Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Looking Back


Figured I'd keep adding photos to this old blog post...one for each year at the new location.

53 comments:

bean said...

:)

Mark Faucett said...

It appears that these scenes are on your porch, not sure I've ever seen a view from your street or driveway. Do you detail the setting with all those leaves on your porch or is that not on your porch? Besides all the props it's that kind of detailing that really sells it I think. Amazing!

Jay's Shadow said...

You have an awesome spot for your haunt. Everything put into one area so the senses can be overwhelmed.

I think that is my problem with my haunt. I spread it too far out, and it loses its effect.

Rot said...

Thanks : )

Mark, yep, that's the porch.
and I try to frame out as much of "reality" as possible. I've found that the more I do this, the less I can stand seeing things like porch beams or brick walls or siding.
I'll probably turn into some tiny old man decorating an isolated spot in the woods....to remove the human element.
: )

We start stealing leaf bags in early October to pour onto the porch...gotta have tons of leaves.

Willow Cove said...

Its almost like your designing a giant diorama. I need a large porch so bad!

Jeff said...

I suggested to my wife doing that very thing in nearby woods this summer, which she thought sounded quite insane.


... I'm definitely doing it.

Goneferal inidaho said...

Nice photos. I was contemplating taking neighbors bagged leaves for the lawn this year, but passed. Although ours is completely different, I remembering commenting to the husband that we had a great porch for Trick or treat. It was more of a logistics thing than aesthetic, but I'm happy with it.

Sara said...

Did you see Sleepy Hollow last night? Dudes ripped off your scarecrows,man! ;)

Rot said...

nope..didn't see it.
I'll look for it ondemand.

Amy said...

I have this mental problem where I look at things more fondly after they have happened. I tend to obsess with everything being perfect when I am actually in the moment. It's very frustrating..

You looking back titled triggered this!

girl6 said...

Yesssss..Great idea!
i feel like i'm in a continuous david lynchian loop...gaaaahh!!. :)

The Creeping Cruds said...

Perfect!
Why can't we have two Halloweens a year?

Jay's Shadow said...

Oh the memories.......

Damn I need a front porch.

Holy Tarra said...

I have that same pipe dream of finding a really cool spot in the woods where I could install a permanent haunt. I've already turned into the crazy little old lady that collects sticks and bark that are saved every year until the next Halloween.

Holy Tarra said...

Also....I love your "Looking Back" idea. It is really cool to get to see the different themes next to each other. They are all truly inspired!!!

Rural Scarecrow. said...

You can never move Rot - the front porch is like your stage for everything frightful at the end!

Rania said...

just perfection

Autumnleaf said...

Yes, like Rania says, "Perfection". Some day I would love to see all of your props brought out to do one major diorama. Of course you would need lots of help doing this. I volunteer.

Wikkedmoon said...

I have some cool neighbors that occasionally leave sticks for me in my front yard. But yeah, always on the look-out for good sticks. Rot, so good man. So good.

Jay's Shadow said...

It is/will be cool to see how your haunt progresses.

Jeff said...

That porch is perfect. Ideal how it kind of creates an enclosed space for centerpiece displays. I love how you've branched into the rest of the yard the last couple years however. As we discuss moving more seriously in the next year, a decent sized porch is high on my list of requirements.

Pam Morris said...

exquisite, Rot. simply exquisite.

Sara said...

Cool idea, Rot. The comparison is neat. I think my favorite so far is lastvyear's....pretty perfect.

Sara said...

Last year's*

Autumnleaf said...

That IS an awesome idea. How fun it must be for you to be able to compare the various years. The fantastic porch, well it goes without saying but I have to think that the wonderfully haunted tree in the front had equal draw for you and Bean when you chose this property.

Rot said...

The tree was a major deciding factor....and, sadly, despite my efforts, the old gal is dying. We had so much trimmed off last year...and now blooms are forming on only half of her.

I could spit.

girl6 said...

ohhhh & i can't wait to see the NEW addition!!.<333
it's almost mid april sooooo we're gettin there!!. : )

Autumnleaf said...

Rot, don't write off the tree just yet...unless it's leaning over the porch and a hazard. Do you know any tree experts?

@girl6....care to elaborate?

girl6 said...

october is getting closer & closer Autumnleaf. & soooon we'll be seeing pics of Rot's NEW borns!!. can't wait. <3

Rot said...

yeah...newborn creatures...not newborn anything else : D

Sadly, the tree experts told me to say goodbye to the tree.
He reluctantly agreed to trim the dead limbs. Respected tree company in the area. One of the higher end ones. I told him his bedside manner as appreciated.
I'll keep an eye on it and just pray it stays half-alive for another few years.
Though 50% dead will take its toll on the rest of the tree no doubt.

girl6 said...

i wasn't going to comment on the dying tree because that's rough & there's nothing i can do to make it better. very sorry to hear that news, always so sad to me when trees die. DON'T give up tho, cause who ever really knows what could still happen. <3

Autumnleaf said...

