Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. Changed the color of all my lights to amber tonight and put the finishing touches on most of everything. (The yard is not lit up this bright really, the camera makes it look brighter than it is).

A co-worker stopped by last night and I was telling him about the "Lost and Found" box that I was planning on doing with an ankle blaster inside. He said "You should put the candy in that", and I think that is what I am going to do. That way every trick or treater will have to walk up to it (I only plan on using the ankle blaster on the TOT's I think can handle it, no young ones). Same goes for the rest of my pneumatic props, I only use them on older kids or the ones who seem like they won't mind too much, like big groups of kids. I guess I just want everyone to enjoy the haunt.

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween and good luck with your haunts!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grim Hollow Video

I had a few people wanting to see some of these props in action so I made a little video. I didn't know that the quality would suffer so badly when I sent it to YouTube, but you get the basic idea. The credits at the end, which are hard to read even if you watch it in full screen mode, are basically thanking my son for standing out in the cold wind and operating the switches for me while I made the videos. You can see him jumping up and down in the background on one of them. I think that was from a combination of being cold and being excited that he got to operate the switches. The music on this video is by Igneous Flame.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scarecrow's Sign

I also re-worded the sign that my scarecrow holds the other day. I confused some people, because I had my original "Beware of Bumps in the Night" sign up for a few days then chaged it to this. People were asking "Didn't that say something else the other day?". It felt good that they were paying that much attention. I am planning on putting a light in the head and adding a little "Up-lighting" today (I should probably be doing that now instead of being in here on the computer).

Another Coffin

Here's what I did with my third toepincher coffin. It has an air cylinder inside that opens the lid so that this guy can say hello to everyone. This one is also controlled by a switchboard and will be activated as people walk by. I had to put this one behind a fence where little hands can't reach, because the lid slams shut rather fast and loudly... not that any hands would probably be reaching in there, but you never know.

Column Pop Up

I used this last year but didn't take any pictures of it. The top of one of my fence columns is hinged with an air cylinder attached that lets it pop open as people walk by. It is controlled by a switch board that I use to control three other pneumatic props that I have. I think my favorite thing about this prop is that when the lid is going back down, it makes a long creaking sound, much like you might think a big door would sound in a haunted house. The lid takes a couple of seconds to close, which I think is perfect. It doesn't make any other noise other than the hissing sound from the air line, and it is simply a skull with a green light shining on it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I've been pretty happy with my flickering electric lanterns that I made this year. They are simple five dollar gas lanterns from Wal-Mart that were converted to use an electric light bulb, with a fluorescent light starter wired in-line on the power cord to give it that flickering look. I never liked the flicker bulbs that can be bought because they are never bright enough. In these lanterns I usually use a 4 or 7 watt light bulb that is much brighter.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween on Stilts

While at Busch Gardens this year for Howl-O-Scream, we saw several characters in costumes walking around on stilts. This is a usual thing there, and I think it is really cool and different. I have been checking Ebay lately, looking at the drywall stilts. There might be an extra tall monster of some sort lurking around Grim Hollow next year. This particular character was associated with the "Masquerage" location. There was a really cool one that I didn't get a picture of that appeared to have 4 legs (I think something was attached to the arms or hands of the person that gave it this appearance). Anyway, the whole costume had a "Ghillie suit" appearance and looked like a big huge monster. Wish I had got a picture of that...


I have always loved the look of boarded windows and had wanted to board the windows on my house for Halloween for a couple of years now. Yesterday I finally found the time to make some frames and attach some old scrap wood to them so that I could "board up" my windows. These frames simply hang by hooks at the top and can easily be removed at any time. I think this added a lot to my haunt and was probably one of the cheapest and easiest Halloween projects I did this year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Frost Pictures

I couldn't resist going out this morning and taking a few more pictures. Everything looked so cool with the frost on it and I didn't know if I would get the chance to take any pictures like this again. I have been leaving my groundbreaker corpses outside for about the last week or so and so far so good. I only take them up if it is supposed to rain. I forgot the other night that it was supposed to rain and had to jump out of bed at four o'clock in the morning to run outside in the rain and move them to the porch. I bet that would have been funny to see, and my neighbors would worry about me just a little bit more. It had just started raining so they didn't really get soaked... I'm just lucky that I heard the rain start. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend leaving these outside, I'm just a risk taker and will rebuild them if I have to.

Pumpkin Hollow

I received my second package from the Pumpkin Hollow Etsy Shop today, and I was very pleased with what I found inside. I was fortunate enough to have been the 100th customer of this fine shop, and hope to make many more purchases in the future as they always sell the coolest stuff.

