Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Hallows! 2017 Edition

Today's the day, tonight the night of nights!

For all my haunter fiends, may your rain drift away hours before the trick-or-treaters come.
May your fog lie low and no breeze disturb it.
May the scares be filled with laughter and fun, and the candy flow like water.
May "that darn prop" finally work the way it was supposed to, all along.
And may you and yours have a most blessed Samhain.

Happy New Year, my finest of friends! Click on the penny dreadful for a lengthy Halloween playlist.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Swingin' Hallowe'en

When you're a Hallowe'en devotee, there's almost nothing sweeter than a trip down the old, spider-webbed corridors of seasonal music.

What's wonderful is discovering the oldies and recognizing the roots of tunes which were re-recorded generation after generation and saying, "Hey! I know that song!"

Click on the pic for a lovely playlist of old Hallowe'en tunes!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Backwoods Maze

On Saturday night, my friends stole me away from my house for dinner and a haunt. Since we're in Burbank, they took me to the wonderful and incredibly detailed Backwoods Maze. All I can say is, "WOW!"
I think one of the benefits of living in Burbank at this time of year is that there are many, many talented people in this town who love Halloween and scaring people.
Waiting in the queue line...
 I only got a very few pictures, but they were pretty good and should give you a good idea of the quality of the haunt.
They did gorgeous work on the alien eggs, by the way. Really creepy and atmospheric while still providing some light so you don't kill yourself as you walk through.
This guy here reminded me of John Carpenter's The Thing in the very best of ways...
 If you are in the area and want to stop by this wonderful maze, hit up The Backwoods Maze on Facebook!

Happy haunting!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Backwater Gospel

A creepy little story about how when you want revenge, you better dig two graves...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Legend of the Scarecrow - A ShellHawk's Nest Tradition

Click on the pic for a charming story about a lonely scarecrow who just wanted some friends...

This is truly one of my favorite seasonal cartoons. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Something Familiar

The whimsical art of Peter de Seve.

I would totally take that kitten home!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween at High Noon - The Descendant

Every year, I eagerly await the newest musical offering from Halloween at High Noon, and I'm so glad their new album is out!

The Descendant, now available on Amazon for download.

You can listen to the interview they did on Hauntcast last year if you click here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

ShellHawk's Resources for Hallowe'en Goodness!

Looking for Hallowe'en anything?

I know a guy...

Well, I do! And if I don't personally know a guy, I can find out where you can get a thing! And I've put it into a Pinterest board for you, too!

If you're looking to own the best Hallowe'en sounds, click here for recordings you can purchase. Vintage songs, spooky soundtracks and sound effects for the big night abound here!

If you're looking to stock up on horror movies, my Oh, the Horror! Pinterest board won't fail to satisfy. Old films and new, they won't fail to satisfy!

Check out my Jack-o'-lanterns board for ideas to carve yourself a spectacular pumpkin pal to ward off evil spirits on Hallowe'en night!

Curling up by a Fall bonfire with a good book will be easier with a selection from My Scary Bookshelf. It features stories, collections of short stories, DIY and so much inspiration, it's just spooky!

Eleventh hour prop building people need this prop-building library as a permanent home resource, so when you start building next Spring, you'll be rarin' to go! (This is an especially great resource if you have kids in drama class and you help with set design, building, and decorating.)

Lastly, but not least, This is Halloween will fulfill all of your Hallowe'en hunger. These are random things I've collected over the years which inspire me at this most spectacular time of the year.

Have fun, kiddies!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Final Details

If you're one of those crazy people like me, who loves to put detail into every little thing in your Halloween decorations, you might think about putting a small cabinet of curiosities together, or perhaps just a little apothecary display in a handy front window.

I did this a few years back and threw in a Madame Leota effect, and it turned out pretty well!

What you need to do is either cruise through your local second-hand store or just save bottles and jars of different shapes and sizes that you were going to throw out, anyway. Fill up your sink or a bucket and put your bottles and jars in there to soak the labels off completely. After a few hours, most of them will just separate easily from the glass.

