Pumpkin Faces In The Night...


The jack-o-lanterns have been carved and they are ready for the big night. The forecast is finally calling for a dry day and we are ready for a big turnout. The Pumpkin Gods have been appeased...


Aphex Twin - "Matchsticks"

About 15 years ago, I was looking for something besides my "Chamber of Horrors" spooky sounds tape to use as a soundtrack for my haunt. I had established a name for the haunt, I had begun making my own tombstones and props, and I was now looking to take my audio to the next level as well. I wanted to find something truly creepy...

By pure luck, Mrs. Highbury pointed me toward a CD that she had in her collection, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II. I pressed play and was amazed at what I heard.

At that point I had never heard anything from the dark ambient genre before, but I knew instantly that it would work perfectly for my haunt display. Creepy, atmospheric audio that would sit in the background, greatly enhancing the haunting unease of the display.

I have since gone on to use even darker, more discordant audio from various dark ambient artists for my display, but I always make it a point to stop and listen to this one every Halloween. It's now forever tied to the season and those fun, early days of my home haunt.



"Chamber Of Horrors" Cassette

So this Freebie Friday offering is bit of a cheat because I had posted it before, but: a) I wanted to show off my new original copy that is still sealed, and b) out of all the novelty Halloween records, cassettes and CDs in my collection, this one is still the best!

I had written way back in 2014 about how I had found this old cassette in a tape player that had been in my garage. Before rediscovering it, it had sat for about 10 years after being used as the haunt soundtrack during the earliest days of Highbury Cemetery (before it even had a name!)

Luckily, I popped the old cassette into a deck and it still played perfectly! Instant warm fuzzies as those old sounds brought back all those great memories from my haunt's beginnings. In fact, this became one of the first Freebie Friday segments, and it kicked my vintage novelty Halloween record, cassette, and CD collecting into high gear.

And after all these years of collecting and sharing the gems and the stinkers from my ever-growing stash, I still haven't found a release that tops this one. High-quality "spooky sounds" that are actually creepy. An absolutely solid release and the centerpiece to my collection.

If you haven't heard this, do yourself a favor and hit play on the link above. If you like it, grab a copy at the link below. 

It's Halloween. Let the Chamber of Horrors' thoroughly-terrifying, spine-tingling sounds get you in the mood to do what you do!



The Misfits - "Bloodfeast"

28 days into October and ZERO Misfits posts. What is wrong with me!? Anyway, guess what I'm listening to tonight as I carve my jacks?


Throwback Thursday: Halloween, 1981

I recently rediscovered some old Halloween photos and I thought it would be the perfect time for a re-share! The Halloween season was always a big deal growing up, and Trick-or-Treat was the culmination. The tradition was held in the highest regard, and much craft and care was devoted to our annual costumes...

Me: A tall, slender Prince of Darkness, just back from a moonlit feeding. Perfectly sculpted Transylvanian eyebrows complete with my plastic pumpkin pail and chic black garbage bag cape.

My brother, Scrapes: The pint-sized big-top performer, complete with recycled ensemble (I wore the same hand-sewn costume when I was younger), with rosy red cheeks and Bozo hair, and snazzy sequined derby hat. Demanding a treat in his pumpkin.

THIS. This is Halloween. Spooky, goofy, FUN. Enjoy it!


Halloween - "What A Nice Place"

Halloween, an amazing 80's dark glam metal band from Detroit. Iconic samples taken from Halloween III: Season of the Witch (long before it became a cult classic). A music video themed around a horror film. A stage that looks like something pulled from an old haunted house. Incredible Halloween masks and costumes. Cheap pyrotechnics. Lots of headbangers. Zero budget.

Mix this all together and you get "What A Nice Place," the greatest music video ever produced. A fun, nostalgic 80's Halloween-themed heavy metal video. This is how metal SHOULD be made. DIY. It must have been an absolute riot to make this.

And the song itself rips! Heavy metal forever! Enjoy.


