Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pirate Ship Sighting

Celebration, Florida is a small Disney Corp. developed community a few minutes drive from home.

One of their unique claims to Halloween fame is a pirate ship facade that covers the front of a very large home there. Unfortunately we have never made it out there to see the ship since learning of it, but luckily Belinda was able to drive out there during a shopping expedition yesterday and snapped a few day time photos.

After seeing the photos, this is now on our "must-see" list for this Halloween! The ship is huge! Hopefully I'll be able to get some evening photos of it and a little more info for a future post.

As a coincidence, this morning I also learned that this pirate ship is one of six contestants in "The Great Halloween Fright Fight", a one hour ABC special, premiering Tuesday, October 28 at 8 PM EST

You have to love people that go to this extreme to make a great Halloween for their neighbors and community.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Batman Gets "Wounded"

We spent some time at Reynolds Advanced Materials participating in their "Let's Talk About It" classroom series this week.  The class was "Making On-Skin Wounds with Silicone Rubber" and besides learning about their "Skin Tite" product and how to apply various silicone skin wounds and deformities, we had a bunch of laughs.

Artist-Sculptor Scott Fensterer and friend Lee Barret
 Artist/Sculptor Scott Fensterer was the lead instructor whose model for the day failed to show so he selected a friend and Cosplayer, Lee Barret, to be his model for the day. Lee was just there for the class and we were told he normally plays superhero, "Batman" during Cosplay. Today he just got a couple of skin wounds... oh and one authentic looking silicone booger hanging from his nose...

Scott and 'Batman" Lee Barrett showing his wounds and a booger

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ghosting and Pancakes

We had us a "breakfast" dinner last night at the IHOP. I've been looking for the IHOP window poster ads for my favorite "Pumpkin Pancakes" since September but hadn't seen any. Neither had I seen the little plastic table stands that advertise the "Fall lineup" of pancakes, or the insert they put in the menu indicating pumpkin pancake arrival.

The only sign October had arrived at the IHOP last night was a "Create a Scary Face Pancake", sort of a "make a Jack-O-Lantern pancake" for kids.

So while I unhappily weighed my "no-pumpkin pancake" options, and wondered if I could eat a candy coated Jack-O-Lantern pancake, our waitress came to take our order. I asked the waitress why they didn't have them this year,  just knowing it was probably one of those corporate decisions to no longer carry them, thereby degrading my Halloween happiness.

To my surprise the waitress pointed out they were listed in the main menu!

So after feeling kind of stupid for not seeing them in the menu before, (Why would they be casually placed in the menu along with "other" pancakes?),  I ordered a full stack!

They arrived perfectly cooked and stacked with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. I ordered some extra whipped cream and all was right with the universe.

Following the pumpkin pancake nirvana, our annual " Ghosting" tradition was executed on my son and his family. You can Google the particulars of " Ghosting",  also called " You've been Boo'ed". Basically it involves placing a basket, cauldron, or bowl of Halloween gifts and or treats on an unsuspecting person's doorstep at night, ringing the doorbell and running like hell. There's an accompanying poem that tells them they've been "Ghosted" and instructs them on how to pay it forward to their friends or neighbors. Then you put a little paper ghost in your front window so you don't get ghosted twice.

Singing and dancing candy corn from Cracker Barrel topped this year's treat basket

Someone usually starts this in our neighborhood development although we haven't been ghosted yet this year. I think when we ghost my son it is the starting of the "ghosting" of their neighborhood. We always enjoy ghosting others and it really is a good way to help get your neighborhood or friends in the spirit.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Rot Influence Spotted at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 24 - Orlando...

 Countdown to Halloween - Day 8

Few years back I read a blog post by Pumpkin Rot on how he put together his lighted Witch Jars. It was amazingly simple for those of us artistically challenged, yet a very effective and creepy prop. I've seen it mimicked by numerous Halloween enthusiasts since then, myself included.  All the variations and tutorials I've seen always gave credit back to Pumpkin Rot though.

This year I found them at Halloween Horror Nights 24 - Orlando, in the " Blood Bayou" Scare Zone.

Photo courtesy of Jim McCrary
Of course Rot knew they were in the works and called it public domain but I had mixed feelings when I spotted them. On one hand it was an ode to Pumpkin Rot's creativity that it became an element to one of HHN's better scare zones. On the other hand, it seems like such a rip-off to use it in a commercial setting such as this without any kind of acknowledgement.

