Friday, December 3, 2010

I got a nice surprise

When I wake up on Halloween morning, a nice surprise was awaiting me outside. It snowed over my graveyard display during the night... The snow gave a nice finishing touch to the tombstones. Seeing the effect of the snow on my scene, I surprised myself whishing to get a bit more snow during the day. It did not happen but at least the existing one did not melt.

Although the day was cold (23F), this year was the most successfull Halloween we celebrated in this house so far. We got 260 happy trick or treaters and many good comments on our display. The only downside is that because it was on Sunday, most trick or treaters saw my haunt on daylight. They did not saw my new FCG and the witch and the cemetery was not as spooky. They will have to wait in 2011 for that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Haunt Video

After many hours of fighting with YouTube video upload, there it is! The video of my 2010 haunt. There is not much to say. It is still a very simple display. I try to add as much as I can each year and I must admit that time was not on my side this year. Let's hope time and budget will be on my side in 2011, I have many prop ideas that are awaiting to be done.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another important year for the Pumpkin family

This year will be another important year in the pumpkin family. First, although it will already be the second Halloween of my little boy Édouard, this will be his first Trick'r Treating year. For the occasion, nothing less than a Dracula costume will do the trick. Hopefully, we found the perfect costume at rebate at the local Zellers store.

Also, we are awaiting the arrival of our next pumpkin sprout, Gabriel. He is scheduled to be born on November 3rd. Let's just hope he doesn't decide to get out of his mother in the three days that precedes Halloween, otherwise I won't be there to great the Trick'r treater and to distribute the 200 candy bags my wife and I carefully filled last Sunday.

What's next? I still have a lot to do before Halloween, I have a flying crank ghost, a stirring witch and a scarecrow to repair. Nothing has been installed outside yet, I will be installing a few things this weekend if the weather permits it. And finally, I'm afraid that I won't be on time to the SpiderFest 2010... Sorry Frog Queen, I really wanted to be part of it but life had other things planned for me...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Completed : The new pumpkin on the block

Last weekend, I finished the painting of my new paper mache pumpkin. All it needs now is to be waterproofed with spar urethane and it will be ready for display on my front porch. My wife think that it look too black as if it was burnt... I like that look though, I think it give him a more evil look so I will most likely leave the painting as is.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 Feet Grim Reaper

Have you ever wondered how tall the Grim Reaper is? I remember questionning myself on that topic when I was a small child. I got my answer in my early 20s.

How about a different version of Dracula?

These videos come from the game Conker's Bad Fur Day (Conker Live & Reloaded) on
XBox. I didn't played that version but the original one on Nintendo 64... I really would like to have a copy of it in my collection... A very funny game.

Friday, September 17, 2010

SpiderFest 2010 Will I be on time...

I hope so. I started building my project 2 weeks ago but I did not have enough material to complete it. I knew this would happen so before starting the project, I ordered what I needed thinking that it would arrive before I would run out of material. Unfortunately for me, I got an email Wednesday telling me that my order is backorder. They say they will get my material before September 23th and that they will ship it as soon as they get it. I just hope it is true... So please, send good energy and thoughs my way so I can get my spider delivered on time to the Davis Graveyard.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The new pumpkin on the block

Today is a rest day for me. My doctor diagnosed me a bronchitis and a pneumonia. So I've taken the opportunity to make a round of all the blogs I follow. I though it would take 1 hour to do this but, in the end, it took me 3 hours... I guess I follow too much blog :-)

I wanted to build a new paper mache pumpkin for this year. I love paper mache but my talent with it is a bit limited. I just can't shape it exactly the way I want. So this year, I took a different approach and built a pumpkin with Aves paper mache powder. This stuff is exactly what I needed, all you need to do is add water to the powder until you get the consistency you want to work with (in my case, I mix water until it feels like concrete). I'm very happy with the result so far. I wasn't expecting it to look that good.

Compared to the pumpkin I did last year, this really is a good upgrade :-)

Once I'm done with this new pumpkin, I will be building my spider for SpiderFest 2010. I just hope I will get it done on time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A more than late giveaway!

Back to May 22, I announced on my blog that I was redoing my website and my blog design. I also announced that once the redesign would be done (which was supposed to be in the following days) I would be doing a small giveaway. Well, due to a few events that were out of my control and other priorities, I postponed the redesign of my website to an undetermined date.

But because its already mid August and that Autumn is coming our way and because the Dollar store is finally getting out their Halloween stuff, I decided it is time to make my giveaway.

This time, I will give to 2 of my fellow bloggers a Halloween Collection Pack from Dark Candles. And because I'm a generous soul, you will probably get something else too, I don't know what it will yet but that will something nifty too.

What you need to do to win my prize is very simple: You must be following my blog and write a comment in this post that tells us when you are using scented candles (except for your bedroom fantasies, we all use them for that purpose too). The winners will be known August 22th if I feel I have enough participant (I'm targeting 20 so tell your friends to come).

Best of luck to everyone!

Words of wisdom from an old invoice.

Last weekend I stumbled upon this old invoice while classifying old paperwork that were accumulating in the drawers of my computer desk. Gave me back old memories of the time when my wife and I were still living at our parents house. This invoice comes from Cruella, a Gothic shop located in Montreal city. I bought on their web site, in 2003, a very nice black and red velvet top for my wife (which was my girlfriend at that time) for Christmas.

Now that the story of that invoice has been told, what I wanted to show you is the small phrase written under the website URL on it. It says:

"La conformité est la mort de l'âme."

which traduced in English means:

"Conformity is the death of the soul."

After reading it, last weekend, I took a few minutes and thought about the meaning of this phrase. Although I didn't took any attention to it in 2003, now I believe there is truth in these few words. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Silent Hill 8

While watching on YouTube some video of the next Metroid installment on the Wii, I came across a E3 trailer of Silent Hill 8. Yep, Silent Hill 8 should be release in 2011 for PS3. I've been a bit disappointed by Silent Hill Shattered Memories but this new installment looks promising enough. I will wait until it is released to make my opinion though... Here's the trailer, enjoy!

And for the Sci-Fi fan out there, here's the latest video of Metroid Other M. It will be release August 31th. I already ordered my copy. It looks really good!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Campers Halloween Video

Last Saturday was the Camper's Halloween at Camping Luciole in St-Philibert, Québec. I never did a haunt in a wood trail before so it was a first timer for me. With the help of the owner of the camping and two friends, we took the morning to assemble everything so the small children could come in the trail in the afternoon for some candies and grown-ups could come in the evening and night for a little bit scarier walk.

The haunt was partly made of store-bought props coming from my co-worker and most of my "home made" props (stirring witch, FCG, paper mache pumpkin and my upgraded Walmart tombstones).

The day went well though we got some technical problems: the ropes of the FCG got intertwined in the afternoon and since we did not have the time to fix it, it became a static prop for the evening. The stirring witch got some small problems too but they were easily corrected.

Overall, it was a very nice experience, although it was a lot of work, my team and I had a real good time and the campers enjoyed the setup. This event also benefited me in other ways, first, I had the occasion to test the reliability of my props and detect the flaws in the way I built them (and most of them will need some adjustment) and I also have been contracted by the owners to do some redesigning and maintenance on their website. Talking about websites, things go so well for me on that field that I may be considering to start my own business in a few years. So keep your fingers crossed for me.

Ok, I have talked to much! Here's the video recorded by my wife in the evening. A few pictures and two other videos will be added to the blog with in the following days.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some inspiration

Those of you who have been listening to Hauntcast for a while probably know about this beautiful, amazing prop built by Terra... If you didn't know about it, you should really see the video below. It is impressive what you can achieve with paper mache provided you have the necessary patience and talent. And by the way, if you are not listening to Hauntcast yet, do yourself a favor a visit their site now.

The rebirth of a Wal-Mart tombstone

There seem to be a consensus among haunters that the tombstones sold in stores (Wal-Mart and the likes) are cheesy and maybe not worth our money. Frankly, I like them though their paint is cheap, their 1" thickness is just ridiculous and we don't even talk about their anchor system that is just plain useless. My yard display contains 11 tombstones bought at Wal-Mart in 2007 and 2008. I got some problems due to mother nature last year that forced me to enhance them by making them 3" thick and by replacing the cheapest anchor system ever invented on earth for something "wind proof". That said, half of my tombstones are already enhanced and are now on painting stage. Here is the result for the first painted tombstone. It is not perfect but it is much more better than what is was looking like when I bought it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

News from the patch

Last Tuesday was my birthday, I just it the 30. I've been away from quite some time so, for once, I have a few things to tell.

First I got 4 interesting websites design and programming contracts that took most of my spare time the last two months which explains why I didn't wrote anything on my blog since March 16. Most of my contracts are completed but some of my clients still have other projects that will come my way soon. I just hope these projects will not need as much attention of my part than the ones I had the last 2 months... On one hand, having big projects means more money on my pocket but on the other hand, that leave myself without time for working on my Halloween and other personal projects. Time will tell if I will become richer in money or time.

Next, I got way behind schedule on my prop building/repair projects because of my work. I planned to have my 11 tombstones repaired and painted at the end of April. I only have one of them repaired and painted today. Hopefully, the foam board for reinforcing my other 10 tombstones are cut and ready to be glued. So, I will be gluing all these tombstones this week and will ask a few friend next weekend to come help me with the painting. The Camper's Halloween is coming soon and I must have all these tombstones ready as well as my stirring witch enhanced and I wanted also to build a flying crank ghost... Time to get cracking on that.

Finally, last Tuesday was my birthday. I just got 30. I got a few bucks from my parents as a gift. The last 3 years, I used my money gifts for buying necessities for my home. This year, I thought I could at least buy something for myself so I subscribed to Haunted Attraction Magazine. I also bought myself a brand new laptop today so I can do some programming while having an eye on my 17 months old son in the evening until he is ready to sleep.

What's next? I started redesigning my website two days ago and if all goes well, it should be ready in one week or two. Keep visiting my blog from time to time as I will be hosting a small giveaway when my new website will be up and running.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

News from the pumpkin land

Hi folks, I've been away from the blogging scene for a few days. The main reason being that my wife will not disguise herself for this Halloween. I got a depression because of that! Just joking! My wife and I learned a good news last week. There will be a new pumpkin sprout growing in my house this November. Yes, my wife is pregnant! That being said, with a new child coming our way comes the need to complete all the unfinished rooms of the basement (bedroom, hallway and bathroom). So we did a lot of shopping in the last few days.

One of the other reason I have been away from my blog was the release of the PC game "Assassin's Creed 2". Being a fan of the first installment, I was not able to resist the urge to buy this game. Then came the addiction and I began to give all my spare time to this game instead of, you know, building props and doing other important stuff. I'm going to have to fight that urge for a while if I want to be ready for the Camper's Halloween in July and for my own haunt in October... We are already in March and I haven't start building a single prop yet...

That's it folks! More to come as I kick out that game from the house and start cracking!

Happy compilation

Beautiful Blogger Award

Today, while waiting for my software to be compiled at work, I took a moment to read my personnal emails. Imagine the surprise when I saw Diresinger @ Shadowed paths posted on my blog to announce me that I have had an award bestowed upon me.

With most award, comes rules to follow and this one is no exception. Here are the rules of the award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.

    Thank you Diresinger, you made my day! "C'est très gentil de ta part!" I have even lost my english ;-)

  • Share 7 things about yourself.

    1. I'm an addict of Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Pies;
    2. Although I'm mostly into metal music, I realize recently I like electronica and jazz music too.
    3. I'm a big fan of martial arts. I've been practicing Nick Cerio's Kenpo for a few years and was approaching the black belt. But I had to stop all this when I start building my house. I plan to take Kung Fu courses with my little boy when he gets old enough;
    4. I'm a budget freak and a fan of Dave Ramsey's philosophy when it comes to money;
    5. I'm a big fan of Nintendo games, I own all their major console and around 60 games. All of them are classics, of course.
    6. Although I'm a gamer, I don't own a PS3 and an XBox. Anyway, I do not have any room left for another console;
    7. And finally, I'm deaf from the left ear.

  • Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!

    This part may be difficult for me. I've been very busy for a while now so I didn't took much time lately to browse the blogging world in search of wonderful blogs. All the blog I am following, I am following since october 2009, date at which I changed job and began to do some consulting as an Analyst-Programmer in my spare time. For the moment, I'm gonna risk the wrath of the Blogger God and postpone this part until I get to have more time for blogging.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spreadin' the Love - Best Blog Comments Award

Spreadin' the Love - Best Blog Comments Award

The gentleman known as Mr. Macabre of Mr. Macabre's Hallowe'en Cerebrations have kindly awarded me with the Best Blog Comments Award for the comments I let on his blog.

First, a few words for Mr. Macabre. Your blog is fun as well as informative with things like your review on books and videos and your latest how-tos videos. It is an honor to receive this award from you and I would believe that makes us some kind of virtual friends.. cool!

And now, I nominate thee with the Best Blog Comments Award

  • The very talented, nice and funny queen of the queens: The Frog Queen. It was very nice to help you out with the coat of arm and the text of the Joan of Arc prop.

  • The one and only spooktacular horror reviewer known as Johnny Thunder. It's always good to hear you laugh on HauntCast.

  • The gardener and canadian fellow Halloween Spirit. If I ever find any cool looking beer labels you don't have, I will gladly send them to you right away. I hope your pumpkins will grow into behemots this year.

  • The Captain. You have the coolest Halloween grocery bags ever! I don't know how you get to find those movies previews before everyone else by keep them coming. And thanks again for the witch sound effects. They were great!

  • Ghoul Friday, another great canadian fellow blogger. Thanks for answering my questions about prop making. Your art is awesome and inspiring. Keep your good work!

  • Diane. You're a very inspiring person, the way you talk about tolerance and love on your blog proves to me there is still hope for this world.

  • ShellHawk, our Mistress of Mayhem. Another talented artist who is as good with words than clay. I love your lanterns, they all look great. Keep posting pictures of old mansions on your blog, I can't get tired of them.

This is in no way a complete list. One thing is sure though. Every person who leave comments from time to time on this blog are all greatly appreciated.

Now with the rules of the award. The nominated blogger who didn't already received the award must do the following to continue spreading the Love:

  1. Link back to the blog/blogger who nominated you and say a few kind words.

  2. Paste the picture of the award in your award post.

  3. Nominate bloggers you think deliver great comments to your blog.

  4. E-mail/post/tweet or do whatever you need to do to inform these bloggers they have been nominated for an award.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haunted video games

Apart from being an Halloween fanatic, I am also a gamer. I spent much of my time in my teens and my twenties to play video games of all kinds. Some of these games carried me into strange and unsettling places. I decided to share with you one of those places.

Introducing Thief Deadly Shadows. You are Garrett, a master thief and formerly member of the order The Keepers. The story begins with the simple theft of a large precious stone from a noble. After selling the gemstone, a member of The Keepers aks you to steal two artifacts from two religious factions. Then follows a series of events that will push Garret in a quest to prevent a coming dark age that only he can stop.

These video clips will carry you in a building known as The Cradle. It is an old building that once served as an orphanage and an asylum. A fire occurred in the past and the building was abandoned. It is rumored to be haunted.

Now I just got into the mood for playing that wonderful game again just for that particular stage. It is a piece of art! Hope it will work on Windows 7...

I'm planning to bring you more post like this one once in a while so come back often :-)

Have a nice evening!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Camper's Halloween

Once again, I am a late in my blog posting. There is not much to say since my last post on this blog. In fact, there is only two news worth of interest, a bad and a good one.

Let's start with the bad one. I got a car accident two weeks ago with a ten wheels truck. Fortunately, no one was injured. As you would expect, the truck does not even have a scratch. But my 2008 Santa Fe did not have that chance. The passenger side got about 8000$ worth of damage. The body shop as kindly lend me a 2010 Mazda 3 while they are repairing my SUV. But, I learn another "great" news last week. I won't have my SUV back until the beginning of march. It seems that the doors they ordered for the repairing are in backorder and they will not get them until March 1st or later... To be continued...

Now for the good news. This year, I will have the chance to celebrate Halloween two times. Yay!!! A coworker proposed me to help him prepare a haunt on his camping. They call this "L'Halloween du campeur" (the Camper's Halloween). The festivities are splitted in two parts. The afternoon is for the young children and teenagers to go trick-or-treating from camping cars to camping cars and the evening is for adults and is more like a party. But, this year will be a bit different. Along with the traditional Trick-or-treating, the children will have the possibility to walk in a haunted wooden trail that leads to an old barn. That is where Mr PumpkinBrain enter in the scenery. My job will be, with the help of my coworker and a few selected campers, to make that haunted trail. Since most of the children are young, the trail must not be too scary. But, at night, it is the turn of the adult to walk through the trail and I intend to scare the shit out of them! (insert evil laugh here) For the moment, I already have a few ideas in mind for the haunt but I will have to wait until spring to confirm them because I have not seen the trail and the barn yet. But one interesting thing I learn from my coworker is that, a church that burnt down a few years ago, was situated near the barn. I'm already hear the ghostly sound of the bells ringing... More to come on this as the project takes shape...

Good evening boils and ghouls, I gotta go, I have a meeting with a Wolfman at the local theater!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My thoughts on Silent Hill Shattered Memories

My wife and I bought together Silent Hill Shattered Memories for Nintendo Wii last December as our mutual Christmas Gift. After a few hours of game play, I finished the game two days ago. Here's my thoughts on the game.

First, let's start with the story line. You are Harry Mason, a writer, who wake up of a car accident. As you wake up, you realize that your little girl Cheryl is missing. Your main goal is to find her by exploring various area of the town of Silent Hill. That seam a pretty simple storyline but it is much more complicated. As you progress in the game, you will realize that Harry have confused memories of his past and present. His reality seem altered and doesn't make a lot of sense. The more you progress in the game, you will be left with more questions than answers letting you wanting more.

As you would expect for a "scary" video game, the ambiance tries to be spooky and dark. Most of the game is played in the dark as you move Harry into deserted streets, buildings and woods with you flash light. In some area of the game, music is gently played in the background to get you in the mood. But it didn't got me in the mood I expected, instead of feeling a little bit tense, thinking about what will jump on me when turning the corner I felt more intrigued, the music was mysterious, not really spooky.

The graphics were good but could have been better. The main problems were the textures that were not looking realistic enough for me. Also, the game is so dark that you miss a lot of details that could have helped me feel like I was there, in the world of Silent Hill.

Overall, the game is good and I had a good time playing it. I didn't get the kind of scare I was expecting though. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the game. But when I realized how the game would be played, while finishing the first chapter, the "scare factor" went to 0. I was more intrigued than scared. The game isn't hard at all, it is not a very challenging game, it is more like watching an interactive movie. I remember reading somewhere on the Internet that the game is meant to be "experienced" and I feel it is totally true. To appreciate this game, I would suggest you play to it alone, late at night. I would also suggest you rent it before buying it. For my part, though I liked the game, I will exchange my copy at a local gaming store for another game of Nintendo like Zelda Twilight Princess or Mario Galaxy that have a better "replay factor".

By the way, if you like Science-Fiction and have a Wii, I would suggest you to play to Metroid Prime 3. I totally digged this game. An all time favorite.

Hauntcast - Radio for Haunters