Friday, November 20, 2015

Halloween in Retrospect.

This was the biggest Halloween season ever celebrated in the wicked woods so I figured I would jot down some thoughts about it, now that the insanity has passed.


· Well over 1000 kids and probably as many adults visited us on Halloween Night

 · Every night since turning on the lights in late September we had visitors who drove by, video tapes, took pictures or just sat and took it all in

 · Mayor of our town dropped by to thank us for decorating and making our town a fun place to live.

· Made front page of our local paper.

· So many compliments and praises can’t even begin to count them all. Really overwhelmed at all the positive outlook by the community at large.

· Had visitors from Ohio, North Carolina, and Tennessee come by to see our haunt.

· Polite and grateful children…never had so many “thank you’s” for little ones.

 · Ran at 90% LED lighting and will be at 100% next year with a few upgrades coming. Overall pleased with the lighting and color scheme this year.

· Upgraded sound system installed on balcony really pleased me with the quality and atmosphere of the haunt. Expensive upgrade but money well spent!

 · Felt the cemetery was adequately full with tombstones finally. Primitive crosses really went a long way to fleshing them out.

· Fog chiller was on point this year. Tried a different array with 10lbs of dry ice and 30 pounds of crushed to chill fog. Also added a diffuser to help keep fog low. Timers were perfect and fog was the best I have ever experienced.

· Pleased with overall population of critters and creepy props in the cemetery this year. 

· The use of 2 more HD projectors and the ridiculously overpriced holo material for skeleton effect was a HUGE success. The public went wild for them all.

· Our little town really went out of the way to provide a great Halloween experience. Downtown had almost every business with tables set up and full costumes for the kids to trick or treat and the local park had numerous Halloween activities for kids. The museum just over the hill had candy and ghost stories too. It was refreshing driving down town and seeing a werewolf hanging off a light pole howling, and a Frankenstein’s monster carrying a victim by the post office. I always wanted to retire and move to a “Halloween friendly town”…I think I may finally live in one!

· Halloween party was just fantastic! Had some very close friends show up that I was afraid could not make it. Great Food, Awesome decorations , and fun times for all. It went on into the wee hours of the morning.

· My Wife’s makeup skills continue to astound me. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next year.

 · Our biggest haunted pay attraction was amazing this year. Bigger, better, scarier than ever. They did a phenomenal job and I was proud to be associated with them in planning stages and my wife with makeup.


· Got a late start to the decorating. Rain delayed me from getting everything rolled outdoors in one day and it stretched into a 4 day ordeal. Plan time off from work accordingly.

 · With all the guest we had and some of them leaving early and a few coming late, we forgot to have the costume contest. We had really great trophies and everything…have to put out a box for next year and if nothing more than to remind me.

 · Got a late start on interior decorations for party. Felt a bit rushed to get things prepped up for party. Will start earlier for sure.

 · Did not get to complete several projects such as : tombstones handmade by M, Witch hand art project using 3d witch hands, New groundbreaker, Second Fog Chiller, Trio of witches.

 · One complete jerk who came to the house on Halloween at around 4pm in daylight and complained loudly that my house scared his daughter to death and she refused to come up on the porch but he wanted her “DAMN TREAT” and “You should be ashamed of treating kids like this”. It took all my inner strength to not bounce his ass off my porch!

 · Pressed for time, I did not get to explore my neighborhood decorations which I understand were pretty extensive. Will make time to photograph and explore next year.


· Buy at least 1 other HD projector and another sheet of holographic material.

 · Add fencing to keep people from running amuck through graves and wires.

· Complete the witch hand art project

· Make new tombstones starting no later than August.

 · Add 10 more LED spotlights for the haunt .

 · Add florescent black light elements outdoors.

 · Build a new zombie or groundbreaker.

· Possibly build two more toe pincher coffins (for use in the haunt and storage after)

· Add more primitive crosses for the cemetery.

· Work on trio of witches display for front door.

· Find some blue fire and ice lights

· Add a suitable suggestion box out front with a comment card much like they did at Davis Graveyard.

· Second fog machine and chiller using trash can and dryer vent tubing for construction.

· Add a really scary looking scarecrow to the haunt with burlap face and hat.

· Rebuild or replace the “corpse” wrapped in burlap for the grave digger.

· Use pvc to have existing Grave Digger lift his lantern over head instead of carrying it at side.

· New Martha Stewart spider wall clings

I hope that your Halloween wick truly wicKED and I hope that 2016 is even better!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Unsung Heroes of Yard Haunts

No not that kind of hero!

I never really thought about how many things we use during Halloween season that we never list as a “necessity” or “need” . We only see the finished product in the form of our ultra creepy and cool pictures. Well I am here to list a few of those items that I could not haunt without. They make life a lot easier on the haunter and the Wicked Woods Cemetery would be a bleak haunt without! Here they are in no particular order.


From holding up tombstones to making our zombies stand tall in a wind storm, rebar is a haunting have to for the Yard Haunter. I have a HUGE pile of them on my shelf at all times.

Extension Cords:

I am actually ashamed at the amount of high quality extension cords I own. It is a have to if you plan on having a eerily lit haunt. Adding high quality sound and special effects like fog, and animatronics….get your credit card out for the extension cord that makes it all possible.

Rolled wire:

Stitching a zombie t together? Tying a tomb stone to rebar? Want your skeletons to climb up on your porch? Better have some high gauge wire to hold it in place.

Duct Tape:

If it’s broke…and duct tape won’t hold it together, you do not need it!

Sheppard’s Hooks:

Already painted black. Ready to be pushed in the ground and secured with a single step. Various sizes too. Great for having those store bought skeles stand up on their own! Or making ghosts “hover”.

Fishing Line:

Want your ghost to float? 50lb test will do it. Need to make a cloak out of creepy cloth? Fishing line can do it with invisible seems.

Staple Gun:

Hanging signs? Fixing scarecrows? Zombie falling apart? Staple Gun to the rescue.

Hot Glue Gun:

Same as above but less intrusive for more delicate things.

Xacto Knife:

Best thing for carving a forever pumpkin and for extreme detail on tombstone.

Dremel Tool :

A must have for tombstones!

Thumb tacks:

I cannot tell you how many things are hanging up at Halloween with just a thumbtack…also good for helping to secure wired props into place or a quick repair.

Black Paint :

Easy to mix up to make grey, can add to compound for tombstones. If something is cracked, paint it black! Great to make a “wash” to darken in fading tombstones or props.

Mason Jars:

Great for keeping those Lights dry during rain or helping to diffuse the light in an area. Can also be wrapped in duct tape to act as a shade for spotlights.

Chicken Wire:

Need a groundbreaker? Want to make a full standing Jason Voorhees? Need a body bag with body? Chicken wire can make you a fully fleshed out and light weight body in no time!

Landscaping pins:

Great for taming cords, holding down lights with no spikes and for props with the Christmas tree type stands keeping them in position.

What are your list of behind the scene items you can't haunt without?