Sunday, August 31, 2008

Halloween Aliens

Looking through flickr photos from a previous entry, I saw a bunch of alien Halloween decorations and it made me wonder about the origins of the UFO/Alien theme in yard haunting. I wouldn't have thought that aliens were universally frightening enough to feature in a haunt (I should add that they are to ME - especially those ugly ones with the giant eyes).

I can remember being on a haunted hayride in the middle of nowhere a long time ago and it ended with an insanely massive UFO with a very creepy humming sound that you could feel in your chest. No aliens, just laser lights and the giant dark ship (it was back-lit and I recall being creeped out by the size). I think I would have had some of the hayride actors dress and act like the Military giving us a foot escort through the last part of the hayride. We would have gotten a cheap speech about how a ship was seen landing in this area and we needed to be escorted out so the military could move in. Then I'd have those laser lights start shooting around the wagons and the actors would scream and fall away and leave us alone with that giant humming craft.

So maybe aliens ARE creepy enough for a haunt. A human vivisection might be a nice part of a display. Dark and organic like in that movie FIRE IN THE SKY (creeped me out something awful). A human corpse flowered open and hollow. But bloody and brightly lit. But only one point of light from above, creating shadows on the motionless aliens standing around the human body. It'd probably work best in a garage where you could control the light. Even better if it could be visible through a window or small opening...then you could have someone in an alien mask pop up from below while the people are straining to let their eyes adjust to the poorly-lit autopsy.

Anyways, here's one of those pics that got me thinking about this stuff. I love the chilled fog.

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Here's a decoration (in a different photo set) that would freak me out to the point of throwing it in the trash.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Current Wallpaper

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Zombies In Faux Moonlight

Orange & Blue

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Pumpkin Ale

Got a great recommendation for a pumpkin ale and now I'm dying to try it. Wolaver's Certified Organic Will Steven's Pumpkin Ale from the Otter Creek Brewing company.

Thanks so much, Sean.

Four Day Weekend

Going to spend it building corpses and working on the scarecrow for the competition. Won't be posting much to the blog today.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pumpkin Head

I've never been to the Universal Studios Halloween event. Probably should do that at some point in my life.

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Real Men Dig Martha

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm looking forward to the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. Sure I'm always embarrassed buying it at the book store and I usually mumble something about buying it for my mother, but it's always loaded with the best Halloween ideas and photographs.

Here are some old photos from her site:

More Martha.

Even More Martha.

Sculptures From Beyond The Gate

The stunning artwork of Mark Powell.

Halloween At The Office

Being a huge fan of Halloween, you'd think I'd be into coworkers dressing up in costumes in the office during the holiday. For some strange reason, I get creeped out by it, and have never taken part in it. Fortunately, for the last few years, I haven't had to worry about it since I take a bunch of days off around Halloween, but every now and then the office Halloween party is scheduled on a day that falls on the week before Halloween. So I'm in the office and horrified.
Things that usually happen:
1. The more unstable people in the office always dress in loud costumes that could easily hide a sidearm.
2. The intellectual oddball dresses in an obscure costume referencing only something that he or she understands.
3. Some girl dresses in something highly inappropriate.
4. A bunch of people use it as an excuse to dress down and wear jeans and some dumb Halloween t-shirt.
5. A STAR WARS or STAR TREK fan jumps on this golden opportunity to shine.

One Halloween many years ago, some guy dressed as Frankenstein and wore platform shoes. He looked great. And then he tripped. Spiral fracture. There musn't be much worse in life than being made up like Frankenstein and getting taken to an emergency room at a hospital.

Here are some office Halloween photos that prove my point nicely. : )

The guy dressed as Otis from DEVIL'S REJECTS should get a raise. So should the guy dressed as the boss from OFFICE SPACE.
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Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

The great unsung hero of the HALLOWEEN franchise. My personal favorite too. For those who attack the idea of the film being called HALLOWEEN III while containing no Michael Myers, it probably should be known that the original intent was to have a film released each year which delt with a story that took place around Halloween night, with no Michael Myers in sight since he had been killed in HALLOWEEN II. I, for one, would have enjoyed that. Especially when considering the offerings of the sequals which did include Myers (though I happen to enjoy HALLOWEEN IV for the most part, but that's IT).

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When Halloween's Over

That Halloween Residue post, and the comment by Bones, got me thinking about those quiet hours after the last candy is handed out and the display is torn down. Since the first year of the display, at the end of the night, my jack o'lanterns are pushed further back on the porch with fresh candles inside, then I turn off the porch light and watch them for a while. Comforting moments. In the years I lived there (that's my folks' home), it would be a neat feeling going to bed that night knowing they were smiling fire out there. Getting up the morning of November 1st (the worst day of the year by the way) to find one or two of the candles still lit and the rest melted like snowmen was a leftover treat from Halloween night.

In the years after I moved out of my parents' home, slowly driving away and looking back at the pumpkins on the porch until I can't see them any longer has become a tradition. Though the call on November 1st from my father saying "I just put your pumpkins in the trash, do you want the glass candle things inside?" has also become a tradition. A crappy one.

Here's a pic from the last set of shots I took on Halloween. I cropped out the flanking jackos on each side. Cool to know that each of my 13 pumpkins were burning all night long and into the early morning hours. I hope at least one of them made it til dawn.

Here's the full shot, at a different angle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hollow Scarecrow

Pic from last year's haunt.

I've happily used my Hollow scarecrow for the last two years. This year I'm going to use something else on the porch. But I ain't sayin' what.

Pumpkin Of Wood


Man, I NEED pumpkin juice. It just seems logical that I'd drink cases of pumpkin juice.

I wonder what it tastes like. Though the detailed product description DOES say "Good taste"...

Pumpkin Juice

Then there's the Harry Potter variety which falls into the category of candy. Though I'd still love to own it.

Pumpkin Juice II

Halloween Residue

I've posted pics from this photographer in the past (multiple times I believe), but I didn't notice this one before. I pasted the caption that accompanied the photo below.

Well after 1 am I headed out to bask in the afterglow of Halloween. The wind was just right. Leaves were falling and all was still in my neighborhood. Earlier tonight, when I was on my way home from work I found a little table outside one of the apartments in my building. It had a bowl of candy, all kinds, and a note which said to take a few pieces. So, even though I had worked all night I took a few pieces away with me, some Smarties and some Nerds. It was almost like a sacrament for me. I knew I was making those people happy by taking some, even though they were most likely asleep by that time as all the lights were off in their apartment. Later, after I was home I set out again and stole through the night, noting all the homes, the Halloween decorations still standing which most likely will be gone in a day or two. All was still and peaceful. I always love walking at night, but especially on Halloween.

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Below The Dark Water

The art of Jordan Crane.

Zombies Abound

Another angle of the Gross Zombie.

I've always had a desire to go all-out gore. I've received emails from people complimenting me on my non-usage of bloody gorey props, so it's always funny to think that there's something inside me wanting to explore bright red bloody gore.
For now I'll stick with dried-up zombies with black slicks of rotten gore. But don't be shocked if one day a Halloween display has a whole lotta red.

Halloween Shadows

Revisiting a favorite haunt - Season Of Shadows.
So much texture to absorb here - great lighting, so many cornstalks, wonderful corpses, tombstones, and one truly amazing scarecrow.

Raven Manor

This is an incredible yard haunt with such an amazing attention to detail. I feel like I'm looking at a real cemetery.