Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tree Ghosts at Howl -O-Scream

These were a few of the tree ghosts I saw at Howl-O-Scream in Williamsburg over this past weekend. Some of these were lit up at night and really looked good then, but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of that. They were everywhere and made me wish that I had some big trees in my yard to hang some from.

Updated Props

Wanted to post a couple of pictures of some updates I made to a couple of props. I re-painted and made a new head for my scarecrow, I'm still not 100% happy with the head or the positioning of it, I'll probably work on that a little more later. I also want to put a light inside the head sometime soon and I am going to put something new on the sign that it holds. I repainted my columns using a natural sea sponge and an airbrush for detailing, I was pretty happy with the way they turned out but think I may have made them too dark. I thought they were too light before, they might look pretty good once they are lit up at night.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Got some work done today.

Today I painted some tombstones, re-painted my fence columns, and gave my scarecrow a makeover. I think everything came out better than I expected it to and I am very happy with all of the work I got done. Well, everything except for my scarecrows new head... it's not exactly like I want it, but it's close. I used the airbrush a lot today and really had fun with that, it really made the columns and scarecrow look better than they would have otherwise. I'll try to get some pictures posted soon, when I tried earlier today, the up-loader didn't seem to want to work. Right now I'm headed back down to the garage to finish painting some tombstones.

I think I am going to start setting up some things tomorrow, it's a little earlier than I had planned, but I'm too excited... plus it will free up some room in the garage so I can work on some other stuff.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I probably won't be posting anything for a couple of days because we are going to the Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA this weekend. It's supposed to rain all weekend also, so hopefully we'll get to see some stuff anyway. The rain might be a good thing, maybe it won't be so crowded. I'll post some pictures when we get back if we have any good ones.
Howl-O-Scream Website
Flickr Link to a Bunch of Howl-O-Scream Pictures

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bates Yard Haunt

I love these haunts that use projectors as part of their display. I don't know if I would want to do all of this, but I would like to have those ghosts walking and flying around. That baby ghost is so funny. I think if there was just one ghost walking or flying around, that would be really cool. I couldn't find a website for this haunt, but there are several YouTube videos from different years. This one was my favorite...

YouTube Link


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First Jack O'Lanterns

Today, my son Joey and I carved our first Jack O'Lanterns of the year. I thought they looked pretty good sitting out on the front porch tonight, and I loved that old familiar smell. (Joey wanted his Jack O'Lantern to have three eyes, that's what the hole is near the top of the one on the right.)

Sasquatch Auctions

Being a big fan of Bigfoot, U.F.O.'s, ghosts, etc... it was only natural for me to have Sasquatch as a friend on MySpace. Yesterday I noticed that he is now selling stuff on eBay, and people are actually bidding on this stuff (rocks, sticks, creek water, stuff like that). If you want to pay outrageous amounts of money for things that you could find in your own backyard, visit his eBay store. Turns out Sasquatch is a genius and is going to make a killing!

Sasquatch's eBay Store

Sasquatch's MySpace

Monday, September 22, 2008

Indian Thriller

Here is a different version of Michael Jackson's Thriller. It's kind of funny and scary in a weird kind of way...

YouTube Link

Spirit Halloween Store Part II

Here are some of the other things we saw at the Spirit store. I was kind of disappointed at the selection of masks, they had more of a selection and better ones last year.

On a different note, I saw pumpkins for sale everywhere today.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

House on (Haunted?) Hill

I drive by this house twice a day on my way to and from work. It looks very haunted. I wish it were mine.

It looks extra spooky at night.

Spirit Halloween Store

Went to the Spirit Halloween Store in Charlottesville, VA yesterday. Saw some pretty cool stuff, all I bought was another fog machine. I would like to have bought the witch that was in one of the pictures (the one that is crouched down) but it was $250.00. Oh well, I got a good picture of it... might have to make one like that one of these days.

The trip did get me a little more motivated about getting some things finished so today I started moving stuff out of the basement and into the garage. I put the new pneumatics in my chained coffin, and a pneumatic cylinder in another coffin I have that opens the lid to show the corpse that is inside of it. I made a couple of videos of these that I was going to post, but they turned out too dark. Maybe I'll make another one tomorrow and get it on here. In the next few days I hope to get my new tombstones painted and re-finish my fence columns to make them look more "rock-like". I also want to touch up the three monster mud creatures I used last year (the scarecrow, watcher, and night watchman).

There are now two houses in my neighborhood with Halloween decorations up. I'll try to get some pictures up after a few more houses put some things out.

Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale

Saw this last night and had to get it. Thought it might be pretty good, but really it just tasted like regular beer. It had a very slight aftertaste of some of the pumpkin spices that are mentioned, but not much.

The carton says "All-Malt Ale Brewed with Pumpkins and Select Seasonal Spices Including Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger and Clove".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pumpkins on the Porch...Waiting.

Picked up all these guys yesterday for $10.00. I'll be carving up a couple of them soon for some early Jack O'Lanterns... can't wait.

Halloween Haunter's Reality

I've been keeping up with these videos lately posted by Season of Shadows. This was the third and latest video that has been posted. They are called Halloween Haunter's Reality, and show different things such as a workshop tour, a trip to Spirit Halloween store, and prop building. I think this is such a great idea and have really enjoyed watching these, I can see myself getting addicted to these as I am anxiously waiting for the next one to come out. Visit the Season of Shadows website for lots of other cool things.

Season of Shadows Webpage

YouTube Link

The other videos can also be seen by following the YouTube Link.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Pumpkin (well, maybe)

I think we may have our first pumpkin of the year starting to grow, the best part is that it is right next to the sidewalk where we can keep a close eye on it. Hopefully it will grow enough over the next month so that I can use it on Halloween night. The package that the seeds came in said "130 days to harvest" so I picked out a date in October, somewhere around the 15th, and went back 130 days so I would know when to plant the seeds, so I can only hope that the information was true. I'll have to post some pictures as it is growing and changing over the next month (if it survives).

