Happy Halloween from Highbury Cemetery!! This is it! The day we all look forward to. THE DAY WE LIVE FOR!!

If you have already done your trick-or-treat haunting, I hope you had an absolutely incredible one. If you're doing your thing tonight, I hope you have the most amazing year yet! Either way, get out and CELEBRATE. Keep the Halloween spirit alive. Because this is OUR holiday...

2022 Sneak Peek

It's go time tonight at Highbury Cemetery! The display is up and looking pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Just adding those last few accents (that nobody will notice), and it will be showtime!

Just going to drop a little sneak peak for today. The Harvester of Brine, ready and waiting...


The Trinity

All three of my new sheet ghost props are now complete and together, haunting the Cemetery for eternity...


The Misfits - "Halloween"

Bonfires burning bright
Pumpkin faces in the night

I remember Halloween

Dead cats hanging from poles
Little dead are out in droves

I remember Halloween

Brown leafed vertigo
Where skeletal life is known

I remember Halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles

I remember Halloween

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween

Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves

I remember Halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles

I remember
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween


"Haunted Horror - Terror On Tape" Cassette

Welcome to the final Friday in October, and the last Freebie Friday of the year! It was well worth the wait, because I have definitely saved the best for last!

Haunted Horror - Terror On Tape is an absolute classic from the golden age of the novelty Halloween "spooky sounds" releases. One of the first to be put out on cassette, this one really packs a punch at 30 minutes PER SIDE, offering a hefty hour of spookiness with only one flip of the tape.

And it is packed with all of the standard shrieks, screams, howls, clanks, clinks, moans, wails, cackles, meows, organs, and any and all other noises. 30 straight minutes of even terror, without any annoying callouts to ruin the flow.

Image courtesy of the Sweet Skulls blog/via Secret Fun Spot.

Since acquiring this gem, it has been at the top of the list for really great Halloween releases, and each time I hit play I'm instantly transported back to the trick-or-treat fun I had as a kid. Haunted Horror - Terror On Tape is a mandatory release for anyone in need of some Halloween nostalgia!



Sheet Ghost No.3 Prop

My final ghost prop for the year is now checked off the list! These Sheet Ghosts are meant to be quick, cheap, stylized ghosts that add a little bit more organic flow and character to my cemetery display. You can
see the full, quick how-to tutorial on them here.

This final ghost was based on a white bed sheet that I had laying around, and then quickly and sporadically dyed brown. I wanted to have a bold, emoting, high-contrast skull face, while adding slight dark wash accent tints to the overall form to give it a more patchy, "earthen" feel. I purposely left the bottom portion of each ghost with less detail, as the lower section of sheet cloth will be wrapped around tombstones in different ways.

The trinity of non-traditional ghosts are now ready to roam the Cemetery for all eternity. I'm pretty happy with the results on all three of these ghosts. There are going to add a bit of much-needed character to this year's display.


PEANUTS "Yesterday's Halloween Pumpkin" Poster

Charlie Brown, you BLOCKHEAD!! Everyone knows you don't just throw your jack-o-lantern into the trash after Halloween. You place it in a
pumpkindump, like me!!


Here's a timely, cool new poster featuring Chuck's sadly discarded Halloween jack-o-lantern, taken directly from a classic Charles M. Schulz comic strip panel. The latest PEANUTS poster offered by Mondo, this one will be available this morning! And like all collectible screenprinted posters offered by Mondo, this one will also probably sell out quick. Good grief!


Samhain - "The Howl"


There is a human slaughterhouse
Up on the hill
The road is red
And those who ignore
And those who pretend
It does not exist
End up in it's hull

My blood goes to work
I hear the howl

There is a grove of bleached bones
Where lupins vomit childrens limbs
Taking all their liberties
With parts of human anatomy
And in the hollow of a restless soul
Lies no remorse and no disgust
Every kill is clean and pure
Every thought is cleansed in growls

There is a grove of tortured forms
Where all is dark and deeds are foul
And those who ignore
And those who pretend
That the howl is a joke
Their children lie dead

My blood goes to work
I hear the howl...


