Monday, September 26, 2011

Black Baroque

Hey Frightners,

So I am an avid Etsy lurker if you didn't know? I love jumping on there to see what people are making and coming up with. There are so many great crafty people out there making some really cool stuff and I just wish I could buy it all but I do try to make a few purchases from time time especially around Halloween time because I love to get a few items that are unique to decorate with around the house and in the haunt and today I credit my wife for forwarding me a cool shop I wanted to share called Black Baroque.

Black Baroque is a unique shop that sells upcycled dictionary pages with some very interesting art prints printed right on them. Prints vary from anything such as Birds, Anatomy, Ocean Life, Curiosities and more! These prints would all go great with the right vintage style frames as they are displayed in on the site and they would be the perfect pieces of art to hang on your walls to start a conversation at your Halloween party, in one of your may haunted hallways of your haunt or simply as an all year round piece in your home.

Some of my favorites are the Edgar Allen Poe, Skull Pocket Watch and Underwood typewriter which my wife and I actually own and love!

I hope you will enjoy some of these and remember to take a stroll around Etsy every now and again for some great finds and unique pieces to add to your collection. Lets support our crafty friends!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Asylum Laser Tag!! Zombie Fest!

Hey Frightners!

Well it's almost October and already the the Pro-Haunts and various Halloween related events are beginning to open up all around the globe and I myself cannot wait to make my way out to a few new haunts this year!

I try my best every year to experience a few new places if time and money permits it because as much as I love to be the one scaring people it's always fun to get scared as well not to mention that I get to see some really cool set ups and jot down some ideas after seeing what some of the pro haunts out there come up with.

This year I have my eye set on a few new places I have never been one of which is right here in NYC and it is called ASYLUM LASER TAG. This is not like any laser tag. At Asylum Laser Tag the outfit you with a real semi-automatic paintball gun modified to play laser tag. You have the real weight of a gun with the rapid fire power to kill some zombies!

At Asylum Laser Tag you can compete against other players in various scenerios or try to make it out alive by shooting as many zombies as you can in Zombie Fest!

There seem to be a lot of these types of laser tag and paintball zombie shoot'em ups popping up all over this year and I think it would be a fun and new experience to try out so be sure to check your area for ones like Asylum Laser Tag as I have seen a few different place located in various states across the US.'s time to go GET SOME! and kill me some Zombies!!! Grrrrr...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Tree People!!!

Hey Frightners!

This is one of the many reasons I love working in the city because you never know what you will see!

Yesterday I was taking a walk in a nearby park by my job and I came across these awesome tree people sculptures! The parks name is Madison Square Park and it is known for it's contemporary public art program which displays a wide variety of media by artists ranging from emerging to internationally renowned. You just never know what you are going to see which is what I really love about going there.

Now I am not sure of the name of the artist that is currently displaying their works at the park but this was one of a handful of sculptures I came across in my walk and I thought it was super cool and would be a great piece of inspiration for a future Halloween prop project. Not for this year but maybe for next.

I love how they are rooted into the ground. I actually remember seeing PumpkinRot create a creepy version way back in the day which I absolutely loved. The picture is below.

It's always good to keep your eyes peeled for inspiration and I will surely be headed back to Madison Square Park soon to take some snap shots of the other unique sculptures that are there and if I can I will try to provide a link to the artist who created "The Tree People." Cool stuff!

Stay Frightful!

Monday, September 19, 2011


Hey Frightners!

This never ending prop list of mine is making me go crazy and my brains are turning to Jelly!

Naa..just kidding but I did happen to come across this really cool Giant Gummi Brain by the people at FIREBOX.COM

These Gummi brains are lifesize and would be a perfect edition to anyones Hallowen party or as a prop for your zombie costume! Check them out!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What a great day for a ride!

Hey Frightners!

So today I decided to venture out for a ride around town and make some stops along the way looking for Halloween treasure!

No, that's not me you see in the car above! Haha! That is my new buddy Steve. I picked up Steve at Walgreens today. I felt bad seeing him hang there needing a home and obviously some food since he looked so skinny so after bribing the cashier with $30 I took Steve home to be among others like himself.

