Wednesday, November 26, 2008

October 31, 2009

I know, it is only November, but I am already thinking about Halloween 2009.

Right now I am going through photos from this year's haunt and for the book and continue to put away decorations both in the house and in the shop. This has given me a bit of time to really look at things.

I know that each year when we start to set up that I have to let a lot of ideas and standards go. Just not enough time and resources. Each year I think I get a bit closer until I look at the pictures.

They pictures are fantastic - the props, well, some of them, not so much so.

On a whole, it is an impressive display. I mean the yard is 120' wide - that is a lot of props! (There are over 60 tombstones alone. And I still need more to fill up the empty spaces!) So, for years, although I have made an effort not to do "crap" stuff and almost nothing store bought, some of it is just not what I would like it to be - but I live with it because I need to.

Favorite example - the spider - ugh! Can someone explain to me why the prop you hate, people like? I get a dozen or so comment cards a year telling me it was their favorite thing. Really? Have you looked at it? You must be seeing it at night. Actually, that doesn't help much, it looks horrible in the dark too. Whenever I see it in a picture or on video - I cringe. Then there is the whole webbing issue - which, when I bring up, husband crawls under the desk to hide.

That is just one.

Not to being negative, some of the props I am happy with, the mausoleum and her ghost are close to perfection.

So, in 2009 I want to improve the props that look like shit (and work my way back from there). And make only a few new props. I want the days of saying "it's good enough" behind me and start making things that I can take out of the yard on its own and still be impressed.

Which has always been a bit of a dilemma, creating things that look creepy in both daylight and darkness. I have talked to several haunt owners about their fantastic props and they always say to paint it in the light that it will be viewed in. When I tell them that I have the range from day to night.....they smile, wish me luck and ask me to share how I did it if I ever pull it off.

Then there is in the inside for the party...making the small attempt that I did this year was good. But it brought into sharp focus, how much farther I need to go.

Like my sister and I joked years ago when we came up with our fourth version of the tombstones (current) - that by version 5 or 6 we should be happy.

Crap! That means I got to make more tombstones!

Now I am going to go hide under the desk!


  1. I've always painted in the daylight with the thought "I hope it looks good in the dark." And I've always been pleased, even if a prop was a little too darkly-colored and lost some of its features at night.

    I liked this post. I heard a lot of what my thought processes are like in it. : )

  2. Thanks.

    Nice to know that others are as obsessed as I am about this.

    Daylight painting has always worked for me. But some of them get too dark at night.

    When I went from flood lighting to mini LEDs it made everything look fantastic - just a bit too dark sometimes.

    Then we get to the church facade....after three years we are still working on the correct lighting. We are getting closer.

    And then there is the street light - evil street light :)


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