Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hauntcast 34 Coming Soon!

Hey Frightners!

Just a reminder that Hauntcast 34 airs Thursday September 1st! In this months Access Hollyween I provide a huge list of links for some cool online stores that are offering some unique and affordable Halloween props and other various Halloween related items that are great pick ups in a pinch. I also shout out some great Halloween mix cds that are free for download so don't forget to listen in and download from either the iTunes store (FOR FREE!) or from HAUNTCAST.NET

Stay Scary!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiji Mermaid Prop

Hi Frightners!

So I have been in prop making mode like crazy. Basically I am trying to fill out my Cabinet of Curiosities for my haunt. Thus far I have started a Dead Pixie, Shrunken Head and now I am on to a Fiji Mermaid which I am posting pictures of below.

These are all smaller props that are quick and easy to do and will bring you the best bang for your buck especially if you have a cabinet of curiosity in your haunt or a freakshow of sorts. Seeing how I am working in a circus theme this year I needed a hole bunch of strange little oddities to put on display but didn't want to spend all that much to create them.

Now I am not totally done with this Fiji Mermaid but in case you have a few free hours and want to make something cool let me go ahead and tell you how I made this little gal.

                                             ( Mermaid Fully corpsed with stain application.)

Now remember I still have a few steps to go before I am complete witth her but the base is there. Now all you will need for this is this:

1) A small skeleton. I picked up a strand of skeleton garland from my local dollar store for...yup thats right $1! There were 4 plastic skeletons on the strand all about 6 inches in length. So thats a whole lot of Fiji Mermaids! I am actually using one for my Dead Pixie Prop.

2) Tin Foil. Most of us have some tin foil at home and you will use this to create the tail section of the mermaid.

3) Cotton Balls. This is to add texture over top of the tin foil.

4) Mold Builder Latex or Glue. Now I used both and suggest you do to for a better effect but if you don't want to spend money on the Mold Builder latex which costs about $15 then Elmers Glue should work just fine.

5) Cheesecloth. You can get Cheesecloth in your local hardware store and normally it is only a few bucks and a little goes a long way!

6) A small piece of cardboard. You can find this almost anywhere around your house..if anything just use a paper towel or toilet paper roll. This is for the flipper of the tail.

7) Wood Stain. A small can is fine, you will only need a small drop or two from it, any color of stain is ok. I got a medium finish.

8)  OPTIONAL: Sculpy and a wig. These two supplies are really up to you. I am using both for some extra details. The wig is just so I can pull a few strands of hair off to use on the mermaid and the sculpy is so I can sculpt a little sea shell bikini for the mermaid.

Now on to the build!!

Building her or him, is really super easy.

First, remove the arms and the legs of the skeleton. These will only get in the way while you build and corpse your mermaid but DON'T throw the arms away, you will need them in the end.

Second, Take a small section of tin foil, maybe about a 6" x 6" square of it, you be the judge, and begin to wrap the top portion of the foil around the hips of the skeleton, the remainder of the foil should be shaped into a tail shape.

Then, cut out a flipper with your cardboard and tape it on to the end of the tail. Now you should have your basic mermaid shape.

Unroll your cotton balls and thin them out. Apply a thing layer of either glue or mold builder latex to the entire foil and flipper area front and back and then add the flattened cotton balls to it. To matte down to cotton balls go over them with a coat of the latex or glue. The cotton balls  shouldn't be puffy or dry at this point, they should be gooey and fleshy...ewww!! Hehe!

                                         ( Mermaid with the cotton balls and latex application)

Once almost dry take small squares of cheese cloth and begin to wrap the entire tail. I only used about 2 layers. Brish the cheese cloth with at least 2-3 coast of glue. The cheese cloth is going to give you a cool scaley texture for your fish bottom. Let this totally dry.

            ( Mermaid with Cheesecloth wrap, to the side are the mini clam shells for the bikini.)

Now you should have a pretty dried up looking mermaid and your read for your last step which is the stain.

Using a small brush or sponge soak up a very small amount of stain onto the brush or sponge and begin going over the cheese cloth. The cloth should look fully browned when complete. Be careful not to soak it to much as it will take longer to dry. I did not have to re-dip my sponge into the stain a second time and neither should you. You can even add some stain to the plastic skeleton too to age it more.

Your done!! Well almost. You will need to add your arms back on to the mermaid with some hot glue. You can position them however works best for you. Be sure to give them a little stain as well.