Yes, the trees are old friends who cannot be replaced any time soon. I suppose it just might be old age and hopefully not some pathogen in the soil that inhibits planting something else in its place.

I too look forward to the 'newborns' :)

swampbilly said...

Each view reminds me of just about how far I would get to your door as a kid trick or treating.
Looking down into my pail, knowing one of those creatures would surely spring to life and drag me into an empty grave to eat me. Telling my friends I'll meet them at the next house. Secretly wondering if they would ever show up, or would I end up alone and have to return home for the night. Nothing beats Halloween. Thanks for taking care of it Rot.

K.O. said...

GREAT idea!!! I love this "cross section" of your Halloween porch over the years. What a lovely spot you have there.

girl6 said...

SO many FairyTales!!!

i dream of a movie being made about Peter Pumpkin Eater (had a wife couldn't keep her) brrrrrrrrrrr...holding his wife captive in a giant pumpkin & she's trying to claw her way out, half dead..half alive. i think you would be the person for the job!!!

Primwitch69 said...

I’m so sorry to hear about your tree. Sadly, we’re dealing with the same thing - our only regular sized, shading tree, is dead. I hope you can hold on to it for as long as you can. Your porch is the focal point and is just breathtaking- each and every year! This year has been my absolute favorite. You’re decorating and creativity is way beyond even a professional - you’re an expert. Love, love, love everything you and Bean touch.

The Creeping Cruds said...

Have an arborist install vertical mulching. Grass cutting and leaf removal kills trees. That stuff on the ground is their food. My big maple has a a declining blight which I am treating now. Vertmulch replaces that.
Landscaping is the worst thing ever for trees outside of improper drainage.
Is this the same home as the early years in the yard w the more primitive props? I’ve always wondered..

Rot said...

I used to do the Haunt at my parents' house...travelling back there each Halloween to set up.
We bought a home in 2011 and have been Haunting that location since... which is the porch in these photos.

Jay's Shadow said...

I think you did the corn witch at your parents house? If so, you need to do a Corn Witch II.
Loved the corn witch haunt with all her victims. I’ll try out to play the witch.

Hell. I’ll try out for the victim.........,

Rot said...

yup..that was the last year i did the haunt at their house.
Funny you mention The Corn Witch II...as you're not the first person to suggest that! : )

Ragged Grin said...

Corn Witch...what a haunt that was, I think that's the first time I saw something in a yard...as an adult...and just fully imagined it as some other world. That full, immersive feeling we all talk about. It was dark, yet bright...and wholly brutal in its depictions. I believed that, in that regard, Scarecrow Catacombs...and then the truly amazing haunt last year, they could never be topped, but CHURCH is something new altogether. The wood slats and the light streaming through that cutout cross, it's more like a film set than someone's porch. It's truly incredible, a work of art. Corn Witch V2.0, maybe the inside of the Witch's house, something like that, there are just so many dark and mystical places you could go with that. I think your visitors would definitely be focused on things other than pumpkin carvings.

Jeano Roid said...

I miss Halloween already :-(

Justin D said...

So cool! I love having the recap of all the years and how it's changed and grown. Great stuff. It really puts your work into perspective.

Speaking of perspective, I'd love to see a before shot just to see where the edges of everything are! The photos are always filled with atmosphere, but I'd love that get a sense of where the house and porch begin and end and how much you built up compared to what parts you were able to incorporate.

Awesome as always. Can't wait for next year!

VenomStorm said...

I think Corn Witch was where you made a leap to another level of awesomeness. I think there have been 4 Eras of Rot.

1. The Early Years- self described, the time before 2003. Not a lot of photos, really a time of mystery.
2. The Poetic Years- 2003-2009: Each haunt gets a theme, its own Peddler’s Village scarecrow, better lighting, and usually a main prop near the porch or big tree. Oh and a cool poem above the pictures on the website.
3. The Storybook Years- 2009-2016: The Corn Witch both ends the previous era, and begins a new one. It was the last haunt at your parent’s house so it has a lot of the same scenery as the previous era, but it kicks things up a notch in a way that we see in the following years. These haunts take place at the new house. Basically each haunt tells a story of some kind. The props are more detailed, the lighting is even better and you are doing more with scenery.
4. The Transworld Years- 2017- Present: in these haunts you send the viewer and ToTer to a completely new world. Your level of detail is absurd. You pay very close attention to things beyond the props and lights, knowing just how they will enhance those props in ways the viewer may never realize. We are truly sent to your new worlds.

Seriously, you need a biographer. That doesnt even begin to touch how your artistic styles have grown and changed over the years.

