Friday, December 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Okay, its really late but here it is our annual compendium of Halloween craziness. We had several new things this year along with lots of returning favorites and a separate Halloween party to boot.

Sit back, relax and enjoy this pictorial tour of our haunted mansion...

Here's an overview shot of how the place looked during the day time. Not too scary right? Kind of a good spooky sky no?

But here's how the place looked at night! Booga, booga, booga.

Kid level view of the entrance to the grave yard at night...from this angle it looks like a boring straight shot right to the back doesn't it?

Here's how our giant scarecrow looked during the day.

Giant ScareCrow at night.... In the past several years the scarecrow 'did' things. So this year we put it right up front on the sidewalk and didn't do ANYTHING, but sit there and look spooky. We put it up pretty early and EVERYBODY who walked buy asked us, 'whats it going to do this year?' Because everybody was expecting it to do something....we're kinda becoming a victim of our own fame here...lots of repeat customers over the past couple of years and they remember all the scares.....its making it harder to scare people....though, we managed to do it pretty well this year.

Wait, who's that peaking out from under the scarecrows arm? Its Silas our runaway scarecrow. He actually made appearances in the graveyard this year...when he wasn't out eating uh,....stuff.....

Up front on the other side of the path was this new addition to the Haunted Pumpkin Patch. Its a fogger uh, attached to a little fogger and then you can make creepy fog come out of its mouth. When you time it just right it makes for some awesome creepy pictures.

Creepy foggy pumpkin and Bob.

For the brave souls who actually enter the haunted pumpkin patch, a few steps in and a look to the left reveals another new addition. This is Peter Pumpkin the Great Pumpkins half brother once removed as he said it.... Peter is a talking pumpkin who told the story of the Haunted Pumpkin patch, the rules of the pumpkin patch and lots, and lots, and lots, of really, really truly terrible Halloween were they bad that you couldn't help but laugh in spite of yourself.

Closer up shot of Peter. We made it look like the spiders are holding him up. The 'pumpkin vines' are hiding a speaker. I just realized that it looks like Peter has a third eye...maybe he's Hindu?

We set up a little sitting area at Peters feet with hay and mini hay bales for kids to sit on and listen to him....and we actually got kids to slow down long enough to do that!

Continuing on down the path looking to your left was this scary guy. It's a pumpkin headed zombie trying to free itself from its own grave...he was new this year and got a great reaction from people.

Shot of the pumpkin zombie and Bob. This year I got the reasonably bright idea to take one of our many funkins and carve it up so that we could hide a red spotlight inside it. It worked awesome! The pumpkin zombie is creepily lit, the source of the light is hidden and it gives the pumpkin a creepy red glowing visage. That's like a Halloween three-fer. The pumpkin zombie is a home made animated prop that when triggered thrashed about violently trying to free itself from its grave and growled and yelled out for brains. This guy scared a lot of people this year.

A little bit past the pumpkin zombie on the right side was our ghost making a return visitation in the downstairs. The hanging skull bowl was where the candy was so the kids had to make it at least this far to get some. The person handing out candy was in charge of triggering the pumpkin zombie and the fog machine.

And of course at the end of the path behind the chain and floating over the rest of the cemetery is BOB, our giant floating head of doom. Bob is the face from the mirror from the original sleeping beauty movie. He can talk to kids and look around and change his facial expression to suit his mood.

A close up of the skull below Bob, just because.

Also new this year is what we where calling 'The Zombie family Picnic'. We have the daddy zombie, the baby zombie, the zombie quatoo but no mommie you want to be their mommy?
These guys where right in front of Bob and the quatoo gave the people a good scare. The quatoo is attached to our 4-bar lifter and when activated it jumps up 4' and out 4' to right behind the chain and right up in peoples faces. We haven't used a prop on the 4-bar this lite in years...I've forgotten how fast that thing can move....halfway through the night I had to re-rebar it down as it had pulled its stakes out and was in danger of decapitating someone...

Zombie family by night. Bob would ask people if they could tell what the zombies where eating and when people turned to look the Quatoo would leap out at them. Lots of great reactions. I think the best reaction was from our dear friend Ian. He and his two twin 7yr old boys came by dressed as zombies!!! I was introducing them to our own zombie family when the Quatoo jumped up for a hug...I think Ian must of jumped up like 3' in the air and back 4'...truly one of the best reactions of the night...

So now after you walk back out of the graveyard and are walking past the rest of the house you see this. Also new this year was granny....Irene whipped her up in like 30 min... Isn't it sweet how shes rocking her grandchild. This prop got a surprisingly strong reaction. People where never sure if it was a dummy or if there was a person in there who was going to jump out at them.

