Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Devil really IS in the details. Tiny things like leaves in the witch's hair (from the previous post) really transform that prop into something living. I love when I get my props out of the attic each year and they have tiny cobwebs or leaves from the prior year still clinging to them.
My witches' cloaks are filthy and earthy and smell of attic and dust. The wrinkled blotchy appearance of their clothing gives a lot of believability to them - they've been up to no good. For my scarecrows, I'll wrap rough twine around their limbs for added detail, or rip pieces of cheesecloth, dip them into glue, and slap them on and paint over them when they're dry. Maybe it's ancient clothing, or dried skin, or webs. I think clothing can make or break a prop, and dipping a new shirt into a mixture of glue, water, and paint before applying it to your zombie can make all the difference in the world.
Going to try to focus on the details this year, more so than usual. I want the display to feel real. The Corn Witches are mean. Brutal. And I want the Haunt to feel that way. I want it to be terrifying. And somewhat repulsive even.
Goosebumps just talking about it. : )
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This brings back memories of those rare wonderful houses that had dummies everywhere. There was one near my parents' home that had a dummy hanging in a giant tree. Those are usually the houses with dummy legs sticking up from faux graves, as if the zombie is rising legs-first.
Monday, April 27, 2009
I have a tiny collection of Day of the Dead artwork and these great photos make me want to go out and buy more. A few years ago, I pondered an idea for the Scarecrow Contest - a Mexican Day of the Dead-themed wedding scene where the bride and groom are the typical skull-faced figures and the minister is the Devil [red horns visible] wearing a skull mask (all three facing outward, with the Devil in-between with his hands on the bride and groom's shoulders - both smiling and unaware of what they've just done). But I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
Maybe one of these days when I start to mellow out.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I can remember the first time I ever heard an urban legend. My sister had the honor of being the teller. She probably heard it from her friends and knew it was just a fun ghost story and figured she'd tell her brother (four years her junior) to give him nightmares. I was pretty young at the time, and the fact that I can still remember the moment she told it to me is proof it must have worked.
It was one about a hitchhiker. Some guy picks up some girl late at night on a road. They talk a little and the woman seems strange and quiet and very very pale. At some point the man looks back and she's gone. I'm sure my sister added some emphasis to that last part - "AND SHE WAS GONE!!!!" At which point I'm sure I must have said "That didn't happen!" to cover my fear. To which I'm SURE she must have replied - "I know the person it happened to! He called the police and they told him it happens all the time on that road!" And I'm sure that was sufficient documented proof for my young mind to accept the story as fact.
I am surrounded at work by people who believe every email they get - the ones that usually end with "Send this email to everyone you know." I've become the snopes.com guy, checking out these obviously fake stories and letting people know they're morons (in a nice way) for believing them. I was looking at snopes.com this morning and saw this little gem and it reminded me about my evil sister and my first urban legend:
During the war a soldier faithfully wrote his mother every week so she would know he was all right. One week she didn't get a letter and immediately began to worry.
A couple of weeks later, she got a letter from the Army saying that her son had been captured and was being held in a Prisoner-of-War camp. They assured her that they had no reason to believe the American prisoners were being mistreated in any way.
A few weeks later the woman finally received another letter from her son, it read: "Dear Mom, Try not to worry about me, they are treating us well and I'll be released as soon as the war is over. Make sure that little Teddy gets the stamp for his collection. Love you, Joe"
The woman was overjoyed to hear the news, but was confused because she had no idea who "little Teddy" was. She decided to steam the stamp from the envelope and have a look. When she did she saw that written on the back of the stamp were the words:
"They've cut off my legs".