Sunday, November 2, 2008


My nephews asked me about what each scarecrow meant. I was happy to tell them since no one had really asked me that question and since I always make up names and back stories to go along with each prop. It went something like this...

The Hollowman, he's been there the longest, though they've all been there for as long as anyone can remember. "Is it because his head is hollow?" they asked me. I thought that was pretty cool so I said "Why yes it is."

Pumpkin Face is a horrible one. His head is a real pumpkin containing a real flame. The body is the dried out mutilated remains of some tortured person. Legs cut off and a pumpkin jammed onto the shoulders after the real head was cut off - a mocking gesture of disrespect. "Was he a bad person?" they asked. I replied "Nope."

The Woodsman (left), he's another old one. No one's really sure how or why he was made. Trespass (in the background with a sack over his face and blackened intestines visible) - I think he was hung as a warning to stay away. And Plague (right), he's just disgusting. If you touch him or his filthy bandages you'll get a disease and die. I heard them later telling another kid not to go near it.

Dead Bird, named because of the way he looked sporting the real skull of a deer.

Charred - a skeletal head made with a large dried gourd containing a lantern with a real flame, swinging by a piece of [faux] barbed wire. I told them he was my favorite and a mystery in the field, with his blackened eyes, nose, and mouth.

Carved (left) - a real pumpkin with a real flame. The traditional scarecrow in the bunch.
And Pod (right), whose head would ripen and soften at the neck causing the head to drop into the soil and sprout something awful. (Later in the night they asked me when it was going to fall off.)

Johnny Appleseed - straw for hair, evil for brains.

Cloak is the ghostly figure among the Hollowmen (based on a scarecrow seen at the beginning of the film PUMPKINHEAD).

Carcass looks like the dead body of an evil animal, tied to a post.

My twin nephews are six years old. I'm probably the world's worst uncle.


bean said...

I love how well the haunted pumpkin patch shows up in the "Cloak" photo.


The Captain said...

Or the world's coolest uncle! They will remember those story for the rest of their lives. Very, very cool back stories, I can't wait for more pictures

Anonymous said...

it is nice to hear that your 2 nephews are interested in your creations and not running and screaming in horror

Rot said...

Yeah, this year they were really comfortable with everything. Last year was a different story. Though I'll have to ask my sister if they slept well that night or had nightmares and a nice bed-wetting.

>: )

Johnny said...

Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I can totally ("Tooootally") see this as a graphic novel.

Jon Glassett said...

The story is the thing. I strive for this. To tell a story or to evoke one in the viewer's mind. It brings everything to life.

JHMDF said...

This might sound like a dumb question, but about the scarecrows with real pumpkins for you make the scarecrow knowing in advance what size and shape of pumpkin you will use?...or do you just find one that fits the finished product? How are the attached also?


Rot said...

Not a dumb question at all.
I built them knowing I'd use a pumpkin around a certain size and then ended up trying a few carved pumpkins to see what fit. The final pumpkin on both of those scarecrows wasn't the one I initially purchased for them. So it was trial and error until I got the one that I felt was a good fit. I used a thin wooden dowel inserted into a small hole at the back of the pumpkin to hold it in place. A flat resting "shelf" was added so the pumpkin could sit on something and not tear out the back of the pumpkin from the weight of leaning slightly forward - I was a little worried the wooden dowel would snap from the pressure, but everything worked out fine.

Grim said...

I liked seeing Johnny Appleseed used again. That's still one of my favorite props of all.

Valhella said...

I love the stories about your nephews! That's what's it's really all about, the way it opens up kids minds and takes them to frightening but fascinating places. The back stories must have made it so real for them, they will always have these Halloween memories with you.
(even though they might have a few rough sleeps :)
Haunting stuff Rot.
Your creativity and hard work are so appreciated.

Rot said...

Thanks, Valhella.

: )