If you're handy with Photoshop, you can create your own labels. But if you're like me, the person who keeps saying you're going to learn Photoshop, but somehow never gets around to it, you can search around for cool labels to download. There are plenty of creepy labels available on Etsy, but you can also find free downloads, like this one, from Catch My Party.
At this point, all you really need is a pair of scissors and a glue stick, and you're in business! Fill up the bottles with tonic water and position a black light where it can't be seen, but it will shine down on the bottles, and you've got spooky, glowing bottles! (Tonic water is black light reactive.)

If you're really ambitious, throw on a pair of disposable gloves and take apart some fresh highlighter pens of different colors. Take the ink cartridge and squeeze it into the tonic water for different colored "potions." Throw in some plastic eyeballs, spiders, or whatever you want, to give yourself some variation in your contents. You can even drip some wax on the lids, or use a glue gun to glue down some sisal twine and then drip wax on it for a real, homemade look.
Most of all, just have fun with it, and let your imagination roam!

Happy making!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Quick Project

Before I left Folsom, another friend was prepping to move at the same time. We were both getting rid of "stuff," as one does when prepping for a move, and one of the things she was getting rid of, was the lantern pictured above. She gave it to me a few days before I left, and I took it out of storage last week to see what kind of refurbishing I could manage.
I liked the bones of it, but not the color. Since I plan to put this up at Hallowe'en, I figured black would do just fine.
 I sanded all the paint off of it, down to the bare wood, after taking off all the hardware. When that was done, I hit it with some Kilz, left over from re-painting my room.
 My dad and I made a quick trip to the hardware store for a few other things, so while I was there, I got myself a can of Rust-Oleum Hammered metal spray paint, in black. I hung up both of the parts of the lantern so I could easily turn them while painting.
 A couple of coats of that paint, and ta-da! 
I think it's going to look really nice on the porch on Hallowe'en night, don't you?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

In the Know: A ShellHawk's Nest October Tradition

Has Hallowe'en become over commercialized?

Click the pic to find out.

Happy October, y'all! 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hauntcast Post Mortem: Chiller Thrillerama

Just in time for the final big push before The Big Show (Hallowe'en, for those not in the know), Hauntcast Post Mortem thrills and chills you with the biggest, longest, and possibly most drunkenly debauched show, evah! (Plus, I think my Charmed Pot segment turned out pretty well this time!)

HAUNTCAST: POST MORTEM - "CHILLER THRILLERAMA" - feat. Allen Hopps of Dark Hour Haunted House, Chris Kullstroem author of "Drawn to the Dark" with music from Midnight Syndicate

HAUNTING GURU INTERVIEW:Haunt Industry icon, prop master and director of Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano TX, Allen Hopps pops into the dungeon to regale us with his haunt journey.
THEATER OF THE MIND:Revenant kicks back, chills, and just sorta muses about all the little reasons why this is the Best Season of the Year.
BONE PHONE:Author Chris Kullstroem rings our G/Host to shed some light on her new book "Drawn to the Dark".
SHOCKTAILS:The Halloween party rages on at the Last Bar on the Left. Chris and JT grab a corner booth so they can shoot the shit and review the movie "IT".
PROP SHOP:Mr. Vegas aka Denny meanders through the Prop Shop babbling about tombstone makeovers, pumpkin facelifts and other random prop related stuff.
SOMETHING WICKED:Wick-Ed Gannon gives you some tough love about giving your Haunt a makeover i.e. what to refurbish, keep, buy, sell or throw away.

CHARMED POT:The Mistress of Mayhem returns with a terrifying tale of the "Wild Hunt".
GHOULIE GROOVES:Tracks from Midnight Syndicate's Zombies!!! Official Board Game Soundtrack
Head over to Hauntcast's web site and download the latest episode right now!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dark Reading for a Sunday Afternoon

Click on the pic to go to My Scary Bookshelf...
The Autumn Equinox has come and gone, and I know that the beginnings of the Hallowe'en tourists will be traveling through my blog, soon, if a few haven't shown up, already, so I'll keep the life reports to a minimum from here until after The Big Dance (a.k.a., Hallowe'en).

In between doctors' visits, attorney phone calls and divorce mediation calls, I managed to commit to having a little ray of happiness shine in my life; I wrote a new segment for Hauntcast: Post Mortem's next episode.

It's an original story, and I think it actually turned out well! It's the longest one I've done to date, but I don't think it's so long as to be boring to listeners (at least I hope not!).

Add in the intro from Dick Terhune, the Voice From Hell, and it's absolutely wicked! (Oh, man! I love that guy's voice!)

After I got done recording, mixing down and producing my segment (with the foul luck of airplanes, lawn mowers and carbon monoxide beeping to contend with), I got it sent off to Chris Baker, our G-Host, so he could get it dropped in to the rest of the show. 

Then it was time to take a break. Voicing this particular segment felt very intense and emotionally draining, if you can believe it (or maybe it was the emotional hangover from this week's mediation call, bringing up all kinds of pain), and I was exhausted afterwards. I forced myself to take some time for myself to unwind and decompress for a while. I took a long walk in the neighborhood, and when I got back, I poured a glass of wine and brought out a book to get me in the mood for the season: Dead Harvest.

It's a collection of creepy short stories, and I've had it hanging around awhile, but haven't made the time to get to it. Yesterday seemed a good day to pour a glass of wine and enjoy the warm Sunday afternoon on the back patio, and dive into this. And so far, I like it!

As some of you may know, I have a Pinterest board of stories, prop-making books and other Hallowe'en eye candy, which I'll feature again in one of my October posts.

I also wanted to remind you my ShellHawk's Creations shop is open, so you can pick up a Hallowe'en thing or two! I have a few more jack-o'-lanterns to put in there, but there are some really cool ones available now!

Ah, I absolutely love this time of year!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

 I start development on a film based on a favorite book of youth: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! pic.twitter.com/yu31FkCz4K— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 14, 2016
Film giant Guillermo del Toro has expressed interest in bringing Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to life back in 2016.

My question? Where is it?!

This is a series which seems tailor made for del Toro's mind and creative talents, yet I've seen nothing but a tag from IMDB: "In Development."
This is maddening. And really, truly unacceptable. After all, there are a bunch of us waiting to see our childhood nightmares on screen! (Oh, the horror of The Red Spot!)

C'mon, Guillermo! Let's get this project rolling!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Shop is Open!

It's the season, and ShellHawk's Creations Etsy store is open for business!
There are some spooky cool things up for grabs, including my specially-designed t-shirts (hat tip to artist Bob Lizarraga for teaming with me for the design), Hallowe'en themed Christmas ornaments and some other wonderful, Needful Things...
In addition to going through my divorce, I've recently discovered I need to go in for surgery this month, so I'm trying to raise some cash to help pay my medical expenses. Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Happy Final Long Build Weekend!

It's the hardcore build season for haunters, and if you click on the above pic, you'll have a playlist which might just keep you going and motivated to (maybe) be ready by The Big Dance.

Have a blast, my fiends!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Haunter Porn

73 days left, gang! What are you building?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

We've Done it Before...

Still a great film, and wonderful Hallowe'en prop inspiration.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Fiesta Hallowe'en

One of my favorite ceramics places, Fiesta Ware has Hallowe'en dishes!
The ghosts are just too stinking cute! WANT!

Skull and Vine is so El Dia de Los Muertos!
I've always said a girl can't have enough Skeletons!
I guess I know what needs to go on my housewarming gift list when I finally get into my own space!

Click here for the full collection.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Porch Ghost

Via Halloween Sh#t on Tumblr. Artist unknown.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Yorick Project

Great hack for your Alexa, done by Mike McGurrin. 