Oh, The Weather Outside...

I know I shouldn't post this. Let alone say it or even THINK it. Because if I do, I will completely jinx myself. And then the weather will turn to rain and misery for this weekend's trick-or-treat.

But I looked ahead to this weekend's weather forecast and so far, it actually looks great!!

Our neighborhood trick-or-treat is Sunday night, and it looks like my bountiful offerings have appeased the Pumpkin Gods because they are rewarding me with good (dare I say great?) weather all weekend.

It's the one thing I can't control, and it's the one thing that always tortures me, whether it's cold, rain or wind. The weather in Northeast Ohio in late October can be a fickle beast, and I'm hoping this favorable forecast holds up...

We Are All Charley Parker

40 years later and our hobby, our passion, and our drive remains the same...

"We have a very good time getting...uhh, more or less putting it all together."

It's still our responsibility to carry on these crazy traditions, and to keep the fun of Halloween alive. Be THAT house in your neighborhood that "brings something good to it." And brings the neighbors together for a good time on a spooky Halloween night.

Be Charley Parker.

Click on Charley to see an incredible 1983 interview on WTOC 11 from Savannah, Georgia. Early home haunting at its best!


Tröegs Brewing - Master Of Pumpkins Ale

Here we are at the last week of October, and I haven't done one single pumpkin beer review on the dreaded Drunken Jackos scale yet. Three full weeks gone by!

Truth be told, I have been battling a lingering head cold for the past couple of weeks, so an accurate review wouldn't have been possible. And I don't want to cheat any brewery out of a fair and accurate review! So after an unfortunate delay, it's finally time to dive in...

First up is
Troegs Brewing's Master of Pumpkins. Now I actually reviewed this limited seasonal pumpkin ale back in 2019, but it's a treat to find on the shelf, so I immediately grabbed a 4-pack for the fridge.

This year's beer came in a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans, as opposed to the corked big bottle from a few years prior. Upon cracking it open, the beer poured a nice rich copper hue with an earthy, nutty, and slight cinnamon-sweet note, all capped with a firm, foamy head.

On first taste, there was a slightly malty, dry, roasted nut spice flavor. But it was smooth and balanced, not at all overpowering.

As I continued to drink this beer, the flavors opened up a bit, releasing the dry maltiness and leaving a smoother, toasted nut flavor. 

It definitely sits on the opposite side of the pumpkin ale spectrum to the cinnamon-sweet, pumpkin pie-flavored ales. There's no real sweetness here, but it does have a really great earthy flavor, making this a perfect beer to drink on a chilly October night.

And because this beer really nails that "from the earth" nutflavor and remains very drinkable throughout, Troegs' Master of Pumpkins gets 4 out of 5 Drunken Jackos.

I highly recommend this one, especially as we head into the waning days of Autumn. It might not be easy to find on your local store shelf, but getting some would be a welcome October treat.


Misfits Monday - Live Hitsville Passaic NJ, 1981

I recently discovered Toxic Swamp's killer YouTube channel, just full of old Misfits live show recordings from the late 70s through the early 80s. They even go a step further, creating outstanding cover art for each show, made to look like the classic old Blue Note jazz record covers from the 50's and 60s (this particular cover features great photos of Jerry and Glenn with devilock mohawks, which I had never seen before)!

Cover art courtesy of Toxic Swamp (YouTube).

The standout is the classic Hittsville Passaic, NJ show, recorded on Christmas night, 1981. It's easily the best sound out of any of the other live shows, and it features everything a killer punk show should be. Totally raw, totally rowdy, and totally fun! Glenn and the boys are really on it for this show, with great interaction with the crowd. It's easy to see why this live show has been bootlegged to vinyl, as it's one of their best live shows (except if you're their ex-guitarist, Bobby Steele...).

It looks like you have to go to the Toxic Swamp YouTube channel to watch it, but if you're even just a casual Misfits fan, it's totally worth it. Enjoy!



Highbury Cemetery Begins...

It was a sunny day with temperatures reaching 75 degrees - which is somewhat unheard of in late October in Northern Ohio - but it made for a wonderfully productive day. I was able to pull everything for the yard haunt display out AND get a lot of it set up in the front yard. I was desperately behind schedule, but I took a big leap forward today.

I'm really happy with the brand new archway (featuring a repurposed, original Highbury sign from all the way back in about 2003!), the fencing, and the spread of tombstones and old, wooden crosses.

Tomorrow night, I'll run all of the extension cords and start laying out all of my lighting. I want to make sure that it's all set for Sunday night's big show.

By Friday, I'll have all of the jack-o-lanterns carved and placed throughout, the spirits will be roaming the grounds, and I hope to have one more little surprise pop up for the big night.

One week to go and the Halloween spirit is in full flow. Just what I need to power me through the list of things still to get to. Let's do this...


The Neighborhood Trick-Or-Treat Flyer


Another item checked off of this year's still-to-do list. The 2022 neighborhood flyer has been designed, printed, and distributed!

I made things easy and just reused the art I created last year, simply updating the date. I made a quick trip to the local Staples Copy Center, returning with 125 flyers on a wonderfully bright orange paper stock.

But with so much left to do for this year's fun, I decided to delegate the rest of this project's responsibilities. I ended up "hiring" my ten-year-old son and two of his neighborhood friends to go out and drop a flyer in every mailbox in the neighborhood. With the prospect of making a few bucks they eagerly set out, making quick work of their task.

So it's now set. One more week until the big night. A lot of things left to do, so it's time for me to get at it. But still so many posts to share during this final week of October, so let's keep this party going! The activity at the Cemetery is going to be fast and furious. I hope you're ready...


Siouxsie & The Banshees - "Halloween"

It's set up day at the Cemetery! Cold and rainy weather have FINALLY relented and a sunny and warm weekend is forecasted, so it's go time. So much to do!!

How about a quick tune to celebrate!

Steven Schramm & Jonas Kvarnstrom - "Music For Your Nightmare" CD


Another October week is in the books, so it's time to celebrate with another Freebie Friday!

This week's offering is another one picked up on a whim, based solely on the insanely cool cover art! 1989's Music For Your Nightmare by Steven Schramm and Jonas Kvarnstrom is a cool and unique release containing six different synth-based "horror soundtrack" tracks with just enough Halloween spooky sounds elements to keep it creepy and fun. (On a sidetone, this was put out by Total Records, the same label that also gifted the world with Halloween Sound Effects - Music And Effects Of A Terrifying Nature.) 

With track titles like "Torture Chamber," "Funeral Procession" and "Dungeon Of Doom," you'd think you would be in for some screams, clanks, howls, and moans. But this is definitely a high-quality, well-composed production, making it much more than just another cheap "spooky sounds" release. Each track feels like the soundtrack to a different horror film, with the standout being "Dungeon Of Doom." The last track reals nails the uneasy, creepy vibe.

They have definitely managed to balance the intensity of traditional horror film scores, the campy fun of Halloween spooky sounds, and just a bit of cheesy, over-the-top 80's synthesizer notes on this release. It was a pleasant surprise and makes for a great and somewhat unique addition to the October collection.



Blood Incantation - "Timewave Zero"

I recently had a chance to catch up on some really great Halloween blogs, and this one really stopped me in my tracks.

I was perusing the great Petrichor & Pumpkins, and came upon a post featuring the death metal band, Blood Incantation. I was somewhat familiar with their sound, but I had completely missed their latest release Timewave Zero, and the hype it was receiving.

That's because after a string of successful death metal releases, they decided to drop this... a dark ambient side project album. And it's amazing!

I have listened to this a few times now, and I still can't believe it was released by a death metal band. They really know what they are doing, and this will certainly be going into my collection shortly.

Be sure to check out Petrichor & Pumpkins (and their great Bauhaus posts!), as well as a ton of other great Halloween blogs over at the Countdown To Halloween. We only have 12 days left for this mad black-and-orange October party!


Great Pumpkin Project Drop #3

'Twas a cold and rainy night as I drove into the great expanse of retail big box stores. But my destination wasn't to be any of the fluorescent-lit monstrosities, as I was headed for the oft-ignored and completely random gazebo, set right in the middle. A small island of green space surrounded by the madness of enormous paved parking and brick-and-mortar buildings.

It's amazing how anonymous you can be among the hustle and bustle of shoppers scurrying about at these areas.

For my third jack-o-lantern drop for the Great Pumpkin Project, I wanted to get a little more daring. I wanted to leave a pumpkin in a highly traveled, very visible location. I was curious to see how many people would notice it, and even more curious to see how many people remained oblivious to it.

As it got dark, I simply pulled up and casually walked the tagged pumpkin to the gazebo, placing it in the middle of the structure, safe from the winds and rain pouring down around it.

I casually took a few photos and video, and then simply drove away undetected. With everyone driving around trying to get to their retail destinations, nobody even noticed the weirdo and the pumpkin in the gazebo.

I'm very interested to see how long this one will remain here. It's pretty close to the Cemetery, so I'll be able to make frequent drive-by checkups to see.

Long live the Great Pumpkin Project!


Jan Terri - "Get Down Goblin"

Okay, I hope you liked the previous post about a little Halloween cheese on a Tuesday. Because if you did, you are going to LOVE this one.

As I was wrapping up this morning's Bollock Brothers post about kitschy music that is surprisingly/annoyingly catchy (and you end up singing it all day, like me), my thoughts wandered to other Halloween tunes that had the same effect.

And this one immediately popped into my head. You couldn't blame me for the first one, but you ABSOLUTELY can blame me for this one getting suck in your brain. It's the 1994 "internet famous" hit from Jan Terri, "Get Down Goblin."

It's a "so bad, it's good" Halloween classic with poor audio production, silly lyrics, ridiculous video choreography, and an absolutely amazing, catchy chorus that is way better than it has any right to be.

There is something just so endearing about this whole thing. I will freely admit that I'm a fan of this song, and you will be, too. Because you'll be singing it to yourself for the rest of the day.

Push play and enjoy! And you're welcome...


The Bollock Brothers - "Horror Movies"

On a Friday night I like to go and watch horror movies...

Hoo boy... how about a little cheese for your Tuesday morning?

For some reason, I really like this Bollock Brothers song from 1983, and I find myself singing it in my head. A lot. So be warned! It's cheesy, it's catchy, and you just might find it burrowing into your brain as well.

But don't blame me. I warned you. Even if I AM already searching for a copy on vinyl to add to my collection...



Caldon Glover - "The World At Large Is A Shrine"

A little moody music for a moody Monday morning...

Fantastic dark ambient from Caldon Glover's brand new release, Labyrintia. So dark and grinding, but so, so good! Envelope yourself within the darkness...

Guest Acting At The Haunted Schoolhouse & Lab!

So here I sit, feeling like I was hit by a semi, barely able to walk. But damn, does it feel good! Because last night, I had the chance to be a guest actor at the infamous Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory here in Akron, Ohio.

Sweetest Day is a huge draw for the haunt each year, and last night was no different. I got to roam the queue line, which stretched clear around the building for most of the night, menacing young and old in my usual Plague Doctor getup...

The only shot I got for the night...a quick selfie before hitting the queue line.

It was definitely a workout for a 7 hour shift, but it was so much fun. Everyone was in good spirits throughout the night, I was asked to take photos at least 50 times, AND I quickly got to learn what BeReal was!

But the best part of the night came when I was rewarded for my work. I'm super nostalgic over all the old Schoolhouse and Lab memorabilia (it was one of the first haunted houses I ever went to as a kid, and I hold it near and dear to my cold, dead heart!), and Dave hooked me up with the goods!!

I have been coveting this old Haunted Schoolhouse poster from the early 80s for a few years now,
and I FINALLY got one. Straight to a frame and up on my wall you go!!

This old bumper sticker and flyer were a nice added bonus, too. The classic clipart, the admission price and the Free Babysitting callout make me laugh...yes, the good old days. 

Big thanks to Dave for having me out. I had so much fun doing this, and I'll probably just volunteer myself to do it again!

If you find yourself in the Northeast Ohio area, definitely make a trip to the Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory this Halloween season. They have done a TON of upgrades to both haunts and the new Monster Midway, and the entire place looks better than ever.


Sheet Ghost No.2 Prop

Another ghost prop is checked off the list for 2022! These Sheet Ghosts are meant to be quick, cheap, stylized ghosts that add a little bit more organic flow and character to my cemetery display. You can see the full, quick how-to tutorial here.

This ghost was based on a white bed sheet that I had laying around. I wanted to have a bold, emoting, high-contrast face, while adding slight brown and orange accent tints to the overall form to give it a more "earthen" feel. 

Another non-traditional ghost is now ready to roam the Cemetery for all eternity. I'm pretty happy with the results on this one, with new ideas for number three already bouncing around in my head. Time to get back to work!


"Graveyard Terror" CD

A clock strikes midnight as you enter the graveyard of terror. Do you dare face the horror that awaits? Complete with ghosts, werewolves, demonic laughter and of course, blood curdling screams. Enter at your own risk!

-X X X-

Happy Friday, fiends! We've made it through another week, so here's your reward... another Freebie Friday!

This week's offering is another one that I picked up on a whim, simply based on the cover art. I thought I was in for some silliness, but this one actually delivers the goods.

Graveyard Terror contains two tracks: "Graveyard Terror" and "Graveyard Horror." Both run about 15 minutes and contain some high quality, well-produced "spooky sounds" effects, albeit with a more modern feel. Which isn't a bad thing.

And while I really like the fun vocal cuts of "Graveyard Terror," my pick goes to the second track, "Graveyard Horror." It has a more classic feel and it really hits the nostalgia of the original "spooky sounds" releases that came out decades before.

As an added bonus, this CD comes with an activity booklet in pdf format. It has some word searches, mazes, connect-the-dots, and masks to color and cut out. Definitely aimed at the littler ones, but a fun add-on that you don't get with vinyl or cassette releases.

Another release that I was pleasantly surprised with, and I'm glad I took the chance on this one. High quality release that's a lot of Halloween fun.

Download Graveyard Terror here.


Mr. Jack Rottenbottom (Great Pumpkin Project Drop #2)

I was able to sneak away last night for another Great Pumpkin Project drop! I quickly carved up Mr. Jack Rottenbottom (named so because his entire bottom side was already mushy, even though I bought him just last week), and brought him to this week's drop location.

Throughout the area are a small number of Native American Indian totem sculptures. Cool, stylized Indian head figures honoring this area's rich Native American history.

This particular sculpture is in a local community park, near a high-traffic nature path and within close view from a busy road. It's also highlighted by a very bright spotlight, guaranteeing to catch your eye at night.

I was disappointed to see the tall grasses growing wild around the base of the sculpture, so I tramped down a path, ensuring an unimpeded sightline to the pumpkin. I quickly shot some pics and a video, and then quietly slipped away into the night...


Pär Boström - "October"

Lots of things going on but nothing coming out of the Cemetery today, so have another helping of seasonal audio bliss. This one from Pär Boström, the dark ambient artist behind Kammarheit, Cities Last Broadcast, and other amazing projects.

Some gloomy autumn music. Enjoy.


Throbbing Gristle - "Hamburger Lady"

I recently revisited this horrific masterpiece by Throbbing Gristle, originally released back in 1978. Still so unnerving today! This would make an incredible soundtrack for a haunt. Or a nightmare...



"Nightmares Of Halloween Past" By Gary Baseman

I recently grabbed a copy of artist Gary Baseman's new book, Nightmares of Halloween Past. And what an incredible book it is!

