Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Hallowe'en!

A few images from Halloweens past, plus an idea for a project for next year...
It was bucketing rain here yesterday, promise of rain tonight, so fingers crossed it all just blows by or holds off until late!
Have a wonderful Hallowe'en y'all! Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Basil Rathbone, Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe

It's been a bit over 165 years since one of America's great writers passed, but we still talk about him. We still quote him. We are still fascinated by the darkness he explored and brought to light in haunting poems and unsettling stories.

Edgar Allan Poe. 

His work goes beautifully with this time of the year. This time, when the year is slowly dying and we hear the bones clacking in the windswept trees and the leaves scuttling down the street.

And we can hear those works read by greats like Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone!

Click here to start listening on Spotify.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hallowe'en: Keep it in the Family

A yearly shoot, with husband and daughter as the eerie subjects.
A wonderful way to document the passing of years.
You can read the Upworthy article about this unique photo shoot here.
 See more of the annual Hallowe'en photo shoot here.

Other photos by the very talented mom, Julie Paveto, here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Just waiting around for Halloween.

Image by Davide Gabino.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 2017 Haunted Shenanigans Tour?

Click on the pic for a fun commercial about Sleepy Hollow's activities.
I've been chatting with Mr. ShellHawk about next year's October activities. I've wanted to do an "East Coast Halloween Tour" for awhile, since there are so many events, people and haunts I'd like to visit.
I'd like to start in Sleepy Hollow, New York, for the Great Jack-o'-lantern Blaze and various other events. I love historical tours, so of course, that would have to be on the list. The performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a no-brainer, too!

Maybe after that, we'd catch a plane to Nantucket and take the ferry to visit The Village Mire and Chris Baker. Have a couple of beahs in the yahd while he shows off his props.
After that, a quick trip up to see Haunted Overload. I've wanted to see this forever! It's always rated one of the top five haunted attractions in the nation.

On to Philadelphia, for the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride and a tour of the city. Maybe Johnny Thunder will have some time to get together between scaring folks at the Bates!
There could be other things, but I think that's a good place to start!

Any of you East Coasters have suggestions as to what to see?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween 2000s

Comics by Dave Lowe. More Halloween-related comics at Para Abnormal.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Little Man Who Wasn't There

Click on the pic for a vintage offering from Red Novo and his Orchestra.

I remember reading a reference to this song in one of Stephen King's books (The Shining, maybe? Can't recall...), then I ran across it while I was researching for one of my Charmed Pot episodes.

Pretty creepy, in spite of its danceable, upbeat sound...

By the way, if anyone knows who originated the Whisper Men graphic, above, please let me know so I can give credit!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Open House Time!

Another year has whizzed by since my last open house, and I really just can't believe it! This is traditionally my last in-person sale of the year, and I know that this year, after this one, it will be time to catch up on long overdue commissions (still!) and start planning and designing for next year.
A couple of the folks from my hood came over to help me set up, which allowed me to get to bed at a decent hour!
After tonight's open house, whatever is left will get put into the ShellHawk's Creations Etsy shop.
See you soon, gang!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hauntcast - Undead!

Hauntcast: Undead is a new addition to the Hauntcast family, and will be lurching your way monthly!

Live interviews, prop shops and other nefarious goings-on will be available with a subscription to Hauntcast. The newest podcasts are always free, but you get access to so much more content with a subscription!

And don't forget the latest offering for Hallowe'en fanatics: Haunt Club!

Haunt Club is a gathering of Hallowe'en lovers to swap ideas, share prop tips and so much more.

"Haunt Club delivers value via Halloween media and Haunt related services across multiple websites and in all mediums from one centralized place. We provide technology that is vital for Haunters to inspire learning, creativity and sharing via web, native IOS & Android app, mobile, video, and chat. Our goal is to bring unity to the greater Halloween community and provide access to the most talented Haunters and the greatest Halloween minds."
Shamble over to the site now and browse around! You'll be glad you gave yourself these Hallowe'en treats!

This just in:

The Theater of the Mind video pilot episode is available! Yes, Theater of the mind can now be seen and heard!
Although Revenant does have a face for radio, so be warned...

Monday, October 17, 2016

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!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Need Hallowe'en Inspiration?

Pinterest is great inspiration for everyone, isn't it? I suspect it of somehow warping the fabric of the space-time continuum, because any time I go on the site, I lose hours!

In any case, if you need ideas on last minute how-to's or just want to see all the pretties, you can go to my This is Halloween Pinterest board, or just do a search for Halloween.

Many happy sighs to be had this time of year!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

Proving, in this horrible and horrifying election year, that Facebook still has a few redeeming gems to offer up!

Paul Lynde. Are you old enough to remember him? I surely do! So snarky, witty, and just freaking hilarious! Hollywood Squares icon. Immortalized in my childhood alongside Phyllis Diller and many others.

Click on the pic for an hour-long Halloween special!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lil Werewolf

Image by Shaefer on Flickr.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Four Rules of Hallowe'en

In case you had forgotten the most important four rules of Hallowe'en, click on the pic and then hit, "Play all."