Universal Studios HHN24
Personally I think the concept designer should have made contact with Pumpkin Rot, or at least the written proposal that was awarded to some anonymous artist  should have given credit to him.

I guess if the man himself wasn't concerned though, I shouldn't be either. Those of us that haunt know where the Witch Jar concept came from, or at least who made it haunt-desirable!

Photo from

Maybe Universal Studios should amend their wrong doing by hiring Pumpkin Rot to design a scare house or a scare zone next year! ...Oh yeah!

Universal Studios HHN24

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Twins

Countdown to Halloween Day 7

Saw these guys in a cool Halloween vintage-type display at The Holiday Store. Don't know anything about who makes them but thought they were pretty unique decorations. They were about 24"-28" tall... I don't know maybe their suppose to be creepy but really just look like two kids in masks to me.  Their overall shelf display and lighting is what caught my eye.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Diagon Dragon

Countdown to Halloween - Day 6

I used to take my son to see Harry Potter movies as he was growing up and of course after you've seen the first 3 or 4 you have to watch them all, even though your son is grown and not around to see the final ones with you. Needless to say I'm somewhat versed in all that is Harry Potter!

My brother and his family flew down to visit and attend Halloween Horror Nights with us this year. We spent the day prior at Universal Studios Theme Park re-visiting the older attractions and the new Diagon Alley.

We had recently talked to one of the guys involved with sculpting the fire breathing dragon so I was pretty blown away when I saw the size of this thing atop Gringott's Bank. We couldn't get a fix on the timing it but pretty sure it breathes fire at random times between 10 and 20 minutes.

Hopefully after the time change I'll be able to get a dusk or night shot of this monster. I really think the Harry Potter areas at both parks makes Universal Studios a strong contender with Disney World for Halloween. Certainly a "must see" if your a Harry Potter fan.

Now, I wonder if the Home Owner's Association would allow us to have a dragon atop the house...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cool Weather Night for HHN

Countdown to Halloween Day 5

Universal Studios entry for Halloween Horror Nights 24
Rainy days finally stopped and I guess we get a little cool spell this week! If you live in Florida a high of 79 and a low of 59 for the day is as "Fall" like as it gets!

We're taking advantage of the weather by going out to Halloween Horror Nights 24 at Universal Studios again. I've been trying to get some decent outside photos to do an amateur review of the park soon but between rainy weather and a poor camera for night shots, it's been difficult. Anyways it's too nice a night not to go out for a few scares.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Niethra" the Summoner

Belinda's 2014 character addition, Voodoo witch,"Niethra" the summoner of the dead
Countdown to Halloween - Day 4

Cheap Halloween Additions

Day 3 - Countdown to Halloween

Don't usually find many Halloween decorations at the local drugstores that I like but spotted these at our local CVS and thought they were kind of sinister looking.

I think they're made of plaster with changing color LED's and they were only $19.99 each. Belinda had some coupons so she picked up both for $25.00. Even if the lights only last one season, that's a pretty good deal!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Crow Skull Mask

Countdown to Halloween Day2

Have few friends that have built their versions of a plague doctor for their haunts with the crow skull look. I always thought it would be an easier paper mache project until I saw the detail in this mask. Now I'm not so sure I could ever get one to look this nice.

Like "The Corn Stalker", the "Crow Skull" is also made by Ghoulish Productions. Took these photos on our visit the other day to The Holiday Store to get Belinda a character mask for this year. Might have to see if one of these is left over after Halloween and pay another visit, or at the very least the photos will make excellent resource material for a character build.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Day One - I'm Late As Usual

Thought I would try to keep up with the "Countdown to Halloween" - 31 days of Halloween blog posts again this year... of course I failed on the very FIRST day. If you know me, you know this isn't unusual.

Better late than never though. This year in addition to our posts relating to Shingle Creek Manor and our Halloween related activities, I thought I'd post some of the favorite masks and Halloween characters discovered during this strange journey.

"Corn Stalker" from Ghoulish Productions
Saw this mask recently during a visit to The Holiday Store . I was thinking if you have a corn maze and you don't have a few of these guys running around along with your scarecrows your just plain missing a good scare opportunity! The detail and colors were amazing, this photo doesn't actually do it justice. "Scary" corn, who would have thought?! Although admittedly I am terrified at the thought of brussel sprouts on my plate... and asparagus and beets and spinach and...