Halloween 2011 Halloween 2012  

          As you may know, and if you are reading this right now you know for sure.  I am addicted to Halloween and the creation of Halloween props.  It is true I have purchased some items pre-made, and my wife, (who is my most supportive friend) buys items every year also.  She understands the addiction and knows that a few weeks of therapy and I will be just fine, (for another year), but then again next year just before All Hallows Eve, I get the same way.  I use most of the pre-made items to enhance my own items, like a small foam skull, cut in half and glued to the surface of a tomb stone.  On October 17th, we started the setup.  I have posted below our progress as we add items to the haunt.  I will continue to post some pictures so anyone who is following this will be able to see what we go through.   Gary...

  Yes my friends, I am a halloween-a-holic, and there is no cure!  
      Home-made Tombstones      

          Although I do have a store bought Tomb Stone or 2, all of the rest are home-made.  My old markers are made of plywood and are thin and heavy, painted white and have mostly black text on them.  In the last 3 years I have been working on adding foam to the plywood.  Many people make their markers with just foam, I have a couple of them, however foam is light and moves in the wind, where a wooden marker won't move, so the plywood gives them some stability.  There are a couple of stones I will make using only or mostly foam (like the 2 pictured below), but other then them, I will continue to keep some wood in my tomb stones.

There were a few new items this year, I added tiny skulls to the fence, helped my neighbor build his fence and then created a gate to tie the 2 fences together.  I created a coupld of new grave stones, one has a red light inside.  My largest addition this year was the hanging cage which holds a skeleton, the hardest part was preventing it from turning around in circles.  I added additional fence sections too!  The fog chiller worked very well this year.


I have started my design work on 2 new tomb stones that will sit in the grave yard.   One is sitting at an angle to represent sinking into the soil (below).  Both are made of Styrofoam and covered in corrugated paper, then covered with a spackling material.  I used a water based acrylic paint, once dry it is waterproof.  The tombstone above was left raw in the middle.  The cutout was for a lamp glass of a ceiling fan.  It had a unique shape, so I left it without any paint or texture, I have installed a light in the back and will light it up on Halloween night.

  Styrofoam base and corrugated cover, textured with a spackle compound, and painted with acrylic paints.  I placed a piece of PVC pipe in the back to support a re-bar stake to stabilize the stone.      
       Hanging Cage      

This idea came to me as I was painting a skeleton I picked up at Big Lots, better known as a bag of bones, I picked it up for $15 which they usually go for at least $20.  This one was very cheap looking as they all are, but it was made to glow in the dark, so it had a greenish tint.  Very non-real looking, I antiqued it a bit, and painted it an off white color for age.  Then I wondered what would I use the skeleton for?  It came to me, a hanging cage!



The top and bottom are made of strips of wood taken from some old ammo boxes that I had, I built 3 into 1 for my drum hardware, and had some wood left over, which Marisa asked me to get rid of and of course I didn't.  I glued them together as best I could, not having the proper clamping tools, I ended up placing support strips across the boards for added strength.  Cut to a round 24" circle, and holes placed about an inch and a half in, and every 6 and 3/4 " around, I drilled 10 holes for the bars.  Cut 10 pieces of 1/2" PVC to 40" each, assembled and painted.  The piece is below, it's not done yet, but is basically assembled.  I will take another picture once I do something to build up the top section, probably with Styrofoam to keep down the weight, as it is quite heavy already at this point, and I still have to load the skeleton.

Skelly is in the cage now, although I still have some things to do to make it look more life like, old and weathered.  I added some horizontal straps to enhance the looks (photo to come), but still have to distress the clothing.


A good start

  Inhabited   An Improvement  
      A Work in Progress      
  The pictures below are the work in progress.  I will post every day where there are changes made to the yard(s).  I have done most of the major stuff like the fence, the giant spider web and the castle facade, and now comes the creativity part.  Arranging all of the accessories to make the whole thing come together.  This year our neighbors next door decided they wanted to create a haunted yard like ours.  although it takes many years, or mega bucks, but it is lots of fun and its never too late to start.  Keep coming back to see what's going on next...  
  Our Next Door Neighbor's new fence       The Chain will be the location of the new  
          Hanging Cage  
  Giant Spider Web   Got one already   The Castle Facade  
  Bruce tries his hand at development       The grave is dug  
  About 50% done   New tiny Skulls   Back Stage  
  Front Gate   Gate Keeper   Fresh Grave  
      I think we're Ready      
      A message from below   Don't even try to run this way!  
  Enter Only   A new gate      
      Jim Jones - Koolaid King      
          Black Skull  
      Bruce's Place      
      The Ghosts of   Pumpkin Heads  
  Monty   A Pirate's grave      
  The Clowns got the candy          
  Halloween Night 2008 - The Haunting  
  Visitors Arrive   Front Gate   Gate Keeper is Awake  
  No Flash   Hanging Cage   From inside the Castle  
  Friends   Friends   Friends  
  This is Nick   or is it Michael?   He's not dead yet!  
  He's coming to get you!   Look out   Is that?