Rot said...

here's a wide shot ...not exactly what you meant...but the votive holder was to the left of the front door... and the stalks of corn to the right of the votive holder were blocking the door so the Haunt flowed better visually (theo's idea!).... we had a garden hose nearby and a fire extinguisher right inside the front door. For Halloween, we removed the door corn stalks to prevent the Hindenburg Halloween Massacre.

Rot said...

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JbgjvdTm6CY/W7lUETKhdFI/AAAAAAABPHs/Zt5FpfxnUSMfgB0WGpD_6SWR6kRQLLfNQCLcBGAs/s1600/porch2018C.jpeg

Rot said...

Venomstorm...I appreciate the time you took to write that...and it was interesting reading about that.
A biographer! Not sure how many people would want to read about a Haunter...though I was being ganged up on during Theo's visit by Theo and Bean in regards to something similar! : D

Jay's Shadow said...

Hmmmm. With me always using fire in my haunt, I wonder if I should have a hose hooked up and ready to go......

VenomStorm has it right. For the 15 years (???) I’ve been following your blog, I have seen your props/haunt go through the stages.

Hell, for as long as I have been following you, I should get a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Rot on a Xmas card........ :D

Theo said...

LOVED your comment, VenomStorm!!! So glad I'm not the only one overthinking like this... hahahhaa

Going to add my two cents to the pot, as this is definitely something I've pondered as well.

1 - Early Early Years (1986 - 1990) The very beginnings of the haunt. Post trick-or-treating experiments in paper mache and flying spiders on zipper lines.

2 - Graveyard Years (1990 - 2006) From the arrival of the first groundbreakers in 1990, the zombie infested graveyard is the staple of these haunts. Each year the population grows, until eventually older zombies are being removed altogether in favour of newer, more detailed models. 2006's haunt straddles the line between this era and the next for its focused arrangement, single-color lighting, and inclusion of the Wrath Poltergeist as the reason for the rising zombies.

3 - The Trilogy (2007-2009) The Ghost Dead of 2007 marks the first year that is completely distinct from all previous ones, with entirely new props, a unique and immediately identifiable theme, and a particular lighting colour that enhances the mood of the scene. Each year's theme that is quite unlike anything else out there in the world of yard haunting, and it culminates in The Corn Witch, which in addition to being arguably the most large-scale Pumpkinrot haunt of all, also bring the organic elements of pumpkins, leaves and cornstalks to the forefront for the first time.

2010's Creepshow and 2011's Swamp Foetus are exempt from any era. Experimental in-between years that shift the yard haunt outside of the yard and into the realms of art photography and filmmaking. Organic elements have become fused into the props themselves on a conceptual and literal level.

4 - Pumpkinrot 2.0 (2012 - Present?) The haunt has settled in a new location and carries on the tradition of distinct themes laid out in the Trilogy years. The level of detail in the props is greater than ever and aside from 2014's haunt which very clearly references popular Halloween iconography, the props are so original that they cannot be compared to anything else out there. By this point, Pumpkin Sentinels and other part-corpse/part-organic figures are appearing in many other haunts across America. "Rot" has become a genre of its own.

I love the idea of the Transworld haunts and agree that 2017 was a step up from all previous years in overall execution. The setting and background elements became as important as the props themselves, and to even come up with, let alone pull off a 'vintage' haunt is almost meta... like post-haunt haunting. It was a whole other world and that's what we tried to achieve with CHURCH... and I do believe we pulled it off!!! But I think it may be a little too early to call whether this is the beginning of a new era, or the end of the current one, or a bridge between two... so let's give it some time.

Looking forward to keeping this discussion going in these comments over the years!! hahahaha

Theo said...

And Jay's Shadow.... TOTALLY with you on Corn Witch II.

Because 2009's haunt was
A - iconic, and
B - the only haunt that never actually existed on Halloween night due to weather!

And we are coming up to the 10-year anniversary... and who has ever seen a sequel to a yard haunt??!

But no pressure, hahahaha... I think I've bullied Rot enough about this. If I remember correctly it was during the same car ride and Bean and I ganged up on him about the book thing!!!

P.S. no need to wait til Xmas... here's your picture of Mr and Mrs Rot:
https://www.orientaltrading.com/buy-both-and-save-mr-and-mrs-rot-a2-13726180.fltr

Rot said...

THE CORN WITCH II: THE REAPING

Jay's Shadow said...

Theo- HA! That is exactly how I thought they would look, though I think Bean might be a little shorter. :D

Corn Witch ll— The Reaping.
EXCELLENT.

Now you have to do it..........

Holy Tarra said...

When are you going to make the damn coffee table book of these incredible photos?!!!!!! I'll prepay for mine gladly! Hell....I'll buy 10 of them!
The corn witch is still my favorite but when you see all of them lined up it's pretty hard to pick one.