Country Pumpkin Pumpkin Ale - Ithaca Beer Company

We're quickly winding down the days on another festive Halloween season, so I have to get my pumpkin beers in while they are still on the shelves. On my last trip to the local grocery store, the main display is already quickly filling up with beers for that next upcoming holiday...

Ithaca Beer Company's Country Pumpkin Pumpkin Ale was another new one on the shelf that grabbed my attention with bold can art, so into my cart it went!

The beer poured a wonderfully hazy, light copper color and a quick, thick head with only the slightest earthy vegetable note.

I didn't really detect much pumpkin flavor in this one though. It had a very quick hit of sweetness, followed by a dry aftertaste that resonated on the tongue. Overall, it had a thin, acidic flavor that neither favored the sweet pumpkin pie side nor the earthy spice side of most pumpkin beers.

Having said that, Ithaca Beer Company's Country Pumpkin Pumpkin Ale didn't really have a distinct flavor, remaining neutral (just short of watery) throughout, but it was still a drinkable beer so it gets a generous 2-out-of-5 Drunken Jackos.

It's not that this is a bad beer, but there are plenty of other seasonal offerings that bring more to the table. And your mouth. But we are running out of time, so be sure to get to the store and get some while there's still some to get!


"Return Of The Living Dead" Poster by Florian Bertmer

Mondo sure is making it hard for me to NOT be a poster collector this October. First it was their stunning "Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" poster by J.S. Rossbach

And now they've just released this cool "Return Of The Living Dead" retro punk flyer looking poster by Florian Bertmer.

Such a great and unique design treatment for an absolute horror classic, featuring everyone's favorite goopy mess of a zombie, Tarman! Great colors on this one, too. (They released a Misfits-inspired "Devilock" color variant which sold out immediately, although I prefer the simple and bold colors of this version better. But that's just me...)

More brains!!


Enough Already!


Why does it always rain the entire week of Halloween? I'm trying not to complain, especially with what my fellow haunters on both coasts are dealing with right now, but enough already!

Sunday's forecast, at least for now, is looking good, so the tombstones and props will just spend a few more days tucked safely back in the garage.

Plenty left to do in preparation for the big night, so back to the (dry) garage I go. And may the Pumpkin Gods look favorably upon us all this All Hallows Eve. Send up your pumpkin offerings for a dry and windless night!

Only FIVE days to go until the big night! Are you ready?



Silent Horror - "London After Midnight"

I just discovered the band Silent Horror while taking another late night trip down the rabbit hole of all things Halloween music. Great horror punk to add to your seasonal playlists!

This particular track really burned its way deep into my brain. Fantastic vocals on this one.



Neighborhood Trick-Or-Treat Flyer

Only seven more days until the big night! Here is the neighborhood Trick-or-Treat flyer that I created. And then had printed. And then passed out to every house in my development. All 115 houses. By myself.

A haunter's work is never done!


Midnight - "Evil Like A Knife"

So tonight's plan to go to the Blackout Cookout 11 in Youngstown, Ohio fell through, and I still have yet to catch Cleveland black/speed metal band Midnight live. They are still at the top of my list and come hell or high water, I WILL see them someday.

In the meantime, I'll just leave this quick power punch to the face for all to enjoy. I've watched this one a hundred times and it still totally rips...


"Halloween" Movie Posters

Lots of things going on around the Cemetery today, but I wanted to share these super cool John Carpenter's Halloween movie posters from fanofspooky's Tumblr pageI would kill to have these printed at full size!

Crisp and clean, unlike me after a day spent setting up the yard display...



"Halloween Horror Sound" CD

Welcome to another Freebie Friday, where I share the gems and the stinkers from my ever-growing collection of vintage novelty Halloween "spooky sounds" records, cassettes, and CDs!

This week's offering was another gift from long-time friend and co-conspirator of the Cemetery, Jim. Another spooky sounds CD rescued from the 99-cent bin at the local Drug Mart.

So right off the bat, I knew I was in for some true Halloween cheese just by looking at the cover. "Halloween Horror Music CD" on the blister card, "60 Min Horror Sound Effects" on the CD. Which one was the title?

