Danny Elfman - "Sleepy Hollow" Soundtrack

So now that Halloween is over and everything has been put away for another year, I can finally get to a list of things I wasn't able to during the hectic haunt season.

First up is finally getting a chance to spin this absolutely gorgeous double-record soundtrack from Waxwork Records. Released 23 years ago this week, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow is his wonderfully dark and gothic, yet witty retelling of the Washington Irving classic, The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.

And as with any Burton/Depp collaboration, you simply MUST have Danny Elfman creating an iconic, grand soundtrack to help complete the story. And what a soundtrack THIS one is...

What really sold me on this one was the stunning cover art, and the way it matches perfectly to the colors chosen for the vinyl. "Headless Horseman" black, blood red, and skull white swirled vinyl to be exact. The entire package ties into the film so well. Waxwork did an exceptional job on this whole piece.

And once you eventually get past the beauty of the package, you still get to drop the needle on the vinyl...

Another Elfman classic to be sure, and definitely a release to add to your vinyl collection. Keep an eye on the Waxwork site as even though it is currently sold out, this should probably reappear at some point in the near future. Enjoy!



For the sixth year in a row, I was able to sneak out and get creative with my jack-o-lanterns after this year's Halloween celebrations. Starting back in 2017, I decided that I wanted to do something more than simply tossing them into the trash, and ended up covertly setting them up in a local metropark to much surprise and joy... and it has become an annual tradition ever since.

Every year I look for a new, creepy location to set up my jack-o-lanterns and extend the Halloween season for a bit longer. An Easter egg of sorts to anyone who happens to see them, and food for the local wildlife at the very least.

This year, I had a partner in crime who ended up suggesting a perfect location for this year's dump - my brother, Scrapes! And he even volunteered to help on the unloading, which was a welcome offer!

I got up at dawn and loaded all 19 jacks into the car. I then picked up Scrapes, and we drove over to the darkened, abandoned building. 

Sitting empty since the end of 2016, the old Dimitroff's Furniture and Design building had fallen into quick disrepair with nature taking a firm hold of the structure. We stepped carefully, setting up the pumpkin display at an angle sure to grab the most attention. And then we simply slipped away, completely undetected.

Another perfect Pumpkin Dump to end a really great Halloween season. Thanks to brother Scrapes for helping make this another successful (and mischievously fun!) pumpkin dump.

Please enjoy my annual submission to the Great Pumpkin Project, the Highbury Cemetery Pumpkin Dump 2022…

And before we quietly slipped away, I was able to shoot a quick video of our work. A long expanse of perfect pumpkin bliss. This was a great pumpkin dump, and it is going to take some searching to top this location for next year!

Jeff Greinke - "Metal From The Sky"

So as I load up and take the very last pieces of this year's haunt display back to the storage unit, I see not Metal From The Sky, but I do see tiny white flakes from the sky...

A true sign that Halloween is over for another year is when tiny snowflakes begin to fall. But truth be told, I'm ready for the start of winter. The cold season. Bring on the darkness!

It's a truly relaxing feeling knowing that after the constant excitement and frantic intensity of the Halloween season, everything has now been put away for another year and I can finally decompress and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for a couple of weeks. Add to that a full sense of contentment from the fun and success of this year's Halloween celebration. This past October has been a damn good one!

And while I sit here in my subdued Saturday bliss, I wanna share one more dark ambient track for the season. I think it's a perfect soundtrack for our dark transition from Autumn into the coming Winter.

I discovered Jeff Greinke's work a few years back, and used his absolutely incredible track The Moor as my haunt soundtrack since then.

This track goes back to his beginnings (and the beginnings of the dark ambient genre itself). Recorded in 1985, Metal From The Sky still holds up to any of the current offerings in the genre with its dark, richly layered, desolate ambience. So stark, yet so completely soothing. Especially on a dreary day with nothing to do. Enjoy!

But wait. We're not done. Stop back tomorrow as I have one last traditional thing to do before I turn out the lights on this year's Halloween season! I'm pretty excited with this one and I can't wait to share it with you all.

See you tomorrow...


"The Crow" Poster By Rafa Orrico

I'm quickly becoming a fan of
artist Rafa Orrico's movie poster work for Mondo. Back in September, Orrico's killer graphic design-based poster art for The Thing really caught my eye, and now a new poster is releasing tomorrow, this time for the 1994 cult classic, The Crow.

Another outstanding, stark black-and-white, cut-and-paste typography layout giving it a totally bold, unique look. And like all poster releases on Mondo, this one will be limited and will go fast...


Day 10...

Log entry, Day 10:

We are unexpectedly reaching critical levels. Our rations have grown very thin and the remaining stocks are barely edible. Surely we cannot survive on what is left. I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out. The mere sight of this turns the stomach sour and there are whispers of madness, hopelessness... and even cannibalism... anything but this.

I beg of you. To anyone who can hear this. We are desperate and need help NOW. Please. 

