The 2016 Halloween Mood Table!

Ah, finally! It’s Mood Table time!

I invented the Halloween Mood Table back in 2007. That year, I was all out of sorts over various personal issues, and completely lost my Halloween spirit. The Mood Table was how I got it back.

I’ve made one every year since, and along the way, hundreds of people have joined the fun. I’m weirdly proud to say that there are now people building Halloween Mood Tables and calling them Halloween Mood Tables despite having no idea who I am.

Getting strangers to put orange candles and rubber spiders on top of their nightstands? I could think of worse legacies.

Think of the Mood Table as Halloween’s Christmas tree. It can be huge and gaudy, or it can be small and spartan. All that matters is that it matters to you. The only “rule” is to create a space where Halloween remains visually alive, 24 hours a day. It exists to feed your Halloween spirit. The more I type, the more I sound like Evil Yoda.


Thar she blows. My 2016 Halloween Mood Table.

It’s a big departure from my norm. It’s also just big. After my 2014 and 2015 Mood Tables pushed the boundaries of what could reasonably be accomplished with two 1970s coffee tables purchased at the world’s worst flea market, I decided I needed an upgrade.

This year, the Halloween Mood Table uses an electric fireplace as its base, which I’m of course counting as part of the Mood Table. I’m going for a sort of Freddy Krueger boiler room vibe. As usual, the Mood Table is topped with (and surrounded by) more monsters and creatures than I could begin to catalog. It’s like all of my ugliest toys came alive and decided to throw a luau.


…and there’s the night view.

The photographs don’t capture how huge this is — around five feet tall and nearly three feet wide, saturated with lights and skulls and 1986 Real Ghostbusters party hats. It’s beautiful and it’s a behemoth. Disassembling it in November is gonna suuuuuuck.

Knowing that no photo could ever do this year’s Mood Table justice, I decided to film it, too:


I’ve been thrown a couple of curveballs over the last few weeks, and I’d be lying if I said that they didn’t distract me from Halloween fun. In a way, I’m glad for that. It helped me remember why I made a Mood Table in the first place, almost ten years ago. This shit still works!

Much like how the glow of a Christmas tree means that December can never be all bad, this stupid electric fireplace covered in monsters and mayhem lets me absorb Halloween, whenever I need it. (Assuming I’m at home, at least. Maybe I’ll get some wallet-sized photos printed up.)

A few more pics:


Thinking about building a Halloween Mood Table? Here are a few quick tips!

1) There is no such thing as a bad Halloween Mood Table. So long as it makes you happy, it’s an A+.

2) Mood Tables needn’t be anywhere near as large as mine. A tiny table with only a few additions is fine. Work with what you have and draw the line wherever you see fit.

3) If you want to spice things up, a few suggestions: Candles (scented, please), string lights, potpourri, (real) pumpkins… basically anything that will make your Mood Table feel alive, organically or artificially.

4) Your Mood Table can double as an activity center. Add a stack of spooky books or DVDs, and vow to get through ‘em before October 31st. (I’ve done this trick in the past, and ended up reading/watching way more stuff than I normally would’ve!)

If you make a Halloween Mood Table (or if you’ve built one already), feel free to a post a link in the comments. Halloween Mood Tables are windows into souls, and I’ll never get tired of seeing what you guys come up with.

Have fun!

(And, okay. NOW it feels like Halloween.)