All posts by SKAustin

From the shadows

I strongly believe that effective lighting is a key element in any haunt. I have seen well designed and highly detailed haunts ruined by poor lighting. Likewise, I have seen tiny home haunts create grand displays simply by putting a little bit of thought into their lighting.


Here, 6 red LED spotlights were used to up-light the cornstalks from just inside of the outermost row. This not only gave the cornfield an eerie glow, but also cast larger than life shadows on the otherwise plain blue siding. A pair of green “Fire & Ice” lights were placed behind the cornfield for added effect. In addition to the great shadowing, this lighting left an actor occupied area in the foreground completely void of light and left our actor as a mere silhouette. This kept our visitors guessing if he was real, or just a prop.

Pumpkinrot 2015

A long time ago, longer now than it seems…. When I started getting back into the spirit of decorating for Halloween, I would wander the internet, searching for inspiration. It was a time before Pinterest, Instagram or FaceBook, when photos weren’t so widely shared and searching for something was exactly that… Searching! I stumbled on to a website where an artist, known to many only as “PumpkinRot” provided much of that inspiration I sought. His unique style created an organic look that really appealed to me and the direction I wanted to see my haunt going. Now, several years later, He continues to inspire not only myself, but thousands of others around the world. As for that organic style that he’s mastered; it now has a name. It is “PumpkinRot”.

Here is a look at PumpkinRot’s 2015 Home Haunt Video…. My hats off to you Sir, for you are a true artist.

On to the next…

Well, it’s that time of year again. The bins are packed and all that remains to remind us of Halloween in the house is a bowl of unclaimed treats. This year was one of my favorites by far. The weather was perfect, the turnout was fantastic. Everything seemed to fall into place just perfectly for a change. Everyone had such a great time, and yet I find myself increasingly disappointed in the overall appearance of things. I have long been a proponent of hand made props, yet I find more and more store bought items creeping their way into the haunt. This year, I am hoping to remedy that. We have some new plans that, if all goes accordingly, will bring in some new theme potential, and give way for some new props. So keep an eye on this page. I’ll be posting progress updates very soon on my newest project, the “Swamp Hag”.

News Coverage

So… Well, we made the news again this year. Unfortunately, I have thus far been unable to ascertain the video. We’ll keep trying, and I’ll post an update if we can get the video. Until then, Happy Halloween everyone.

And so it begins

Vacation officially starts for me in about 2 hours. With that comes the beginnings of the set-up process. This year, I’ve been met with a few hiccups that left me feeling further and further behind. Now is the time to hit the ground running, play catch-up and get things all back on track. There have been a few prop plans that have been removed from the to-do list for lack of time, but I still feel this will be our best year yet. I cant wait to see how it all pans out, and I’ll try to post updates along the way.

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress

As haunters, we are often faced with the adversities of the weather on some level or another. Poor weather keeps Trick-or-Treaters at bay. Decor is often the victim of rain, wind, sleet and snow. This time of year is known for a wide range of weather conditions that many of us are forced to contend with. It is said that Mother nature is a cruel and unforgiving mistress. While I as well have endured my share of weather woes, this has never been so evident as it was this morning.

On what was an otherwise beautiful morning, we were blessed with unexpected winds. While most of the time, these winds were no more than a stiff breeze, they were accompanied by these occasional, angry little bursts. I didn’t realize the winds had even started until we heard and dull “thump” from outside. Kristy quickly inquired as to the source of the noise, and then just as quickly realized. “Don’t tell me that was the…” she exclaimed, and before she could finish I was already at the window to confirm. “Yep, the gates blew over” was all I could say.

The gravity of the event didn’t really hit me at first. Even as i stood before the shattered wreckage of what was once my beautiful archway, the disbelief held fast. I’m not exactly sure why, but that sinking feeling of defeat just never struck me. Perhaps it was the fact that I never really look at the situation for what had happened to the piece, but rather I viewed it for I could do to remedy the damage. Another one of life’s little challenges. I guess I’ve always tried to view life’s challenges as an opportunity to grow.

When it feels as though life has knocked you down, you have two choices. You can lay there, accept defeat and wallow in your sorrows, or you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and accept the challenge that lays before you. You might just find that you have what it takes to overcome, to endure or succeed. You might find that things were never really as bad as they might have appeared. Or you might find, when the door to the path in front of you was closed and you felt alone and in the dark, that all you needed to do was to look around to see that a whole exciting new path lay before you. And even if you find that, no matter how hard you’ve tried, you simply cannot overcome your given challenge, don’t view it as a failure, but see it for what you have gained, for what you have learned and how you have grown.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edison

NYcap Haunters group

This is a call out to any and all haunters, home and pro alike, in the New York State Capital region and outlying areas. We have established a group for local haunters to interact and communicate with one another. This group was created with the intent to bring together like-minded people of all different skill levels and interests so that we can all share with, and learn from one another. We’ve hosted a few events, and plan to host a few different types of social gatherings (meet-n-greets, drink-n-thinks and make-n-takes) and group trips.

This is a relatively new group, established in early 2015. While the group does not yet have a website, we do have a social media page on Facebook. This is a private Facebook group, so if you are interested in joining, visit us at NYcap Haunters on Facebook and and submit a request to join us.