Send more Snickers, Kit Kats and Twix...


Highbury Cemetery, 2022

As I stated in my recap post, 2022 was a very successful year for Highbury Cemetery (especially when measured against the weather problems we faced in 2021)!

An easy pace to set up, test, and perfect the prop placement and lighting, coupled with a VERY favorable forecast leading up to the big night made for a totally fun and enjoyable Halloween for everyone! And with the wind completely dying down allowing for some of the best lingering fog effects we've ever had, this year's trick-or-treat was a memorable one.

So without further ado, I'll stop blabbing and get to the good stuff... 

Ladies and gentlemonsters, boils and ghouls, I proudly present Highbury Cemetery, 2022. Enjoy!

The Trinity, my three new sheet ghost props for 2022, bathed in warm light while casting dark shadows. I'm really happy with the way these three turned out and I think they looked great positioned at the front of the Cemetery.

For 2022, I finally pulled out a classic scene that had been in storage since 2018. I brought back two of the three walls from my walk-in crypt, previously used in the front porch of my old house! I have a large, open paved area between the garage and the front door that I hadn't really utilized the previous two years, so with time to spare, I pulled the sections out and quickly rebuilt a new crypt corner! Bathed in cold, blue light, it really stood out from the rest of the Cemetery which was set in warm tones and served as a great focal point for trick-or-treaters to get their candy. This will definitely be used again in the coming years! 

Another addition to this year's display, my "upgraded" jumping spider animatronic prop, was a surprisingly big hit with many of the trick-or-treaters. I watched kids standing around triggering the spider's "jump" all night.

And yes, ELEVEN years later, Little Dustin Horner, my static trick-or-treater child prop STILL gets people stopping to see if he was a real boy!

And this year's final tally: 247 trick-or-treaters, parents, neighbors, friends, and curious onlookers dared enter the gates of Highbury Cemetery in just two hours. Seven more than last year and our biggest turnout in three years at our new location! I'll take it!

And before I end it, I can't go without giving a special thanks to everyone who helped put on the show this year. I couldn't do it without your help and your presence in just making the whole night a ton of fun. Highbury Cemetery thank you t-shirts go out to: Mrs. Highbury, Christian Highbury, Sharon, Karen, Brother Scrapes (who made his triumphant return to the Cemetery this year!), Stacey and Vince, and Sean, Jenn, Mason (my new, young protege!), and Bryce. And a special "ARRR!" to my crazy neighbor Jai, who showed up dressed as a barefoot pirate, complete with his own theme song playing from his back pocket. Hilarious!

--- XXX ---

So there you have it. Halloween, 2022 is done and dusted and the Cemetery is closed for another year. The success of this year has me REALLY motivated to start on next year's display...and we will be going BIG, because 2023 will mark the 20th year of Highbury Cemetery. Where has the time gone!? And how are we THAT old!?!?

Only 363 days until Halloween. Are you ready?


VORTEX - "The Witches Sabbath"


A hundred years of WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES: In 1922 Benjamin Christensen’s film HÄXAN was unleashed and left a significant mark in history of film to this day. This psychological portrayal of occultism and inquisition combined a critical perspective on religion and patriarchy with stunning visions of possession, sabbath rituals, torture, and demons.

In celebration of this 100th anniversary, German ritual formation VORTEX has developed a brooding, percussive and complex musical work evoking hidden energies and abyssal spirituality...HÄXAN represents an epic new level for VORTEX's energetic ritual sound, based on drones, gongs, throat singing, percussion, strings, guitars, horns, and processed field recordings.

A Quick Halloween Recap

There are good days and then there are GREAT days. The Pumpkin Gods definitely looked down upon us in abundant favor this year, and we are grateful!

To say that we had a great Halloween would be a massive understatement. Everything fell into place perfectly this past Sunday night, and we had one of our best trick-or-treats in many years. The biggest factor, the weather, cooperated fully giving us warm and dry temperatures with absolutely ZERO wind. That allowed us the best fog effects we've EVER had. 

Plumes of chilled fog rolled through the cemetery, hanging in the motionless air, and eventually spreading throughout the yard, spilling out into the street and creeping across to the neighbors' houses. I'm still in awe of how good it looked.

Add to that, every prop worked flawlessly, every light was lit, every jack-o-lantern was illuminated. And as darkness came, every scene truly came to life with lighting that I actually had time to adjust and perfect days before.

The days of Highbury Cemetery being a one-day-only show are over. Setting up at least a week in advance gives me the time to adjust, tweak, and perfect until my hypercritical self is content with the final show.

I have a ton of photos yet to go through, so for now I'm only dropping one teaser photo above. The newest members of the Highbury Cemetery family, my 3 new sheet ghosts, positioned up front and bathed in warm lighting while still casting dark shadows.

Check back tomorrow for the full gallery. I'm really proud of this year's display and I can't wait to show off all the photos.