Imagine how I felt when I opened this. If you said like a kid again, you are right.

Visit the Pumpkin Hollow Etsy Shop to see some of the neat things they are selling. If you see something you like, you better get it quick because everything sells fast!


We got our first frost here last night, and I thought that my chained coffin looked kind of cool with a layer of frost on it this morning. I didn't realize that my camera was set to manual focus until I loaded the pictures onto my computer though, so the picture is a little blurry... doh!

Update: Went back out after I posted the above and took more pictures, so here is one that is a little more focused. I'll leave both up so take your pick.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Corpse in a Coffin

Set up my Bucky corpse in a coffin yesterday. I'll probably add a few more details as the time gets closer, but thought it turned out o.k. for now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Trick or Treat

Pumpkinrot posted this a while back, and I thought now would be a great time to re-post it. This has always been my favorite episode of Tales From the Darkside, and I watch it several times every year. If you have an extra 30 minutes or so, check it out... it will really get you in the mood for Halloween.

My house will probably be like this one of these days.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


At the time, I didn't notice that there was a UPC code or something hanging off of the extension cord that goes to this prop. I guess I lose major scare points for that one. I'm going outside to correct this grave error immediately....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seasons Greetings

The Halloween season that is...

I'm trying to decide if it should hold the sign that it held last year. I was going to change the wording from "Beware of Bumps in the Night" to something like "Welcome to Grim Hollow". I think I kind of like it without the sign, what do you think? A picture of it with the sign can be seen here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sitting. Waiting.

I hope to post a few "teaser" pictures leading up to Halloween. I probably won't be able to wait that long to post the ones that show everything. So far, I have everything about 3/4 the way of being set up, but I'll probably be out every day changing things around. I had about twenty or so people/ cars stopping in front of our house yesterday looking, so that was kind of exciting.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Davis Graveyard

A few pictures from one of my favorite haunts. I love the details that are used in everything in this haunt, and would love to walk between all those hooded creatures.

Davis Graveyard Website

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Same House, Different Year

Found this picture of the same house from a different source. This year had a Pumpkinrot style scarecrow. I don't know the name of this haunt, if I find out I'll post it.

Love this haunt.
flickr source

Update: This is the ScareFX Yard Haunt. I was happy to find out that this haunt is located about 2 hours away from where I live. Visit the ScareFX website for more great pictures, how-to's and other great stuff.

Background Lighting

I was thinking about lighting the trees in my back yard this year, similar to this photo. This looks like an excellent yard haunt too, by the way. I love the silhouette of the reaper in the front.

flickr source

The Scare Factory

If I had unlimited funds for Halloween, I would definitely have a few of these. I've always been a fan of air powered props, and even have a few of them in my haunt... but these are just crazy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Walking Stick

I know this isn't really all that scary or Halloween related, but I found this bug on one of my pumpkin plants this morning. I'm not sure of the correct name for them but I always called them "Walking Sticks". I hope it stays away from the Praying Mantis that also hangs around our front porch, that little run-in could turn out bad. Anyway, this was only about the second or third one I have ever seen in my life, so I thought it was pretty cool. Now if I could just get some pumpkins to grow... I think it's probably too late for that now. Oh well, maybe next year.

If you look in the background you can see some of the tombstones that I put out the other day, made a pretty good background.

Jack-O-Lantern Art

Some of the things people can carve into pumpkins amazes me. I saw a bunch of pictures this morning and these were some of my favorites. I have no desire to make these myself, I don't really think I could, but I do enjoy seeing them. I guess I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to making my own Jack-O-Lanterns.
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Image Source- Spooky Madison's Garage of Evil Page
I don't know where she got them from...

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Random Howl-O-Scream Pictures

Graveyards at Howl-O-Scream

One of my favorite parts of going to Howl-O-Scream is looking at the massive graveyards that are usually on display. This year wasn't as good, there was one pretty decent sized one, but it is usually a lot bigger (a few hundred tombstones). A lot of the stuff this year was geared towards younger kids, which explains why a lot of the tombstones are outlined with orange lights.

I think this is one of the reasons I like to have so many tombstones in my haunt. I should have close to 50 this year in all.

The Pirates of Howl-O-Scream

I'm not that big of a fan or pirates at Halloween, sometimes I feel like they are overdone, but these were some of the pictures I took of some pirates at Busch Gardens. I wish I had all those skeletons... they wouldn't be pirates anymore I can tell you that. Nothing against anyone who uses a pirate theme, I like looking at them, but I just don't want to do one. At least not right now anyway.