43 Days!

Time for an update!

The Time is nearing, October is probably one of my favorite months. We have the fair and thanksgiving and of course HALLOWE’EN! We have pretty much checked off everything on our list with the exception of finishing the candy supply.  We have come up with a few additions from the last post. I’ll mention them below.  Candy donations from Family members have been trickling in and piling up in the dinning room with close to 500 kids last year, donations are greatly appreciated.  If you’re reading this Thank you!

One of our bigger props this year and thanks to Amanda for this for a VERY early birthday present. She showed up to meet me for lunch one day and opened the trunk to her car with orange and black balloons inside, she had went and purchased the 6ft 6inch Werewolf from Home Depot. I had been eyeing this prop over the last few visits there. My youngest son helped me put it together that day when we got home. I was amazed with the quality of the product. It was all steel framed and very sturdy and actually took a power adapter rather than running on batteries.


He is motion activated and moves back and forth, the jaw moves and eyes light up and snarls and howls at the end of his cycle. It’s very cool, he stands in my dining room at the moment next to my computer desk. I often look up at it and think what an awesome prop it is and I can’t wait for all the kids to see it.

LED lighting is underway. I think it’s complete other than the final wiring.  I had originally thought I would make close to 25 spotlights, but after some more thought about it I’ve cut the number down to 12.  Not everything needs to be illuminated. Specific props will be highlighted.   Here is a picture of the final spotlight project


It’s a PVC 1/2″ T the LED is soldered inside to some network cable, that comes out of a hole on the side. Which will run to the two power supplies on each side of the yard.  The idea is with the bottom and back piece I can just insert them into the ground and they will be aimed at the props.

I was sitting on the couch a few weekends back showing the girlfriend some projection videos and what could be done with a 3DFX prop.  Debating on ordering the form from the states, and in fear that if Amanda went to pick up another package and had to pay custom fees again, I’d be in serious trouble or the package would just remain at the post office. We decided to use a mannequin that we had picked up last year, Didn’t really know what to do with it last year other than just dress it up.  So, we placed it on the yard and draped a sheet over it and aimed the projector at it and created an animated ghost on the front lawn, we had wanted to test it out to make sure the massive spot lights I have didn’t flood the effect out.  There is a still from the video below.


Video link to come

There are a few images that will be projected on to the form, I have to still build a box that will look like a tombstone to hide the projector from plain sight. (I’d also like to note if it rains on Halloween, I’ll be PISSED!)

Should have all the tombstone carved out this weekend, and each kid has made their own, so we’ll place them all in the backyard and get them painted and into the basement for deployment in a few weeks.   We usually start setting up after Thanksgiving.  I’m sure they’ll be more updates and pictures as things progress.  There’s also a new Hauntcast episode coming out at the end of the month, So I’m pretty excited for that.

62 DAYS!

Crunch time is here, So much to build so little time, I may be spending a few evenings in my workshop with the last few projects on the wraps.  Sorry in advanced Arn Arns!  I lucked out this past weekend when grabbing some more 2″ Foam board they ended up putting an extra piece in the back of the Truck…. Ever see that Ikea commercial… START THE CAR!!!! So I’ll be adding another 6 new tombstones on top of the 3 I’ve already made.  The kids have been wanting to make their own, so 1 of 5 have come up with an idea so far. Yesterday I’ve received my LED lights from Lighthouse LEDs.  I ordered about 40 leds and a few power supplies.  The idea is to aim these at the tombstones to make them pop. I use a few massive blue flood lights and they wash everything out.  So this should look really cool. Atmosphere is everything!  Last year for a few props I had used a dollar store flashlight zip-tied to a tent peg.  It did the trick but ready for the next level.  The idea is to solder the LEDs to some network cable I have kicking around the house since they’re such low voltage. I’ll be gluing them into a 1/2″ PVC T pipe one end for the LEDs one end for the wire and the bottom piece to stake into the ground. I’ll be posting pictures as it comes along.   Yay Haunt Season!



Coffin lids

I wanted to use to some scrap plywood I had kicking around and decided to make a new coffin lid for my graveyard scene. I found a really cool weathering technique online and wanted to share it.

First I cut out the shape and then cut it into strips then nailing it to a few support boards.


Obvious this looks to new!  The method I used was balsamic vinegar and steel wool in a jar with a tight lid (mason jar) . Let it sit over night (I hate waiting, I’m anything but patient) and then brush on a few coats. Doesn’t look like its doing much but after a few hours looks like this.


Props Props Props!