And in case you haven't seen Trick 'R Treat, click here to purchase the DVD, or click here to rent or own a digital copy.
Remember: Sam will be watching you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NorCal Scares: Direworld

Every year, I swear I'm going to get out to a haunted attraction. This year, it may actually happen! 
Direworld is fairly close to me, and now? It features Stewie, who has completely gone pro this year!

It started with a somewhat alarmed phone call in late September from the storage space where I'd been keeping him.

"Umm, hello. Ma'am? There are strange noises coming from your storage space. And something that may be fingers is poking out from underneath the roll-up door. I can't get anyone to check it out. They're too scared. Just what have you been keeping in there?!"

Hard to explain about a giant pumpkin-headed scarecrow with a life of his own...

So I drove over to have a chat with Stewie about scaring the normals.

I could hear him grumbling from outside the door as I put my key in the padlock. It was a bit muffled...

"Mfrl. Grummmmmble. Grr. Rumble. Grumble grrf."
I suppressed a smile. My creation was just so cute when he was just waking up for the season.

I rolled up the door. He stood there, spiders fleeing the inside of his head in terror. 

"Grumble? Grumble!"

"Hey, Big Guy! Happy Autumn!"

There was an awkward pause. Then he told me that while he loved his yard and scaring the kids there, that he wanted to go back and play in the big leagues. Scaring hundreds, being on the local news, having his picture taken, going out for beers with the cast and crew afterwards...

How could I say no? At a certain point, the kids grow up and need to spread their wings.

We'll miss him. We're hoping to get pictures soon, maybe a postcard here and there to let us know how he's doing...

I'm so proud!

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Scary Bookshelf

If you're looking for some good reading material for the lengthening Autumn evenings, something to put you in the mood for the upcoming holiday, I've put together a Pinterest board to help you out!

My Scary Bookshelf is a collection of stories, art, how-to's and how-it-was-done's (if that's actually a phrase). I add to it as I discover (and sometimes remember) new books I've enjoyed and older books which scared me over the years. You can click on the images to be taken to Amazon to purchase them if you find you can't live without them!

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Backwater Gospel

A dark Saturday morning cartoon... Click on the pic.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hauntcast Post Mortem: Ding-Dong!

The latest episode of Hauntcast: Post Mortem has just dropped!
Hauntcast Post Mortem: Ding Dong featuring Thérèse & Hugh of Rutherford Manor Haunt and Music from Halloween at High Noon.
Winners of the Home Haunting Triple Crown, Thérèse & Hugh of the Rutherford Manor Haunt join your G/Host in the dungeon for a few adult bevies and to discuss discuss there award winning 2015 haunt season.
Prop Shop: Denny plays the game "You show me yours and I'll show you mine" with Chris as the boys compare the size of the props they are building for this Halloween
Theater of the Mind: Revenant gets all stream-of-consciousness on yo' azz and ponders the age-old question of Why We Do This
Mad Props for Props: Jason Becker lifts his "Graves of the Groves" haunt to new heights in his Freight Elevator Simulator.
Shocktails: JT hosts another Shocktails party at The Last Bar on the Left and of course the only one to show up was Baker. Beer, nonsense and neanderthal opinions flow as the boys review Rob Zombie's "31" and Adam Wingard & Simon Barrett's "Blair Witch". Cheers, fiends!
Charmed Pot: Our Mistress of Mayhem drops a tale of terror into your treat bag in the Charmed Pot.
Ghoulie Grooves: Halloween at High Noon provides the synth driven soundtrack for our Sahmain spooktacular.

Oh, I'm so looking forward to hunkering down with this new episode, Ding-Dong! You can now test-drive the revamped site and subscribe to Hauntcast for access to all the old vaults, plus new, exclusive content! New podcasts are always free.

Happy Hallowe'en, kids! Hope you like your treats, from the entire Scream Team at Hauntcast!

This is a Halloween Playlist!

I've been building and tweaking my YouTube Halloween playlist for the last couple of months, and am still adding to and reordering it. So if you need some inspiration for decorating, click on the pic and revel in the song, story and vintage-ness!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Legend of the Scarecrow

Click on the pic for a charming story about a sweet scarecrow...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

In the Know: A ShellHawk's Nest Tradition

Click on the pic for my annual October tradition!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

More Halloween from The New Yorker

 I would love to have a few of these framed and hanging in my office!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

I was chit-chatting with a friend on Facebook and he brought this great article about the Bates Hotel and Haunted Hayride to my attention. (He's a scare actor there. He was totally asking my advice about, you know, character development and just everything. Hangs on my every word, really... ;))

I thought the picture above was a stark contrast to what the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride does at night!

To me, the article spotlights two important things: one, that small farms in America are still struggling, and two, haunters are some of the most generous, helpful people on the planet.

Randy Bates and his family are doing their best to help other small farmers set up their own "agritourism" attractions so they, too, can make ends meet. I love that he's not thinking in terms of setting up his own competition. I love that he's coming from a place of generosity and caring.

I love haunters.