An Easy Lighting Prop

Okay, as promised, here's a REALLY quick and easy idea for a lighting prop. You'll need a mason jar, dark colored paint, a little mulch or dirt, coarse twine and a battery operated LED flicker tealight (which you can get at a dollar store or at any craft store). Start with the mason jar and give it a wash of heavily watered down paint. I used the same brown that I used for the Pratt tombstone. You'll want to make sure that the jar is still semi-transparent so that light can still escape. When it dries, tie the twine around the lip of the jar. Then put a small amount of dirt or mulch in the bottom of the jar and drop in the LED flicker light. In no time at all, you'll have a dirty, old lantern light for your haunt or party. For an eerie lighting effect for this year's haunt, I intend to make about 12 of these, hanging 6 apiece from two large trees in my front yard. Be sure to stagger the lengths of twine and hang the jars at different heights from whatever you'll be attaching them to. A cool effect that takes very little time and money to produce.

The Supersuckers!

So I'm sitting here after yet another long week of work, enjoying my first Bell's Octoberfest of the year. Not a bad copper ale, but a little flat with no head. I wonder if I got a bad batch? Aw, nuts!!

Anyway, I've got a big weekend of propmaking ahead of me and I need some tunes to listen to while I'm hammering away. What better time than now to crank up the sacrilicious sounds of The Supersuckers! A little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll, hold the Mormon. Eddie Spaghetti and the boys do it up right every time!

Here's a little video for their song, "Born With A Tail," directed by Rocky Schenck. Be sure to catch the devil, played by none other than Linda Blair. Any band that uses the line "and you can use my dick for a walking stick as well" is good in my book!!! The really odd thing is that when Scrapes and I ride through town on the back of some rusty, old pickup trucks, the exact same thing happens. Weird.

I'll have some quick updates this weekend on some really simple props that I'm putting together that will have a nice effect in the cemetery. Stay tuned!!

Okay, as an added bonus, I also found this Supersuckers song. It's not really a video, but this song rages so hard, I couldn't pass it up. It's called "Someday I Will Kill You." Anybody know where I can find it??

UPDATE!! The previous song can be found on their release wonderfully entitled "Motherf*ckers Be Trippin'" on Mid-Fi Records. And because I'm in such a great mood tonight, I also present "Bloody Mary Mornin'" If your feet aren't tapping for this one, you better call a doctor...

Shop Your Head Off

For those of you that don't know about, the site dedicated to buying and selling handmade crafts, here are some unique Halloween items I found yesterday (my first visit). First were these aged skull gift tags.

I might snatch them up and attach them to Christmas gifts (letting my friends and family know my Christmas spirit is a Similarly, here is a different gift tag made from a bingo card. I don't know if my Grandma was a bingo player, but if she was, I could see her with this around her neck, giving the horns to all the other grandmas.

And thumbs up to the seller of this Edgar Allen Poe cemetery dirt art bottle. The background is creepy and reminds of my walk through the abandoned tuberculosis ward at the Ridges in Athens, Ohio (except there I was surrounded by human feces and varmint, not famous poet remains).

Quite a good first impression; I can't wait to kill more time searching this site for Halloween treasures!

Do you have something listed on to share? Add a link to your comment below.

Keep your eyes open for my next post. I'll be spending a weekend at the haunted Lucerne Inn in Bar Harbor, Maine!

Halloween Prop No. 1

They say that the devil is in the details. I realized this in looking at my props from 2009. They were good, but they weren't great. My haunt lacks that visual punch to really set it apart. So I've decided that 2010 is going to be the year of detail. I'm going to go back and update and improve all my old props that I already have. I still want to add at least one more new animated grave-popper for this year, but the focus will be to update everything that we already have and really pay special attention to the little things.

I'm sitting here enjoying my first Octoberfest beer of the season (unfortunately, it's Sam Adams, but I'm really not complaining. I'm just waiting patiently for the pumpkin ales to start coming out. And I'm looking at you, Dogfish Head!), and I'm really excited because I just finished my first prop update for the season. Prop number one is a nice update to a tombstone that I have been using for the past four years. And while is looked like an old faded tombstone, it never had an epitaph. So it was never really finished. Until today. 