Click on the pic for video. Click here to read the Bored Panda article.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tequila and Guillermo...

Patron and Guillermo Del Toro. Could be good.

Could just be another skull-themed booze.

But who am I kidding? I'll still pick one up!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Shape of Water

This could really be good! Click on the pic for the trailer...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Now Playing: The Charmed Pot!

If you're interested in hearing only my segments from the podcast I've been so fortunate of which to be a part, now is your chance! 

Hauntcast's G-Host, Chris Baker, has gathered all of The Charmed Pot segments into one giant cauldron of wicked good fun!
The Mistress of Mayhem adds vintage Halloween, spooky stories and all ingredients dark and mysterious in the Charmed Pot. All of Shelley's segments are now available at http://hauntcast.net/show-archives/charmed-pot-segments/.
Bloody Kisses!
It's a great chance to get your Hallowe'en fix in during prime build season.

Bloody kisses, and stay scary, my fiends!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hauntcast: Post Mortem -- Trigger Warning

Now Slaying!

Chris is convicted of 1st Degree Murder (murdering good taste that is) after conversing with the 3rd Degree of Terror's creator Warren Maxwell. 
Revenant looks at haunting from a different perspective as he considers the use of optical illusions in hauntbuilding. 
Eric Gathwait from Fatal Mentality butt dials Chris to discuss his new Octopill Arduino shield 
SHOCKTAILS:Visit the Last Bar on the Left and hear Baker suffer through DTs as he watches JT chug brews and review about 27 movies including "It Comes at Night".
Barnyard Stompers rev up their new LP Outlaws with Chains II the Payback.

I took this episode of HCPM off this time because of the move, etc., but it's sure to be the usual haunt shenanigans!

Download the latest episode here.
Explore the site and all its treats here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Litha - Midsummer is Here!

From 1973's The Wicker Man
The Summer Solstice has arrived once again!

Time to take stock, and burn away what no longer serves you. Time to clearly see what you want and to bring it in.

Time to re-affirm your love with your partner, and to have a little romp in nature.

Time for hope.

The crops have been planted, the fruit has grown and will be ready for harvest soon.

What have you planted? What will you harvest?

I hope it's all you dreamed of. And more!

Happy Midsummer, gang!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Welcome to L.A.

It's been a couple of weeks since I packed the truck and got on the road to L.A., leaving behind my house, some great friends, and a decade of memories.

It's hard to express the mixed feelings I have about this, though if any of my readers have been through a divorce, they know, intimately, what I'm going through. There's heartbreak, yes. Lots of that, which is pretty normal after being with someone for sixteen years. There's the realization that you're almost fifty and going to live with your parents; not something I had in my planner for this stage of my life.

There's also relief and that certain feeling you get when you know you're going on an adventure.

I realized fairly early on in this process that I have the unique opportunity to re-make myself. I can find a new type of work. Create a new space for myself and Sam, a place where I can set up a studio and explore everything that's going on in my head without distraction or interference. I can start to write again, a pastime which I have missed deeply.

In short, there's enormous potential for growth, and it thrills me!

I've been in the process of recovering myself. I'd taken a few concept pictures of myself and sent them to a girlfriend with the idea of collaborating on a book (no, I'm not going to share about what it will be right now). She was intrigued by the idea and decided to come up to Folsom before I left in order to play with the idea further. Here's one:
She did a great job on my makeup, and the lighting was perfect! This picture in particular reminded me that I'm not repulsive (long story--we're not going there). I think that sometimes we need to see ourselves through the eyes of a friend before we can believe the good things about ourselves, instead of what others, who don't necessarily have our best interests at heart, tell us. It's not about physical appearance, either. It's about someone seeing that ineffable part of you and doing their best to hold it up to you and help you to see it.
Today would have been our anniversary. I find it more than a little ironic that I have to work on divorce paperwork today...

Well. Onwards right? Here's to adventure.
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