The Night Before Halloween


Less than 24 hours to go! It's the night before Halloween, and I'm working in circles to get things done for tomorrow's big show. I'm bleary eyed, but the adrenaline shooting through my veins is keeping me going...

All of the big props are done and ready to go, all of the little pieces parts are in their proper staging areas and the makeup reference photos are all laid out. Tomorrow's checklist is written so that I can knock out each step in order to be ready to face the onslaught of trick-or-treaters.

I had time for my annual "Night Before Halloween" movie:



And I even had a chance to get a nice teaser pic for tomorrow night's display. Weather aside, I'm hoping to pull off our best yard haunt yet.




After months of planning and building, the big night is finally upon us. Halloween is here. Are you ready?

Curse Of The Halloween Forecast


As some of you might have noticed, I was including the forecast for Halloween night in some of my earlier blog posts but have since stopped. That's because as Halloween got closer, the forecast got worse.

I can barely even bring myself to look at the updated forecast, as it looks like for the third year running, we are once again going to have to deal with rain on Halloween night. It's like I can't catch a break. It's like I'm cursed...




I won't lie. Looking at this now gives me a rancid knot in the depths of my stomach, especially after the disaster from last year due to this very same forecast. A year's worth of work and planning, only to have to deal with foul weather again. FUUUUUUUUUU...


Okay, so after talking myself down from the ledge, I have decided to be optimistic. The few props that I did put out in last year's downpour made it through with flying colors (after a few days of drying out in my garage), so I've decided to go full Darwin with my haunt this year - that is, everything is going out on display. Props, lights, foggers, animatronics and everything else. And it's survival of the fittest. Anything that doesn't make it through this year's display will either get fixed or it will go in the trash, to be replaced with something bigger and better for next year.

Mother Nature, you screwed me last year. But this time it's my turn. Rain all you want. Because next year I'll be back with even more in the yard haunt. And it will continue to be upgraded for the elements. It may have taken eleven years, but I'm finally getting smart about things.

And here's to a dry forecast wherever you may be haunting. Turn it up to eleven and crank it out. This is the day that we have all been waiting for. And some rain drops won't get us down. We've worked too hard for this.

 

Return of the Living Dead II Commercial


Back before the interwebs, ordering your favorite horror movie shirts, tanks and sweatshirts was incredibly difficult! Here's a crazy Return of the Living Dead II shirt commercial from 1987...




New Belgium - Pumpkick


The seasonal pumpkin beers are flowing fast and furiously around the Cemetery as we count down the final week until Halloween. It's the rocket fuel that propels me through the remaining builds for this year's yard haunt. Today, I'm sipping on some New Belgium Pumpkick. And like all pumpkin beers this season, it must face the dreaded Drunken Jackos rating scale!

When I first heard about New Belgium's seasonal beer, I made sure to keep an eye out, as I really wanted to try it. New Belgium's beers have only been available in this area since February, and Pumpkick, like all of the New Belgium beers, have been flying off the shelves.





Upon pouring the Pumpkick, I noticed a subtle, sweet, spicy aroma as the medium copper-brown beer filled the glass. With the first taste, I noticed the spicy, pumpkin flavor, but was pleasantly surprised by an aftertaste of this beer's special ingredient: cranberry. What a nice surprise! It had a tart, sweet aftertaste that really sets it apart from any of the other pumpkin beers that I have reviewed this year. Honestly, while drinking this beer, the flavors reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner! The balance of the spicy pumpkin followed by the sweet cranberry make this one of the favorite beers of everyone in the Cemetery, and I hope to score a few more bottles before the season ends.

The only downside is that after two beers, the cranberry became a bit overpowering. But honestly, that is a very minor ding. The subtle aroma coupled with the spicy pumpkin flavor and that wonderful finish of cranberry earns New Belgium Pumpkick 4.5 out of 5 Drunken Jackos. This really is a nice change of pace to all of the other pumpkin beers on the market right now. This one will definitely be in the Cemetery cooler on Halloween night!!





 

Throbbing Gristle - "Hamburger Lady"


I never really got into Throbbing Gristle until I listened to them through the ears of a haunter. What a great, creepy track! This would be insane in a haunt...





Fairview Cemetery - Richfield, Ohio


We've come to the last Sunday of October, so we have one last cemetery to visit this Halloween season. And this one has a little history with me, because today we travel to my old stomping grounds of Richfield, Ohio. 

Fairview Cemetery is one of two cemeteries in the small town, and one that I had visited before. It only came as a shock after realizing that I had been through these grounds back in my high school days, which was a long 24 years ago. I went with a group of friends to film some footage for a video editing class that I was in at the time. It made me pause for a second to think about all that had happened since I last set foot here...

I arrived early as the morning sun rose above the hill where the oldest tombstones were all located. Most of the stones in this section date back to the early and mid-1800s, and a few have been damaged over time due to age, the elements and shifting ground. 

The rising sun and the colorful fall foliage made for a perfect backdrop to walk the grounds, snapping photos at every step and made a perfect ending to Cemetery Sundays for 2014...

I have quite a few photos, so sit back and enjoy one last cemetery tour!












This has to be one of my favorite tombstones that I have photographed. A stark, yet amazing epitaph, and the broken corner just adds to the beauty...