288 pages cataloging Baseman's extensive collection of vintage Halloween photography, which serves as the inspiration for many of his paintings also showcased...

All photos courtesy of Gary Baseman and Two Fauns.

Since the book has shown up at my door, I have spent quite a bit of time perusing its contents. So many wonderfully old, creepy, and nostalgic vintage Halloween photos alongside Baseman's now-iconic character style paintings. And the background stories give great insight into both the artist and his works.

I grabbed this book on a bit of a whim, but I am SO glad I did. It really straddles the line of being both an artist's book, and a nostalgic Halloween book. And if you're into either (or both, like me), I highly recommend adding it to your collection!

It is now sold out at Gary Baseman's site, but a few copies remain over at Two Fauns. Get on it!!

And if you're really into Baseman's Halloween-inspired art, he's currently offering a really cool, limited edition print of The Bad Luck 13 Monster Gang, a painting featured in the book. Available here.

Only 20 days until Halloween, monsters! I hope you're ready!!


Asath Reon - "Three Times Burned And Three Times Born"

Fantastic ritual dark ambient from Slovakian artist, Asath Reon. This release has become one of my favorites and I'm 93.6% certain that this track will be used as the main soundtrack in my Cemetery display.


New Jack-O-Lantern From Willow Cove

Man, is this thing COOL! I just received my new paper mache jack-o-lantern from fellow haunter
Willow Cove, and I couldn't be happier. He absolutely nailed that creepy, hand-carved Halloween pumpkin feel. So much intricate detail in the sculpt, and super solid on the build. And he even came with a tea light to illuminate his ghastly grin! This guy is taking his rightful place dead center in my Halloween shelf display.

Thanks so much, WC!! He is perfect!! Be sure to visit the Willow Cove Manor Etsy page and pick up a little something for your display, too. Let's support those independent Halloween artists!


Sheet Ghost No.1 Prop

Here's a quick and easy prop that I threw together in about a week, and will stand out nicely among the tombstones in the Cemetery...

I decided that I needed to add a few figures to my Cemetery display this year, and the first idea that came to mind was a group of sheet ghosts. But not the standard, white sheets with two eyes variety. I wanted to make them much darker and creepier...

I had the old sheet for this prop sitting in a bin, as it was used as a backdrop for an old prop years ago. It had already been dyed a patchy grey black color, perfect for this ghost. So with this sheet as the focal point, I went to work...

I ended up using a styrofoam skull head, as I wanted the sheet to form around the skull features on the face.

I also wanted to keep this light and cheap, so I simply used a 1-1/2" PVC pipe for the main body shaft and the shoulders, connected with a 4-way PVC junction.

I then drilled into the bottom of the skull with a 1-1/2" hole saw bit, and then Gorilla Glued the neck portion of the PVC pipe into the bottom of the skull, finishing it with a full coat of flat black latex paint that I had down in the basement. I ended up drilling the hole slightly off-center, as to give the head a slight cock to the right...

I then assembled the main body shaft to the connector section, attaching shoulder sections to both sides. To give the upper part of the body a bit of form, I simply wrapped the shoulder sections with a bit of bubble wrap that I had laying around...

I ended up spray mounting the sheet around the skull head, as I wanted to make sure it adhered tightly to the skull features of the face.

I then finished the prop off with detail work to the sheet. I cut small eyes and a slit for the mouth, adding various washes of watered-down black paint, streaking and dripping across the entire head.

I ended up using fabric glue and a few concealed safety pins to ensure a tight bunching of the sheet around the neck portion, accentuating the folds with black paint.

I simply gave the rest of the body a slight wash of watered-down paint. Nothing too detailed, as I wanted to keep the focus on the head.

This one came together REALLY quickly and easily, and I'm REALLY happy with the end product. I think this ghost is going to look super creepy with some colored lighting to accentuate the horrific contrast of the face as it sits behind one of my tombstones in the display.

I have a few more sheets and one more foam skull, so I'm going to throw another one together this weekend. A family of new ghosts will bring some much-needed life to my cemetery this Halloween.