As it turns out, neither of them were! In popping the CD into the computer, I discovered that it's actually called "Halloween Horror Sound." Yep. Sound. Not "Sounds." Just one.

And then I pressed play. Yep, I had heard this one before! How to make a quick buck during the Halloween season? Simply take an old copy of "Halloween Sounds of Horror," speed it up a touch, and then sprinkle some random "spooky" clips over it. And I DO mean random. See if you can pick out the James Brown "Wooooow!" sample that's repeated throughout.

But honestly, even with all the cheap production and graphics, and the duplicated track on this one, I can't hate it. It really encompasses everything great about these old novelty releases. A dirt-cheap release chock full of the cheesiness that makes Halloween so much fun.

It doesn't come close to any of the novelty Halloween classics like "Chamber of Horrors" or "Horror Sounds of the Night," but "Halloween Horror Sound" (just one) is still worth a listen, especially if you don't have "Halloween Sounds of Horror" yet.



Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

I'm sitting at the Cemetery tonight with Weather Warning alarms going off on my phone and the town's tornado siren blaring loudly.

If this is where it ends for me, I would die a happy haunter going down with a Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in my hand...

Leave it up to our neighbors to the north to come up with something so crazy, yet so, so good! This Imperial monster rolls in at a whopping 10% ABV, but don't let that deter you!

The beer pours a nice hazy, rich copper color with a firm, thick head. And the first scent upon pouring is incredible. A wonderful, fragrant combination of a Cinnamon Red Hot candy and an earthy cinnamon stick. And somehow, it gets even better from there.

This is easily one of the most complex pumpkin beers I've ever tried. The smooth, almost creamy beer starts off with a nice sweet pumpkin flavor that somehow rolls into a graham cracker/almost cocoa-like middle, before finishing off with a slightly dry, nutty aftertaste. After the slight nutty flavor subsides, you're left with a wonderful kiss of sweetness to finish off an absolutely delicious pumpkin ale.

And I don't even need to go into the amazing can art. Just be sure to admire it while enjoying what is contained inside.

At this point, it is fairly obvious that Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery gets a perfect 5-out-of-5 on the Drunken Jackos rating scale. So much flavor in one can and not one note of it is off. This really is one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever tried.

Paranormal Is Weird. But I want more!

If you can find this Canadian masterpiece, PLEASE do yourself a favor and bring it home. You won't regret it!!

The weather warnings have now stopped, the sirens have gone silent, and I'm still alive. So that means I'm headed back out to the local grocery store to see if I can find one more 4-pack of Paranormal...



VANIK - "Entrails and Thrills"

I've REALLY been digging Entrails & Thrills, the latest Halloween metal release from Cleveland's VANIK! The cassette-only release has been on a near-constant rotation here at the Cemetery, flipping back and forth from side A's killer-riff-laden metal tracks to side B's original "spooky sounds" tracks. The perfect release for the Halloween season!!

I opted for the limited orange cassette version, which came in a custom spraypainted box and included a totally awesome numbered, one-of-a-kind framed drawing from VANIK himself. So worth it!! This one's going straight into my prized Halloween goodies collection.

The standout track for me is "Entrails And Thrills," where that riff just punches you right in the face. Enjoy!

If you're diggin' the sound, go grab yourself a copy (as well as a ton of other crazy swag) over at the VANIK Bandcamp page!

And if you're near the Northeast Ohio area, why not meet me this Saturday in Youngstown, Ohio for The Blackout Cookout 11, where Vanik plays guitar for another insanely killer Cleveland band, Midnight!!


"Dracula: Prince of Darkness" Poster by J.S. Rossbach


What an absolutely STUNNING poster! Today, Mondo released this 8-color screenprint poster by J.S. Rossbach, featuring Christopher Lee's masterful reprisal of Count Dracula in Hammer Films' 1966 classic film, Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

I'm not usually a collector of movie posters, but with this one I might make an exception. Fantastic typography and colors really nail that 60s horror vibe, and I would love to hang this beauty on my wall...


"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" For The Atari 2600

So if you thought yesterday's post about the "Halloween" video game for the Atari 2600 was crazy, just wait!

