Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of my fellow haunters, haunted house freaks, Halloween enthusiasts and fans of the macabre a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Highbury Cemetery!

(And yes, I continue to post this clip every Christmas, but it remains one of my favorites!)

"But be warned. Santy Claus only brings presents to them thats been good all year. What about you, boy? You been good all year?"

The Dickies - "Silent Night"

I went into dangerous territory with yesterday's "cute Halloween" post, I know. Time to bring it back down to the usual lowbrow level.

Enjoy this Christmas classic. PUNK ROCK STYLE!!

"Halloween Angel" Feltie

I would be remiss if I did not give a proper shout out for this one. Shortly after Halloween, I received an unexpected package from my old haunt friends Bonnie and Tom from the Ghouls of Gaithersburg home haunt. And in the package was this!!

A hand-sewn "Halloween Angel" feltie!! I usually don't do Halloween "cute," but I absolutely love this one with her streaked hair, big red lips and little orange bat wings! Thank you, Bonnie!!

This is going into my collection, right next to her "Baron Samedi" feltie that she gifted me a few years back.

The new Halloween couple, the Angel & the Baron:

Cyclic Law - "Winter Solstice 2020 Dark Ambient Mix"

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with this cold, solitary dark ambient mix from Cyclic Law. An entire collection of the genre's biggest names, it's the perfect soundtrack to lead us into winter darkness...

John Carpenter - "The Dead Walk"

I'm patiently waiting for this one to release on February 5 on Sacred Bones Records. Man, that seems far away... 

More wonderful work from the synth master himself!

Gruss vom Krampus!


Gruss vom Krampus!

Have you all been good girls and boys this year? If not, you'll be visited tonight by Krampus, the European cloven-hooved, goat-demon who punishes bad children during this holiday season. With a flick of his long tongue and a lash from his birch branched switch, you'll be placed into the basket upon his back and transported to Hell to receive reprimand for all of your misdeeds...

Photo courtesy of Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Hexe Productions

Photo courtesy of Fest300/Krampusnacht 2013.

Government Notice - Virul Infection Information Flyer

So after all of the craziness that was Halloween, I began purging old stuff that I didn't need or use and was taking up too much space. Upon opening up one old storage tote, I discovered a hilarious old prop flyer that I once used to great effect...

Way back in 2010, I found this Zombie Infection flyer somewhere on the Internet. I ended up printing out a small stack and plastered them on every tree, light post, and street sign on my block for that year's haunt display. They were everywhere.

And as I was walking up and down the sidewalk in front of my house during trick-or-treat that night, I glanced over at a group of parents huddled together, reading the flyer that I had posted to a light post. I could not believe what I heard next...

One of the moms, with a worried/confused look on her face, looked over to her friend and said, "Is... is this real??"

YES. IT IS COMPLETELY REAL. Run for your life.

A posted zombie virus flyer (from England, no less) was mistaken for real. On Halloween night. In front of a cemetery yard haunt with people dressed up as zombies. It was one of the few times I have ever broken character, but I busted up laughing. Got 'ya!! Happy Halloween!!

After reminiscing on that night for a bit, I ran up to my computer wondering if I still had this old file. And after a quick search, sure enough I found it. So here it is!!

Grab the hi res .bmp image below and feel free to print some up for your haunt display. Or your next COVID-affected holiday gathering. Either way, this is sure to be an effective scare! Enjoy!

Count Spookula's Horrorthon: Halloween Special

Enjoy this hilarious, lowbrow horror host schlock special from Witching Season Films. Happy Halloween, Count Spookula!!

"Pumpkin Witch" Ornament By GrimQuiet

I promise that I wasn't looking ahead to that OTHER holiday when I came across this one! But when I happened upon GrimQuiet's "Pumpkin Witch" ornament on his Instagram page, I decided I had to have it. If for nothing else, than to ease the transition from Halloween into that OTHER holiday...