Andi took these pictures this morning, and while she was out she ran into our Praying Mantis friend again...

The Ghosts of Virginia

I was reading one of these last night and thought it might make a pretty good post...

These are some great books from my collection about the many ghosts and legends of Virginia. I am guessing that Virginia is very haunted since there are at least twelve volumes of this book that I know of (maybe more), with each one being around 400 pages long. Sadly, I have never personally seen or heard anything that I thought couldn't be explained away as something else... oh well, maybe one of these days I'll have an encounter. Anyone who lives in or around Virginia may find them interesting because of the places that are mentioned from all over the state that they may have been to or heard about. I like to read the stories about places near me or places that I may be travelling to, and think it is really cool when I get to see the actual house or place that was mentioned in the book. I especially enjoy reading about the stories from the 1700's and the 1800's that are in these books, for some reason they are always my favorites.

I have found these in Barnes and Noble stores in Virginia, but doubt they would be in any of the stores outside Virginia, and I've also found them on eBay and Amazon if anyone is interested in them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grim Hollow Website

Andi made a few updates to the website today. The 2006, In the Works, and Creatures and Creations page now have some pictures on them. Most of them have probably been seen before, but there might be some you haven't seen. More updates to come soon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Group Photo

Took a group photo yesterday of all the groundbreakers I've made so far this year. I also wanted to post a link to the tutorial on SpookyBlue's page that I used to figure out how to make these since I often get questions about how I made them. There are lots of other great tutorials and a pretty cool blog on his page too... and he has a sense of humor that is unrivaled.

Spooky Blue's Ground Breaker Tutorial


Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Couple of New Corpses

I finished these guys up today, numbers six and seven. I thought they turned out a lot better than my first couple of attempts at making groundbreaker corpses, which has me thinking about re-doing the first two. (Maybe I'll just camouflage my bad work with some "freaky fabric" or something.) Hopefully I'll have about three or four more built over the next couple of weeks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rainy Day

Today looks like a nice day for staying in and working on Halloween props. First, I'm going to get some sleep...

Here are a few of the things I've picked up so far this year, the pumpkin in the back is the future head of my scarecrow from last year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Darth Vader

While looking at costumes on-line and in catalogs this year our oldest son, Joey, told us that he wanted to be Darth Vader for Halloween this year. I was kind of hoping for a zombie or something like that, but it is all about him having fun... so Darth Vader it is!
Andi and I were at Target today looking at some of the Halloween stuff and found a pretty cool Darth Vader costume, so we went ahead and got it for him. Then our discussion turned to "Should we let him see it today, or hide it until Halloween?". I woke up today to a little Darth Vader staring at me so I guess we are letting him see it today.

So here is Joey showing off his 2008 Halloween costume...

...and we just had to get the Darth Vader candy bucket to go with it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Peek-A-Boo Corpse

I should be getting the air cylinder today that I am going to use to make the lid on one of my coffins open. I am thinking about putting this guy inside and rigging him up where it looks like he is pushing the lid open and kind of sitting up a little as the lid opens. I hate to have him hidden in the coffin, but he would work great for that.

I also have a foam corpse that might be "Plan B", where the lid might open and there would just be that corpse laying inside... not moving. Not as fun, but a good use for that prop.

(Don't worry... I pulled off those fake looking spiders.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Terror Syndicate / Grave Stalkers

This place was one of my first influences in making Halloween props. Lots of cool pictures of their work are featured on both of the website links posted below. They sell some pretty nice stuff, too. I have a few of the books that they sell and they are great at showing how to build "monster mud" props, as well as basic pneumatics and lots of other things. I don't own any of the zombie heads that they sell, but I have seen some in person and they are awesome.

Terror Syndicate Website

Grave Stalkers Website

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Texas Chainsaw Massacre- The Beginning: Soundtrack

I don't usually consider using a soundtrack in my yard haunt, but I have found one that is making me re-consider. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sound track from a scary movie, I just don't think they would "fit" very well with what I'm going for in my haunt. I found this one the other day and loved it. It scared me a few times the first time I listened to it, it has some pretty good "jump scares" where loud parts jump out at you from nowhere. I know I won't be using this on Halloween night, but I'm thinking about playing it on the nights before Halloween, when people are stopping by to look around.
The soundtrack is composed by Steve Jablonsky, and I highly recommend it. I tried to find a site that had samples from it, but couldn't find one. I'm posting an Amazon.com link if you'd like to check it out. I downloaded it from the Zune Marketplace for a lot less than what Amazon is selling it for, so you may want to check there or Itunes if you are interested.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre- The Beginning

Friday, September 5, 2008


I know this isn't the best picture, but this is the view I have every morning when I pull into the garage after work. I always have to stand there a minute and look up at them and imagine what I will do differently on the next ones. I still need to make at least four more before Halloween, that will give me ten in all. I'd like to make more than that if I have the time, but I have so many other things to do in a short amount of time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Homestead Haunt

I owe this guy a TON of credit, because he was the one who helped me get my start, and has really helped me a lot in my first couple of years of yard haunting. The best part is he lives one street over, and I'm pretty sure we have the best neighborhood for TOT's because of it. He usually gets over 2,000 on Halloween night! Thanks Ross!

This was the garage scene one year.

This is just part of the graveyard in the front of the house, it goes all the way around into the back yard.

Love the corpses in the coffins...

and the gallows are pretty awesome too!

He even has a workshop in his back yard that you can walk through and have the crap scared out of you. (It's set up different every year!)

Lots of other pictures can be found at the link below...
Homestead Haunt Flickr Page