A Secret Message From The Other Side...

I just finished the series tonight. Quite amazing.

 Send your own messages here.


Stranger Things

Yes, I'm all in on this series, too. Incredible poster by UK artist, Matt Ferguson.


The Spits - "Witch Hunt"

Ridiculous. Hilarious. Awesome. Classic punk rock from The Spits...

Coincidentally, this song was featured in Highbury's Halloween Punkcast Number 5, way back when. And you can STILL download all 6 that I put together right here!


R.M. Renfield Tombstone How-To

The first tombstone for 2016 is done! I wanted to add some smaller stones into my yard haunt display this year and the scrap 2-inch foam that I have in the garage would work perfect.

Because of the time that will be dedicated to my main project this year, I needed a streamlined process to whip these small stones out quickly, and I think I now have a process that will do just that.

Let me show you what I did.

I've always wanted to pay homage to Dwight Frye and his masterful performance as Renfield in the 1931 Universal classic, Dracula, so I decided that this first stone would be in his honor.

With the subject quickly identified, I set out to create the epitaph. Like all epitaphs, I created this in Adobe Illustrator at 100% scale of the already-cut shape of the stone. I then tiled it into separate 8.5" x 11" printouts.

Here's where I actually found a new method to help save a lot of time. A BIG thanks goes out to fellow home haunter Big Ant Petrone from Eerie Acres Cemetery for posting this video. I never would have thought about this method, but it worked great!!

Not only was I able to save a TON of time by skipping the old "stencil cutout" step and simply gluing the printout to the foam, but I was also able to get greater detail with my lettering and flourishes. This is how I'm going to do the rest of my stones from here on out. Thanks, Ant!!

With the epitaph glued in place, I set about carving it out with the Dremel with exceptional results...

PLEASE NOTE that after completing the carving, I ended up adding a step to Ant's process. After wetting a towel and soaking the paper, a lot of glue remained on the stone and was getting quite messy. On a whim, I took the foam stone out and sprayed it off with my garden hose, using a gentle "shower" setting on my nozzle. Using anything stronger would have probably damaged the stone, but after a quick spray, the remaining glue washed off and left a clean stone, ready for paint.

I started by painting a flat black coat into all of the recessed lettering, flourishes and cracked and weathered edge areas...

After the black paint dried, I mixed up a medium gray color and applied it to the rest of the stone, making sure not to get any into the recessed black areas...

After the gray base coat dried, I added the standard watered-down black paint wash, giving the stone a nice decayed and aged look...

And in record time, the stone was done. The only thing left to do was to add a way to mount it. I ended up getting a 7/16" x 12" drill bit. It was a bit expensive at $15, but I'll use this to drill the pilot holes in all the remaining tombstones.

Along with the drill bit, I bought a piece of 3/8" x 10' SharkBite PEX pipe. Apparently, it's used for water lines, but the cheap cost makes it a great solution for this project! A ten foot section costs just $4, and this piece can be cut into smaller pieces and used in many stones...

I ended up cutting a piece that would measure slightly less than half the height of the tombstone. This will be inserted into the stone and would act as a sleeve that would fit over a dowel rod that would be driven into the ground...

I measured the length of tubing and then put a piece of tape at the same measurement onto the drill bit (see the drill bit photo above). I then simply drilled a hole (up to the tape) into the bottom of the stone, and then slid the tube into the hole. It went right in, fitting nice and snug!

Now, on Halloween night, I simply drive a piece of 5/16" dowel rod into the ground and slide the tombstone over it. Perfectly snug and perfectly sturdy! (If you're making a larger tombstone, you can add a second pipe for added sturdiness, like I have on my larger stones).



100 Days

This is your warning! 

If you're anything like me, this is the point in time where you look at the calendar and freak out. It has snuck up on me again. Only 100 days until Halloween!! So much left to do...

Look for me in the garage from now until the big night. LOTS of new prop projects will be posted as I continue to whip them out. Time to get down to business! Your countdown starts now!!


John Carpenter Live at the Masonic Temple, Detroit 7/15/16

FINALLY! After seeing all the other posts with amazing photos and videos, it was finally my turn to go and see horror icon John Carpenter's much talked-about Live Retrospective show in Detroit. I snuck out of work early and headed up (couldn't play Cleveland, John??). After the three-hour drive, I arrived at the Masonic Temple, completely amped to take in the night's festivities.

The show started with a viewing of the Carpenter classic, Escape From New York on the big screen. The added audience participation throughout the film made for a really fun viewing. Especially when an entire audience "hisses" when Snake Plissken enters during the fighting ring scene and then goes crazy cheering when Kurt Russell, Tom Atkins, Donald Pleasence, Lee Van Cleef, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine, Isaac Hayes and Harry Dean Stanton all appeared. It was hilarious. "You are the Duke. A-number one!"

After the film, John and the band took the stage and and proceeded to play a mix of original music from the Lost Themes and Lost Themes II releases as well as the rich catalog of Carpenter horror scores that made him famous. Each of his classic horror scores were accompanied by clips of the respective films projected onto the screen behind them and made for a rich viewing experience. I actually found myself repeatedly ignoring the band performing and just watched the classic scenes from each film with a wide smile on my face. Hopefully, a testament to Carpenter's iconic visual horror mastery and marriage of image and sound

Instantly recognizable tracks were played from Assault on Precinct 13, Big Trouble in Little China, Christine, Escape From New York, The Fog, Halloween, In The Mouth of Madness, The Prince of Darkness, and crowd-favorite They Live. And every track was played to perfection. It was absolutely incredible...

And I was even able to make a little movie of one of his classics (holding a phone steady for four minutes was not easy)!!

While at the show, I was also able to score some great swag, too. All part of the VIP ticket package, I got a really cool Carpenter Live shirt and an insanely awesome They Live poster, signed by John Carpenter himself! And it all came in a nice silk-screened tote...

I also picked up the new Assault on Precinct 13/The Fog and Halloween/Escape From New York 12" singles from Sacred Bones Records (both are still available on their site). And both have been spinning nonstop on my turntable since I got home this morning at 3am. Yeesh...

Without a doubt, this was an incredibly cool show. I have only heard positive reviews from other shows and the Detroit show was no different. There are a few stops left on the tour, so if you have the chance, GO SEE IT. You won't regret it!!

Hola Ghost - "Chupacabra"

Big thanks to Johnny Thunder and Chris Baker over at Hauntcast for turning me onto this one! Hola Ghost rip out some amazing "Psychotic Flamencore" (take a listen and you'll know what that means) all the way from Denmark!

And have you listened to the latest episode of Hauntcast yet? Another hilarious episode featuring the music of Hola Ghost and a great interview with the gang over at Davis Graveyard. Listen now!!

Atrium Carceri - "Eraser"

A little dark, atmospheric audio for the long weekend...