If you have a wig around, I suggest sacrificing some hair from it and adding a few strands to the head of the mermaid.

With some sculpy and some leftover cardboard you can even fashion a clamshell bikini!

                                             ( Sculpy is easy to mold into little clamshells. )

I will post final pictures of my mermaid fully complete and in its glass case but thus far this has been a fast and fun project that anyone can do in a short amount of time and with a small budget so have some fun with it and get your Fiji on!

Stay Frightful!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Poe Bust & Mausoleum.

Hey Frightners,

Just taking a break between props to look at some haunt videos on Youtube and came across this great projection prop of an Edgar Allen Poe Bust set into a very cool Mausoleum that yo just have to see!

Projection effects have really been gaining steam over the past two years and more and more people are learning how to both create them and put them to use in their haunts and I really think that is great because it just adds another dimension to a haunt and with the right set up it can be a great focal piece that will make all your tot's and visitors stop and stare in wonderment! This year I am attempting my first Madame Leota projection effect in a seaunce room I am building in my haunt so I am excited to see the reaction it gets, if good I will try more projection effects in the future.

The Youtube channel where you can find this effect plus a video of the Mausoleum being built is listed HERE. Please check it out, there is some great stuff there and if you have done a projection effect or know of any other neat ones you have seen please feel free to share!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mini Minion Update.

Hi Frightners!

Well most of today I have been hunkered down inside due to "Hurricane Irene." I put it in quotes because thus far it hasn't been much more than some hard rain here in Jersey though right now the wind is picking up slightly. I suppose if it is going to get worse then it will happen more over night and into tomorrow but all in all it has forced me to work on my props for this years haunt and that isn't a bad thing!

I have been paying some attention to the mini minion today and began the cotton ball and latex application to his body but before that I used some sculpy to add some fleshy features to his body. I also added a few ribs and a sternum to him as well to help bulk him out a bit.

In this first picture you can see his body, now more bulked out from the sculpy, cotton balls and latex.

In the next two shots I decided to begin to give him a slight mummified look and began to wrap him with some cheese cloth. I brushed on a light coating of Elmers in certain spots to help keep the cheese cloth attached but I wanted most of it to be soft to the touch.

His head used to be pretty clean but I also applied some cotton balls and lated to it as well to give him some fleshy patched which I will end up painting when dry. I will probably use a light color stain to go over the skull with and may even try adding a stocking to the skull first then applying the stain over top and gently rubbing certain areas of it with my thumb to create holes in the stocking. I have used this technique on large bucky skeletons before with great results. It looks like skins ripping away from the bone.

Next up are some little clawed hands and feet which I will make out of sculpy. The stumps of the hands and feet on the minion are still just the metal of the armature so once I sculpt the hands and feet I can first slide them over the armature to make small holes in the sculpts then bake them. The idea here is that I will be able to put on and remove the hands and feet and if I want to make various other sets in different poses I can and they will be interchangeable.

Once he is painted and all his parts are in place the last step will be to add his eyes which again are vaseline marbles which glow under a blacklight. I also believe the cheese cloth will give off a nice glow as well. When he is fully complete the it will be time to cage him in and detail the cage itself.

I'd like to make at least one more of these guys for my freakshow but we will see what time will allow with so many other projects still to be done. I did want to try to add some motion to my next minion and make his head spin like the exorcist but we will see.

More to come soon!

Stay Frightful!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Continued Work on the Mini Minion.

Hey Frightners!

Tonight I continued working on the Mini Minion. I began to flesh out his body in tin foil and masking tape and still have at least another layer of them until I can begin with the cotton ball, cheese cloth and  liquid latex application.

He is coming together fairly easy so far and I'm pretty excited about him. If I can finish at least 2 of these guys I will be happy but I am aiming for three. More progress pictures and video soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mini Minions In Progress!

Hi Frightners!

So tonight I began my Mini Minion Props. What are Mini Minions you ask? Why my Mini Minions are little ghoulish creatures who will happily feast on the souls of the living if provoked however, if left alone and treated well they will happily obey their masters commands and do whatever work or order that was assigned to them. They love to feed on small animals, the deader the better..for some reason they do not like the live ones??

These little guys will be featured as part of my freak show in this years haunt. They will be hanging by small cages and under a blacklight because there eyes will be made of vaseline marbles which glow and eerie glow in blacklights.

