The Ghouls Next Door
by Susan Rogers
I entered this house in the 2016 Belleville Gingerbread Walk in Belleville, IL. It won Best of Show. I wanted to make a replica of David Winter's Haunted House, but I had to figure out how I could put a holiday spin on it--The house is where the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future hang out before their next "gig"! On the back side of the house, I opened up their rooms. The Ghost of Christmas Future is on top looking through his crystal ball (with s'mores at his feet--shared by Present and Past). Christmas Present and Past are making s'mores with the flame on Past's head. I didn't know before I started this project that the Ghost of Christmas Past is actually a candle! The bottom room is the Ghost of Christmas Past's room. I tried to show this by the notorious leg lamp, books with different years in it and "wax" dripping from the walls. Most of the house is covered in gum paste bricks, with sunflower seed roof and a parsley lawn and Ramen noodle vines. I sculpted all of the gargoyles, but I actually used a lion soap mold to make the lions (I'm not that great of a sculptor). The windows are Isomalt with gum paste panes. It's hard to see, but in the lower part of the house in the front, there is a "forge" with gum paste chains hanging down and a fire in the fireplace. This was to represent the chains people forge in life. The house stands approx. 3 1/2 feet high. It was a stressful project, but a lot of fun to create.