Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bohemian Rhapsody

A little old school music for your listening pleasure!

On a different note (hur,hur), I am leaving on vacation for Paris (Oooo! Snotty French people!) and Vienna (which you would know, if you followed the link to my website, you!) for the next ten days or so. Will be back soon with pics of spooky finds if I can get my spouse and father-in-law to stand still long enough. Sadly, no clay, mache, or chicken wire allowed on the plane, so I have to satisfy myself with knitting. If they don't take all my knitting gear, too, that is! *sigh*

For the Graveyard...

If you haven't had the chance to join any of the Halloween forums yet, you may want to give it some thought before the heaviest part of the build season is upon you. It'll give you a chance to formulate your budget (and spread the costs out over months) and plenty of time to build that perfect prop.
The Garage of Evil Ning site has come up with a brilliant foam-cutting tool that costs significantly less than the pro models. Find it here. It should significantly reduce your cutting time.
There's also this "Beloved" gravestone from Terra at Halloween Forum. She has a great tutorial with each picture she posted. I saw this and immediately ran out to purchase a wedding gown-for only $20 from Snowline Hospice store!

If you're looking for a cemetery fence how-to, go to Horror Find here. A neat gravestone tutorial is at HauntSpace, too.

Spookyblue, who has been a great mentor to me, has this tutorial on making some bad-ass pumpkins.

You may have to join some of these sites in order to view my links, but truly, if you want to take it up a notch this year, joining a good forum is the way to go!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhggg

Much of the haunt community I've run across seems to be around my age. As kids, we grew up in the 70s, and graduated high school in the eighties. We still remember analog clocks, having to tie our own shoes (no Velcro), a time when there was no Internet (*gasp*).

And we remember the LP record.

I ran across the Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhgg via House Bloodthorn's blog. While I don't usually feature blogs th
at don't post regularly, I thought I'd turn you on to this one for the nostalgia factor.

I remember listening to several ghost story-type albums repeatedly as a kid. The Alfred Hitchcock LP was a big hit with me, as was the classic Disney, Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. There was one I haven't pictured
here, as I haven't located it quite yet. It was an album of stories narrated by Vincent Price. I would love to find that on either LP or CD! The laugh, the timing, the voice... It all came together to give me chills and keep me awake, hiding under the overs at night.

And my parents wonder why I love Halloween so much!

Anyway, he has his Forbidden Crypts site, which will take you to several of his other sites, including his "free sounds" site. Lots of fun things to peruse there, including this, which I will sign off with.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Pumpkin Love


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

A big "THANKS!" going out to Spooky Madison for posting this on Haunt Space. There's also a bunch of other bloody-themed stuff here.

You may have already seen the bloody shower curtain and bath mat set going around the blog-o-sphere. I wrote to the company who tell me that should have them available at the end of this month or the beginning of May for those of us in the U.S. I can't wait!

Davis Graveyard

I may have done a quick post on these folks awhile back, but due to a case of hormone brain, I can't remember!

Davis Graveyard is one of the haunts I most admire. The props are not only well-made and look great, but they're clever, too: the little detail of a child's polyester Superman costume hanging off the end of a bony finger comes to mind.

Like many in the haunt community, Jeff and Chris Davis spread the love wherever they can. From teaching gravestone make-and-takes to hosting a fundraiser for the local high school dance troupe, the Davises represent the generosity of spirit I've come to love in haunters.

Jeff has recently written an article for Haunted Attraction Magazine about how to recreate his video projected head project. As something of a newbie to haunting at this level, and someone who is only just learning about animatronics and other fun elements for my haunt, I really appreciate clear directions. (Clear directions keep me from burning off my eyebrows.) Like other haunters, he helps you to discover your inner MacGyver by pointing you in the direction of eBay and things you already have around the house.

Well, I'm off to my CalHaunts meeting today, to learn some nifty new things. I can't wait!

Friday, April 17, 2009

How to Haunt Your House

Huzzah! It came in the mail! The Book!

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about... Where have you been? Crawl out of the dungeon once in a while!

The book is How to Haunt Your House by Shawn and Lynne Mitchell. Every page is filled with ideas and pictures of various Halloween props and gags. My favorite so far is the "Pepper's Ghost" illusion, which is a great way to add a flickering ghost to your haunt. There are step-by-step instructions of sand-casting techniques (which can yield a poseable hand or a nice, spiky graveyard fence finial). There's also a recipe for Monster Mud, which seems to be a staple of the haunter's tool box. The only down side to this is if you're the frustrated English teacher type, as there are some typos and grammatical errors. (This seems to be common in the self-publishing world.)

However, the pictures are very clear, and if you're not feeling as inspired to get going on Haunt 2009 as you'd like, this book will get those juices re-animated. It's really worth the money! Pick it up here. It's not available on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble yet, but fortunately Lulu will give you a good purchasing experience.

Now, where's my hot glue?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What To Do If Your House Is Haunted

Just in case any of you have this problem, here's some helpful insight.

Home Security: What To Do If Your House Is Haunted

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different... Again.

Spring has sprung officially here in California. The ducks and geese have been here for the winter, and over the weekend, I had my first sighting of a mama and her chicks. Last week, as I was taking pictures of my latest skull, I heard quacking. Serious quacking. (I think she was saying, "I'm an eagle! I'm an eagle!")

