Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 yard display video

Finally, I got enough time to put the video of my 2011 display on YouTube. Sorry for the poor quality of the video, my camera is not doing very well in dark places and I must admit that I'm not very good at filming too.





Although it was cold, we got a very nice night on Halloween. We got a total of 204 Trick-r-treaters this year. It is less than last year but considering that it was a monday night and not a weekend day, it is a good number of TOT compared to other areas of the city.


On the technical note, since 2009, because there was not a lot of wind, this was the first year that I could have a decent fog in my cemetery. Too bad my fog chiller was broken and that I did not had the time to fix it before the night of nights. Fixing and improving my fog chiller is one of the projects that I have on my todo list for 2012. Also, I still need some work to do on the lighting of my display. There was not enough LED spotlight. I will need to do some more for 2012.


I should be posting pictures of the display soon so you can take a better look at what I added to my display this year. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An award for me!


The Liebster Award have been bestowed upon me. A big thank to Spookworks for the honor. I'm happy to know that my ramblings gave ideas to some of my reader.


Now that I got my 2 minutes of glory, it is time to take my responsabilities and apply the rules that goes with the award: I must pass the award to 5 deserving blogs that have less than 100 followers.


So... is it the time yet? Start the rolling drums please... The awardees are:



  • GhoulishCop @ Devil's Eve - I found his blog at the beginning of this year. It was interesting to read about the pro

  • Grim @ Grimlock Manor

  • Jason @ Haunt the yard

  • Arcane @ The Scarecrow's Post

  • The Invisible Blogger @ The Nether Blog - I have not seen or read your blog yet. But once it is the case, you will be awarded!


And for all of you that did not have your name above, let me say that there are too much blogs out there that deserve an award. If I follow your blog, then, you can already consider to be awarded. And if I don't follow your blog yet, don't take offense, I just don't have much time right now to explore all the wonderful and interesting blogs. But I sure will get to it as time goes by. After all, I still have to find one blog with less than 100 follower to award

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Infographics

Someone sent me the links to two infographics related to Halloween. Found them interesting so I'm sharing those with you:



Who said Ouija?

Someone sent me a message, a few days ago, about an online experiment that involves Ouija boards and Facebook. Even though I believe in spirits (sounds strange from the mouth of an IT guy), I'm not too fund of Ouija board. I know some close relative who had bad experience with them in the past and, call me chicken, I prefer not to play with these things. But I thought I would pass the word in case this experiment would interest some of my readers who are mor daring than me. Here is the content of the message:


We’ve been following your blog for a while now and I just wanted to get in touch to let you know of something exciting happening this Halloween that would interest your readers.


We’ve created an online experience and we’re looking for daring believers from around the globe to take part in the world’s largest ouija board this Halloween!


I know it sounds nuts, however we’ve been working on this for months trying to get this off the ground and with your help we can make history! This isn’t a half-hearted attempt either, we’ve looked at a new theory where electromagnetic fields generated by electrical devices resonate with EMF created by the presence of spirits.


We’re aiming to get at least 100,000 Facebook folks to connect and be involved in a truly unique one off event. It would be great if you can share this with your readers, as I know they’d find this of interest.


Here’s the website, let me know what you think: The Ouija Experiment

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flying witch

Found this on YouTube while responding to a comment on one of my videos. Thought it would be nice to share the idea with you all.





Maybe I could do that in the future. But first I will have to make my cemetery fence, gate and a least one mausoleum for my flying crank ghost.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ground-breaker

Since 2007, my Halloween display theme is a graveyard. It includes a few tombstone, blue lighting for simulate moonlight, a few fog machines, a full-size toe pincher coffin and a zombie. It is nice, but it feels a bit empty. To correct this situation I have planned to create many things on a two year period starting with this year. One of those prop is a ground-breaker.



At the origin, this ground-breaker was supposed to become a scarecrow, like the one explained in the book "How to haunt your house", for the haunted trail of the Camping Luciole on July 16th. But as the project started, I felt this wasn't what I really wanted to achieve. Besides, following the find or a great mask on the Internet, I decided after starting the prop that the character I would incarnate in the haunted trail would be a scarecrow. As there was no more need for a static scarecrow in the haunt, I choose to convert was I had done so far to a ground-breaker.



I made him out of an old dusty Styrofoam skull and paper mache. I then sealed him with two coats of Spar urethane and painted him with one coat of exterior black paint and a mix of brown, red and white paint.



This prop is nothing exceptional compared of what other talented haunters have done. But I gained something out of it. I finally found a good way to build realistic looking hands out of paper mache. Looks like I am going to rebuild the bad looking hands of my stirring witch soon.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New design, new feel!

At last, I finally managed to take a couple hours to rework the design of my website and blog. I took a few hours to ponder what kind of look I wanted to have and realized that I was looking for a more cheerful, childish look than a creepy one. I think my memories of what Halloween looked like in my childhood had a role in the choice of the colors and graphics I used to build the new design. I hope you enjoy the new look! I still have a few things to improve here and there but that's pretty much it. All I need is a talented someone to make me a cool design and I will be good to go. Now, that leads me to my next goal which will be to add more content in my how-to section for each new prop I make. That will be a good challenge for me as I do not have the habit to take notes and pictures on my projects progress. And finally I would like to post at least one a week on my blog. I've been neglecting my blog too much recently. Time to go, I have over 350 blog posts to read.

