Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Observations By A Ghoulie Girl (Or Two)

We've been around the online Halloween scene for a while now. We've haunted Haunt Space for years, stalked Halloween Forum and Haunt Forum endlessly, listened in to every podcast that has a remote mention of the holiday and bookmarked nearly every Halloween related site on the net.

I have had the good fortune of connecting with many haunters. Some I chit chat with online on a regular basis and some I get the wonderful honor of visiting with via phone. I've never met any of these ghouls in person but to do so would be akin to meeting a rock star.

This week was a banner week. I've had two brief brushes with greatness when I exchanged a couple of quick emails with Bones of Haunt Style and Ghoul Friday author of the upcoming book Brains vs. Coffee. A phone call with Chris Baker of Haunt Cast and another with someone I consider to be a good friend and a very talented entity, Scott Stoll of Stolloween, were icing on the cake.

Perhaps we should change our name from Ghoulie Girls to Ghoulie Groupies? There are so many we admire in the business of haunting. But, and here's the kicker, one thing we find to be almost universal is the willingness to share.

It's rare to find a haunter who won't go out of their way to offer advice, share techniques or provide direction. You would think there would be a lot of competitiveness but from what we see from the cheap seats it is exactly the opposite. Through the haunt community runs a vein of appreciation for others of like mind. No haunt is unworthy, no question is silly and everyone is welcomed into the community. Haunters truly are a most generous bunch.

So, to those of you haunting the season know this... We Ghoulies think you rock! We thank you for the information you provide, the photos you post, the insight you share and the friendships you offer. May you have a most haunted Halloween season!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Martha and Hair Gel: Part Deux

We interrupt this program for a very important update...

Martha Stewart just sent us an email. Yes, we're sure that it was sent by her personally since we spoke so favorably of her in our post yesterday. She's invited us to enroll in her Halloween Party Workshop. Billed as "8 Weeks of Fun" featuring unique party plans, decorations and more. And - by signing up we will automatically be entered to win one of three Halloween prize packs from Martha Stewart Crafts. Care to join us?

In other news... one of our favorite ghoulies, Boo2U, send us this link to aid in our quest for creative Halloween ideas involving hair gel - Fountain Blood. Why not whip up a batch today?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Glitter Me This

I have a love/hate relationship with Martha Stewart. Tracy couldn't care less about the domestic goddess but I struggle with Martha on a semi-regular basis.

I love her ideas (though rumors abound that they are not all her own) but I find it absolutely impossible that anyone could be this creative, organized and put together. I often mumble to myself that she's only so together because she has a huge staff and no hubby or kiddos to trip over. Then I mumble in jealousy how I'd love to have a huge staff (or at least a wife's wife to do all those mundane chores for me).

How lovely it would be to spend a day at the garden store chatting up the experts, picking out plants, urns, furniture (with no real budget to speak of) and then send my garden team to pick it up. I could then have my kitchen staff prepare me a nice English tea and blueberry scones while I bark out directions on where things are to be planted and placed. (No, No, No! I specifically said to use the striped umbrella with this set of chairs!)

This Halloween season Grandin Road has teamed up with Martha Stewart, as evidenced by their catalog I received the other day. I always look forward to the catalog for inspiration but this year it's Glitter Mania, or is it Glitter Gone Wild or Giddy for Glitter. I swear the woman has glittered everything within an inch of it's life and slapped a nice pricey price tag on it.

I love her glitter. The colors are excellent and it's nice and fine. It's what I used on these pieces I was working on last Fall that gave me fits. And that brings me to the point in this badly written entry which is this... if you're going with a sparkly Halloween theme, do it yourself!

Martha jumped on the glitter train last season and this year she's milking it for all it's worth. I love the look but I think even if you purchase her skeleton ($79) and her glitter (check pricing at Michael's) you can do it for less than $149! And glitter Jacks from $49-$69? Pfffttt!

Make your own. Trust me on this. Martha doesn't have a thing on you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For The Love Of Hair Gel

Honestly! I'm lucky if can find my butt with both hands and a flashlight - and it's not like my butt is a small target! Part of my problem is that I am on the other side over 40 but I think my biggest problem is too much on my plate.

The good news (if there really is any) is that one of my many obligations caused a brain spark and I remembered a haunting trick from several years back.

It began as I was cleaning out the theater Green Room at my oldest son's high school. Why was I cleaning this room? Well, my fiendish friends, this is what happens when a drama program is cut and you open your mouth to get it back. Yep, yours truly ended up the Drama Director. [Note to self: super glue lips shut]

This room was a wreck. I brought in lawn and leaf bags and went to work. Tattered fabric - trash. Ancient makeup - trash. Old, gross vat of yellow hair gel - trash - WAIT! Hold the hair gel! (This is where my memory kicked in.)

Several years ago I created a simple haunt in our garage for my son's Halloween party. One section was a mad scientist's laboratory for which I had gathered an assortment of odd shaped glassware and other oddities. I wanted something besides liquid in a couple of the jars and I found the perfect solution at the Dollar Store - a tub of clear hair gel (also available in green, yellow or blue).

