Burnout and the Fine Art of Halloweenin’





So here we are, already at the end of February. It’s been a while since my last post, but I won’t lie. This past Halloween season really took a lot out of me.

Once everything had been carefully packed away for another year, I was done. Physically and mentally. Completely burned out. I feel a little bit burned out after every Halloween, but this time was different. We had just wrapped up another successful Halloween, our 15th, but I wasn’t completely satisfied.

We had a great turnout and an even greater collection for our second annual canned food drive, but I feel like so many things went against us this year. It rained on Halloween night. Again. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is trying to quickly set everything up in a cold, grey rain. And because of the rain, many of my animatronics (including my big surprise animated prop for the 2018 season) simply stayed in the garage.

Truth be told, I was struggling to get into the “Halloween spirit” at all this past year. I still love it with all my heart, but I think a family vacation in early October threw my entire schedule off (although the trip WAS to DisneyWorld, and it was pretty amazing!). I felt rushed with my planning and it led to feelings of frustration.

It was right after Halloween that I decided that I needed a break. So outside of my usual month or two off, a full break was needed. No Halloween stuff at all.

I looked at the calendar and decided that I was going to step away until summer. It would give me enough time to refocus and reinvigorate my haunt spirit, and at the same time give me an opportunity to revisit the other aspects of my life that make me complete.

And speaking of calendar…



Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show
For the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to go to Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. I can’t thank Dave at Closed Casket Studios enough for allowing me the chance to go work the booth with him, but this year I’m going to skip it. Hopefully I get the chance to go again in the future, as Transworld is an incredible experience and is mandatory for anyone in the haunt world to attend at least once.




Ohio Halloween & Haunters Convention
This is a brand new haunt convention, located here in Ohio. After the announcement that MHC would be leaving its home of Columbus, the local haunt community got together and created this new convention to take its place. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes, especially taking place in the infamous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. Unfortunately, I’m going to miss this one, too, as I have already registered for a mountain bike trip in Pennsylvania that same weekend. Darn!




Midwest Haunters Convention
Living and haunting in Ohio definitely has its privileges, one of which was attending the Midwest Haunters Convention every year in Columbus. I almost felt guilty listening to other haunters talk about the number of hours they had to drive to get there, not bringing up my total trip time of under two hours. It has always been the kick-off to my haunt season, and has always been my home convention. 

But it was announced last year that the convention would be moving to the Chicago area. At first I was pretty gutted, but I have since decided to give it a shot. This will be the point that I swing back into “haunt mode” and should be sufficiently recharged and ready to start working on my 2019 haunt. I’m really excited to see what is in store for this year’s convention and I can’t wait to see which Chicagoland haunts will be open for tours. And if nothing else, I’ll be able to tell everyone about my 6 hour drive. Regardless of location, MHC is always a party and I hope to see a lot of you there!



So what WILL I be doing until June?

Plenty! To start with, we added a new member to the Highbury Cemetery family. 



Please say hello to Atticus, our new Silver Lab puppy. We got him just before Christmas, and as anyone who has raised a puppy already knows, he takes up A LOT of time. But I’m not complaining! I have wanted a dog for a long time, and he is awesome! I can’t wait for nice weather so that I can start training him to be a trail dog. And maybe a haunter…




Blog
I will still be posting a bunch here. No props for a while, but the haunt inspiration never goes away. Plus, there’s always a bunch going on all around the Cemetery, so I’ll be sharing as much as I can throughout the year, leading up to All Hallows Eve.




Instagram
I’ll still be throwing a bunch of new photos up on the Highbury Cemetery Instagram page. Be sure to Like, Follow, Comment and so on and so forth.




YouTube
Yes, there is a Highbury Cemetery YouTube channel. Not much on there now, but I hope to add more throughout the year. I’ve said this for a number of years now, but I really want to create more video content in 2019.




Charnel House
The other project that I am continuing on with is Charnel House, my newish “haunt ambient” audio project. After years of toying with the idea of creating my own dark ambient audio, I finally pulled the trigger. I wanted to create a dark ambient sound that was targeted more for use in haunt scenes, and Charnel House was born. My first 3-track release came out in May of 2018 with a very limited CD release that was given away to friends at MHC. 



The second release was set for Halloween, but the hectic schedule pushed everything back. I happy to announce that I’m putting the wraps on the last track and the new release will be set to drop in mere weeks. I will also have another VERY limited CD release, featuring a hand-numbered sleeve with a very special goodie inside. Keep an eye on this space as they will go fast!

AND DID I MENTION THAT ALL OF MY RELEASES ARE FREE? FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND FREE TO USE IN YOUR HOME OR PRO HAUNT SETTING!!

While I finish the new release, go grab the first three tracks here. And please give me some feedback on what you think. I’m always up for any constructive criticism and I continue to improve.



So there you have it. A little mental health break before refocusing on the 2019 haunt season. After typing this whole thing out, I can already feel the haunt energy slowly returning. I have a bunch of posts lined up, so stop back soon. And we'll see everybody in Chicago this June!!

  

4 comments:

lady M said...

Wow - that puppy is cute. Never heard of a silver lab before. What did they breed to get those blue eyes?

Lisa said...

Enjoy your break! 2018 was a draining year for some reason. Love the puppers - so adorable!
Lisa / Maple Grove Cemetery

highbury said...

lady M, the blue was just his puppy eye color. They have turned to a cool green/yellow/amber color. The silver is a gene dilute from the chocolate lab color. Looks like a Weimaraner!

And yes, Lisa, a full break is working wonders to prevent burnout. Some people can do Halloween 365, but I'm all over the place with other interests and hobbies!

Stacey Rager said...

Enjoy your time off. Halloween 2018 was a rough one for me. I am hoping to get my spooky back this year.

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