Tag Archives: witch

Halloween night

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.

Witch House beginnings

Well, we’ve finally gotten a start on our the Witch House portion of our Halloween display, from which my wife will be handing out the candy to the Trick-Or-Treaters. While there is still a lot left to do, we have made some pretty good progress this past week. Here’s a peek at some of the props so far.

This cabinet was made from a cheap bookshelf we had purchased from Wal-Mart several years ago for my sons' bedroom. They no longer needed it, so it was given a face-lift and re-purposed for the Witch House.
This shelf unit was made from old planks that used to make up a ramp to the back door of our garage. Last years landscaping projects rendered the ramp unneccessary, but I had kept the planks just in case.
One of our Witch Lantern jars, and a small plaque I made for my wife bearing the short version of the Wiccan Rede.
Last years prisoner skelly took a beating during storage, so he was disassembled and repurposed as lunch. The Cauldron is one of last years projects.
After about 2 hours, my son and I got most of the wall covering up. The witch's pet crow sits in an old boxy bird cage for now. With any luck, we might be able to find a more appropriate style cage before Halloween.

Witch’s Cabinet

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.

Donald Duck – Trick or Treat – 1952

I’ve always enjoyed those classic Halloween cartoons, so here is a little something to keep the spirit alive in the off-season. This is a classic Donald Duck cartoon from 1952 titled ‘Trick or Treat’, posted by YT user MitsukoCat. This is one I’ve not seen before, but I was rather pleased that, for a change, the Witch was not portrayed as being evil.

Enjoy!

Stunning Sculpting

Ophelia
Lauriebeast's "Ophelia"

Amazing… Stunning… Incredible… and Un-Freaking-Believable… All of these adjectives have been used, by her peers, to describe the awe-inspiring work of Hauntforum.com member Lauriebeast. Certainly this must be the work of a veteran Hollywood prop builder, or perhaps a professional sculptor with decades of experience, right?   Wrong! This is the work of just another Halloween enthusiast with a passion for building decorative props, and very keen attention to details. 

Laurie’s first attempts at sculpting came in April of 2006, spawned by the inspiration of Sculptor & Creature Creator Mike Melillo of blacklightfright.com. The fact that these pieces are created at the hands of less than 4 years of experience is inspirational in and of itself. And speaking of inspiration, Laurie tells me:

 “I find inspiration in just about everything…. plants, rocks, dirt, and everything else organic. I love creating things related to horror and Halloween because my imagination is not in any way limited.”

Aside from her new-found skill, Laurie reports that she also enjoys Gardening, Hobby Woodworking and Sewing.

A gander through Laurie’s 6 part tutorial on Halloweenforum.com reveals that these highly detailed figures are sculpted from Celluclay, DAS Clay and Paperclay, each in its own layers, and with it’s own specific purpose. Ultimately, this is just another form of paper mache. While reading through  her tutorial, I was amazed to learn that, in addition to the clothing donned by her creations, Laurie even makes her own eyes and teeth (I was almost certain that these would have been store bought “doll eyes” and dental “replacement teeth”). And while she says she will do commissioned pieces, Laurie assures that she does not make molds, so all of her work is one-of-a-kind.

I have read several accounts where people viewing her photos were under the impression that these were not props, but rather real people in costume. Quite frankly, I find it very believable that one might come to that conclusion. I think it goes without saying, that this is one very talented lady. 

Lauriebeast's "Bride"
Lauriebeast's "Bride"

More photos of Laurie’s props and her yard haunt can be found on her Photobucket pages.

If you are interested in learning more about the materials, techniques and processes used in these beautiful works of art, I recommend you take a look through Laurie’s 6 part tutorial on the making of her (Frankenstein’s) “Bride” seen here. 

Bride Tutorial – Part 1 

Bride Tutorial – Part 2 

Bride Tutorial – Part 3 

Bride Tutorial – Part 4 

Bride Tutorial – Part 5 

Bride Tutorial – Part 6

Plans for 2010

Now that the holidays are over, It’s time to start organizing my thoughts and plans for the 2010 season. Over the past few months, so many ideas have come to mind. I could not possibly expect to accomplish everything that I’ve told myself I’d like to do for 2010. As luck would have it, my age affords me the ability to completely forget about half of these ideas before they can materialize into an actual plan. Nonetheless, there have been a few things that have come up that I am looking forward to working on.

Site content is a big priority for me, especially for this year. In addition to regular posting, I am planning to complete (or at least get started on) a series of  how-to guides, some with accompanying videos. I would also like to add in some other video content (ideas pending). Over the summer months, I hope to visit a few of the older local cemeteries with my Nikon to photograph for both artistic and reference value.

There a few props I’ve planned on completing for the 2010 season, though at this point, I’m not entirely sure which of these will materialize, which will be adapted, and which ones will be scrapped or simply forgotten about. For the time being, I’m planning to complete 3 new Ground-breakers, several Tombstones, and a Vaulted Obelisk that will double as a Fog Chiller. One idea, that has been discussed between my wife and I, is to convert the front portion of the shed into a witch house. I am hoping to complete a theme appropriate Fireplace with a realistic lighted insert as well as a few book/potion shelves for our Witch house. And one final plan, time and resource permitting, will be to create a life size Casket with a full length Rotted Corpse to be set up as a Wake type viewing during our Halloween party. Whether or not this last plan comes to light will be very dependent on the status of the other projects during the summer months.

I hope everyone has had a great Holiday Season, and best wishes for a very good 2010 to all.