I globed the hair gel into a glass and shoved squishy eyeballs into the goo. Then I topped off the surface with a bit of faux blood. Here's a couple of pics I managed to scrounge up.

I think this gelatinous goo might work well in other areas of a haunt. Let it drip off a tree or smear it on walls and allow it to drip down. I do know that it looks pretty sinister in a mad lab setting from a 4th grader's point of view. Plus it has the added benefit of being heavily perfumed making your haunt smelly good and it will be at the ready should your Bride of Franky character's hair start to fall.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dark Tunes

I think I have an obsessive personality. If you've been following us for anytime at all you know that I have a thing for vids and music. I can't help it. ::sigh::

Tracy tolerates my obsessions probably because they mostly tie in with Halloween. God bless her dark little heart.

I'll be brief today as it's Friday and I know you are all planning hot date nights, parties and all the fun, wild things I left behind in my youth. For those of you staying in and scampering to finish props and other haunted goodies I've got some dark/haunting tunes for you. (First two vids provided just for the music - there really is no vid for these.)

Johnny Hollow - Alchemy from Dirty Hands

Amon Tobin - Bloodstone from Foley Room

Still dark but going to pick up the pace a bit with this one as I don't want you falling to sleep at the prop. I so miss Skin (she's my age and looks just too damn good) and the boys but she's been working on a solo career (though I hear SA is getting back together).

Skunk Anansie - Charlie Big Potato from Post Orgasmic Chill

P.S. If this last one brings you visions of Warrick Brown (yum, drool) from CSI you are not hallucinating. The song was featured in Table Stakes (Season I Episode 15).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Het Spookslot

Why yes, I am speaking a different language today but there's good reason for it. Some time ago in my many web wanderings I came across Erikde Vries photo album with the most spectacular haunt pics. Why did I wait so long to share it? I'm selfish. [hangs head in shame]

Het Spookslot is the main show of the Haunted Castle ride in the Dutch theme park Efteling. From what I can gather it is a ten minute show in an indoor graveyard setting housed in the largest theme park in the Netherlands. In other words it's the Dutch equivilant of Disney's Haunted Mansion.

The park opened in 1952 and the haunted walk through attraction has been running since 1978. Reveiws are mixed on the scares and animatronics but the setting and music (Danse Macabre) appear to make up for it.

I don't care about reviews. One look at this place and I'm hooked! The setting is awesome with excellent architecture and I just love the lighting. Someone definitely knows what they're doing here.

So now, how to go about convincing the hubby we need to head to the Netherlands???

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bloody Good

Blood. The life of a haunt? Perhaps to some but I am a simple ghoulie girl. I prefer gothic mystery over startles and the deadly silence of a cemetery scene to a slice 'em and dice 'em, fire up that chainsaw, approach.

Nevertheless, I may be in the minority... or not. I know that I sell a lot of gory stuff (and I thank those that purchase it) but I think there are a lot of DIY prop builders out there that tend to lean away from a full fledged blood bath. That is not to say that a severed head or a fountain running red couldn't end up in my yard haunt but Ed Gein in all his gory glory is not welcome. I don't know why as I get a kick out of going to haunts of this sort but for some reason I don't tend to add this type of prop to my own scenes.

To each his own right? Well sometimes I need to get out and see how the other half lives so I'm stepping outside my comfort zone to seek out the gory haunting goodies out there.

I don't think anyone was harmed in the making of this Bag of Flesh from Haunted Props but I could be wrong. Don't hold me to it. Gives a whole new meaning to making your skin crawl eh?

Skinned bear anyone? From Fright Props comes this menacing menagerie of mucus and muscle (say that five times fast).

Got guts? Well I know where you can get some or at least where you can find out how to make some. Halloween-Haunted-House has the great foam (pun intended) how-to (if you've been hiding under a rock and didn't know how this was done).

Comical but still disgusting is this bloody bucky guts creation by Back Yard Butcher Props.

Well, I'm completely grossed out so I'm outta here. But before I go I leave you with one last sick and twisted bloody goody from The Horror Dome. For those of you who desire a full size human carcass your wish is my command.

Just goes to show you can find nearly anything on the web.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top Haunts

It's official. Haunted Attraction Magazine released it's 2009 America's Best Haunts list earlier this month. Sadly none of them are in my area but hopefully there's one or two near you.

The list features the 12 best haunts across the country. Top of the list is Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary located in Philadelphia. This is the real deal! The Penitentiary was completed in October 1829 and closed in January of 1970. It is a National Historic Landmark, is known by the acronym ESP, once housed Al Capone and the haunt takes place behind 30' prison walls. I really don't know what could be more creepy.

The prison is owned by the city of Philadelphia and daytime prison and museum tours are available. For the Halloween season five haunted attractions come to life at the prison. They also offer Family Nights which is the same show but actors are on the look out for kids who can tell the monsters to "be good" if they are too scary.

