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?