Monday, November 24, 2014

The Book Keeper

My son had taken a few day time photos so put a few together of  this year's "Book Keeper" prop. Nox Arcana music of course!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Shingle Creek Manor 2014 Video

I was too busy Halloween night, and I was tired, and it was too cold on Saturday night to get very many photos this year. With such few photos and no video I hadn't intended to try a video this year. Then I found a piece of music that I liked, and it was short, so this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Halloween Haunt Calendar

11" x 17'" Halloween Haunt Calendar for 2015
Got our 2015 Halloween Haunt Calendar from Hector Turner at the Halloween Haunt Calendar website a few days back. How can you be a Halloween enthusiast and not have a calendar to countdown until Halloween?
We got our photo centered up in the month of July this coming year.
Hector Turner is a Canadian haunter and a regular poster at "Haunter's Hangout" on Facebook as well as most other forums. This is our third year purchasing his calendar and it really has been pretty handy in the workshop. Besides counting down the days until Halloween,  it also has the dates of all the major Halloween conventions in the U.S. and Canada, and the moon cycles, if your into that kind of thing. The color print and paper is high quality, plus most importantly, if you submit your haunt photo earlier in the year it gets published on one of the months.

...Okay, maybe it's not most important but it is pretty cool!

It was appropriate he used our "ARose" statue photo this year. This was her last year.
 Check out the Halloween Haunt Calendar website if your interested in purchasing one for 2015. Hector Turner will post on "Haunter's Hangout" and other Halloween sites when he starts accepting photos for the next year's calendar, I believe it's in the Spring.

H.P. Lovecraft "From Beyond" Tombstone by Hector Turner
If you don't know Hector, I would suggest you check out the Halloween portion of his website. In my opinion, the mastery of scarecrows belongs to Pumpkin Rot. Hector Turner ( and Terra Lair ) are the masters of the tombstone. You will see Hector's work often imitated by other Halloween  people and he gives you a breakdown and in some cases .pdf  files to try to duplicate his tombstones. He has some fantastic photos there to explore.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Halloween 2014 Recap

First an apology for not keeping up with my blog... October came and went fast!  The setting up of Shingle Creek Manor on the 30th and the daytime of the 31st was more physically demanding than I remember it being, although admittedly I am getting older. I also think there was some  laziness during the month. Actually, I'm sure there was. Although I was somewhat active on Facebook, the blog just plain suffered from neglect.

Shingle Creek Manor 2014
 As for Halloween, we exceeded our expectations a little for the number of trick or treaters, roughly 120 children and 50 or 60 adults. The antique double decker tour bus visited us again. It didn't park in front of our house this year though so I didn't get any photos. I think every year 25 or 30 visitors have come into our development on that tourist bus. Next year I have to find out who owns it and who the people are.

To be honest I had drawn a line in the sand of 100 visitors this year or we would be scaling back to a few Jack-O-Lanterns for 2015. With the exception of an hour or two from my son on setup day, it is literally Belinda and I building, setting up and tearing down. It is a tremendous amount of work for two people. As much as I still enjoy it, I have to evaluate whether it has value to our visitors and whether the number of them is worth the effort and money. We received so many compliments from the children and adults this year though, that if we hadn't achieved the 100 , 2015 would still see Shingle Creek Manor resume.

Belinda dressed as "Niethra", the Voodoo summoner of evil. The kids loved her! I had more than few tell me how scary the old woman in the graveyard was. Of course I had to respond with feigned ignorance of any idea who they could be talking about. "Pennies shaken in a can" such a simple but effective startle scare! Who would have thought? Idea borrowed from the Halloween Horror Night people from previous year's street characters. It sure beats "boo!"

This was also the first year for full sized candy bars instead of bags of candy. Not sure if it's better but it's less work! Like I said, there was a lot of "lazy" for the month. They seemed to go over real well with the children and even a couple of adults with a chocolate habit.

We kept everything up for a second night but it got very cold. After spending time talking with some visitors I took very few photos. I hope to compile what few we took and post them to our Shingle Creek Manor Flickr account in the next couple days. I doubt I have enough for a video this year. A little bummed about that.

"The Book Keeper"
Even though our largest and most time consuming prop was a new statue called "The Book Keeper", by far the most popular prop was a video of a moving portrait set up in a fake frame in front of the mausoleum. Enough so that more video and projection are high on our list of priorities next year for sure! We actually lost some potential trick or treaters at the entry to our sidewalk because of that thing!

We hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had a great time but always find things to improve on for next year.Will be posting a bit until about Thanksgiving when the craziness of Christmas really gets cranked up and very little between then and the New Year. Time to catch up on my blog reading!