"Where the heck is that coming from?" I wondered. The wetland area is very close by, but not that close... I looked up, and there she was: on the top of the neighbor's garage, silhouetted against the sunrise.
Later that week, Mr. ShellHawk and I took the dogs out for a walk. We saw this little character chillin' in the shade of an oak tree. One day, I'll get up early and get some pictures of that oak. It's one of my favorites in the area.
I do love the Spring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Orphanage

Well, it's back to school and work, etc. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday with those nearest and dearest.I caught this little gem while on Spring Break last week. It's completely unsurprising that Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy II, Pan's Labyrinth) has made a really good haunted house story.

A woman returns to her childhood home, a seaside orphanage, with the intentions of turning it into a hospice for special needs children. During a meet and greet party for prospective clients, her adopted son disappears, and she is convinced the ghosts of her childhood friends are the ones who took him. Strange events hurtle her to a twisty ending that I honestly didn't see coming.

Every moment of this film is beautifully shot, the pacing is perfect, and the acting drags you into rapport with the characters quickly. As disappointed as I have been with the horror genre's offerings of late, I was so very happy to get the first genuine case of chills running up my spine that I've had in a very long time. Creepy, bloody only when it tells the story, The Orphanage is a horror movie you really shouldn't miss. It is subtitled, so only one martini for you, or you'll miss something!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Zombie Jesus

Ripped off from Necropolis Manor: Zombie Jesus. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Keeping Mum

Unfortunately, I'm pressed for time this morning-Easter weekend housework, plus the pups are getting a walk shortly, so I'll make this somewhat brief.

Rent this! STELLAR cast, great acting. In my opinion, the story is in the same dark vein as "Arsenic and Old Lace."

Micro-synopsis: A woman catches her husband in flagrante' with another woman. She murders them both, stuffs them in her steamer trunk, and takes them on a train with her. An usher finds the trunk leaking blood, chaos ensues, she is jailed.

Fast forward forty years. She's out of jail, and has got a job as a housekeeper to a vicar and his troubled family. Check here for more details.

I loved this! I think you will, too.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Happy Easter, y'all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Shadow Farm

I found this fantastic blog while perusing My Ghoul Friday's blog (which, by the way is pretty darn good, if you haven't had a chance to check it out). The blog is by Dave the Dead, who you may have seen on some of the Halloween boards around the 'net. I am very impressed by his props, and like all the great haunters I know, Dave has created some great backstories for the critters he's created.

I love The Bottle Lady. Since I have a witch to build this season, I will definitely be paying attention to the turorials that helped to create this creepy person. The detail work on her eyes is amazing. I wonder if she has a bottle tree in her front yard? Or perhaps a Halloween Tree?

This toothy character, Clink, just doesn't seem very trustworthy to me. I wouldn't want to turn my back on him in the dark.

This one, Darwin, just seems like a grumpy Department of Motor Vehicles employee to me. Put upon, stuck in a space far too small, forced to be pleasant to people who are too stupid to have motor control. Poor Darwin!

Stop by and sit a spell at Dave's blog, "The Shadow Farm." It is well worth it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Skull

I got this skull out of the kiln a few days ago. It's the only skull that neighbor V has approved of so far. I think it's because it's glazed, not painted. I'll be making more, for sure!
I've also been using my kick wheel. Man, is that leg sore! However, the $700 for the motor kit for my wheel is not currently in the budget, at least not until I find some work!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Zombie Apocalypse

I'd have done better, but I need to start jogging again! And maybe lay some more food aside. Just in case, you know...

TransWorld 2009

TransWorld. The pro haunter's Mecca. Where all the new props and up-and-coming talent show their gruesome wares. The show was split into two parts this year. According to the fellas over at Hauntcast, the Vegas show was said to be poorly thought out, mostly because there seemed to be no centralization of lodging and convention center. People were spread out all over the strip and convenience was minimal.

The second part of the show was held in St. Louis. And from the video, it looks like they had some fun!

I wanted to give props to Sac FX, who are members of CalHaunts NorCal, for their Dr. Steampunk prop we saw briefly in this video. He's the creepy, one-eyed mad scientist in the whack wheelchair. Great job, guys!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sheep Art

I'm sure we can somehow adapt this for haunt use.

Light-Up Sheep Art - Watch more Funny Videos

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poblin King

I really like this guy's work. wish I spoke enough Spanish to understand the captions!

How Much My Body Is Worth. Hel-lo! Disappointing!

Wow. Nothing more humbling. Must be all the martinis.

$4390.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

On the positive side, if Mr. ShellHawk gets any bright ideas about selling my corpse, rather than just burying me in the back yard, he may just re-think the whole thing...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Huggable Urns?

Okay. I like creepy. It's why I do Halloween props. But I recently ran across something that genuinely creeped me out, and not in a, "Wow! I can use that for my haunt," kind of way.

Huggable urns. There's something deeply wrong about this.

The idea is that the proprietor was contacted from beyond the grave by dear old dad, who, at this point, had been cremated. Here's a direct quote:

Soon after my Dad passed away he started to communicate to me how upset he was that after living his life to the fullest he ended up in some ugly hard container. This was just not acceptable to him. Was I surprised!!!

Alrighty, then. I'm with Terry Pratchett on this: People who use more than one exclamation point show sure signs of insanity. Go to the site anyway. It's... interesting.