Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why you should go to Hauntcon, Part 2

Our first trip to Hauntcon and we are on the preshow tour where we got to several haunts in Denver and a special trip to Salt Lake City to Rocky Pointe (before it closed.) We were standing in line to visit the world famous Reinke Bros store and haunt and we overheard some people saying something about "Ashland, Oregon" - What! We know Ashland, we love Ashland we go down at least once a year to see theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

So we make our way back in the line and met Baron Vladimer and Baroness Morticia Reuwsaat (AKA Tim and Tina Reuwsaat or Mort and the Baron) of Darkwing Manor. We also find that they are close friends with Leonard Pickel, the owner of Hauntcon.

If you are on the lists, you have heard of Mort, and her twin sister Dementia (she swears she's real :) She is a remarkable person, very funny, intelligent, generous, beautiful, does Halloween like no one I know, ah, yes, I know it is hard to believe anyone is that perfect - I want to be her.

(BTW - The Baron is pretty cool too :)

The most amazing thing is that Mort has a morguetorium museum in her parlor, which is in a beautiful Victorian farm house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No kidding. She has been collecting items for years. She has the most amazing collection of 19th century funeral mourning pieces. (And I have been to the National Museum of Funeral History, they have an impressive collection of hearses, but when it comes to mourning items, her collection is MUCH better.)

Anyway, we got to talking and found that we both knew Steve, in fact, her son Cody worked for Steve at Screamland, wow, nothing like getting out of the state to meet the locals! We also became fast friends and have visited them in Ashland many times, they have even been nice enough to let us stay in their guest room on one of our trips (in trade we brought our equipment and helped them create some video effects for their yard).....probably the last time though, ah, well, there was a bit of a plumbing problem in their guest bath that, well, ended up moving their remodeling project ahead by about a year :)

They are the perfect hosts every time we come to visit, we have even brought our entourage over to hang out on their patio and sample our new wine purchases (Southern Oregon has a lot of wineries!) Wine, theater and good friends that are really in to Halloween, what could be better?

They have two real horse drawn hearses. One traditional black one and another smaller highly decorated child's hearse (now black, but they want to restore it to its original white.) Oh, and they are from the east coast and had them both moved to Oregon when they relocated. I mean, when I move I can barely pack my dishes more less figure out how to move two hearses! True dedication.

She has great handmade light fixtures that are bat themed all over the house, inside and out. The house is beautiful and had a lot of fabulous Halloween decorations throughout.
They have a massive front yard that they decorate as well as letting people in the front rooms to visit the Morguetorium. Many of their props were made by their son Cody, who was well known in the haunt community as a popular sculptor.

They are regular attendees of Fright fest NW (I so have to redesign that site!) and have helped us become more involved in that event. Involved so much so, that we are now running it......do I thank them for that? I am starting to think we night have been set up. :)

Although they have come up the past few years to visit our haunt (we set up late September) we have only seen their haunt through pictures and video since they are only open a few days around Halloween.

We have also attended Transworld with them last year when it was in Vegas as well as Hauntcon this year. The best Halloween buddies a Frog Queen could want. It is one of our most cherished friendships and would never have happened if we had not gone to Hauntcon.

For us, that alone was worth the price. Just don't ever, ever, no matter what she says, drink her gunpowder punch. You have been warned :)

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