Sunday, July 8, 2012

Treehouse Haunts

Now that Fern Forest Treehouse has taken a bite out of the Apple (check out the web developers video at, it’s time to polish up the old blog again. Our most recent guests were Alexandra and Mike from west of Boston. Alexandra was living in Manhattan as a set designer and traveled with a touring production of The King and I, which landed in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mike, a Green Bay local, happened to be filling in backstage on the same show. Alexandra saw him. She gave him orders. He did what she told him. Then she noticed. He was awfully good looking. Uh-huh.

Mike is a self-starter. When he was 17, he started a haunted house design business, building haunting displays, hiring actors to put on gory makeup and scare people. He had no plans to leave Wisconsin, so Alexandra gave up her New York apartment and moved to Green Bay, no easy task for a die-hard Patriots fan. She never took to the Packers, but Mike forgave her.

His haunted house business grew (check out, and he’s now involved with three companies, managing one that builds haunts in the U.S. and internationally. His displays are so scary that one huge football player fell to the floor in fright while his petite girlfriend stood giggling at the ghouls. Mike’s an outdoors kind of guy who fly fishes from his kayak when he’s not plotting scary sets.

Alexandra grew up outside Boston and missed her family. She also missed the Patriots. A dozen years earlier, she had put her name on the list for season tickets, and when her turn came, she convinced Mike to move east. They now live in a condo near her parents. Mike tries to be a Pats fan, but he can’t compete with Alexandra in enthusiasm. When she won an auction for a Pats helmet, Randy Moss signed it, which Mike took as an insult, considering that Moss had mooned the Green Bay crowd after running thirty yards to score a TD when he played for the Vikings. But he forgave her again.

I can’t blame him. Alexandra is pretty in an unmadeup way. She’s fashionably slender with enough dark tresses to toss over a shoulder. She now teaches yoga classes for children and moms in Southboro (see Mike is robust, a half sleeve of tattoos on his right arm (images of spooky houses, of course) and another tattoo on the calf that shows under his cargo shorts. He wears hiking boots and looks as if he’s ready for anything.

When I told the couple about moose and bear sightings around Fern Forest, Mike said, “Don’t worry. Animals don’t come near me.” Maybe they sense Mike’s profession and keep their distance. Alexandra’s brother, who works with her father in the auto body field, replaced letters on his Pathfinder to read “Wrathfinder.” I wouldn’t mess with Mike, but I might trust him with my life, if things came down to it.

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