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Tired from Takedown

on November 5, 2008 - 3:14pm


After a record breaking 10 hours to take everything down, sort it into storage bins and then clean up (normally I can do it in 5 hours), I've been somewhat burnt out this last week. I need a bit longer to get back into the swing of things and to take a little break for myself.

Last night I dreamt that I'd built a new prop for next year - a sure sign that I need to take it easy still.

In the meantime, here's a video from another haunter I've mentioned before (Dave the Dead) showing his decorations obediently marching themselves back into storage.

If only it were that easy.

Halloween 2008 Pictures

on November 2, 2008 - 2:18pm

party room
It's all gone. Not a prop to be seen on the main floor.

I'm left feeling torn in three directions. First, I feel a bit sad that it's over. Conversely, I'm very happy to have my house back to normal (everything seems so spacious!). And finally, I'm starting to ponder what the theme for next year will be.

In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at images from this year's theme in the Art Ghoullery.

The children's restaur-haunt was a nice change since it allowed me to have fancier items in the front room (gift shop), and a real party atmosphere in the dining area. It also was designed in a way that it didn't interfere much with day to day life, so I could set up most of it early on.

I hope all of you had a great Halloween. I still have a couple of party ideas to post from this year. After that, it's back to enjoying gems found online and in my city.

So farewell for another year to my seasonal visitors; come back in September to see what new ideas I've come up with.

As for the rest of you, I'll be updating the blog as usual. Stick around, my lovelies, as we start the countdown to 2009.

Happy Halloween

on October 31, 2008 - 9:13am

It's finally here.

I wanted to post Halloween wishes to you early this morning, my dark little darlings, before I head out the door for a whirlwind day. And as a present, I am sharing one of my favourite David Hartman pictures. I keep meaning to do a proper post about him, but it will have to keep for another time.

With bright sunshine and warm temperatures (at least here in Toronto), I imagine it will be a pleasant Halloween for all (though is it really a Canadian Halloween if all of your costume isn't covered by a hat, scarf and winter coat?).

My wishes and thoughts for you on All Hallow's Eve:

Enjoy yourself today. Take time to breathe it all in.

Buy yourself a treat (the kids aren't the only ones who deserve it).

Be safe.

Respect the hard work of home haunters and their props. And look out for the little ones being bullied by bigger cowards while trick or treating (bullies are the real monsters).

Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

on October 30, 2008 - 4:40pm


I don't normally post cutesy things on my blog, and I NEVER post random pictures found online (at least not without a backstory), but I had to make an exception with this image. It's called "Weiners on Safari" and you can find the original on the Globe and Mail website, along with more Halloween pet pictures.

I think the zebra looks like a Mexican wrestler costume.

On a related note (newspapers, not pets or wrestlers), yours truly has been interviewed by Patrick White who writes for the Life section of the Globe and Mail (a very large newspaper here in Canada). After stumbling upon my site, he contacted me to have a chat for his upcoming Halloween article on Canadian Haunters - understanding people who go beyond the basics at this time of year.

Nightmare on Queen St - The Sequel

on October 30, 2008 - 3:15pm


Looking for something to do in the city? Might I suggest
Nightmare on Queen St.

Playdead Cult and Darkside have once again created "two levels of terror" in a haunt running until Nov 1st.

For the low price of $10, you can experience thrills, chills and live music at The Playdead Mansion - 1233 Queen St W, Toronto (west of Dufferin. Be sure to use the back entrance located off Gwynne Ave).

Haunt hours are between 8-11pm tonight and Saturday (may extend to accommodate existing line-ups); 7pm-11pm Halloween Night.

After a peek at the trailer (posted below), I don't think it's for the timid.

Floating Candles

on October 28, 2008 - 2:46pm


This year in the party room I used an idea from another haunter and created floating candles to go along with the other decorations hanging from the ceiling.

It's a quick, inexpensive project using battery operated candlesticks, fishing line, hot glue and tacks. Anyone can make this prop. Check out the how-to in my monster workshop.

Petrified Pizza

on October 28, 2008 - 12:59pm


Here are some pizza ideas I used at this year's party. It only takes a few extra minutes to make your meals match the decor.

For one pizza, I had a tomato sauce, onions, mozzarella cheese, sliced turkey pepperettes and red peppers. I used the red peppers to spell out 'HELP' across the pizza...a cry from an employee in the kitchen.

The next was a giant sea monkey pizza (shrimp) with fresh basil, some mozzarella, and an artichoke and asiago cheese spread as the sauce.

Head Shot - The Game

on October 24, 2008 - 9:25am


"Shoot'em in the head and they'll stay dead". That is the basic premise for the game I created this week.

This game uses balancing skill. You have one 'bullet' to kill the zombie. As most of us know, a zombie only dies if you shoot him in the head. The object of the game is to manoeuvre the bullet (a tiny ball or marble) by tilting the picture box of the zombie back and forth, rolling the ball into the head shot hole without accidentally 'shooting' the zombie in other body parts or missing him completely (making the ball fall through other holes). It's super easy to make and you could change the image of the zombie to match your theme.

If you're interested in seeing how it's done, take a look in my Horrific How-To Monster Workshop, and peek in on other Step-By-Step Prop Projects while you are there!

I have 33 hours left to create before my party starts. Wish me luck!

Finger Food Anyone?

on October 22, 2008 - 8:40am


Use this idea to serve your guests some authentic finger foods this Halloween.

Check your local dollar store - they often sell popcorn containers in their party section. If you can't find them there, head to the local party supply store.

Fill your containers with snacks and a few extra bits. Be sure to use food colouring for the blood effect, and you might want to give the body parts a rinse before placing them in the containers.

Ghost Buster Gambling

on October 21, 2008 - 6:41pm


This is a simple game idea you could adapt for your own party. The object of the game is to predict where the ghost will appear next in the haunted house.

For my party, people will be earning tickets as they win different games. They will have a chance to bet some of their winnings (either against the house or each other). Get it right, they double their bet. Get it wrong, they hand over their tickets.

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