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.
3 weeks after being carved, and sitting out in the elements, these two pumpkins seem almost invincible against the rot that has invaded the other 20 Jacks. It’s funny that these two would last so long after the others have turned to mush, but tragic that they exist now without purpose. I dub them ‘Comedy and Tragedy’
I’m a little behind with my posting this past week as I’ve been letting myself become overwhelmed by all that needs to be done to break down the Halloween display. This Halloween was, especially in comparison to last year, a great success. While the weather was far from perfect, it was much more tolerable than last years torrential rains and heavy winds.
Halloween morning was bleak. The weatherman’s promise of fair weather was overshadowed by periodic light rains and that familliar, chilly breeze of Autumn in the northeast. As late morning approached, the sun began taking occasional peeks through the thick blanket of clouds as though it were checking in on the ado of the day. As the day progressed, the temperatures dropped and those occasional spots of rain were quickly replaced by insignificant and short lived patches of sleet.
As the hours of Trick-or-Treating arrived, the last few pockets of precipitation move thru, but it was no more than a minor nuisance on the night, and seemed to do little if anything to deter the kids from their quest for goodies. The many labors of the past year had all led up to this four hour fragment in time, and we would be ready for them when they came. We were ready for them.
They came in groups of twos and threes and sometimes more, their parents in tow and treat bags in hand. Some would stop, pointing and shouting with enthusiasm as they passed by the Graveyard. Others would scurry by, trying not to look in past the gravestones in hopes to go unnoticed by that which might lie in wait from within.
The Blaircrows did little to deter them from their goal; an unheeded warning of what might lie ahead, and twenty two Jacks lit the path to the old witch’s house. The excitement spilled over as they would exit the Witch House, eager to tell their parents of the eerie things they spied while inside and urging them to go take a peek for themselves.
Yes, this year’s haunt was a great success. A few of the parents took the time to come up and thank us for the time and effort we put into our display. For many others, the simple nod and a smile was enough to say the same. But it was the children who were the real thanks. The smiles, the laughter and even the apprehensive stares, many local children will remember this Halloween for years to come.
A new part of our haunt this year will be the inclusion of a witch house. With that in mind, I’ve been picking away at a few of the props needed to make this happen. This past week, we’ve gotten a few things lined up for the witch house.
The bookshelf/cabinet was made from a cheap Wal-Mart bookcase that we no longer had a use for. The sharp edges of the shelves were shaved down to add a more aged look. A front trim was added, as well as 2 foam pentacle rosettes in the top corners. The whole unit was then painted brown to cover the faux wood-grain laminate, then dry-brushed with a light tan to add to the aged look. The unit was then donned with some of the trinkets that we’ve collected up so far.
The chair to the right of the cabinet was picked up at the local thrift store for $5. The broom was made from last years decorative “Cinnamon Brooms”. My wife has a few of these hanging up around the house, and since they had lost their scent, I replaced them with fresh ones and repurposed the old ones.
Last year, my wife and I bought the house that I had grown up in from my parents. This past Wednesday, I finally convinced my wife into helping me unpack the remaining boxes from our move last year. Beneath this pile of mostly junk, was a large blue wooden chest that has sat unbothered for many years. I remember my father having mentioned that it had belonged to his father, who had utilized it as a tool box. I had never really though much about what was in that box until now, so having uncovered it completely, I decided to take a gander inside. To my amazement, I discovered 5 old glass mason jars. SCORE! I believe that at least one of these, the Leotric jar, is pre/early 1900’s. The others I believe are in the area of 1920-1930. Regardless, these will make a perfect addition to the bookshelf of potions, ingredients and curiosities we are planning for our witch house in next years Halloween home haunt.