Not to surprising is that there have been reports of hauntings within the prison. The site has several videos of shows you can view including Most Haunted Live (Travel Channel), America's Ghost Hunters (TLC), Ghost Hunters (Sci-Fi) and MTV's Fear which explore some of these sightings.

It will probably be a while before I can justify to the hubby the need to swing over to Philly for the Halloween season to check out this haunt so if you get a chance to go be sure to give me the scoop.

As for the other 11 haunts rounding out the top 12? Well, you'll have to check them out yourself on Haunted Attraction Magazine.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We love costumes! I will use any excuse I can muster up just to put one on. I have costumes out my ying-yang but my ultimate character is the vampiress. That might seem predictable but there's a zillion different ways to do this creature and I'm still working my way through all the options.

Our kids have always had original homemade costumes. Don't misunderstand - I don't love to sew (neither does Tracy) but I do love the creative process. Until I got in the Halloween retail business my sons had never had a store bought costume. Years ago when my youngest demanded to be Spiderman I gave in because I didn't really want to remake what was so readily available. He came around though and last year he insisted on an original wicked jester creation. (Mom wins!! He's the one on the right.)

I know I'm on a movie roll lately with this blog (and I apologize I will try to be more original with the next entry). But - I especially love movies that showcase characters in strange and wonderful costumes woven into a twisted tale. Just such a movie is on the horizon - Alice In Wonderland.

I never miss a Burton movie and a movie that features Burton, Depp and Bonham Carter?? Be still my heart! (Sorry for the ads in the vid - this one is hard to get as they keep shutting it down so watch it quick!)

The time is drawing near for the ultimate costume excuse of the year, Halloween! As a retailer who markets "off the rack" costumes I know this may sound strange but - be original. Take some time to dream up something unique and bring it to life. Perhaps take a cue from Burton - take a classic and create something twisted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Haunting We Will Go

Desperate times call for horror flicks.

Many years ago I read somewhere that when times get tough the horror industry comes alive. I guess taking a detour out of reality and watching teenagers get hacked to bits makes us feel better about our real life woes? Apparently these are really desperate times because there has been a slew of horror, haunting and dark movies recently and more are in the loop.

Last night I actually had a rare evening with nothing on the agenda. Hubby was going to settle in and watch the Chiefs (it's too early for football!) so I decided I'd hit RedBox and grab The Haunting In Connecticut.

"Based on true events" is the beginning caption. Actually, inspired by real events would have been a more accurate account. The movie is very loosely based on the real life supposed haunting of a rental house and it's tenants, the Snedeker family.

The Snedeker's moved into the rental to be closer to a Connecticut hospital when the drive from New York got to be too much for their son plagued with cancer. Unbeknownst to them the house's previous life was as a funeral home.

I remember this in the media in the late 80's and a book about the haunting titled In A Dark Place by Ray Garton was released in the early 90's. If you follow this kind of thing you are familiar with the controversy surrounding this story. Here's a brief rundown of some of the scuttlebutt...

  • First up is no one living in the house before or after the events had anything remotely strange happen.

  • The upstairs tennant at the time (not shown in the movie) never experienced any strange events.

  • It is rumored that the son with cancer had some drug problems and mental issues.

  • Everyone else in the town knew the house's history and the landlord claims the family knew as well.

  • The landlord heard no concerns of any kind until an eviction process for unpaid rent was put into motion.

  • Ray Garton, author of a book on the haunting, claims family member's stories were inconsistent. He was encourage by Ed and Lorraine Warren (well known demonologists involved in the case) to take what he could and make up the rest.

  • The family remained in the house for two years despite claims of being raped by demons.

  • Now before anyone jumps down my throat I'm not taking sides in the matter. I couldn't really say whether there is any truth to the story as I was not there. I can say that based on reports from the family, the author of the first book (a new one is coming out soon by the mother Carmen Reed Snedecker) and the Discovery Channel episode on this haunting that the movie is not remotely close to the original story. And, it wasn't supposed to be a factual account type movie so that's Hollywood for ya.

    Actually the movie is pretty good if you like this kind of thing. I was especially impressed with the acting of Virgina Madson (the mom) and Elias Koteas (the son).

    So if you haven't seen it you might want to give it a go but take that whole "based on true events" thing with a grain of salt.

    P.S. If you are the curious sort like me and want to learn more about this haunting run a web search on Carmen Snedeker, Carmen Reed, Ed and Lorraine Warren or Ray Garton for starters. This is a hot topic among ghost hunters groups and there is quite a bit of interesting discussion out there.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    The Vampire's Assistant

    It's my youngest son's 10th birthday today so after cake and presents we hit the theater to see G.I. Joe. After ten minutes of commercials (ugggg) we got to the previews and I finally caught the trailer for Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant on the big screen. In case you haven't caught it online or otherwise consider this my gift to you. Mwahahahahaha

    Blog Widget by LinkWithin