Merry Christmas...

...from everyone at Highbury Cemetery! We hope that Santa has brought you all kinds of goodies for being good little boys and good little girls. We're going to take it easy here for another week, but the countdown to Halloween 2012 will start on January 1. If you want to take your game to the next level, you have to get up pretty early.

But for today, we're going to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. We hope that you will too!! Merry Christmas everyone!

- Highbury


Dear Santa...

7 more days until Christmas, and I've finally figured out what I want from you. If you check your lists, you will most assuredly find me on the "Nice" list this year, as I tried not to terrify too many children this year at the Cemetery, I obeyed my parents and I always ate my vegetables. So if you could find it in your jolly heart, I only want one thing under my tree this year...

I REALLY want the book, Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses, by Paul Koudounaris.

Thank you, Santa!

Love, Highbury


From bone fetishism in the ancient world to painted skulls in Austria and Bavaria: an unusual and compelling work of cultural history.

It is sometimes said that death is the last taboo, but it was not always so. For centuries, religious establishments constructed decorated ossuaries and charnel houses that stand as masterpieces of art created from human bone. These unique structures have been pushed into the footnotes of history; they were part of a dialogue with death that is now silent.

The sites in this specially photographed and brilliantly original study range from the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Palermo, where the living would visit mummified or skeletal remains and lovingly dress them; to the Paris catacombs; to fantastic bone-encrusted creations in Austria, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

Paul Koudounaris photographed more than seventy sites for this book. He analyzes the role of these remarkable memorials within the cultures that created them, as well as the mythology and folklore that developed around them, and skillfully traces a remarkable human endeavor. 290 photographs, 260 in color.

I could think of no greater gift to a Halloween haunter like myself than a book such as this, just chock full of incredible information and absolutely beautiful photography. This would be a centerpiece of reference material sure to take Highbury Cemetery to the next level in 2012.

As an added bonus, you too can see the incredible collection of photographs at the book's accompanying website, Empire de la Mort. I visit this site regularly, perusing the beautiful photography and each time my mind races, planning to replicate every shot in next year's home haunt. All photos below are from Empire de la Mort. Do yourself a big favor and take a few minutes to check it out.


As The Scare Crows by Methane Studios

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! In our last post, we detailed a great poster from Methane Studios. Well, after diving a little deeper into their offerings, I found another really great poster that I had to post up for everyone.

Another beautiful piece by Robert Lee, this one is a 4-color, 15.5" x 24" edition of 100 entitled As The Scare Crows. And lucky for everyone, this one is also still available.


Halloween Owl by Methane Studios

An 18" x 24", 2-color screen print produced by Robert Lee of Methane Studios in a limited edition of 50. And they're still available!

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so why not take a second to stop and remember what you're thankful for.

We at the Cemetery are thankful, of course, that it's the season to again watch Thankskilling!!

Texas Cemeteries Timelapse by Jake McKee

"Halloween" by Jason Willis

Here's a great stop motion video made by Jason Willis (from the amazing Scar Stuff blog!) for the traditional holiday classic, "Halloween" by Kaye Lande and Wade Denning. The most impressive part of this video is that it was produced with an iPhone and the Instamatic app.

Thanks to Jimmy T. at The Terror on St. Leger for the link...

Highbury Cemetery, 2011

Well group, after months and months of planning and building and taking trips to Lowe's, the big day finally arrived. Halloween. The nervous anticipation was palpable with everyone who was on hand to help out. And there were numerous people helping out this year!

As we started setting up, Mother Nature was in a foul mood and opened the skies with a cold, miserable rain. This stretched everyone's already worn nerves to the brink, but somehow our good karma must have cashed in, because an hour before trick-or-treat, the clouds retreated and the sun actually poked out to dry things up a bit. We kicked it into overdrive, setting up all of the props, running all the extension cords and taking turns in the bathroom-slash-makeup booth.

And after everything was said and done, the clock struck six and we were ready to go. The hordes of children, parents and curious neighbors descended upon the cemetery to see what we had cooked up this year.

All in all, it was another incredible Halloween. The weather cooperated, friends and family either worked the yard or stopped by to check things out and we totaled close to 300 visitors.

A HUGE, HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who helped put this thing on this year. Without your help I could have never done this. This year's t-shirt recipients are: Scrapes, Mrs. Highbury, MY MOTHER-IN-LAW!!!, Sharon, Karen, Neighbor Joe (who graciously let me spill into his yard this year!) Andrew and Peter. With the cast above assembled, we were able to set everything up AND tear everything down in one day. Unbelievable...

Okay enough of the rambling, onto the photos!!

Mrs. Highbury (right) and our newest member, my mother-in-law!! Two of the four witches from the new witches' den.

We all prayed for the rain to stop. And by trick-or-treat time...

My favorite shot of the night. The colors really popped in this shot and give a wonderful creepiness to the image.

Little Dustin Horner was playing his part all night. I saw so many people checking him out, poking at him, wondering why he wasn't moving. It was hilarious! I even caught a couple of kids "peeking" into his little pumpkin bucket. Shame, shame!!

Abigail Harrington (my new FCG) worked flawlessly all night, shrouded in a dense fog (except in this shot) within her crypt. A few kids asked if she was really flying.

This year, the front porch was transformed into a witches den, complete with 4 terrifying witches.

The witches' cabinet of potions and other curiosities.

Stick your hand in the cauldron to get your treat!

One of two new potter's fields, on either side of the main cemetery. It appears as though someone was not happy being buried without an identity...

The new Highbury Obelisk taking its rightful place in the center of the cemetery.

The shihatsu ground popper created last year. I will have to post a video and how-to on this one. Quick and easy with really great results.

Walk up the pumpkin path to get your treat...

Scrapes, Highbury and Andrew

And now we only have 364 more days until Halloween, 2012. Time to get back into the garage to start planning the props to top this year's display! I hope everyone had as great a Halloween as we did!