Midnight Syndicate - Echoes From The Brimstone Club (Cedar Point HalloWeekends)


This October, I had the chance to make the short drive over to Cedar Point to check out HalloWeekends. I wanted to ride all of the amazing rollercoasters, walk through all of the haunts, experience the park at night in full Halloween d├ęcor, and most importantly see the Midnight Syndicate live stage show.

Coming off their brand new release, The Brimstone Club, I was interested to see how it was going to be incorporated into a new live stage show.

I was really impressed with their previous HalloWeekends live shows and was hoping for good things this time around, too.

Needless to say, the show was spectacular. Midnight Syndicate played many of their new tracks live, all while an incredibly talented group performed their circus-style sideshow acts. They really captivated the audience through each act, including a sword-swallower, a woman suspended by only her hair, and an intricate balancing act.

And now Midnight Syndicate has released a video of their full performance. Great production on it to really make you feel like you are there watching it live. Enjoy!


  

#pumpkindump2023


For my final act of Halloween defiance this season, I was able to get my pumpkins out for the seventh year in a row for my annual Pumpkin Dump!

Starting back in 2017, I decided that I wanted to do something more than simply tossing my post-Halloween pumpkins 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 paid homage to the Dump location from 2021. Shortly after a successful pumpkin dump, the old, abandoned house was completely torn down by the city, leaving only an empty dirt lot where the house (and the pumpkins) once sat.

Luckily, just one lot down sat yet another old, abandoned house. Completely forgotten and overgrown, the derelict house sits equally close to the highly traveled road, lending itself to another perfect, highly visible dump location. 

I loaded up all 13 pumpkins from this year's display and headed out. I calmly drove up what was once a driveway to the house, parked behind some overgrown bushes, and went to work. I quickly got some photos and videos of the setup, then slipped away completely unnoticed.

Another perfect Pumpkin Dump to end a really great Halloween season!

Please enjoy my annual submission to the Great Pumpkin Project, the Highbury Cemetery Pumpkin Dump 2023…










  

Highbury Cemetery, 2023


The 20th Anniversary edition of Highbury Cemetery is in the books, and what a wild ride it has been. Here in Northeast Ohio, we seem to have locked into a new traditional weather pattern for October. That is, the month starts off sunny and warm, quickly turns colder and rainy (Every. Single. Day.), and then I go insane hoping that we get a break from a less-than-desirable forecast for trick-or-treat night.

And for about the fourth year in a row, we somehow get very lucky. The Candy Corn gods look down upon us with favor and give us a window of perfectly dry, completely windless weather in order to get trick-or-treat completed without a hitch.

This year was no different. After a morning of constant rain, trick-or-treat ended up being another success in that we got a nice crowd (a trophy!) and an evening of dry weather with no wind. Very fortunate, indeed.

I was able to put out the full setup, with a few new and a few older pieces throughout the display. I also had time to really focus on my lighting again this year, which makes a huge difference in the photos and video. There is always a list of things that I didn't get to or just didn't get to add this year, but overall I'm really happy with this year's display. It gives a nice, solid base for next year's display.

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

Ladies and gentlemonsters, boils and ghouls, I proudly present Highbury Cemetery, 2023. Enjoy!























I didn't even mention the Home Depot 12 foot skeleton! I finally gave in and bought one this year, as I was looking for some added height in the cemetery. I couldn't just put him into the display looking like every other 12 foot skeleton in the neighborhood, so I ended up corpsing the head, neck, and chest, and then wrapped him in a makeshift reaper cloak. I placed him on the left side of the display, cutting a dark, creepy figure to bookend the cemetery. He looked great standing above the skeleton in the fog-emitting coffin, but I'll have to adjust the lighting for next year to increase his prominence. He will definitely play a bigger part in next year's display.


















When all was said and done, we ended up having 212 trick-or-treaters, parents, neighbors, and curious onlookers through the gates of Highbury Cemetery this year. A little bit lower than last year's total, but I'll still take it considering the uncertainty of the weather.

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. Special 20th Anniversary Highbury Cemetery thank you t-shirts go out to: Mrs. Highbury, Christian Highbury, Sharon, Karen, Laurie, and Brother Scrapes (who made his second appearance in two years!).


--- XXX ---


So there you have it. Halloween, 2023 is done and dusted and the Cemetery is closed for another year. Twenty years of home haunting and still going strong. The success of this year again has me motivated to start on next year's display. A few improvements on existing ideas and a few new ideas to add to the mix...

Only 362 days until Halloween. Are you ready?

  

Samhain - "Archangel"


So tonight I'm processing all of this year's haunt photos (tune in tomorrow!) and listening to some Samhain. What a great band, what a great record (and cover art), and what a truly great song. Some of Glenn Danzig's finest work... Enjoy!

Heaven sends me here to you
And if a-you fear you've reason to
Open up all seven seals
The beast is come to claim the youth

Archangel
Archangel
Defiant brood
Defiant brood
I call on you

Casted down my bretheren
Rebels from authority
Power, pride, contempt and lust
All these things I give to you

Archangel
Archangel
Defiant brood
Defiant brood
I call on you

I am not your son of God
The prince of light will show no fear
Mine is that which rules this world
The beast is come, I am the end

Archangel
Archangel

And when they cast out the brood
For the sin of pride misused
And when they cast down to Hell
Fucking brood

Archangel
Archangel

Heaven sends me here to you
And if a-you fear you've reason to
Open up all seven seals
The beast is come to claim the youth

Archangel
Archangel

  

The Day After...


For me, the day after Halloween is usually a day filled with a sobering melancholy as the realization of the season's end slowly sets in. My energy levels are completely drained after another successful night of trick-or-treat, and the dreadful prospect of having to put everything away for another year is the last big hurdle to face this season.

But this morning, I woke up to this...










A little bit more than the dusting that was predicted in the forecast! Luckily, all of my foggers, animatronics and lighting are already tucked away in the garage. But the unexpected coating of snow does add a really cool new element to the display, so I made sure to get out early before it melts to get some photos. 

I don't think I have ever had to deal with snow in my Halloween display before, but here we are. A sure sign of winter's impending arrival. Now I just need to rescue my tombstones and get it all safely packed away to make room for the snow shovels...