Steve is from Pitini Enterprises I believe. Even if he isn't you can check out Pitini in the future to find the same style skeletons for $30 a piece. I think they have run out of them for the year but you can still get their catalog and sift through their products which in my opinion are pretty good and very affordable.

Walgreens actually had a great supply of Halloween items this year. There were a few animated props, hanging decorations and your run of the mill tombstones but the skeletons were the best.

The skeleton itself is very lightweight plastic. It is nowhere near a bucky quality but obviously at $30 we aren't to expect that. The limbs move easily as does the jaw which is a nice feature and the overall size is about 5ft so if your in the market for a lifesize skeleton on a home haunters budget then run to your local Walgreens and get yourself your own Steve today!

My good buddy Steve is going to be featured as my Rotton Candy attendant this year at Grimlock Manor Carnival of Souls. We are going to do a variation on the cauldron creep which there is a video of below however, our Rotton Candy Creep..AKA Steve will have the Rotton Candy container closer to his waist and set on top of a table. The stirrer will only be arms length , made of PVC and attached to a deer motor which you can purchase at for $9.99. Overall this change in design saves me a little cash but still gives me the cool effect of Steve stirring the Rotton Candy pot.

The Rotton Candy Attendant prop should get started some time this coming week. I don't forsee it taking us to long to complete but the actual detailing may take just a little time as we want to add some light up eyes from Hauntbots which we already have and then we need to stain Steve to give him some color and get him clothed up!

To cap off this post today I also went to AC Moore and Halloween City. AC Moore has all of their Halloween products fully out and on display now and the best thing I saw there was that they were carrying Funkins which are those carvable foam pumpkins. I have never seen these in person but they do look quite real so we bought one to try it out and if it works out nicely my wife and I will buy a few more for the haunt this year.

Halloween City which is someone just like Spirit had a few nice props and scene setters. I didn't see anything that really caught my eye except for these oversized foam skull heads with light up eyes that were pretty neat but otherwise we left there empty handed. They were also carrying the Pitini Skeletons but their price was $50 which I expected from a Halloween store. I may go back for one oversized skull but for now it can wait.

So back to the prop builds for me. Halloween is gaining up on us and will be here as soon as we know it! Check back in soon for more prop build updates!

Stay Frightful!

A quick look at Cauldron Creep by the good folks of The Haunt at Hellizondo!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twisted Toybox - In Motion!

Hey Frightners!

So as promised the twisted toy box (minus paint) is complete! Today I finished up installing the motor into the box to make the lid open and close and I am pretty excited at the outcome.

Though it is a simple up and down motion of the lid it is still always cool to add any kind of motion to a home made prop and I tell you... once you do one prop that has some motion you won't want to stop! Every prop you build from that point on you will start asking yourself if you can add some kind of motion to it! Lol!

My haunt has always had a focus on static props and relied more on actor scares rather than animatronics but seeing how this year we will be more of a display only haunt I wanted to try to add subtle motion to most every prop so my guests will have a little something more to grab their attention.

This twisted toy box was a very simple and inexpensive build and if you are looking to make your first animated prop than I would highly suggest this build for any beginner. I cut some corners in order to move this build along and will most likely go back and re-do this prop in the off season to make it more durable but for my purposes this year I am happy with this.

The cost to build this prop is probably no more than $40 but it could be less depending on what you have lying around. The motor which you can purchase from is $10, the wood will cost you around $20 or less depending on what kind you get, I suggest something lightweight. The aluminum  is only $2-3 and then there is your various screws, washers, and kotter pins that you may need.

You can easily put one of these boxes together in a day with all the supplies at the ready and once it has been assembled there are unlimited effects you can do with the box. You can hook up a motion sensor so it only activates when someone passes by or you can add a fog machine on the inside with some lighting or maybe even some pre-recorded monster sounds. Just use your imagination but all in all it's a simple and rewarding build.

I am currently working on the graphics to complete the overall look of the box. It should look like a toybox in the end, a twisted toybox! An evil clown face will be on the front panel followed by alphabet letters on the other panels and there will be a hanging clowns head on the interior of the box so when the lid lifts up you can see the clown looking out at you.

I will be posting one last post on the toybox once it is fully complete and hope you have enjoyed this video. If you happen to make your own twisted toybox please let us know and feel free to share.

Stay Frightful!

Mini Minion Face Close Ups.

Hi Frightners!

Just some updates from the haunt for ya. Yesterday I got back to tinkering with my twisted toybox. We cut the aluminum to create the arm that raises and closes the lid, drilled the holes needed to attach it to the motor and all that is left to do is install the motor and attach the arm to the lid and hopefully it works! I'm aiming at finishing that up today that way all I need to do to it is paint and add the graphics. That will be a big check mark off my list.

I think I will say this each and every time I talk about the progress of putting the haunt together but WOW, I can't believe how fast Halloween creeps up on us. There are only 49 days left and though that still seems like plenty of time those days just count down in a flash.

Today I am going to be going to check out and see if our local Spirit Halloween Stores are open or not. There are a few that seem to be popping up in our area and I know that some have open with some limited inventory for now until they begin to fill out their stores as the month goes by.

I'm a bit spoiled because there are two Halloween stores I frequent in NYC so I have access to props and costumes almost all year around if I need my Halloween fix but having the Spirit stores close by to home is always nice. They do have a few clown props this year that I think I may invest in for the Carnival of Souls but that is still TBD at this point. Here is one of my favorites Honky The Clown!

Anyhoo! So I'll leave this post with a few pictures of the the mini minion. He is almost done, his face is basically all corpsed up the way I like it and only the vaseline marbles need to be added for his eyes. I will be grabbing the rest of the supplies I need to create his cage today and will get some update pictures of him once he is all closed in. I am hoping to create another one of these if I have the time because I think two is always better than one but there is still so much more left to do!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Keep those doors open!

Hey Frigtners!

Well October is drawing near and most of us haunters have begun to clear out our storage spaces of our halloween decorations and props in order to start decorating our homes for the Halloween Season but have you ever found yourself without enough hands to carrie those boxes up from the basement or down from the attic only to find that you need help to open your door so you can pass through?

Well fear not! The Neatoshop has just what you need in a pinch! Ouch! Yes something is pinched alright! It's that Zombie Door Stopper! Poor little guy got caught under the door and can't get out but lucky for you he is helping out by keeping that door jammed wide open so you can transport your props to and from their storage spaces with ease!

This little guy will not only be helpful to keep your doors open but he will be a nice subtle addition to your Halloween decor this year, one of your many hidden gems around the house that people will surely take notice of at your Halloween party so check him out as well as the other cool Zombie products at the Neatoshop.

Stay Frightful!

Beetlejuice Remake or Sequel?

Hey Frightners!

Well my fellow haunt friends have you heard this news yet? A new or possibly re-booted Beetlejuice is in the works!

Warner Bros. is reportedly set to reboot the 1988 Tim Burton - Michael Keaton comedy Beetlejuice with the intention on advancing the storyline from the original.

Producer/Director/Writers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will write two scripts for Warner Bros. They say they want to make big movies that are based on big ideas inspired by the comedies they grew up loving i.e. Beetlejuice.

Personally I am not sure what to think about this. Most of todays movies are sequels or reboots of originals and not many are original ideas. I can't say I am totally against this because there are plenty of reboots I have seen and looked forward to as well as sequels but it all depends on what their intentions are for Beetlejuice.

In the first place I don't see how you can cast someone new to play Beetlejuice. Michael Keaton was the ghost with the most and anyone else wouldn't be the same and I don't think there is any arguing that. A re-boot would just seem to be silly but a sequel I can feel a little better about as there are other sequels in the works that I am excited about like Ghostbusters.

I think this will be a touchy subject with fans of the original but until more details are made clear I will reserve some extra critical judgment on this one. All I will say is that there are certain classics that should remain just that...classic. We shouldn't go re-envisioning something that was perfect just the way it was however, if original cast members and even potential directors can capture that same movie magic and progress the storyline with a sequel that us hardcore fans can come to appreciate then I am all for it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Magic Stone Productions Halloween Documentary

Hey Frightners!

Well I have been working away on the haunt this past labor day weekend. It was the perfect long weekend to get things going in the right direction and start to make sense of all the plans I have had written down in my haunt journal for the last few months.

I got more work done on my freak props for the freak show I am having this year as part of Grimlock Manor's Carnival of Souls. I am currently still pressing ahead with my midget clown prop. I began to frame out his body, I added PVC support to it, gave him a neck and began to sand down his face to get ready for primer and paint. The battery that makes the propeller on his hat spin is now installed into his head and everything really seems to coming together nicely for him. I think he is still a week or two away from completion but I am excited with how he has been coming along.

The second freak which also is underway is "The Sandman." The idea came from fellow haunter friend Mark AKA 4rekiller.  My main objective with the freaks were to make 3 interesting ones that didn't lack in details but I didn't want them to be entirely labor intensive either. Mark suggested doing a sandman prop and that idea clicked right away...I'd make a duct tape torso add a mache head and hands (which I had from a previous years prop) and then make him look as if he was rising from a pile of sand. It's a pretty easy build and though it's not complete just yet I think the effect will be pretty interesting!

There is still plenty to be done and I am sure it will come down to the wire but I feel good about this years haunt and to add to the excitement I got some good news today!

A few weeks back I applied to be a part of a haunt documentary that is being produced by Magic Stone Productions. The film itself is for NBC Universal and they have been casting for their show for the past month now. The show which you can read more about HERE, is aimed at the world of the Home Haunter. It's an inside look at how we prepare, plan, build and create our haunts and ready them for the Halloween season and to my surprise I was called to be a part of the show!

I personally love every documentary or show that is geared towards Halloween but have always thirsted to see more about the Home Haunters of the world. I think Fearnet did the best behind the scenes when they did their feature Route 666 The Scariest Home Haunts but it's been awhile since we have seen anything like that and now I have the chance to be a part of this new documentary by Magic Stone and am really looking forward to it!

Taping is set to start mid September but beyond that I do not have much to share and am just learning the details as I go so keep and eye out and an ear open for more updates.

I also want to quickly congratulate Joiseygal of Bloodcrest Manor and Tishanne who is the gracious host of the NJ/PA/NY Halloween Make & Take group as I have recently heard they both have been asked to take part in the show as well.

It should be an interesting experience and I look forward to doing the Home Haunt Community proud!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hexbug Nano!

Hey Frightners!

So I was watching my Saturday morning cartoons...haha! I just have to laugh because at 31 yrs old I am still watching my cartoons but as I stated many times before I love my cartoons! They make me smile and forget the constant rigors of daily life but I digress...

The reason I point out the cartoon watching is because most of the commercials during cartoons are for toys and games and one new toy that is coming out that really struck me as the perfect Halloween prop for your haunt was Hexbug Nano which can be found on the Hexbug website

What I liked so much about these little guys is how realistic they moved like little scattering was both cool and gross! Now there brightly covered bodies would not work for a haunted house setting as they would look like the toys that they are however, with a touch of paint these could very well look like the real thing scampering along the flood, a bookshelf, or anywhere else you can imagine.

At about $5 a piece I doubt we will be buying large quantities to make a massive invasion of bugs running around our floors but a handful of these jumping around in a jar or display in a mad scientist lab set up or simply in a cabinet of curiosity might be cool so check out the video below and be sure to go to the website to see more and purchase your own Hexbug Nano to creep your friends out this Halloween season!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Halloween Mix To Die For!

Hi Frightners!

So lately I have been listening to a lot of various mix tapes by different DJ. These tapes usually mash up different songs together in interesting ways and I started to wonder is maybe there was a DJ out there that actually did a DJ mixtape mash-up of Halloween Songs and low and behold I found one by the name of DJ Cab.

DJ Cab has created a 2 hour long mix tape for Halloween called the Halloween Mix To Die For! It's a fun mix of both classic Halloween songs like Thriller, Monster Mash, and other various Horror movie theme songs mixed in with some of todays best dance music.

It's a fun mix and it's something different from the norm. What I like best is it's a great mix that you can put on at your Halloween party and it's a free download from MIXCRATE.COM You can listen to and stream it direct from the website or sign up for a free membership to mixcrate and download it right to your computer.

So if your looking for something a little different this Halloween check out DJ CAB's Halloween Mix for a Horrificly Good Time!