Have a nice evening everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Home made LED spotlights

One major problem we had last year at the camping Luciole haunted trail event was the lack of ligthing at night.
We didn't have enough power cords to insert lighting in the proper areas. So one of the things I want to add
this year to the haunted trail is proper lighting. It will have 3 purposes:



  1. To help the people walking through the trail at night.

  2. To add more ambiance to the trail.

  3. To either highlight or hide certain props/actor for a scare.


Since getting power to the trail is an issue. I thought I could use LED spots powered on 9V batteries. One product
that is done for that purpose and that I love is the mini spotlight. I determined that I would need around 20
spotlights to light correctly the trail. So 20 spotlights times 11$ = 220$. That alone would drain my budget for
the camping Halloween. So instead of buying the mini spotlights, I decided to go the hard way and build them
myself.



Using the money I got for my 31st birthday, I bough 40 5mm LEDs and many different resistors that will match the different
uses I will have for them (mainly spotlights but I also have other projects that require LEDs). Then, I browsed
the web to look at how other people made their spots and finally came with my own design on how to do them. I had
several points that my design needed to address:



  1. The spot would need to work on 9V battery and so the battery itself should be attached in some way to the spot armature.

  2. The angle of the spot should be adjustable

  3. The spot would need to be easy to fix into the dirt

  4. Finally, the spot would be made on what I had on hand in my garage as most as possible to reduce the cost.


The final result is what you can see below. The spot is made of 1/2" PVC pipe with 2 1/2" PVC caps and one 3/4" to 1/2" PVC reductor.
The armature is made of 2 pieces of alumnum stock bolted togheter. The two alumnum piece form a U shape that gives
just enought space for the 9V battery to fit tighly in. Taking into consideration the price of all the material I already had at home,
the total cost of one unit of my spotlights is 5.25$. I made a total economy of 115$ for the 20 spotlights in exchange of 8 hours of work.
I'm quite happy with the ending of this project.














Did I mention that these spots are incredibly bright for their small size? Here's a picture I took of my lawnmower,
in my garage, at a distance of 18'.






 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sentier de l'horreur



I have been asked to prepare the haunted trail of the Camping Luciole that will be happening on july 16th. Although I wasn't totally satisfied of what I did last year, it appears that the folks at the camping loved the experience.


Last year, a coworker of mine, the camping owner, his brother and I made an improvised setup using some of my homemade props and the store-bought props of my coworker. We were not very well prepared (that was my fault) but we managed to get most of the thing working for the event in the evening. So this year, I decided the haunt will take another direction. Instead of bringing all my homemade props that I use in my Halloween display, I will build new props that will be dedicated to the haunted trail. Also, this year haunt will have a story line, which was not the case last year. And finally, I've been told I will have more actors available to bring the haunt to a higher level.


I'm not going to reveal everything about the haunted trail right now as there are many details that were not adressed yet. For now, I have one part of the storyline written and a few props are under construction. I will be updating my blog on the project as it takes form.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Now Playing...

in a PC near you!







As if I didn't have enough things that distract me from building all the props my haunt will need this year...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Spooky video game music

Coming from Chrono Trigger game(SNES and PlayStation). This music is nor creepy nor spooky but beautifully dark and magic.



Haunters Video Awards 2010

I found some time last week to make and submit my first entry ever to the Haunters Video Awards DVD set. After seeing the entry of the funny and amazing Mr Macabre, I thought that would be nice of me to share my entry with you.





Now, the DVD set need a minimum of 50 entries to become a reality and there is currently only 37 entries listed on the Video Awards Website. If you have a video or pictures of your haunt and have a bit of spare time at hand, please submit your entry by following the instruction there. Think your haunt is too small or simple for the award? Don't worry about this and submit, it is always fun to look at what other haunters do! Deadline date is Feb 15, 2011. Hope to see your haunt in the entries list soon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finally

All the little boys are asleep, dreaming of the upcoming years when they will help their father building a wonderfull Halloween display... Well... That's the plan.


Because the kids are all sleeping, this is a good time to post a picture of my 2 months child Gabriel.



If he is a little bit like is older brother, Gabriel will probably love Halloween. Édouard is fascinated by skulls and skeletons, he is always asking where the stirring witch is and his favorite movie is "The Nightmare before Christmas"... Looks like the next generation of haunter is on its way in the small town of St-Georges.

Spooky video game music

Coming from one of my all time favorite PC franchise. This ambient song is part of the game "Thief: Deadly shadows" (released in 2004 if I remember well). It is played as you venture inside the main temple of the Hammerites order to rob them a precious artifact.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

NES Orchestrated

Once upon a time, that is before I got childrens, I was a gamer. From time to time, I have some flashback about old video games that I enjoyed playing when I was a teenager or a child. I got that kind of flashbacks in the month of december. Using the iPad I won at the Christmas party of my company, I gathered many mesmerizing BGM from various video game that I will share with you from time to time until I get something of interest and more Halloween to say.


So, the first candidate will be a game from 1989 on NES called Shadowgate. This was an adventure game where the goal was to venture in a castle to prevent an evil warlock to open the gates of hell. I could explain all the details of the game but there is already a very good article about it on Wikipedia


About the music. I found two piece of the original soundtrack on YouTube. In my memories, the music was better, but I must keep in mind that NES was 8 bits and that even the best music would sound crappy in comparison of the digital music we enjoy in recent video games. Anyway, here are the to tunes:







Delving deaper into YouTube ShadowGate original and remixed tunes, I came across the remix of one man who is really worthy to hear. The guy orchestrated the two tunes above, and I must admit he did a wonderful job.





If that guy wants to orchestrate another old game, might I suggest orchestrating Dungeons & Dragons Ravenloft Strahd's Possessions?


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