While I was researching Wizard Video Games, the short-lived company that produced "Halloween," I quickly discovered that they released one other interesting game in 1983 before calling it a day:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Who is the guy with the gun on the cover!?!?

Now you may be saying to yourself, "I have never heard of either of this games." I hadn't either. And for good reason! Both Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were not really games that could be marketed to the young Atari 2600 crowd, and apparently many stores refused to carry them, leading to poor sales of both titles. It was claimed that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre only reached around 900 units in total sales.

Another reason for this one tanking may have been the gameplay. Check out the video below, where you play as Leatherface wielding your 8-bit chainsaw, dodging fences, cow skulls and wheelchairs, all while trying to saw up your victims! It gets pretty stale quickly, but how was this ever approved for sale!?

And of course low initial sales can really only lead to one thing: Collectability!! "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," along with "Halloween" and the infamous "E.T." have absolutely skyrocketed in aftermarket value.

Proof positive is this incredibly rare sealed copy that has also been signed by 7 of the actors from the film over on eBay. Yes, you are reading that right.

An impossibly rare sealed game, authenticated and graded, plus autographed by 7 of the film's actors, for an absolutely, positively ridiculous FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!

It looks like I won't be buying that one anytime soon, but the game's dubious history and it's tie-in to the legendary film make it an obvious collector's gem. For now, I'll just reminisce about my youthful days playing non-chainsaw classics like River Raid, Pitfall! and Yars' Revenge!

"Halloween" For The Atari 2600

Here's one for the older folks following along! Do you remember how amazing the Atari 2600 was when it came out? The dawn of the video game home console era ushered in so many classics! Pac Man, Space Invaders, Frogger, Asteroids, Halloween.

Wait, what?

Back in 1983 when I was playing River Raid, Pitfall! and Yars' Revenge, Wizard Video Games released Halloween, based on the original 1978 John Carpenter classic.

At that time, I had never even heard of the game, partially due to the haphazard way the game was released, and then Wizard's eventual bankruptcy soon after.

But in seeing the gameplay, I wish I had picked up a copy along the way! The unnamed babysitter evades the unnamed killer as she tries to rescue random children in the house's two floors. And Carpenter's iconic film theme translates wonderfully into 8-bit mode, even if the blocky graphics are a laugh compared to today's games.

If this has piqued your interest, be prepared for sticker shock, as the game's collectability has gone through the roof! A quick check over at eBay reveals absolutely RIDICULOUS resale prices!

And if you're not ready to shell out that kind of money, simply enjoy the wonderful 8-bit music and blocky characters in the game-play video below.

You can read a bit more about Halloween here. Enjoy!


Anita Cat Memorial Tombstone Prop

I just put the wraps on a special new tombstone going into this year's display. Anita Cat was a friend of a friend who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. She was a fan of the Cemetery, so I thought I'd give her a little memorial there when I heard the news...

Many years ago, Anita let me do her zombie makeup for a costume party that she was going to. I can't remember if she won Best Costume, but I had a ton of fun doing it. Rest in peace, Anita...

Let me show you how I created this stone...

I started by creating the size and shape of the stone along with the epitaph in Adobe Illustrator. I then tiled the printouts together at 100% size. I used a repositionable glue stick on the back of the paper and adhered it to a scrap piece of 2" blue foam that I had. One I had it in place, I trimmed the curved top portion of the stone with a small handheld jigsaw. I then started carving out the black areas of the epitaph with my Dremel tool. I use the guide attachment while carving to keep the depth consistent. It also helps control the tool for more accurate carving...

Once I had the epitaph fully carved, I peeled the remaining paper from the front of the stone, giving it a quick rinse with the hose to remove any paper pieces or remaining glue areas. I then took a piece of sand paper and sanded all of the edges, adding chips and divots to mimic and old, weathered stone. I also gently sanded the entire face of the stone, adding slight eroded streak areas to the cross and some of the letters. Once I had given the stone a full "weathering" with the sand paper, I was ready for paint.

I painted this stone quickly using only three colors. I always start with the darkest color and work my way up to the lightest. I used a very dark grey for my base color, making sure to get into every letter, flourish and crack. 

Once the stone was completely coated with the dark grey, I did a full dry brush coat with a light grey. This color formed the actual base color of the stone, leaving the dark grey in the recessed areas like letters, cracks and chips.

After a thorough brushing of the light grey, I went in with an olive green and sparsely dry-brushed areas of moss and mold. I concentrated on corner areas, especially at the base, and anywhere that water might run down during rain.

For the final step, I needed to add the holes for mounting into the yard display. I always drill 2 3/8" holes into the bottom of the tombstone. I insert a length of 3/8" PEX pipe into each hole, and when it's ready to go into the display, I stick 2 pieces of 5/16" dowel rod into the ground, then slip the PEX pipe holes over them. I may eventually go larger on the pipe and dowel rods, but this setup has worked well for me so far.

I knocked this tombstone out pretty quick, and was happy with the result. On Halloween night, it will get set up in the Cemetery display with the other memorial stones, and we'll be sure to lift a pumpkin beer toast in their honor.


Samhain - "The Howl"

It ain't Halloween without a little Glenn Danzig playing somewhere! This from Danzig's underrated second band, Samhain.

I'm spending the day in the garage, trying to wrap up another prop project to be revealed shortly, so the Samhain playlist will be playing all day!


Myles Garrett, Home Haunter

Here's a story that is blowing up around Cleveland tonight: Myles Garrett, defensive beast of our beloved Cleveland Browns, is a home haunter!

Images have been released showing Garrett's front yard now complete with 12-foot Skeleton and 12-foot Inferno Pumpkin Skeleton flanking custom-made tombstones featuring the names of some of the quarterbacks he has faced (and destroyed) this season.

Photos courtesy of cleveland.com

Garrett lives a mere 20 minutes away from the Cemetery, but it is known that he does not like visitors invading his privacy. And one look at Garrett's size and ferocity on the field should tell you to heed the warnings. So we will continue to admire our fellow home haunter's work from afar.

Make him mad. I dare you.

Happy Halloween, Myles!! Now bring the Orange & Brown a Super Bowl win!


Halloween Sound Effects - "Scary Sounds" CD

It's finally Friday!! Time to dive into another Freebie Friday, where I share the gems of my ever-growing collection of vintage novelty Halloween records, cassettes, and CDs!

This week's offering was a gift from long-time Cemetery friend Jim, who snagged this one straight from the Drug Mart 99-cent sale rack!

Devilish demons creep through the dead of night, slowly opening the door to a horror-filled evening filled with black cats and fluttering bats. Have you been transported to a dimension of scary sounds or are you just listening to a frightfully authentic CD packed with the ghoulish sounds of Halloween? Either way, it's great for scaring party guests or terrifying a porch full of tremulous Trick-or-Treaters!

For having paid only a buck, this one was quite a find! 30 minutes of high-quality "spooky sounds." Lots of screams and wails, werewolf howls and laboratory noises, which leads to classic organ and clock chimes that toll midnight. It then moves into more of a distorted, warbling string of effects including pieces that are played backwards for a convincing effect.

And then about half way through, it takes random effects and mixes them over what seems like "borrowed" old horror film tracks. The results are pretty cool. It makes this one a bit unique and it stands out from the usual "spooky sounds" releases.

Big thanks to Jim for grabbing this and then also donating it to the cause!! Scary Sounds was a pleasant surprise and worth 30 minutes of your time.



Halloween Kills

I'm pretty excited for tomorrow's release of Halloween Kills, the second second part of, err, the ninth part of, uh, the second Halloween II but on a new timeline of, or...

Regardless of where it falls within the Halloween franchise timeline, it's supposed to be pretty dark and brutal (like any good second act of a trilogy should be). And anything starring Michael Myers will instantly put me into Halloween mode (holiday OR movie, I guess?). So I'm pretty amped to see it.