Granny at night...creepy! See how the baby has a roll of smarties in its hand? Also Irene stuck a red glow stick behind her eyes on Halloween night so they would glow spookily.

Long shot of granny framed by a couple of pumpkins with Henrietta looking on.

The spiders where up to their old tricks this year...besides holding up Peter and covering all our nice decorations with spider webs they caught their biggest meal yet

Slappy!!! oh no!!!!! Slappy, who was our lazy, snoring grave digger last year is playing the role of a cut-rate painting contractor....I think the spiders are union.....
Slappy was hooked up to a 3rpm timing motor that would make him shake every once in a while like he was trying to free himself. It was subtle but caught several people off guard.

This year we added sound to Slappy. I jiggered a motion sensor and had it turn on a set of self amplified computer speakers. I had a little mp3 player hooked up to the computer speakers with one track that was running in a loop. One channel was Slappy asking for help and talking about his spider troubles...the other channel was the soundtrack for the.....

Hell Hole
Yes, of course the Hell Hole returned this year (I mean we have the sign and everything)....its just such a good use of the otherwise wasted side yard space. This year we added more floating specters (even a pumpkin faced one of course) and more twinkling orange lights for a better 'fires of hell' effect.

Hell Hole at night. The sound track really got some people with the screams of the damned and a creepy, deep demon laugh.

Silas back in the graveyard, on the prowl.

Maybe Silas is going to help the pumpkin zombie out of its grave so that he'll have a partner in crime?

Look at Silas, mugging next to his wanted poster...

But don't worry folks, the Silas retreavel team was succesful in capturing him.

This year we were part of the Alameda Haunt Your House Contest and Canned Food Drive. We made up these Halloween themed canned food collection boxes and everybody in the contest got one.
Here's Henrietta checking to see if anyone dropped off any tuna...

Even our daughter Natasha got into the act... On a side note, I had no idea that we have so many Russian people in our neighborhood. They were all so excited to hear that we named our daughter Natasha because its ,'such a good strong Russian name!!!' Not making that up, honest.

The final haul for the canned food drive. We took in just slightly over 500 pounds of food!!! We totally blew away the folks at the food bank. We showed up and said, 'Hi I've got the food from the Halloween contest.' and they gave me this little cart to put it on and I was like... 'You're going to need a bigger boat.' They seemed so truely grateful. They even wanted to keep the Halloween boxes so that they could hand out the food to familes in them! I kinda like the idea of folks down on their luck getting their free food for the month in one of our boxes....

Here's of course a blurry shot of halloween night and the crowd of people waiting to get into the graveyard. We made them wait until it was dark enough to see Peter..we didn't use a very bright projector...

Because we are completely insane we had a party on the night before Halloween and invited all our friends, family and neighbors. This was early on, the sunken living room got so packed at one point that I was mildly concerned about somebody taking a spill into the fire pit.
SuperMan totally dug roasting marshmallows over the fire pit.

Overhead shot of the party. Lots of food on the table. We only had the fire pit and the fire flowers over the table on so none of our neighbors felt the need to call the AFD plus, they were almost all at the party.

Here is the family Madscientist after a hard weekend of haunting. We went through 6 gallons of spiced cider, untold pounds of candy, one bottle of rum (ya I'm looking at you Mr. shifty neighborhood meth head on a ten speed that was lingering too close to the spiced cider for too long I remember what you look like and if you still have teeth next Halloween you're a gonna want to steer clear of me if you want to keep em.)

Next Post, The Videos!!!!


Mom said...

Love the pictures -- and had a great, but tiring time. It was awsome and fun.

PerfessorEvil said...

Such an awesome job you guys do with such a limited space.

The MadScientist said...

thanks Perfessor,
Y'all don't exactly have a palatial front yard either and you guys do it up right.
Maybe you'll have space in it next year for a 4-bar?

The MadScientist said...

Thanks Mom,
We loved having you guys out and the scarecrow costume wouldn't of happened without your nimble sewing fingers.

ShellHawk said...

Fantastic work, You!

Joel said...

Looked great! One day I would love to see it in person.

Mom said...

Thank you Dan. I don't know how nimble my fingers are, but glad I could help, since that was why we were up there -- besides to see all of you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I love it. It looks really great. I love the scarecrow and Bob is awesome.


The MadScientist said...

Thanks everybody for all the kind comments. We would love to have y'all over to our place for the next Halloween Spectacular!