even the cast from the Wizard of Oz descended upon the American Gothic House in seek of fun and nourishment. And they weren’t disappointed.

Depending on which way they turned the young ghouls could make spooky cookies, complete with worms, construct a paper-plate ghost, bowl a frame with a pumpkin as the ball and rolls of scary toilet paper as pins, conduct experiments with the Center’s resident Mad Scientist (bet you didn’t know we had one of them), or have a snack and wash it down with the very unappealing Putrid Punch. Full disclosure: although the punch did look terrible it tasted good, but it was tough getting past the worms.

All stations were busy, but the Mad Scientist table appeared to draw the most attention. There was almost always a crowd as our Mad Scientist (not her day job) conducted experiments with the audience and remarks such as “that’s cool” or “how does it do that?” could be overheard. Fortunately, there weren’t any serious burns or permanent disfigurement as the result of these experiments, but I did notice an odd-looking hump begin to grow on the back of one small witch. All must be well, however, as no word yet from the lawyers.

At the makeshift bowling alley bowlers were faced with a stack of ghoulish-looking toilet paper (spooky faces drawn on each roll) and given a small pumpkin complete with holes just like a real ball. Most rolled strikes, but once in awhile numerous tries were needed to pick up the spare. It didn’t matter, no one was keeping score.

Cookie-making was an art in itself. Left to choose from a host of toppings, the young guests built rather extravagant and odd-looking treats that probably wouldn’t sell well at a bakery. As it turned out, they were a lot like the punch; looked terrible but tasted pretty good. (I only know this as I took a bite out of my grandson’s.)

All the other stations were busy as well, the pitchfork races, the ghost-making, picture-taking in front of the house in full costume, and making luminaries. For about two hours there was a buzz of activity some structured, and some not so much. But what else can be expected during an invasion by short odd-looking creatures stoked with cookies and treats?

As can be seen in the photos stations were manned by more normal-looking folks (well, most of them) who were the volunteers on hand to help the nascent hobgoblins with the crafts and games. And, as usual, the event could not have been a success without them.

We have a couple weeks of breathing room as our next function will be Nov. 15 at the Eldon Library Hall when Larry Stone will present “Iowa: Portrait of the Land.” Stone’s appearance is another in a series of talks and lectures sponsored by the American Gothic House Center and the Wapello County Conservation Board.

Next up, of course, is Christmas and all the festivities involved with that. Till next time.

Brian Chambers
Media Coordinator
The American Gothic House Center

The American Gothic House Center strives to become financially independent through gift shop revenue, sponsorships, and by establishing an endowment fund. Funds raised in this campaign will be used to match the Iowa Cultural Trust Endowment Challenge Grant and will become endowment funds to support the Center's annual operations. As a subscriber to the weekly newsletter, you have already shown support for the American Gothic House Center. I invite you to strengthen your role in the valuable experience we provide the community by making a contribution to our fund drive. Click here to give your tax deductible gift, or head to our website for more information. Thank you to all who have donated so far!
        Our Mission: Integrating the puzzle pieces of American Gothic
300 American Gothic St | Eldon, IA 52554 | 641-652-3352 |


  1. Looks like a great time/turnout! Had a blast last year, but was unable to attend this year. Look forward to more upcoming events.

  2. It was a great time and turnout! Hopefully we'll see you at future events!