Outside of being a huge horror film fan, I'm also a HUGE horror film soundtrack fan. I'm always adding to my vinyl record soundtrack collection, and there is something absolutely iconic about John Carpenter's amazing, and instantly recognizable, score to this franchise.

I just got my first copy of the Halloween Kills soundtrack and I am pleasantly surprised. A darker twist to the original that hopefully sets the tone to the new film. I'm not going to reveal any spoilers to it, but be sure to tune in tonight at 7 pm EST on John Carpenter's YouTube channel for a live Listening Party and Q+A with soundtrack composers John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies. This should be pretty cool!


Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions

Tomorrow night, Mrs. Highbury and I will be doing something a little bit different than our usual run up to Halloween.

Purely on dumb luck, I stumbled upon an event that was being advertised in a Facebook ad...

Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions. The title and image immediately caught my eye, so I clicked to see what it was about.

From the Fever Event Facebook page:

A performance of some haunted classical music like you’ve never seen before. Fever's Candlelight is an intimate performance set in a historical building that is almost as stunning as the pieces you’ll hear. Savor the music in a uniquely romantic atmosphere created by flickering candlelight and the other classical music lovers. You'll be hearing some selections from the best known composers in history - discover new music and classics that everyone loves in the most magical setting!

• An intimate ambience in a beautiful venue bathed in candlelight
• A talented string quartet performing a mix of classical and modern spooky pieces
• The unique setting of The Cleveland History Center
• A safe, comfortable and socially-distanced event

My wife and I agreed that this would be an amazing experience, so we grabbed tickets to the Cleveland event not long before it sold out (similar events are hosted in cities across the country). We really lucked out! I can't wait to take a day off of the usual and immerse myself into some classics for a night.


This Tape Is Haunted!

A shoutout to Brent at Planet Doom Haunt for reminding me that this one just came out. Lamp & Dagger just released This Tape Is Haunted!, a GREAT throwback compilation reminiscent of all those great old nostalgic "spooky sounds" records and cassettes! This one is right up my alley!!

Grab a copy of this gem over at the Lamp & Dagger Bandcamp page. Enjoy!!


• This tape contains audio which may be frightening and/or disturbing.

• This tape may cause panic, fear, nausea, distress and other ailments.

• This tape features recordings of the paranormal and the supernatural.

• This tape is most certainly haunted!

• This tape could very well be the last thing you ever listen to.



The Phantom

While digging through some old things, I found an old art project that I had done back in my college days (which for anyone wondering was roughly 25 years ago... sheesh!). I have been a fan of classic horror for a LONG time and this piece proves it.

It was a linocut print done for one of my great Printmaking classes, and it features none other than the Man of a Thousand Faces, Lon Chaney, and his iconic portrayal of The Phantom of the Opera...

Now I will be the first to admit that the art itself isn't very good, but this was early in my college life and I was just learning my craft. But upon rediscovering it, I was immediately brought back to those truly crazy days and all of those memories gave me a warm fuzzy inside.

Here's to those early steps. The necessary steps upon which to build upon and continue to master your craft.

Go out and make something cool today.


Arktau Eos - Unworeldes

I discovered Arktau Eos, the Finnish ritual/dark ambient project, a few years ago and immediately connected with their sound and visual presentation. 

New Halloween costume idea, anyone?

I have always believed that the greater dark ambient genre was a perfect match with the desolate fall season, and more directly, Halloween night. And I tended to seek out those projects whose dark, atmospheric sounds could translate to use in home or pro haunt settings.

One such release is Unworeldes, from 2012:

I have been listening to this one quite a bit lately (and still searching for a rare copy of this on vinyl - wink, wink). The dark and foreboding sound really puts me into the needed headspace as I work on everything leading up to Halloween night.

And as an added treat for your eyes, could you imagine attending this Arktau Eos live presentation? One part concert, one part dark performance art. Completely mesmerizing...


P.S. - Only 21 more days until the big night. Are you ready??


Grave Breaker Prop Upgrade: Part Two

Last Saturday, I shared Part One of my store-bought Grave Breaker prop upgrade, giving him more undead flesh and overall creepiness.

