Saturday, April 30, 2022

Halloween 2020: The Ghouls

Terrible enchanted forms,
Dragon-women, men-wolf swarms!
Wilder yet the sounds are growing!
See, the archfiend comes, all-glowing!
From the ground
Hellish vapours rise around!

From THE FIRST WALPURGIS-NIGHT by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Wren said...

This truly may be my all time favorite haunt of yours. Love that it’s a bit stripped down, how organic the ghouls look, the skull lantern, the tin jackos….. INCREDIBLE :) And all those cauldrons together in one place…. Very classy! The ghouls have been very naughty it seems ;)

Rot said...

Thanks, Wren!
I really appreciate that. I loved putting this one together, and felt it really flowed on the Big Night. All of that incense smoke in one place was a sight to see for sure.

A special thanks to you for sending me that poem. It was perfect for this post.

Happy Halfoween, btw!

Wren said...

Anytime! A fine hexennacht to you!

Samhain said...

Hauntingly Beautiful!!!! What was the scent of the incense? So creepy! Bang those pots keep the witches at bay!

Rot said...

Thanks, Samhain. The scent was White Copal. Piles of the stuff. I'd toss an occasional leaf in some of the cauldrons for a nice autumn smoky scent.

Sara said...

I looked at these pictures multiple times. You know which one I love the most? The one with your house in the bottom left and it’s up against the blackest night sky (the devil’s night sky ;) ). Your glowing house with your offering on Halloween night. Your creations, offering them up. For us to enjoy, for you to let your creatures come to’s pretty magical.

Thanks for sharing your talent with us, Rot. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without you.

Rot said...

Hey, thanks, Sara! That was a Halloween full moon that year and I wanted to make sure I got a photo of it, and figured it would make a neat pic.

You are way too kind, and I totally appreciate it!

Revenant Manor said...

I don't know what I was expecting to find this morning, but it was wasn't this...what a great surprise!

These are some great shots, and it does seem to explain a few things missing cauldron-wise...

Rot said...

My research was pretty conclusive ; )

And thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!

Willow Cove said...

I Love these!
The ghoul on the left might be my favorite. The way it is almost crawling on the ground. And the hooded cloaks are so cool. They look perfect the way they float off the skulls and frame them. trying to figure out how you made the creepy cloth do that. Don't tell me ;)
What a great way to celebrate the halfway mark to Halloween!
Thank You.

Rot said...

haha...I'm going to tell you anyways: I put cardboard around their faces, and then draped creepy cloth dipped in glue mache around them... when it dried, I slowly removed the cardboard and the shape held. An experiment that worked really well. Almost like a very tight pet cone.

And thanks, WC!
So glad you like em!

Mike V. said...

Oh Man this is so friggin awesome can’t even imagine what this must be like to approach as a Trick or Treater in your neighborhood.
Love everything about this. Hits on all the Halloween levels. Spectacular as always. I hope you are having a bonfire tonight in honor of Walpurgis Night. I know I am. Have a drink for me Rot. Again a truly outstanding display you never cease to amaze.

Rot said...

Thanks! So glad you dig the display. No fire pit as yet, but I've been thinking about one for the back yard.

But I WILL have a drink for sure! haha

Tjalgahorn said...

I mean, just wow.

You've done a fantastic job capturing the sensation of taking a wrong turn in the woods and suddenly finding yourself intruding on a coven... A real "Oh God I shouldn't be here, Oh God they saw me, oh God oh God" feeling. BRILLIANT.

I'm with WC: the ghoul on the left is my favorite. So much life and motion in that pose... as if it's suddenly taken note of the trick or treaters approaching. Beckoning and predatory (I can almost hear it saying "come closer children.. closer.. closer....")
I also just noticed those gnarly vertebrae poking out of its back... wicked.

The sheer volumes of smoke coming out of the cauldrons is a wonderful effect, it must have smelled incredible (rather than smelling like fog juice). And the subtle glow of the "embers" beneath the cauldrons really give this scene a little extra potency.

All around cool as hell display. This *might* beat out 2015 as my personal favorite!

Rot said...

THANKS! I appreciate that!
The embers effect seemed to be a hit that night. Lots of people stood and watched it flickering for a long time. Seven iron cauldrons....and TONS of incense charcoals going all night long. And the full moon just added to the whole experience. It was perfect weather and temps too.
Lots of good memories from that night.

The October boy said...

This is just delightful and what Halloween looks like, smells like and what it feels like. Enjoyed these pics, makes you feel like your there. Out of the park as usual Rot!

Rot said...

Thank you!
That is too kind of you!

Goneferalinidaho said...

What a wonderful surprise! It's a cold and rainy day here, so the vibe fit right in to my day. I love the atmosphere with the subtle candlelight and incense smoke. It must have been an amazing night.

Rot said...

Thanks! Glad it was a surprise : )
And those sound like nice conditions to flip through Halloween photos.

It was a great night. The incense and the direction of the wind made it pretty unpredictable throughout the night, so it was always appearing slightly different to whomever came up for candy. I love when the wind changes and clouds of fog and incense float towards the kids approaching. That would happen at times and it was always funny to imagine what they were thinking as the smoke was clearing.

Raven176 said...

I'm sure it's been said before, but I'll say it anyways.
I wonder, truly, how many youngsters YOU are inspiring
to someday keep the tradition(s) alive?
Years from now they'll be telling others about "that guy"
who haunted to the hilt. And made them want to do it.

Pretty neat, really.

Rot said...

Here's hoping!
As that would be pretty neat.

Brent Wilson said...

Amazing! My favorite Rot display thus far. I love the elegant simplicity. Kudos!

Rot said...

Thanks, Brent!
So glad you like this one so much!

Salem and Binx said...

This is SO amazing to see! Obsessed with the ghouls, that gorgeous sparkly orange fire under the cauldrons, not to mention that jack o'lantern path and THAT LIGHTING! Just wonderful! 🎃

Rot said...

Thanks so much!
REALLY appreciate the kind words!
And so glad you dug the sparkly effect! A neighbor across the street brought one of his grandkids and he was fascinated by that fake fire and he kept saying "Look! Look at the fire!" to his grandson and the kid couldn't care any less. haha But my neighbor thought it was pretty cool.

Salem and Binx said...

That's so funny! Always cool when neighbors are inspired by the one of a kind atmosphere you create! 🙌🏻

Rot said...

Agree! He's a great neighbor too. He loves Halloween as much as I do. We'll sit out on the porch sometimes in the summer, just to blab (and drink bourbon) and some other neighbor will walk by and yell up "Uh oh! TROUBLE!"
and we all laugh.

I have some great neighbors thankfully.

Kurt237 said...

Amazing work and fantastic photos! Where do you find your cauldrons? Having trouble finding a decent, larger iron cauldron for my own display (that aren’t only 5 inches across).

Rot said...

The largest cauldron was a stroke of luck: I saw it at a yard sale and a man with too much drink sold it to me for TWENTY BUCKS. The rest were found over the years on ebay. The small oddly-shaped smudge pot was in a shop on clearance. Not cheap these days, unfortunately.