Saturday, October 30, 2010

The countdown begins...

Getting Dusty ready to take his post.

Wardrobe provided by Goodwill (really! - it's an awesome Haunt rescource... more on that later).

Friday, October 29, 2010


 Woo hoo! Spooky Tree is near completion!! :D

I was working all hours last night up to my elbows in glue, laying the final cloth mache on his new arm branch. Tonight will see the flourescent violet paint details finished (I highly recommend Wild Fire UV paint- this is available on GREAT stuff).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Haunted Honeymoon: a True Story

I believe. I didn't believe before, and I don't want to live to see it again, but we are not alone- that much is certain.

In the spring of 1993, my new husband and I decided to make our honeymoon a cross-country camping trip. As luck would have it, we were frozen and rained out much of the time. It was a welcome invitation when a family friend asked us to stay with her in Alberta on our leg back home to Ontario. Anything to escape another night in our sodden tent.

We called "Sue" from Calgary, and got directions to her home. After meeting and greeting, she told us that she and her children were in the process of fleeing to a new home to escape her abusive boyfriend. We were stunned. Quickly, before he returned, she loaded her effects, two young sons, and sturdy personal-protection trained German Shepherd dogs into her pickup truck. Once again, we were on the road, following her to her new house.

Mirror, AB consisted of nothing more than a crossroads, with one house on each corner- a desloate looking place if I ever saw one. We pulled up the drive, and took in the house. A crushing wave of desperation came over me. It was an inexplicably sad place. Sue had us carry some boxes inside, and offered a tour. To the left of the entrance was a large room, unfurnished save for a single rocking chair in the corner. One of the dogs started to enter the room when it suddenly froze, fixated on the chair, and quickly tucked tail and crept backward out of the room. Sue took us upstairs to a small room who's windows were painted black. I knew something was not right. Descending the staircase, we walked through a patch of frigid air. My hubby (much braver than myself) retraced his steps, trying to locate the chill. He stopped on a step, puzzled that he could no longer feel the icy air, when at that moment, it reappeared... passing through him. I hightailed it out of there. Back outside, the dogs let out great pained yelps as we crossed the path of the garage. It was then Sue came clean.

She bought this undesirable realestate on the cheap because of it's dark history. As it turned out, the former residents lost their son to a tragic farming accident. The father, a quadrapalegic in detiorating condition, fell into the throes of deep depression. He no longer wanted to see the sun, and so the windows were painted. The wife, without the help of her son, could no longer move her husband, and she converted the porch to a makeshift room where he would live out his days, refusing to see another sole. Such was the depravity, that the poor woman could no longer manage in this exsistance. She must have felt it was the merciful thing, and one day smothered the old man before ending her own life in the garage where she sat in her running vehicle.

Sue told us that she'd seen the woman regularly, and the description matched the neighbors. For this reason, she would not have her children sleep inside until the minister came the next morning to perform a blessing. Night was falling quickly, and we made dinner on the hibatchi before piling into her tiny trailer parked on the drive between a huge tree and the house. Like something right out of a nightmarish movie, as if right on cue, a violent storm kicked up, setting the trailer swaying, the tree branches scraping the sides like angry claws. Nobody slept a wink that night. I lay in a curled ball, my hands covering my eyes for fear of peeking. Someone finally got the nerve to open the blinds to see if daylight was cracking, when I heard a sharp inhalation. We all looked against our better judgement, and there, not eight feet away in the middle of the sitting room window, was an illuminated blue orb. We looked for rational explanations to sooth our nerves, but there was no electricity in the house. No moon in the sky. NO street lights or cars as far as the eye could see. And yet, the sphere glowed. There was no question that I felt eyes on me, and that none of us was welcome.

In the morning, we packed up and said our goodbyes. I could not get enough miles behind us fast enough.

None of this has been fabricated or exaggerated. It took years to be able to discuss that awful night in Mirror.

I believe.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My mother-in-law is a model

This lovely hangs in our haunt's 'gloomy parlour' (porch) surrounded by candelabras and cobwebs. And no, my mother-in-law didn't model for *this* portrait... that would just be wrong ;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Tree Grows in Brooklin

Want to freak out your cat? Build a seven foot tall Spooky Tree in your basement. Place in sightline of her litter box. She won't talk to you for weeks, trust me.

The million dollar question is: will he be ready on time for Halloween? Only five days left- yikes!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's okay, you can pet him... he's friendly-ish.

Meet Gaetan Gargoyle- one of my bigger mache sculpts.

At Saftey Village's annual haunted house. The caution tape prevents no child from poking, prodding, or in some instances, riding him.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In the beginning...

I grew up in a *cough wheeze* normal family; a happy kid with a sunny disposition. More Gidget than Wednesday Addams. But something happened along the way. Was it the thrill of riding Haunted Barrel Works at Centreville amusement park? Too many hours spent watching MJ's Thriller video with my girlfriends? Fooling around with Milton Bradley's Ouija Board at recess- and the ghost stories that accompanied it? Perhaps it was the rush of turning my parents' basement rec room into a 'haunted house' every summer. I'd tape paper bats on strings to the ceiling, likewise paper 'knives' to my Raggedy Anne doll (shriek!), and play (unintentionally) hilarious homemade sound effect cassetes for good measure. Slightly low tech. The neighborhood kids were largely unimpressed.
In any event, the Scary Seed within me germinated like a mutant pumpkin in a mad scientist's lab.

Luckily, the fine catch I married also carries the Halloween Gene (very scientific, trust me). And so, we build haunted houses together-and the neighborhood kids are ALWAYS impressed.

Old timer at Haunted Barrel Works... with the horrifying fire extinguisher of terror!!
Stay tuned... things are going to get frightful!