This week, I'll show you how I took it even further, adding motion to the formerly static prop!

After the "corpsification" was complete, I decided to finally use an old reindeer motor I had laying around and animate this guy. I ended up using HiLo Greg's excellent YouTube tutorial with a few minor modifications. I made my way to my local Lowe's and came back with the following items to build it:

- Hillman 1/2" x 5.5" mending plate (5-pack)
- #8-32 x 1-1/4" round combo bolts (I only needed one at this length)
- #8-32 x 1/2" truss combo bolts (x4)
- #8 flat washers
- #8 lock washers
- #8-32 nylon insert lock nuts
- #000 x 3-7/8" eye hook screw
- 3/4" PVC pipe section
- 1" PVC end cap
- 5/32 x 1-1/2 cotter pin
- Gorilla Glue
- scrap 1" x 6" piece of board
- scrap 1" x 2" piece of board
- FrightProps Fixed Speed 110V AC 5RPM Deer Motor
- I also bought a 90-degree angle bracket, but I ended up not using it.

Right out of the gate, I noticed that my reindeer motor did NOT have the plastic swing arm piece that I see on most motors, so I had to start by fabricating one. I used a handful of flat washers on the spindle to build up support, and used half of a mending plate for the swing arm. I ran a cotter pin through the spindle hole to secure the arm in place. I ended up hitting it with a few drops of Gorilla Glue just to make sure it wouldn't move at all. 

Once the fabricated arm was solid, I then made the next swing arm connection with a full mending plate. I ended up using an inverted 1-1/4" mending bolt (threads facing up), a stack of flat washers, and a nylon lock nut. I needed to stack it so that the connection arm would clear the motor spindle when it rotated around. I connected the other end of the mending plate with the 1/2" truss combo bolt, flat washers, and a nylon lock nut to the remaining half of the first mending plate (waste not, want not)IMPORTANT! Leave a little play on both lock nuts so that the bolts will be secure, but still loose enough that the arms can still pivot around, as they will move back and forth.

The half mending plate section was then FULLY connected to a 90-degree angle piece of plate with 2x 1/2" truss combo bolts, washers, and lock nuts. Make sure this connection is tightened completely!

The 90-degree angle piece of plate is then screwed into a small section of 3/4" PVC pipe. I used 2 wood screws that I had laying around, and they need to be secured to the vertical PVC pipe tightly.

The last part of the build was the PVC pipe shaft. I used a small piece of pipe, as I wanted to keep the corpse figure close to the ground. I also took the 1" cap and screwed it down onto the scrap piece of 1" x 6". The slightly oversized cap acts like a cup for the PVC pipe section to rotate back and forth in smoothly. I also screwed a scrap piece of 1" x 2" next to the PVC pipe and screwed the eye hook in at the top. The eye hook acts as a guide to hold the rotating PVC pipe at the top while it rotates in the end cap at the bottom.

Once all of these linkage pieces were assembled and rotating correctly, I had to adjust the placement of the motor itself on the 1" x 6" so that I got a full, clean rotation on all of the pieces. Once I found a clean spot, I screwed the motor housing down, using existing screw holes on the motor's body.

Once everything was fixed in place and moving smoothly, I simply slid the slightly smaller piece of black pipe on the corpse prop right down into the PVC pipe shaft. It fits snug enough that I don't need to glue it in. It holds as is and rotates smoothly.

And after I had all of the final adjustments dialed it, I simply plugged it in and let it run! Flawless, slow rotations back and forth adding just a little bit more creepiness to an off-the-shelf Halloween prop!

And here is a video of the motor and linkage arms, working in sweet, sweet harmony.

The final step will be to add some finishing details. I'm going to paint the wood and PVC section black so that you can't see it at night. I'm also going to add some creepy cloth to the bottom of the prop's shirt so that the motor section is hidden from view.

I had a blast figuring this thing out and I'm REALLY happy with how it tuned out. Huge thanks to Hilo Greg and his video for giving me a template to work from! This will be placed up front in this year's layout and will provide some much-needed movement to break up an otherwise static display.