The Scooby Doo Misfits

I love the original Scooby Doo. And I love the original Misfits. So you KNOW that I love this!! Absolutely brilliant.

"Cold Survival Music" - Dark Ambient Mix By Atrium Carceri

I almost hate to admit it, but it's been lazy days around the old Cemetery. Most of my props and other assorted Halloween doodads are safely stored away, allowing time to get ready for that other holiday coming up in December...

And it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but we've been hit with an extended, winterlike cold spell. Couple that with the seasonal time change where it gets dark by 5 o'clock, and an early season snowfall and I really don't feel like doing too much.

It's the kind of weather (and season, really) where all you want to do is throw on those trusty comfy clothes, crawl under the warm blankets, and dive deep into a good book.

And luckily, Atrium Carceri has just created a really great dark ambient mix to go along with your winter retreat. Cold Survival Music is a new mix created for the Cryo Chamber label and it really nails the cold, bleak and dark aspects of the upcoming winter season, yet it offers a respite of warmth to get you through it all. The perfect background soundtrack for when you're all curled up under the blankets, snow falling outside the window, deep in a good book.


Highbury Cemetery T-Shirt, 2019

Every year, I start October's Countdown to Halloween with the unveiling of the season's new haunt logo. I then silkscreen that logo on shirts here in the Cemetery basement to give out as a thank you to anyone who helps set up, run, and tear down the haunt. It's a tradition that now stretches back 16 years! It's not an easy job to run a haunt of this size in a single day, and I want to make sure that I show my appreciation for any and all help.

The 2019 shirts are FINALLY done and ready to be passed out. I hit a snag in late October when my original screen exposure didn't turn out quite right, forcing me to completely wipe the screen and start over. I was forced to push the printing 'til after Halloween, as I just didn't have the time to get it done before. But, a week after the big night I was able to get the shirts printed up, and I'm really happy with the way they turned out!

This year, I printed the logo onto black shirts with a cool new metallic gold ink that I had just picked up. I'm really happy with how "sparkly" they turned out, and I hope everyone that receives one will be, too.

A big thank you must go out to Mrs. Highbury, who helped me print the shirts up in the kitchen this past weekend. After 16 years of doing this, we have really streamlined the whole printing process and every year, the shirts turn out a bit better. Even if you have to do it a second time. A week after Halloween night.


Rick Baker On The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast

Special FX legend Rick Baker appeared on the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, and while I'm not a huge Rogan fan, I really wanted to hear what Baker had to say. Two hours of Baker talking about his middle class upbringing, his early love of classic monsters, his first masks produced in his boyhood bedroom, and how he turned it all into a legendary career with such special effects credits including Octaman (his first, low-budget film), Star Wars, An American Werewolf In London, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and The Wolfman

And the best part of it all was Baker's genuine, humble demeanor. It was really fun to sit back and listen to him talk about everything with a youthful excitement in his voice. It really makes for an enjoyable and informative listen. Enjoy it!


For the third year in a row, I was able to sneak out and get creative with my jack-o-lanterns after the Halloween celebrations. Back in 2017, I decided that I wanted to do something different instead of simply tossing them into the trash, and ended up covertly setting them up in a local metropark to much surprise and joy...

Last year I again found a unique, highly-visible area in a local cemetery and was able to set up another display, remaining undetected. It was such a success, I even had friends taking photos of the set-up without even knowing who was responsible for it!

So for 2019, I wanted to do it again. Living in a new area opened up a realm of possibilities for a great, anonymous display. I made a list, removing any locations that had a higher chance of getting caught. And on the night before the dump, I drove around on a quick recon mission, scouting out the remaining locations on the list.

By the next morning, I had a location picked out. I loaded up my jack-o-lanterns and quietly drove out of my neighborhood. The location was surprisingly close to my house, sitting inconspicuously within a dense, highly-travelled retail area. It was actually quite perfect.

In the previous two years, I wanted to find a location where the pumpkins would be able to feed the local wildlife population. But this time, it was all about the mischief!

Within the dense compacting of overcrowded strip malls, big box stores and agonizing traffic, lay an early victim of retail competition and overdevelopment. And just off the highway, within the shimmer of a high-end restaurant, hotel, and sprawl of retail stores sat an abandoned, broken down BP gas station. A small square of rot almost unnoticed and completely ignored in favor of the new sheen and shine of everything else around it.

I snuck into the back of the old station just after dawn, parking my car out of view by the remnants of the carwash, and quickly went to work unloading this year's 13 jack-o-lanterns. Even at such an early hour of the morning, traffic was already starting to pick up. I quickly set the pumpkins up, snapped a few pictures, and then quietly slipped away unnoticed. I had a laugh as I felt invisible to the people driving all around me.

Please enjoy my submission to The Great Pumpkin Project, the Highbury Cemetery Pumpkin Dump 2019...

Another successful pumpkin dump is now in the books. And I think I got lucky again this year, because brother Scrapes drove by a bit later to check it out only to find a police cruiser sitting in the lot, mere feet from the pumpkins. Oops!

But as I type this three days later, the pumpkins are still there, hiding in broad daylight. So if you're in the Akron area, feel free to seek them out and get some photos of your own. I really think that they are going to be there quite a while. They're in the middle of Montrose near I-77, on a small, narrow plot that's just a bit darker than everything else around it...


Highbury Cemetery, 2019

Halloween Night: It had been a constant downpour over the previous 24 hours and everything was soaked. At roughly 6 pm, the temperatures dropped into the 40s and a fierce, whipping wind kicked up. The utter misery was compounded when as the night ended, I actually saw wet snowflakes floating down from the incessant grey clouds above...

Luckily for us though, our new neighborhood had its trick-or-treat on Sunday, four full days before Halloween night! For once, we had outsmarted old Mother Nature, and after four years of getting rain on our Halloween display, we were able to finally catch a break.

Sunday nervously started with slight drizzle and strong gusts of wind. According to my weather app, both should have subsided by noon, but by 3 pm the winds were still a lingering problem.

Add to that the stress of basically starting over in a new neighborhood and wondering/desperately hoping that trick-or-treaters would actually come down our cul-de-sac road, and my nerves were completely frazzled.

But shortly before trick-or-treat started at 5, a wonderful thing happened. The clouds broke up, giving way to unexpected rays of twilight sun, and more importantly, the winds stopped. Not just died down, but completely stopped. It was incredible. It looked like the Pumpkin Gods were looking down upon us favorably this year!

And as the clock struck 5, we saw our first trick-or-treaters making their way up the street. 

We were ready...

For two hours, we ended up having a fairly steady stream of trick-or-treaters, parents, and curious neighbors coming to check out our Halloween display. And although we didn't set up all of our props this year, everyone was surprised and excited by what we had done.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with our first display here. With the weather finally cooperating, the total lack of wind gave us the best fog effects we had ever achieved, allowing thick, creeping fog to roll around the cemetery tombstones, across the sidewalk, down over the curb, and eventually down the street. I couldn't believe it. Check out this photo to see what I'm talking about.

Yes, there are things that I'll need to address for next year, like better tombstone lighting, a few more figures and animatronics, and a new cemetery fence, but I was pleased with the ways things came together and we were able to present a display unlike anything else in this neighborhood.

The next morning, we were the talk of my son's school bus. The seed has been planted, and Highbury Cemetery will be back bigger and bolder for 2020.

We're down to only 363 days until Halloween, so it's time to get started again! But for just a few moments, pull up a chair, sit back, relax and enjoy my photos of Highbury Cemetery, 2019...

My 2018 tombstone creep, complete with rotating upper body. I built it last year, but rain (of course) prevented me from ever putting it up in the display. He had his grand reveal this year and his Spider Hill Prop Works Compact Prop Turner worked flawlessly all night! Next year, I want to put more focused lighting on him and at some point, I'll post a full tutorial for this build...

I absolutely LOVE the red leaves that were dropping from this tree in the front yard. I was able to rake them up and use them as an added natural, organic element sprinkled around my tombstones!

As always, a HUGE Highbury thank you must go out to Mrs. Highbury, brother Scrapes, Sharon, Karen, Laurie, Stacey and Vince for coming over, helping set up, running the haunt, and then tearing down all in one day. Without you, this haunt would never happen. (And yes, your delayed thank you shirts are being printed and will be delivered shortly!!)

And this year, I also wanted to thank everyone from Hillside Estates, our new neighborhood, for coming out and making Halloween a fun success. We had a great turnout of 180 trick-or-treaters in year one, and I'm looking forward to great things next year. Bigger and badder, so be ready!!