Currently, as you can see by the pictures, I am working on the wireframe body of the first of 3 minions. The arms are in place as are the legs. Now I am going to start bulking out the body with tin foil and then will most likely cover the foil with either a combination of cotton balls and latex or possibly a mache mixture using cheese cloth...we shall see. The entire minion will eventually be cloaked anyways so not to much detail will be needed. His face is where the most attention needs to be paid.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions you may have, I hope you will enjoy the process of the Minion build...I'm looking forward to them being complete!

Stay Frightful!

NBC Wants You!

Hey Frightners!!

So I am sure some of you Home Haunters out there have already seen this floating around out there on various haunt sites vlogs and blogs but if not NBC is currently casting for an untitled Halloween Special they are producing.

Magic Stone productions and Brainstorm Media announced that they have signed a deal to produce the documentary and are currently accepting submissions for the cast here at http://www.homemadehaunt.com/

The casting directors are searching for passionate Halloween die-hards who live to scare through creating amature haunts and would like to share their creations with the world.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in then head on over to the website in the link I provided above and fill out the submission. It would be great to see a few of us haunters get on the show so submit, submit, submit!

I will keep you updated if there is any word on my submission and will also fill you in if there is any more word on the show, who gets picked so on and so forth! Either way, it should be a fun show to watch and I am really looking forward to it!

Stay Frightful!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I love my Cartoons, Especially When They Feature Zombies!

Hey Frightners!

So um yeah...its Saturday Morning and of course I am watching Cartoons..why aren't you!

Yes, yes I know and have heard it over and over "when are you going to grow up and stop watching cartoons?!" Fewy! Toys R Us said it best "I don't want to grow up", Cartoons are fun and hilarious and I will always love them especially when they feature Zombies!!!

One particular cartoon I have been watching recently is "Regular Show" By JG Quintel on Cartoon Network.  It's a pretty hilarious and random show about two 23-year old friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby which are both employed as groundskeepers at a park which is run by their high-tempered boss Benson who just so happens to be a living gumball machine...um yeah haha!

Both Mordecai and Rigby often attempt to avoid the work they are given and enjoy themselves by doing the most random things however, they often have to pay for their irresponsible actions as they get into more trouble then they thought. The typical result is Mordecai and Rigby going through bizarre and surrealistic misadventures.

One such adventure which I just watched last night was called Grave Sights. In order to raise money that they need to do repairs on the house they stay in Mordecai and Rigby decide to hold a horror movie night in the old abandoned cemetery that is owned by the parks department they work for. Of course all hell breaks lose when they accidentally reanimate the living dead of the cemetery and need to stop them from eating all the movie watching guests who are oblivious to that fact that the zombies they are seeing are real (they think they are a part of the 3D zombie movie they are watching.)

Its a fun episode and for us halloween and zombie loving junkies out there it's a perfect watch! There is also a nod to Ash from the Living Dead movies. I've added the show below so have some fun this weekend and get your haunt on by watching the Regular Show.

Ghoulishly Delightful Music!

Hey Frightners!

I'm about to start my propapalooza build a-thon this weekend and was looking for some new music to download and listen to and at the suggestion of a friend of mine I downloaded a free compilation CD by a DJ named "Girl Talk" Now this is a mash up CD full various songs mixed together to form new one hence the "mash up" the songs featured are both rock, metal, hip-hop and various oldschool rap and they all come together nicely but what really sold me on downloading the CD (though it was FREE!) was that the album cover had a skeleton on it haha! Of course it all comes back to my Halloween roots!

So if your looking for some new music, like rap, hip-hop, rock and metal than try out GIRL TALK for free and if anything just enjoy the skeleton art cover haha!

In other new album news...I just got my copy of Midnight Syndicates Carnival Arcane CD and have fully listened to it front to back a few time so far and really like it! I think this has to be one of my favorite CD's of their thus far and of course it fits my carnival haunt perfectly!  I already used one of their tracks titled "Mesonoxian Visitors" in my first audio teaser clips for my haunt this season which you can preview in the post below this one.

Every year I send out small audio clips leading up to my haunts opening which give my guests a narrated  progression of the storyline of my haunt. I feel it helps to tie everything together and make one cohesive experience so when they arrive to the party or as I call it "The Show" they feel like they are entering the world that I have been building through the audio clips they have been listening too. All the characters that are in the audio clips are ones they will meet when they arrive and of course "The Show" reflects what's been going on in the audio clips so for example this year I am doing the carnival and the first clip (belows post) is the carnival coming to town. My character "Mr. Adderhat" is talking to the pit boss of the show telling him to get everyone ready to set up the show which in reality is exactly what I am in the process of doing..getting ready for Halloween!

Overall it's just another layer of my haunt that I enjoy doing, I love setting the stage for everyone who is going to come and see what I have created for this year and it helps bring them into my little world even more. It's like reading a book that you love and finally seeing that book being made into a movie. You have always had images of what the characters and the settings in the book look like and finally you get to see it all come to life.

So now it's off to build freak cages and more! I will be back either late Sunday or Monday with some picture posts of my build progress and hopefully there is a lot to share with you because it will make me feel goo to have completed a lot this weekend seeing how the days are flying by!

Stay Frightful!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome to the Carnival!

Hi Frightners!

A quick Audio Teaser for my haunt this year. More to come!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spider Web Balloons!

Hey Frightners!

Ok, well I was only going to post once tonight but I think this is worth getting up here now! Tonight I came across a cool post on how to create a Spider Web Balloon and it looks really REALLY COOL!

There are a few steps to this process and I have to admit I haven't yet tried this application yet myself but I will most certainly be giving it a whirl because based off the picture it is a really cool technique!

Check out the process HERE!!! to see how it is all done and if you do happen to give this a try or you come up with a neat alternative please leave it in the comments and let us all know how you did.

Prop Updates.

Hey Frightners!

These last few weeks I've been busy trying to speed along the progress of my new props for this year. I've got a few updates.

The first is my little demented clown prop. I have been slowly sculpting this little guy with paper mache and paper clay and finally am at a point where I've added on his ears, placed in his teeth and am almost ready to sand him down and removed any of the roughness from the paper clay as well as fill in any little small gaps he has. Once all the sanding is complete (maybe this weekend) I'll start on his paint and finalize plans for his body structure which is being made from canvas and polyfiber stuffing. He is going to have super long arms and will be swinging from his freak show cage. I also have a small battery powered motor that I am going to use to make the propeller in his hat spin on it's own. I'm looking forward to seeing him done!

Next, I have been collecting tons of paper towel and toilet rolls to use for stems on various mache pumpkins I have been making but I also started fooling around with making candles with them as well! This is based off the same PVC candle technique most haunters use where by you drip glue gun wax around the sides to simulate a candle drip, fill the tube with either insulation foam or in my case paper and then add a flicker tea light to the top. I haven't fully painted these yet but you get pretty close to the same effect as you would the PVC. Thought these are less durable than he PVC and I wouldn't leave them outside especially in the rain they do work great as indoor candles.

Finally...(though I have a bagillion props still to do!) I am working on a dead fairy prop for my cabinet of curiosity. I have seen quite a few versions of these that use little plastic skeletons that have wings fashioned to them and are corpsed so I figured I would try my hand at doing one as well. I bought a cheap strand of plastic skeletons at the dollar store and a clear plastic jar. I have some rocks to place at the bottom and will add some moss and twigs eventually too but I think this little guy is going to be an easy and nice addition to the cabinet!

SOOoooo...thats what I have going on. I will start decorating my haunt the beginning of September which is the earliest I have ever started putting it up but I intend on giving it my best effort this year.

I do still have plenty to build such as the freak show cages, a madame leota effect (after seeing the demo done by Shellhawk and Mr Chicken on BlogTV I had to give one a try!) and I do have a few other freaks to create for my freakshow so it's still quite the checklist but I know I can do it!

I hope you are all finding success with your prop builds and haunt plans. More to come soon!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dionsaur Vs. School Children!

Hey Frightners!

So last night I was introduced to a new video website WIMP.COM. While on Wimp.com I watched a video called Dinosaur VS School children and really was amazed by the detail of this Dinosaur costume and thought it would be cool to share with all of you.

This screen captured video above doesn't do the costume any justice so please be sue to visit the link to watch the full video. This really struck me as a great costume for any haunt out there and in the right setting with the right lighting I am sure you would scare the crap out of someone! I'm also sure the costume costed a pretty penny too but it would be fun to see a home haunter out there try to replicate this one day.

Any-hoo...it's a fun video and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Stay Frightful!

