Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hey Haunters!

Just dropping in to wish you all the best and spookiest Halloween night!

Let hope we all get clear skies with nice full moons and plenty of Tots to spooky!

Be scary but be safe!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How-To: Cheap & Easy Graveyard Natural Wooden Crosses

Hey Haunters, I am back with another quick, cheap and easy way to spook up your graveyard or cemetery.  Simple wooden crosses are a great idea and can be done in various ways, such as simple two by fours nailed to each other.  But for my graveyard, I preferred to go with a more, organic, maybe even Blair Witch look. How do you do this? Well very easily and cheaply I might add.  As a last minute haunt addition, this gives a great look. Here is what you need:

Two - or more - sticks & branches at least an inch thick
A few feet of twine
Hot glue & gun (optional)
Carving knife (optional)

Now all you have to do is lay the sticks on the ground in the shape of a cross, with one stick perpendicular to the other, and tie the two together with the twine. Be sure to wrap the twine around the criss-crossed sticks in and X pattern.  Also be sure to wrap fully around both sides of the newly formed cross. Wrap until all of the twine is spend and at this point you have two options to secure the twine so it does not unravel: tie a knot or hot glue.
It's so easy it's scary.  Feel free to be creative here to and maybe have a double cross or use something other than twine to bind the sticks together (maybe strips of burlap?!)

Once completed, test the strength of the cross.  If things shift too much, unwrap the twine and start over.  I like the crooked look myself, so I don't mind the sticks shifting a little bit when I decorate with a zombie crow or witch jar lantern.

Setting the cross in the ground can be as easy as stabbing it into the ground. This of course depends on how sharp or pointed the stick you chose is.  If it's not pointed enough, you could use the carving knife to widdle a spike for an easier time of stabbing into the ground.  If you're going to use the knife, please be careful as I won't be held responsible for you making yourself part of a cemetery somewhere. If you don't feel comfortable wielding a blade or are under age: get help - get an adult!

Personally I never had to use a knife and the branches I found were pointed enough to just stab into the ground on their own.

There you have it. Rinse and repeat for the amount of crosses needed. So to recap: Tie, Stab, Accessorize and light it up!

Happy haunting gang!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How-To: Easy & Cheap Way to Creep Out Your Graveyard

Hey Haunters and Halloween enthusiasts!

I wanted to share a great and simple tip for really cranking up the creep factor of your cemetery or graveyard. Use your garden!

Simple, but you have to plan ahead a little. If you have no garden, hit up a neighbor or two.  I'm sure they won't mind you cleaning and taking away their old garden husks will they?! Let me explain for the zombies out there: throw your dead garden onto your cemetery or graveyard.

Be Sure It's For You

Mr. Clean's been here
Basically the idea is to give that neat and clean graveyard the overgrown look.  You can get the job done easily by throwing some dead or dying vegetation right in there.  Thing is, this has to be a look you desire and it may not give the finished effect you're looking for. So give it a shot, it won't kill you to try... right!?

An option you may have is to build your graveyard right in the garden if you can. Now this does have some conditions like -Is you garden finished for the season? Is it place in a location where ToTs will actually see it? Etc.  I personally have the graveyard on my lawn, and I bring the garden to it.

Points to Consider

  • Try and grow at least one - depending on your garden and cemetery size - vine type of plant: beans, cucumbers, wild strawberries are the best plants I've experimented with so far
  • Grow Pumpkins! Following up on that first point, kill two crows with on skull and have a haunted pumpkin patch. Not your thing? Then at least you have both the pumpkins to carve and the vines to decorate with
  • Let the garden die off at the end of season instead of cleaning it up too much. Let it dry out, but throw out the moldy stuff if things get a little too messy
  • Drape the vines over and across your tombstones or statues. Maybe weave the vines between cemetery fence posts or even hang some from a low ceiling or graveyard gate, maybe you can strangle a zombie or give a skeleton a vegie wedgie
  • When Halloween`s done, while cleaning up, you pull everything down and compost it... Be a green haunter
  • At worst, you can chuck the remains... you were going to clean up your garden at the end of summer or fall anyhow, might as well make use of it first

Vegetation: Added

Don't Forget About Leaves

Another great way to give your graveyard a nice finishing touch is to throw leaves every where as they are not only free, but they:

  • Give that unkept and aged look
  • Covers wires, foggers, prop stands and foot pads
  • Give a creepy rustling, leaf crunching sound when stepped on
  • Provide for more aesthetic daytime shots
  • Oh and the smell! *sniff* ahhhh...

So don't throw your leaves in the trash. Give 'em an extended life and let them be a part of your haunt.

Over the past couple years, I've found that naturally decorating is the way to give your cemetery or graveyard that unique look that is so often imitated, but never duplicated.

Remember to plan ahead for next year and leave yourself some notes for Spring.

Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Costco Pose-able Skeleton Review

Hey Haunters!

Every year, there is some must have, just can't be beat, "I'd kill my neighbor to get my hands on one" Halloween item that you have to get in on early because stock will run out fast.  Last year, it was the Spirit Halloween Jumping Spider that made haunters swoon by both its simplicity of design, decent price and the fact that it made people poop in their shoes. This year, I'm thinking the Costco pose-able skeletons may be the prop pick up of the year.  Don't believe me? Check out your local Costco and see if there are any left!

Considering, like many of you, that I am a haunter on a scary budget, I find that getting in on a great prop for a decent price is a major score. Since I don't have crazy money, time or storage to let my imagination go wild when setting up for the trick o' treaters, I need to plan carefully.  And let me tell you, this Costco Skelly, whom I will call Ralph, really fit the bill.  Let's break it down.
  • Price - $39.99: This sexy guy is yours for the low price of 39.99$ (CDN), which is a great price for a full size skeleton of this quality. Hell, you might even want to pick up two
  • Quality: Ralph is made of a relatively hard plastic resin, which make his limbs solid, yet capable of yielding to some pressure if needed.  His joints are pose-able put his movement is limited to knee, hip, shoulder and elbow joints.  Note that the joint movements are only up and down, so you can't kick his leg out to the side for example.  A fun feature is the his jaw is moveable, which is a nice touch, and the skull can also be rotate atop the neck
  • Size - Just over 5 feet:  Well, Ralph is practically life sized.  I mean some people are 5 feet tall, so for them this skeleton is a pretty accurate representation.  I find this a great size as a bigger skeleton might be a hassle to manage in a haunt, gangly arms and legs every where!  This guy, although compact, stores nicely away back in his 3 foot tall box for easy storage
  • Finish: The bone color is a light yellowish beige with accented dark areas.  Some bones also have some false crack line running down them.  The detail on the face is nice and the teeth, while one piece of molded resin, are clearly defined.  In fact, they may be too pretty depending on your needs
Overall, I recommend this as a solid prop for the price and quality.  If you can get over the limited joint movement, I think you'll find this to be a cheap and low maintenance prop with easy storage capabilities.

Unless, you're thinking of corpsing... Hmmm, I'll give that some thought, try it out and post the results.

There's just so much to do with less than 30 days left!

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ralph! The Halloween Skeleton!

Just sitting around, waiting to be corpsed!  More on him tomorrow... Hey, is that my iPod?!?!