Well Building season is well upon us.  Planning underway (Although I don’t think it ever really stops) The stores are starting to roll out their Halloween stuff although the majority of them won’t release their stuff until back to school is over. I’ve been to Michael’s this year and their stuff disappoints, not only wasn’t there anything really cool there, but the prices seem to have really gone up, yes, they have their 50% off coupons but even then, it seemed like a little much.

I was at Costco and they had a few things out, seems it varies on location as I’ve seen a few people posting on the CHA homepage and Halloween forum different things.  I took home a 4.5 Ft Taking Tombstone (Barley fit in my trunk) made my day, I was so excited to get home and show the kids.  I’ve Finished some work one a few tombstones I had started on and put together two more fence panels for the front lawn. I’ve got the itch now and want to keep going. 

Yesterday I placed an order for beef netting from Trent Mills in Tennessee, I’ve always go compliments on the spider webs and the work I’ve put into them, this year they will look very different from everyone else’s I can’t wait to see how it works with everything.



Is it too early to start hoarding materials for this year’s haunt… Only being almost 4 months into the year? 🙂

Last weekend I went out and picked up a big piece of foam, hoping to make some new tombstones. Yes I know it may be early to some, but I it relaxing to put on a pod cast and chip away and paint on one of them.


I also picked up some top pieces for the cemetery fences, I had re done these last year, there’s a post on here about it, and made them a bit stronger and changed the style. Knowing the spring stuff was already at the Dollar store, I thought I’d head over on my lunch and pick up a few pieces.

22220170327_191922Pretty excited that these are black this year! I don’t have to use any spray paint on them. Two more panels to be made. Should bring it up to a total of 7 panels.



Halloween 2016

Well Halloween 2016 is over, Lots of planning and time to get here, but the day was a success. The Weather plays a big role in this day and I couldn’t have asked for a better night. No wind, no rain, it was cool but not freezing. Our big hit for the year was our dogs “Cerberus’ they got lots of attention and lots of pictures taken with them. Now to pack it all away tomorrow.  This time we are doing inventory so we know what we have.  Thanks to everyone who came out and took part of it and helped out.   Froggys Fog Backwoods Bay fog was awesome! It was half way down the block and AtmosfearFX Videos were as always a big hit and drew lots of crowds. We counted just over 400 kids came by to see our display and take part. There is a YouTube link here of the video of our yard.



Prop finds!

Well, when I pretty much thought I was done buying and or building props for the season. I was at work on lunch and was browsing Kijiji  for some Halloween stuff for sale, and came across a free mannequin.  That’s right FREE! I had saw one at a yard sale store but they wanted around $100 for it, these things generally are pretty expensive. I picked it up today after work, I asked him what they used it for. He told me it was about 30yrs old. She used was used by the police for CSI / Blood Splatter analysis. I thought that was pretty cool, Used for something like that in the yard / haunt, better than just wearing designer clothes in a store!


I called her Mary, (AKA Bloody Mary)  then right away I thought of my costume from two years ago, this would be perfect. So this happened


She is currently waiting in the dark mudroom in the corner, waiting for my girlfriend to get home. 🙂


Last night I was walking to the store and thought I’d take a quick snapshot of my lights on the graveyard. I started off with one because they were $20 a light bulb and wasn’t sure how much I would like it or how much of a difference they would make.  I tried hard at the till to use $5 off energy saving coupons, but for some reason they didn’t apply which made no sense to me since these are 14w compared to 100w a conversation I had with the cashier that got me nowhere.


The picture isn’t the greatest quality, Phone camera…. Hoping to get some better ones this weekend when more of the props make their way to the front lawn. The old lights bulbs looked white with a hint of blue and barely lit up half the yard, these two light up the entire yard and the side of my neighbor’s house, which I need to go over and speak to them about to see if I need to reposition things.  I could see this light from over a block away from the highway.  It’ll look great when the projections are going in the windows too.  Won’t be long now!  Stay tuned for my photos this weekend.

I also constructed my last tombstone of the season.  It’s up there with one of my favorite I’ve only made foam tombstones this year, I started with a few last year and all the previous ones before that were wood.  I’m glad I made the switch to foam and will likely phase out the wooden ones in time. I drilled 3/4″ holes in the bottom of the tombstones and banged PVC pipes into the ground then slid the tombstones over the top.  We had pretty strong wind yesterday and they stayed in place.  Also reconstructing the end of the fences with larger PVC pipes have kept them standing straight, usually after a week they start to lean back a bit due to wind and rain.  Typical October weather.


Day 2

My fingers are healed up a little better today, and I’m back at it in and out of the rain. Fences are up, and all the chains and hooks inside the porch, wired some of the lights up.


Yes, I know the flowers don’t really go, They’ll be moving to the side or back soon. 🙂