Such a creepy cool little figure of a skull-faced witch perched upon a decaying jack-o-lantern, complete with her little golden bell. And the deal was sweetened by an accompanying sketch done by the artist, Eric Millen! Nice!

This one might not make it onto the family tree this year, but it will definitely be taking a permanent place in my little Halloween collection.

The first batch of ornaments sold out quick, but if you're interested another batch is coming next week on the GrimQuiet Etsy page! Merry Halloween!!


For the fourth 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...

Two years ago, 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!

Last year, my new home opened up a vast expanse of new Pumpkin Dump locations, and I found the perfect sliver of rot nestled into a dense, overcrowded packing of retail expanse. It became a nice little social commentary on overdevelopment. Sticking a pumpkin-flavored tongue out to the oblivious hordes traveling in and out of the area.

For 2020, I decided that I was going to go much more low key. I immediately had a nice, quiet location off the main roads in mind. A place with a low chance of getting caught, but a place where the pumpkins would probably remain for quite some time.

I got up early on a frosty Saturday morning, loaded up all 13 pumpkins from this year’s Halloween display, and set out for my location, Coddingville Cemetery. Upon arriving, I scanned the area. Not a soul around. This old cemetery was in a mostly rural area and the locals hadn’t started their day yet.

I quickly set up each pumpkin, grabbed my camera, snapped a few shots of the display, and quietly slipped away undetected. The perfect Pumpkin Dump to end a great Halloween season.

Please enjoy my submission to The Great Pumpkin Project, the Highbury Cemetery Pumpkin Dump 2020…

Highbury Cemetery Shirt, 2020

Amid all of the rush to get everything done for Halloween 2020, I still found time to print up my annual haunt shirts. That is, every year I design a new logo for the haunt, then take the art and hand silkscreen a small amount of shirts here at the Cemetery. I then give them away as a thank you to family and friends who come over and help set up, run, and tear down my display during our annual trick-or-treat.

Along with being especially excited for this year's logo, I was even more thrilled with the way this year's shirt turned out! A nice, stark white print on a dark grey shirt. This is one that I will be sporting often in the coming year, and sets the high mark for shirts that I have done over the last 17 years.

Unfortunately, all shirts for this year have been accounted for, but I still have the screen. So if I get a wild hair, I might whip up a few more and throw a little giveaway contest. Stay tuned!!!

Highbury Cemetery, 2020

For the first time in 16 years, I decided to change things up a bit in regards to Highbury Cemetery this Halloween. Since our start, we have been a one-night-only trick-or-treat show. That is, we set the entire display up the morning of Halloween, run our full trick-or-treat display, and then tear everything down. Everything done in one night. Miss it, and you'd have to wait until next year.

It was a TON of work that often led to frustration and tension in my quest to put on the perfect show. But this year I decided that enough was enough. With the second year in our new, quieter location, I finally decided to spread it out and start setting up the week before Halloween. It was a bit of a risk, as I wasn't sure if my handmade props would survive the craziness of October weather here in Ohio.

I decided to set up the haunt in 3 phases. Phase 1 would be all tombstone props set up behind my brand new cemetery fencing (which turned out great!!), phase 2 would be to run all electrical cords and lighting, and then phase 3 would be finally adding all characters into the set on Halloween morning as a final surprise to complete the display.

And even with 4 days of rain before Halloween night, I was very relieved when all of my props and lighting made it through unscathed. Halloween morning gave way to sun and slightly warmer temperatures, and we were ready to go. For the most part. I still had the usual last-minute list of things to check off, but it felt weird not being in a total scramble.

With just under an hour to go, we donned our costumes for the night and lit up the jack-o-lanterns scattered throughout the yard. Show time. The only question was would kids show up this year under the lingering threat of COVID-19?

As the clock struck 5, our fears were quelled as costumed kids rushed up the street to the "spooky house from last year." Neighborhood kids, parents, and curious onlookers flowed continuously during the two hours of trick-or-treat. For the second year in a row, my fog rolled perfectly across the cemetery, and this year my lighting was on point. All of my animatronics ran flawlessly. My creepy cemetery audio rang loud across the yard. And my newest prop garnered the most attention as he sat in the center of the display.

But that wasn't even the best part. The best part actually came when the first trick-or-treaters of the night walked up. A group of 4 teenage girls slowly came up, looking cautiously as I stood motionless at the driveway. And that's when it happened. One girl stopped, looked at me and said, "Hey, I remember you from the Haunted Schoolhouse!"

I froze. I couldn't believe it. I had worked as a queue line actor for 2 nights at Akron's Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory, and she remembered me!?!? I was SO stoked. Did this mean I was now...famous?? What a way to start the Halloween festivities!! I rode that high for the next 2 hours!

Trick-or-treat sadly ended just before 7, but we ended up hanging out with a few neighbors and friends, talking and sharing a few beers. It felt so great to have a moment of feeling normal again. Such a great way to end an incredible night all around. And as things wound down, I grabbed my camera and set out to document the night's display before we took everything down for another year. 

Which turned out to be the best decision of the night, as the next day greeted us with high winds... and snow.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the photos from Highbury Cemetery, 2020. But don't sit for too long. There's only 363 days left until Halloween, 2021. Are you ready?

The Harvester of Brine - No. 2
My featured new prop for 2020. A reworked version of my original scarecrow from 2017 - the only piece carried over is the incredible prop head from Closed Casket Studios. A more traditional pose, but a much more sinister overall appearance. I'm REALLY happy with the way this version turned out, although I will have to emphasize his glowing red heart a little more next year. The added cornstalks, jack-o-lanterns, and crows made this the standout center piece to this year's display, and the lighting really upped the creep factor.

And even after 9 years, Little Dustin Horner, my static trick-or-treater prop, still gets neighborhood kids to double-check to see if he's real...

All in all, I would have to say 2020 has been one of the better Halloweens in recent memory. Even in the face of uncertainty, we had 205 trick-or-treaters, parents, and neighbors visit the Cemetery, 25 more than last year! The word is getting out again, and I couldn't be happier.

And of course, I have to thank Sharon, Karen, Laurie, Jenn, Stacey and Vince for helping out in the Cemetery again this year. You have all earned your Highbury Cemetery thank you shirts for another year and I couldn't do it without you. But rest up, because the gears are already turning and I'm going to be recruiting you all again for 2021. Let's do this!!

The Day After...

As I sit here and look out the window, I can only laugh. The winds are whipping around and the cold temperature has just brought us our first... SNOW FALL! Nothing measurable, mind you, but it is definitely snowing today.

And for four days straight before Halloween it rained. The weather during the week of Halloween here in Ohio sure can suck.

But then sometimes we just plain luck out.

Yesterday, the clouds finally parted and the wind died down. The sun came out and I think we hit 50 degrees. For the second year in a row, the Candy Corn Gods looked down upon us favorably and granted us absolutely perfect fall weather for our neighborhood trick-or-treat! I still can't believe how lucky we got!!

Halloween, 2020 was a big success for us, all things considered...but today I am completely and utterly exhausted. Every muscle is sore from yesterday's festivities. I'm taking the day off, but check back tomorrow. I have a whole bunch of photos from last night's fun that I can't wait to share. But for now I'm just going to plant it on the couch and take a nice little nap.

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy Halloween in their own little way. Only 364 more days to go. Are you ready?



Illustration by Terry Beatty • 1982

Happy Halloween from everyone here at Highbury Cemetery!! It's the day we have looked forward to since last October 31st, and with the way things have gone in 2020, I wasn't always so sure that we would even have Halloween this year. So make the most of it!!

If you have already done your trick-or-treat and display for this year, I hope to was an especially good one. And to those of us looking forward to tonight's festivities, may the Candy Corn Gods look upon us all favorably with perfect fall weather and grant us tons of trick-or-treaters!!

This is the only post for me today, because it's off to the yard to put the finishing touches on Highbury Cemetery, 2020 before the big show. The weather is looking pretty perfect tonight and there should be hordes of trick-or-treaters making their way to see our display. The props are set, the lighting is finished, and the undead make their cemetery arrival tonight.

The energy is electric orange. May it coarse through you and drive you to do what you do on this night. Our night. Embrace it.


"Swamp Of The Living Dead" Spooky Sound Effects CD

Here we are at the end of another October Halloween celebration. Time for one last goodie before we begin our big night revelry!

I saved this particular Freebie Friday for last, because this is another one that was bought on a whim (and because of that crazy cover art) and turned out to be pretty good.

Listen and imagine yourself walking through a swamp of horrible creatures
and sounds that will scare the wits out of you.

I had seen cassette and CD copies of Lifetime Classics' 1994 release Swamp Of The Living Dead before and decided to pull the trigger when a cheap CD copy came up for sale.

It's a single 15 minute track, but it's a unique, high quality background sound effect track. Subtle wind and various insect chirps, crow caws and owl hoots along with water gurgles, drips, bubbling, and a really cool reverb echoing effect make for a fun listen. Add random footsteps down a path with repeated witch cackles, screams, and a distant church bell, and you have a cool, authentic swamp sound effect that doesn't rely on the usual "spooky" Halloween sounds to creep you out.


A Quick Teaser...

I just got out of the garage after finally finishing this year's big prop, and I'm REALLY happy with the way it turned out!! I want to share it with you, but I'm doing a full reveal tomorrow night, sooo...

You only get one sneak peak tonight!

I can't wait for this to be sitting in the middle of the cemetery tomorrow. A terrifying centerpiece that's sure to elicit fear and unease in all who pass by. 

Come on, Halloween! Get here already!!!!

Only one more night. Are you ready??

Douglas Pipes - Trick 'r Treat

Today's torrential downpours have really taken it out of me. Quite a few little things left to do before the big night, but tonight I think I'm just going to crawl under a blanket and watch my annual Halloween classic.

But until then, I think I'm going to fire up the trusty turntable and spin the amazing soundtrack to said annual Halloween classic...

Always wear a costume
Hand out treats
Never blow out a jack-o-lantern
Always check your candy

The Highbury Jack-O-Lanterns!

My jack-o-lanterns appeared in the front yard early this morning! I was able to knock out 13 last night, with a big thanks to my mom who gutted them all before hand...

Danzig - "Long Way Back From Hell"

It's already the week of Halloween and I still haven't posted anything from Danzig!?

Samhain - "All Murder, All Guts, All Fun"

It's already the week of Halloween and I still haven't posted anything from Samhain!?

The Misfits - "Halloween" & "Halloween II"

It's already the week of Halloween and I still haven't posted anything from The Misfits!?

A Quick Announcement!

So no Cemetery Sunday segment again this week, but we do have a special announcement!

After 16 years of doing this home haunt, we have decided to change things up a bit. Every year, our claim to fame has been that we are a one-night-only haunt. Set up the morning of Halloween, run the entire display for trick-or-treat, and then take everything down that night. Come see the show and if you miss it, you'll have to wait until next year. Truth be told, it was a TON of work...

I had toyed with the idea of extending our display before, but I was always a little leery on the whole thing. I didn't want all of my handmade props getting damaged by the less-than-perfect Ohio fall weather and I REALLY didn't want anything "growing legs" and disappearing...

But with our new neighborhood location and the utter craziness of this past year, I finally decided, "What the hell" and decided to make the change.

So for the first time in 16 years, I proudly present an early sneak peek of Highbury Cemetery, 2020!!

All of our static props went up today. I'm going to keep a close eye on things mostly due to the wet forecast coming up in the next few days, but I'm thinking that everything should hold up nicely. The next stage will be putting out all of the lighting, and then the animatronics, fog, sound and figures will all go up on Friday. I have decided to run a full show on Friday night for relatives and friends who can't make it over on Halloween night, and then on Saturday night for our neighborhood trick-or-treat. I'm nervous, but I'm a bit excited to be able to have time to make adjustments on props and lighting. And adding more to the display each night should be fun for the neighbors to come check out.

So there you have it. You now have a full week to come check out Highbury Cemetery!! And if you're in the Akron, Ohio area with nothing to do, come check us out. We're on Alexander Court in Copley, just off of I-77 and Rt. 18. And our neighborhood trick-or-treat will be Saturday, from 5-7. But 2 hours isn't going to cut it for me, so I will be running everything until at least 9:00!

Witching Season Films - Halloween Atmospheres: Volume III

I had to wait on today's post, but it is SO worth it! Tonight, Witching Season Films just premiered their newest video, Halloween Atmospheres: Volume III. Ready to immerse yourself into the pure essence of spooky Halloween fun and nostalgia?

From the Witching Season Films YouTube page:
Just in time for Halloween! Halloween Atmospheres: Volume 3 is the third part of our "Halloween Atmospheres" series. It is a compilation of spooky atmospheric visuals and music designed to set the perfect Halloween atmosphere 365 days a year. It is the ideal companion for Halloween parties, carving pumpkins, or just whenever you need a Halloween pick-me-up.

There is something so satisfying and strangely calming about this video. I absolutely love it, and I hope you will, too! Enjoy!!

"Haunted Horror Sounds" CD

Happy Friday, my fellow haunters and Halloween lovers! It's time for yet another installment of Freebie Fridays where I share novelty Halloween "spooky sound" gems from my collection!

This week, we're starting something new. Everything to this point has been a vinyl record or a cassette, but for the first time since I started doing this segment, we're diving into the seedy expanse of novelty Halloween CDs!

Special Warning: This Compact Disc Should Not Be Listened To Alone

Spooky Sound Effects - Perfect for any haunted house or background music for any HALLOWEEN party.

Haunted Horror Sounds is another novelty Halloween sound effects release that I have had my eye on for quite a while. Both this CD and the cassette version were released in 1993 by Forum Novelties, an appears to be their lone "spooky sounds" release.

And they absolutely nailed it with the near-heavy metal cover art. Is there anything cooler than the crazy goblin caressing the bloody skull with the snake sliding out of the eye socket? This illustration screams SPOOKY! And the traditional witch silhouette is an extra nod to all things Halloween.

When I threw the disc in, I immediately knew I had struck gold again. The standard collection of creepy sounds along with thunder cracks, screams, meows, howls, evil laughter and groans, and a really great organ track that plays throughout. Some of the sounds here may have been "borrowed" from other releases, as they do sound a bit...familiar. And a few segments seem to repeat through the track.

But this one is still a solid Halloween release. And the CD version is one continuous track that clocks in at one hour. Sweet! Press "Play" and enjoy!!


TBT: Highbury Cemetery, 2006

I was going through some old photos recently and came upon a batch that made me stop in amazement. It was a small collection of photos from Halloween past, notably the Highbury Cemetery display from way back in 2006.

It made me realize just how far we really have come since then. I believe 2006 was our 3rd or 4th year as an "official" yard haunt. I had just painted the first cemetery sign and it was the center of the display, along side my one enormous coffin (the first real prop that I had ever built, maybe 4 years before), a few of my first handmade tombstones, actual candles (that due to the constant wind never stayed lit), and some obnoxious purple "crinkle" material that we tried to use to cover the walls in the front porch.

The crinkle material was completely ridiculous to try and use, but it was very important in that it was the first time we had tried to create an enclosed "room" on the front porch. It was the first time we had trick-or-treaters actually walk up into the room to get their candy. And this idea eventually progressed from "big purple mess altar room" to a butcher shop to skull chamber and then eventually into the fully developed crypt that we used until 2018, our final year at that location.

As I look at the other photos in the collection, I see the beginnings of many other props and ideas that grew and became more detailed and advanced as the years went on. 

And I quickly notice how far high quality photography can take a display!!

So please enjoy this little throwback to very humble beginnings of Highbury Cemetery. This was the start of an annual tradition that became much more than just a hobby.