P.S....after some quick research I found that the costume came from the live stage show WALKING WITH DINOSAURS. I remembered this being advertised in NYC awhile back and now wish I would have gone to see it. Maybe it will be back around again in the future but you can at least check out the cool website which features footage about the show. http://www.dinosaurlive.com/about-the-show/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Freakshow is Coming!

Hi Frightners!

So if you have listened to Hauntcast 33 already and heard my Access Hollyween segment you already know that this October there is a new Halloween Special hitting the web via Youtube called "The Freakshow!"

The Freakshow is a collaborated effort from some of Youtubes Haunt Vloggers. Each Haunt Vlogger will host a segment on the show and each segment covers various different topics such as Prop Building, How to set up and run a Walkthrough Home Haunt, Halloween History, Top 5 Haunted Places, Make Up Effects and more!

I am excited to be a part of this Halloween special and really think it is going to be something fun to watch and the best part is it will air on October 1st so you can watch it while finalizing your haunt and getting ready for the big day!

Below is a quick intro teaser so enjoy and please stay posted here for updates!

 - The Freak Show Halloween Special
- Airing October 1st on the HauntoweeN Channel

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gris Grimly's PINOCCHIO.

Hey Frightners!

For those who don't know, one of my favorite artists is Gris Grimly. I have been following his work for a few years now and simply love his re-envisioned story books. One of my favorites is 2004's  Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness Illustrated by Gris Grimly.

Now in 2011 Gris Grimly is releasing Atrum Secretum a new book which for better or worse is one of the single most haunting books I have ever gotten a chance to sit down with. It is thirteen years of the author/artist's most secretive thoughts laid out in both text and illustrated format.

I highly suggest ordering this book and adding it to your collect. Gris is definitely one of the finer dark artists out there. If you love people like Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro then Gris would definitely be up your alley.

Speaking of Guillermo del Toro. He is working with Gris Grimly and the Jim Henson Company along with Mark Gustafson, the animation Director on "The Fantastic Mr. Fox to create Grimly's version of Pinocchio in full stop motion fasion!

In Grimly's re-envisioned Pinocchio, Pinocchio will embark on a series of adventures and prove himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father. For more on the collaboration check HERE!

I will be doing an update post on Gris Grimlys Atrum Secretum once I have read through it but I do urge you to pick up a copy as well as I am sure you will find it a ghoulish delight!

I leave you tonight with a few concept pictures of Grimlys Pinnocchio. Enjoy and stay Frightful!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Evil Clown Prop Update!

Hey Frightners!

Started to make some more progress with my Evil Clown Prop. Check it out!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hauntcast 33 Tomorrow & New Access Hollyween!

Hi Frightners!

Remember, Hauntcast 33 airs tomorrow along with an all new Access Hollyween segment for your listening pleasure!

This month I talk about Sleep No More, The Freak Show Halloween special and I even highlight some cool prop tutorial videos from some of my favorite haunt Vloggers.

Be sure to check in..before you check out...Mwwwhahahahahaha!!!!

Stay Scary!

Frightguy..AKA Grimlock your resident grave digger!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sedlec Ossuary.

Hello Frightners!!!

Well tonight I have a pretty kick ass post. I've been digging around for something cool to post and I am pretty excited to share this post about the Sedlec Ossuary tonight.

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, many of whom have had their bones artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.

History - 

Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Palestine by King Otakar the second of Bohemia in 1278. When he returned, he brought with him a small amount of earth he had removed from Golgotha and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery. The word of this pious act soon spread and the cemetery in Sedlec became a desirable burial site throughout Central Europe. During the Black Death in the mid 14th century, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands were buried there and the cemetery had to be greatly enlarged.

Around 1400 a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction, or simply slated for demolition to make room for new burials. After 1511 the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was, according to legend, given to a half-blind monk of the order.

Between 1703 and 1710 a new entrance was constructed to support the front wall, which was leaning outward, and the upper chapel was rebuilt. This work, in the Czech Baroque style, was designed by Jan Santini Aichel.

In 1870, Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberd family to put the bone heaps into order. The macabre result of his effort speaks for itself. Four enourmous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

When I saw these pictures I was truly taken back by the artistry of all the bones pieced together to form an entire room along with all types of other works. I guess you can say Frantisek Rint was one of the earliest haunters alive!

Stay Frightful,


Credit goes to Jim Hardiman for the pictures.
For more information on the Ossuary go to: