"F*ck 2021 As Well" - Sam Heimer

So here it is, the final day of 2021. And I thought this amazing print from Sam Heimer kinda sums it all up rather nicely!

But in all honesty, 2021 wasn't THAT bad of a year for Highbury Cemetery. Outside of a continuing pandemic (which has become our new normal), Halloween, 2021 was much improved over the previous year's meager showing.

Better display, better lighting, better turnout. And for that, I am pretty happy. This year's display sets the high mark to improve on for 2022 and I have quite a few ideas already banging around in the old noggin. I can't wait to dive back in!

But for now, I'm going to keep this one short and simply bid a fond farewell to 2021. And send out a huge thank you to EVERYONE who stopped by this old blog this year, especially to hang out during the annual October Countdown to Halloween. It was a blast as usual!

I hope wherever you find yourself, that the coming year is bigger, better, and badder for you. Let's kick 2021 to the curb and kick 2022 right in the ass.

Happy New Year, everyone!

(Oh, and only 304 days until Halloween. Are you ready?)

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 still 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?"

Arrival of the Creepmas Bat!

A HUMONGOUS thank you goes out to Lady M from Lady M's Haunted Parlor for the unexpected Creepmas gift that arrived at the Cemetery gates today! This awesome little bat (along with a cool Creepmas keychain) has already made itself at home in my creepy collection of Halloween goodies. Spread your wings and take flight into the night...what music you make!


Dallas & Co. Costumes & Magic Liquidation Auction

Okay fellow haunters! Here is your chance to pick up some incredible props, costumes and other Halloween goodies for your haunts on the cheap!

Aumann Auctions, Inc. has just posted a HUGE online auction. After 50 years, Dallas & Co. Costumes & Magic of Champaign, Il., has decided to sell off their entire retail location inventory. And they have a TON!

From the Aumann Auctions, Inc. Facebook page:

A truly one-of-a-kind online auction! A landmark in the heart of downtown Champaign, IL for nearly 50 years! It's bittersweet, but owners Andy and Barbara Dallas have decided to sell off their inventory from their retail location known as Dallas & Co. Costumes & Magic located at E University Ave, Champaign, IL 61820. This auction will feature high-end animatronic props, costumes, haunted house props, masks, wigs, fog machines, store fixtures, display cases, shelving, party decorations, magic tricks, medieval armor, life-size statues/props, dunk tanks and even a 13 foot Tall Robotic Gorilla by Michael Burnett Studios! Open House viewing of all items selling will take place January 17th 3pm - 5:30pm. Online bidding is available now through January 18th. Make sure you look through both online catalogs for all items selling at links below:

Items ending 4pm Jan. 18th: https://bid.aumannauctions.com/auctions/catalog/id/29872/

Items ending 7pm Jan. 18th: https://bid.aumannauctions.com/auctions/catalog/id/29873/

I didn't think I needed a 13-foot-tall animatronic gorilla, but maybe I do!!

In sharing this with good Cemetery friend, Randy Skalos, he has informed me of the rare gems that can be found in this huge lot: Distortions Unlimited, Gag Studios, and Michael Burnett Studios props and animatronics and more. There are some true treasures buried within the long lists.

I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on this as we get closer to closing time, which is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18th.

Even if you're not currently looking for anything, I highly recommend just browsing this incredible list of Halloween goodies!

But don't you DARE bid on my gorilla!!


Hilary Woods - "Feral Hymns"

A collection of hymns set at dusk. Speckled memory, dust, earth, grit, ritual and chant – purged in the shadows. Unspoken bonds, primal pain, cyclical patterns, unsent love letters. Homemade recordings, made at home.

Feral Hymns is a collection of powerful and cavernous compositions, produced by Hilary and mixed and mastered by frequent collaborator Lasse Marhaug. The EP uses rich string orchestration, electronics, textured field recordings and ethereal vocal instrumentation to create a beautiful lulling and compelling series of dimensional drones.

Hilary Woods' Feral Hymns is available now at her Bandcamp page.

"A Creepy Christmas 2021: Krampus' Revenge" at The Factory of Terror

I'm diving back into that haunt spirit tonight! I'm meeting up with my haunt crew and we're getting back to our annual holiday get-together down at The Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio for their "A Creepy Christmas 2021: Krampus' Revenge."

We missed last year's event due to the pandemic, but I'm really excited to get back at it this year. The Factory does an incredible job of turning their haunt into a full holiday-themed nightmare, culminating in pictures with Krampus himself! (The holiday-themed bar ain't too bad, either...).

If you're in the Northeast Ohio area and looking for something to do tonight, why not meet us down at The Factory of Terror and get your haunt on with the great cloven-hooved one!


Nuclear Winter Music - A Dronny Darko Mix for Cryo Chamber

A full hour mix of desolate, atmospheric dark ambient audio, perfect for the oncoming cold of winter. Featuring tracks by Beyond The Ghost, Apocryphos, Mount Shrine, protoU, and more. Enjoy.


Fröhliche Krampusnacht!

Gruss vom Krampus!

It's Krampusnacht, and that means that all of the bad children will be visited by Krampus tonight! Krampus, the Christmas Devil and evil counterpart of St. Nicholas, is a cloven-hooved, goat-demon that punishes bad children with a lash of his birch branched switch, then transports them to Hell inside the wicker basket upon his back.

Have you been good this year?

Photo courtesy of Liv Rainey-Smith/Xylographilia.

Photo courtesy of Matej Divisna/Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Hexe Productions.

Photo courtesy of Fest300/Krampusnacht 2013.

And a little homage to the horned-one himself from the 2015 Michael Daugherty film of the same name to put you in a ghastly yultide mood... "Cloven" by composer Douglas Pipes. Enjoy!


Highbury Cemetery Shirt, 2021

Amid all of the rush to get everything done for Halloween 2021, 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 happy with this year's logo, I was even more thrilled with the way this year's shirt turned out! For the first time, I was able to print up a 2-color shirt and the metallic gold and black design looks incredibly vibrant on the dark red heather 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 18 years.


Sunn O))) - "Frost (C)"

Photo courtesy of Telekom Electronic Beats

Recently, I have taken a much deeper dive in the auditory greatness that is Sunn O))) (which I'm fairly certain is simply pronounced, "sun").

I find their incredibly unique work to be similar to the deconstructed rich atmospherics of the dark ambient genre, only filtered through the harsh distortion and resonant feedback of a large stack of electric amplifiers. And it works so, so well.

I will freely admit that upon first listen, I didn't really "get it," but after a few more concentrated listens (especially the track below), it finally clicked and I truly connected with the sound.

The long, drawn out, reverberating drone metal somehow became calming and meditative in its slow, deliberate pace.

I will definitely be adding some Sunn O))) to my collection very soon, and a highly-touted (and very loud) live performance will be added to my must-see list. Enjoy!


The Thistle Mansion - The Haunt of Edith Thistle

Here's another one that I wanted drop into October's Countdown to Halloween, but ended up getting bumped due to all of the other madness going on. 

Zillow, the online real estate marketplace, came up with a cool little listing just for the Halloween season.

The Thistle Mansion is a fictitious Halloween home listing for a haunted 1882 Gothic Mansion, complete with all the creepy must-haves including the ghost of its namesake, Edith Thistle. The listing is set up as a real Zillow home listing and has many wonderful/creepy photos of the mansion, as well as a great 3D home tour video.

Hats off to them for taking the time to create such a cool and fun listing just for the Halloween season. Hit the link to check out the full listing and photos, and be sure to watch the 3D Tour video!


Kammarheit - "Before It Was Known As Sleep"

From Kammarheit's lush, atmospheric 2021 dark ambient release, Thronal. This one really nails this weird period of time we're currently in, between the end of the fiery Halloween season and the start of the cold, dark winter.


Closed Casket Studios Haunt, 2021

One of the things that I really wanted to do this Halloween season was take time out of my busy schedule and go see other peoples' haunts. Fortunately, with the various weekend trick-or-treat times, I finally had an opportunity.

On the night before Halloween, I was able to make it over to Dave Shonk from Closed Casket Studios' amazing yard haunt.

Killer props featuring his signature Closed Casket work, tons of trick-or-treaters running around, and perfect weather made for a great time. Seeing his work really inspired me for my display the next night and gave me motivation to improve on what I have and to go even bigger next year.

Enjoy the stunning work of the Closed Casket Studios haunt, 2021:

While the display looked great during the daytime, it was absolutely taken to the next level after dark, when the lighting adding so much more depth and dimension.

That scarecrow head looks vaguely familiar... (it's the same Closed Casket Studios The Harvester prop head that I use on The Harvester of Brine, centerpiece of Highbury Cemetery! The only two copies in existence and both look amazing, if I do say so myself!!)


Ghost - "Hunter's Moon" (NES Version)

Just over a month ago, I kicked off the Halloween season with Ghost's newest song, "Hunter's Moon." Another super-catchy tune from the Swedish metal ghouls that ended up on the new Halloween Kills soundtrack.

And just over a month later, the internet has done its thing. An incredible cover version, done in a Nintendo style 8-bit audio complete with a really well done "video game" video.

And I'll be damned if it isn't just as catchy! Enjoy!


Haunted Overload Daytime Walkthrough

So you might have seen this posted over at Pumpkinrot's blog (does anybody still visit his site?? wink, wink), but this video is just too gorgeous not to share and share again. 

In 2016, Mrs. Highbury and I took an October trip to Salem, Massachusetts. But the true highlight was driving over to experience Haunted Overloada personal bucket list haunt in Lee, New Hampshire.

To this day, Haunted Overload is still at the top of my all-time favorite haunts list. And it's not even close. The design and scale is unlike anything else you have seen, and the organic decay throughout the outdoor wooded haunt gives a truly creepy feel as you walk from one absolutely stunning scene to the next.

And watching Grimm-Life Collective's amazing daytime walkthough video only pushes Haunted Overload further to the top. So much intricate detail on such a grand scale. And with a daytime walkthrough, you can stop and appreciate every little detail and take your time to really absorb each scene.

After seeing this one, I realize that it's probably time for me to head back up for another Haunted Overload experience.

Who's coming with me??

Hellripper - "Vampire's Grave"

How about some killer Scottish black speed metal to help get you through the week? This one was supposed to go right into the middle of my October Countdown To Halloween, but it got pushed for all that other stuff that I kept posting.

So here it is now. Dig that illustration! All hail Hellripper!


Winter's Slumber

My Halloween props have been put away after another incredible October season, ready for their hard-earned winter slumber.

Luckily, we still have plenty of posts to get through before we do the same...



For the fifth 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...

Three 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!

Two years ago, 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.

Last year, I went much more low key with a nice, quiet cemetery off the main roads, where the pumpkins would remain for quite some time.

This year, I found an absolutely fantastic location. An abandoned, run down house that sits right on a very busy road close to Highbury Cemetery. Yet, if you didn't specifically look for it, you'd probably drive right past it without a second look. It would be a perfect backdrop to set up my pumpkins and have them sit untouched for a long, long time.

I got up before dawn and loaded all 13 jacks into the car. I met this year's pumpkindump cohort, my brother Scrapes, and we drove over to the dark house. Even at such an early hour, there was still a good amount of traffic, so we quietly pulled into the driveway, turned off all the lights and got to work. We made quick work of setting up the jacks in a perfect arrangement, making sure each was visible from the road between the clumps of overgrown brush and random trash from other previous explorers to the old decrepit house. Once everything was set, I grabbed my camera, got a few great shots, and then we snuck out undetected.

Another perfect Pumpkin Dump to end a great Halloween season.

Please enjoy my annual submission to the Great Pumpkin Project, the Highbury Cemetery Pumpkin Dump 2021…

As an added bonus, I ended up throwing old tea lights into each pumpkin before leaving. I wanted to make sure these pumpkins were seen even after the sun went down, just to give it that little extra bit of creepiness. Can you imagine driving down the road at night, then seeing this out of the corner of your eye??