Let me show you what I did:

I started with the old 2-inch thick white "popcorn" foam insulation panel that I cut the basic tombstone shape out of. I traced it and cut it out with an old butterknife. It gave me the slightly jagged edges that looked authentic. Originally, I used a rattle can of flat black spray paint, and misted it across the face and sides, using heavier, condensed sprays in areas that I wanted a crumbled look, as the paint would actually eat away the foam. This year, I went back and put a full coat of flat white acrylic ceiling paint on the entire thing to form the base color. I then went and watered down some old chocolate brown acrylic interior paint and began putting multiple coats on the front and sides, doubling up in areas that I wanted to have a streaked and weathered effect. I also bought a paper mache skull face from Michael's for $1.99. I painted this with the white to match the stone (it's in the bottom right of the photo below). I then traced the outer edge/rim of the skull onto the tombstone face.

I then used an X-ACTO blade and cut out an area where the skull would be recessed.

I used Gorilla Glue to attach the skull to the recessed area and added some spackle plaster to the outer front edge.

Next was the fun part: the epitaph. I had always wanted to pay homage to my favorite classic horror actor so I got all of his information, found a great gothic font, did the layout, 11" x 17" printouts and trimmed out the letters (remember to leave an area attached on your A's, B's, D'd, O's, P's, Q's, R's, 4's, 6's, 8's, 9's and 0's, or else you'll cut the inner area out!) to form stencils. I laid the stencils onto the tombstone face and traced the edges with a sharpie marker. With the smallest lettering, I actually just filled the letters in with the marker.

I then went back and filled in the larger letters with some flat black latex paint. Almost done!!

I really wanted to give this stone an extra zing, so I got some red LED lights from deadheadprops on Ebay. They're cheap and they're bright. And they run off of a standard 9 volt battery. I added a section of drinking straw to both lights, slightly longer than the width of the tombstone (I taped them in place with electrical tape). This would give me the rigid "tube" sections I would need so that they would hold when they were threaded into the foam stone.

I bored two small holes, slightly smaller than the diameter of the LED lights, through the foam. They held tight without any glue, so now after the season is over, I can simply pull them back out for safe storage. They light up the skull eyes perfectly! I went back and added some more watered-down brown paint around the lettering and topped it off with some spanish moss that I also got at Michaels. 

For the final product, I cast a few different colors of LED light with a multi-color LED light bulb that I also picked up on Ebay (complete with a handy wireless remote to change the colors!)


Now only 6 more tombstones to go! I got two more skull faces along with two sets of green LEDs to make two matching pieces to this one. Check back to see who gets immortalized in Highbury Cemetery next!

Countdown To Halloween!

I'm happy to announce that the knuckleheads at Highbury Cemetery will be participating in this year's Countdown To Halloween. 30 posts in 30 days, starting October 1st. I, Scrapes and maybe even some guest bloggers will be posting wildly throughout October, keeping the Halloween frenzy going at a breakneck pace. I've already got a bunch of ideas, including some freebies just for stopping by. I think we'll be that house in the neighborhood that will be handing out full-size Twix Bars on Halloween night while the other houses hand out Mary Janes. Yuck. Or how about the neighborhood dentist that handed out toothbrushes? Are you insane? Why not just put a sign on your door that says, "Please, egg my house."

Anyway, keep an eye out starting October 1st, but in the mean time, keep checking back as we've got some new posts coming soon. I've got a few props in the works that I'd love to share with the 3 of you who actually read this blog...

Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th everybody!

Ales Bask Hostomsky

I'm going to keep it going on the art theme today. I recently discovered the great blog Wouldn't You Like To See Something Strange?, choc full of really great (or is it strange?) art, including work from Jason Freeney, Jeff Soto, and my personal favorite, Todd Schorr (I'll forgive you, Diane, for not posting The Spectre of Monster Appeal). 

Anyway, I was able to catch a couple of gallery shows in Cleveland a few years back, featuring the incredible work of one Ales Bask Hostomsky. Fantastic, gritty work with an oh-so-subtle tongue-in-cheek humor.

From his site:
The artist’s richly textural work imbue his “anti-iconic,” sometimes satirical worldview with an undercurrent of dark emotion. His canvases are the city’s flotsam and jetsam of industrial and consumer decay. Combining his graphic skill with his trademark multi-layered applications, Bask builds up the surface only to break down the image. “My art is a type of deconstruction,” says Bask, “I try to focus on the imperfection of things, rather then their unachievable perfection.”

Game Over

Game Over

Full Service

Full Service



Above This Fire (Remix)

Above This Fire (remix)

99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall
99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall