Monday, January 31, 2011

The Fright Vlogs!

Welcome to my first ever Vlog!

I'm not sure how consistent I will be with these but I will surely try to keep up with them especially when I begin build my props this year. If you want to, please stop by my youtube page and subscribe. I will try to post them there and here. 

I promised myself I would take more video this year and try to track the process of building and putting together my haunt. My friends and family always ask how I created something or how long did it take to build or set up and sometimes it's hard to really explain the process or why I start months before Halloween so I think doing these videos will help with those answers and also be a nice way for me to share my process with you while giving me something to look back on each and every year as Grimlock Manor progresses.

I hope you enjoy,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Creepy Puppet Project.

Hello hello!

Tonight I wanted to write about something I came upon last year which just came to mind today as I was looking at some youtube videos, The Creepy Puppet Project.

I came across The Creepy Puppet Project while doing a search for zombie animations last year on youtube and I was instantly hooked. Matt Ficner is the creator of the CPP and has been working on a number of shorts for CPP since 2007. He's built a a pretty loyal fan base and I think it is with good reason.

I remember watching the Muppets and Fraggle Rock all the time when I was growing up, I loved them! Something about the characters just stuck in my head. Even though they were just foam puppets the puppeteers brought such life to them and unlike cartoon characters these characters seemed to be more relatable. They were fun to watch, the stories were always good and it was something different aside from your every day cartoons (not knocking cartoons because I love them!)

I think Matt is trying to bring back that unique quality that puppets can bring to the media world. Granted we live in a world where CG animated films and cartoons rule but to see something like the CPP make it's way on TV would be cool.

Check out his youtube channel and his website. Also I've added the short he made that explains the Creepy Puppet Project below. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Halloween in the News!

Hello my haunt friends!

This past weekend I was reading through my local newspaper the Star-Ledger and in the jobs section I actually came across something Halloween related.

The article was titled "Three interesting, overlooked jobs." The third job was Haunted House Host. I tried to see if I could find the article online but couldn't so I'm just going to write it up here for everyone to read since it isn't to long. I thought it was interesting so I hope you enjoy.

Haunted House Host

Soft-soled shoes will help you sneak up on nervous customers while working in the haunted house business, which is thriving. In high season, Dwayne Sanburn of the 13 Gate Haunted House in downtown LA., employs 10 full time make-up artists, engineers and set designers to create its spooky scenes. It's becoming more common for haunted houses around the country to keep busy beyond October.

The entire Halloween market is benefiting from record numbers of thrill seekers. The Haunted House Association estimates that the industry grosses more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Get acquainted with the industry by attending the National Halloween and Haunted Attraction Show, an annual event in March that includes three days of product sales and seminars and many networking opportunities. If you plan to start your own attraction, caution is in order. "Keep in mind that it's an expensive industry," Sanburn warns. "It's going to cost money to start."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interview with Mr. Macabre!

Hello all.

I hope everyone is doing well. We have a blog update! Our "Dead Time Stories" page is ALIVE, IT'S ALIVE!!! Our first ever interview with our home haunt friend Mr. Macabre of "The Final Unresting Place" is up and ready for your reading pleasure!

You can find the Dead Time Stories pages directly to the right of this page and on the top of the links. We hope to continue adding interviews on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis. If you or someone you know has a home haunt and would like to do an interview than please feel free to contact us.

Hope you enjoy the Dead Time Stories!

Attack of the Tire!

Yup. So they made a movie about a Tire that blows people up using its telepathic powers. Check it out HERE

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ghostbusters 3 News

Hello All,

So I was just browsing around the internet and came across an update on the hopefully upcoming Ghostbusters Three Movie. A script has been in the works for some time now and apparently Ivan Reitman (The Director) has sent the latest version which he says is "very good" to Bill Murry for his approval. The fate of the movie seems to depend on Murrys thumbs up as well it should because a Ghostbusters movie without Peter Venkman just wouldn't be a Ghostbuster movie worth watching. Check out the latest on the film Here

I'd also like to comment quickly on a movie I watch last night which features Dan Aykroyd another of the Ghostbuster team members. The movie is called Nothing But Trouble. Nothing But Trouble was made in 1991 and features Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, John Candy & Demi Moore. To sum the movie up, a business man (Chevy Chase) finds he and his friends the prisoners of a sadistic judge and his equally off family in the backwoods of a bizarre mansion.

I own Nothing But Trouble on DVD (got it for $5!). It was one of those movies I remember catching on a Sunday afternoon and I didn't know why I was watching it but I got sucked into it. The story and characters are odd but as I was re-watching it last night I started thinking what good reference it was for a Haunted House. The mansion that Dan Aykroyd's character Judge Alvin "J.P." Valkenheiser lives in is pretty cool. Everything about it would make for a good haunt all together but there is plenty you can dissect and use as reference for scenes in your haunt and I think I may just do the same.

As a home haunter I'd suggest taking a peek at this film. It's not going to go into anyones top 5, 10, 15 or 20 films of all time or maybe not even top 100 for that matter but as reference for a quirky, wacky mansion it is A+ material and I am sure you can draw some inspiration for your haunts from Nothing But Trouble.

Stay Scary!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Hello all my haunt friends!

Tonight's post may be slightly long but its with good cause because the topic is about saving Hauntcast.

I've written about Hauntcast on a few occasions but in case you have never heard of it, Hauntcast is a podcast for the Home Haunt and Halloween enthusiast. The show is hosted and produced by Chris Baker and features his comedic sidekick Skully (voiced by Chris), Revenant who does a segment called Theater Of The Mind, Johnny Thunder with the horror movie reviews, The Mistress Of Mayhem Shellhawk with the Charmed Pot and Denhaunt with prop How-To's.

Before I continue on about the show I'd like to share how I came upon it and why it means so much to me that us as home haunters come together and show our support for Hauntcast. You see I became serious about haunting in 2008. I always loved Halloween, Horror and Haunted Houses but really started learning about the Haunt industry that year. I primarily researched the pro side of the industry because I was working on opening a charity haunt in 2009. This past year however, I reverted back to my home haunt roots because home truly is where the haunt/heart is to me.

I started searching out more home haunters like myself this past year and happened to come upon Haunt Forum which is a forum for home haunters. I began to meet some great people on Haunt Forum. Everyone is helpful and super supportive of one anothers haunts. As I began to dive into the site more and explore the many threads I came across Hauntcast in the News section of the site. Up until the point that I found Hauntcast I had been listening to a few different halloween podcasts but none really seemed to focus on the home haunter so I was excited to see someone was doing one for us. I was late to the game seeing how there was already two full seasons of Hauntcast already on iTunes for free but for me it was exciting because I had A LOT of listening to do and with halloween still slightly down the road I had something to hype me up and get ready for the season.

As with any podcast I usually go into it with low expectations. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great podcasts out there but there are plenty of poorly produced ones as well so I wasn't sure what I was going to get with Hauntcast, all I knew is it had to do with Halloween and Home Haunting so that was already a plus in my book. The next thing I did before I actually listened to my first Hauntcast episode was to read the information for each episode and to my surprise there seemed to be a great amount of information provided not to mention interviews with many of the home haunts who have caught my eye over the past 3-4 years so now my interest was totally peeked! I was ready to click away and listen with my fingers crossed that it would be good and let me tell you I was not let down!

Hauntcast offers everything a home haunter can ask for. The information you will obtain from each episode if priceless. I can't begin to tell you how many new websites, vendors and haunters I have learned about just by listening to the show. The entertainment value and production is also top notch. The hours of research done by the crew and the time that goes into editing the show definitely shows. It's a show I have come to love, it's a show that makes me happy to have a hobby like haunting and now it is a show that needs it's listeners to help out!

With all the effort it takes to produce a quality show like Hauntcast comes all the fees that we the listeners never see and never think about. The website fees, the bandwith fees, the promoting etc etc. Hauntcast can't survive with the few advertisers they have and they need our help. If we want to keep the show alive we have to "nut up or shut up!" Hauntcast is now offering subscription packages and for what amounts to just a $1 a show we can help keep them on the air, we can keep the laughs, the reviews, the how-to's and all the fun we have grown to love going. I've already made my contribution and if I have to I will make more but what will you do?

A show like this doesn't always come around. Chris and his crew love what they do, they love haunting and they have become an integral part of the home haunt community and I for one don't want to be sitting back during my Halloween season, drinking a brew and building a prop listening to old episodes trying to recapture what used to be....I'd much rather be drinking and building that prop listening to the newest episode of Hauntcast laughing my ass off and having a good old time knowing that the hits will just keep on coming and I hope you will agree with me and show your support. Please take a few minutes to watch Chris's plea to us haunters below and please makes your way over to the Hauntcast website to get your subscription today!!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hauntcast Giveaway on Shellhawks Nest!

Wow two posts in one day within a matter of minutes!!! Aren't you lucky!

Well I just wanted to give a shout out to Shellhawk at Shellhawks Nest. Shellhawk is promoting a GREAT giveaway right now that you can read up on and enter here: HAUNTCAST GIVEAWAY! That's right, she is giving all us haunters the chance to win 3 possible Hauntcast memberships. The contest ends January 17th so make sure you get on over to her blog read the directions and sign up to win today my friends!

If you have never read through Shellhawks blog then I am sure as a haunter or Halloween enthusiast you will greatly enjoy it! It's one of my many blog stops every day. Her posts are always entertaining and you can always count on a good read. Shellhawk also has a segment on Hauntcast called "The Charmed Pot." It's one of my favorite segments! (Brownie Points?!) In all honesty it's a great blog, you can always count on it being updated and if your a home haunter or halloween junky I'd suggest checking it out.

I did a write up some time ago about Hauntcast as well which you can view HERE if your not familiar with it. It's a great podcast for Halloween and Haunt Fanatics. There are great horror movie reviews, awesome prop building advice and cool interviews with some of the home haunt worlds best haunting gurus so check it out!

Lucky 13!

Hello me fellow haunters!

Today I logged on to see we have hit our Lucky 13th follower of the blog! It's pretty awesome to see that fellow haunters out there are taking notice and liking the blog because it really keeps me going. Every day I don't post I feel bad like I am letting you guys and ghouls down but I am motivated to keep things going!

Quick update on the zombie swag packs. As I said during the Zombie Santa Contest, even if you posted an entry or signed up to follow the blog I would be sending out zombie swag packs to everyone and I finally have them all together. So be on the lookout! ia m sorry they are a little behind. If you entered the contest or if you sign up to follow the blog I will be sending these out. They have some cool stuff in them!

So in todays post I wanted to highlight a cool website I came across called The Monster Club. The Monster Club is a collection of some great Old Time Radio Horror and Suspense shows. They have over 500 shows from various broadcasts that you can download and listen too. Some of my favorite broadcasts are from Beyond Midnight, Black Chapel, CBS Radio Mystery Theater and The Clock but there are so many more! Not only can you download these for free from their website but you can also look up The Monster Club on iTunes as well if you would like. All these stories are a great listen while working on props, doing some design in the studio or just while kicking back on a lazy afternoon so if your looking for some nostalgic mystery/horror.sci-fi radio from the 1920's jump on over to The Monster Club!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zombie Survival on The Mississippi.

Want to survive the Zombie Apocalypse? Who doesn't! But why not survive in style while floating down the Mississippi River in style in this Zombie Riverboat Destroyer that runs on Zombie Sludge! Take a look for yourself here: Zombie River Boat

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nearing Cemetery.

Happy New Year!!!

Well here is my first post of the new year! I hope everyone enjoyed their New Years Eve as much as I did mine. For the past few years my new years plans have always been last minute and most of the time we end up finding ourselves sitting on the couch just watching all the action on T.V. which I guess isn't that bad but it's not always that fun either. This year however, was a blast and an adventure!

My wife and I went to the small town of Cochecton Center in upstate New York with some of our very close friends. We spent the weekend in a converted barn from the 1800's that had been nicely renovated. It was an amazing place. The original barn floor boards where still in tact, there was a great fireplace and an awesome loft space. It was a great escape from all the stresses of life and it was great to be surrounded by such a good group of friends. It's not a setting that I suppose you would immediately think of when planning a New Years Eve party but it was nice knowing that we didn't have to worry about driving anywhere, there were no crowds and we could just relax with good friends in such a cool space.

All of my friends know I am big on Halloween and everything haunt related so upon my arrival my friend Katie (who was our most excellent and awesome hostess for the weekend along with our friend and her boyfriend Brian) told me there was a really cool cemetery just up the road from where we were staying and that it was from the early 1800's as well so of course I had to go take peek for myself.

The cemetery was called Nearing Cemetery and it was established in 1827. I tried to look it up and obtain more information on it but there doesn't seem to be much that I can find. It's a very small cemetery with only a handful of graves and from the looks of it it's not really kept after that much.

We spent maybe 10-15 minutes taking some pictures and video which you can see below. We did some grave etchings of some of the more interesting tombstones but it was hard because most were very worn and you could barely make out what they said. I did take it upon myself to research one tombstone in particular. There seemed to be a family plot in the far back corner of the cemetery for a family by the name of Crosby. The largest headstone was that of a James A. Crosby (seen below) he was the son of Scipio L. & Margaret Crosby. Now in my research  I looked up James first but there were quite a few names that went by James A. Crosby in the 1800's and it was hard to narrow down the one I was looking for so I decided to look up Scipio L. Crosby because his name was a bit more unique and with some digging and luck I found him! Scipio was a soldier in the Civil War and was in the 143rd Infantry. He served with the 143rd until the end of the war and was wounded in battle, it was a severe leg wound. I didn't find much more about Scipio beyond that but I hope to look into it a bit more in the future. If you are interested in reading some of the war journals that were written by various commanders of the 143rd Infantry during the civil war you can read them HERE.

If you have never taken the time to visit an old or historic cemetery I highly suggest it especially if your a haunter because the reference you can take away is amazing. The detailing that went into headstones centuries ago is amazing and for me I just find it interesting. Cemeteries like Nearing Cemetery are out there, we may not know where they are but if you come across one chances are it's been abandoned for quite some time so I am sure the friendly ghost of years past won't mind if you come to say hello. Just be respectful and hey, maybe you will even make a friend like I did in Scipio.

Happy New Year!