Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prop - Hack in the Box!

Greet Trick or Treaters with a Hack in the Box this Halloween!

Round and round the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel... 

 Step right up folks and crank on the big red knob...unless you're too scared!? 

The Hack in the Box Halloween prop is ideal for home haunts as it adds a horrifying twist to a seeminly friendly child's toy. The dark of night is the perfect place for the Jack in the Box to be reincarnated into a terrifying Hack in the Box Halloween prop. The perfect interactive, spine tingling scare for all ages!

Supplies needed...

- 3 sheets of scrap plywood 5/8" thick measuring 4' x 8'
- 14 studs (not men, wink wink well actually yes, one stud to do the cutting and hammering) 2 x 4's
- ice auger handle
- 2 large rubber rats
- circular saw, jigsaw, drill with 1/2" drill bit, nuts, bolts, hot glue gun, hot gun glue, pencil, string, nails, hammer, random wood screws, 2 strong hinges with screws, paint (black, white and red)

You will need 5 pieces of 4' x 4' ply; 3 for the visible outside walls, 1 for the bottom and 1 for the top (the backside remains open for easy access to the inside). The inner frame is built on the same scale (duh!) with no length being longer than 4'. Before assembling, lay the top piece down and either eyeball a large circle, trace one or use your finger, the pencil and string to draw one in. Flatten off the back of the circle (like a toilet seat). Use the drill to make a starting hole on the inside of the circle then move to the edge and finish off all around the entire outline then attach the hinges. Use the drill to predrill a hole to slide the auger handle into; secure with nuts and bolts from the inside (once fully assembled). Attach the base to the frame with both nails and wood screws, then the three walls and then the lid.   

Once assembled, your Halloween home haunt Hack in the Box is ready to paint and accesorize with some evil glued on Rats and anything else creepy you may want to attach to it. Put a Scare Actor inside the box, grab a sound clip of Pop Goes the Weasel and crank it, loud! As the Trick or Treaters approach the Hack be sure there is a large, easy to read sign closeby telling them to turn, rotate or crank on that handle for the fun to begin...

halloweeen,how to

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recipe - Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A delightful, rewarding and fun snack to enjoy after the traditional pumpkin carving festivities have long ended. Save that slimey orange pulp 'cause now the extra sticky job begins!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Grab a chair and some extra hands, if those hands haven't disappeared already, and separate the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins pulpy orange mush. Rinse seeds in cool water, pat dry and allow to sit for as long as overnight.

Preheat Oven - 325 Degrees
Cooking Time - 25 Minutes, tossing a few times throughout the cooking process
Prep Time - 30 minutes or more depending upon the # of pumpkins, size etc.
Ingredients - pumpkin seeds, melted butter and seasoning salt

Preparation - toss the pumpkin seeds (washed and dried) with the melted butter, then spread evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment or tinfoil. Sprinkle with seasoning salt then place tray in the oven and roast those tastey seeds!

Variations - try using flavoured oils and/or butter, garlic, dill, chilli, cinammon, white or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup (sugar burns easy so always watch carefully), taco seasoning, pepper, onion salt, popcorn toppings, cocoa powder, ginger, cayenne pepper, sea salt, paprika, cumin or curry.

For more great recipes, check out How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds at my favourite recipe site!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prop - Creepy Corn Field - Halloween DIY

Corn stalks represent another staple prop in our Halloween home haunt!
With a little ingenuity, some space and a huge pile of corn stalks you can create your own field, pathway, trail, fencing or mini corn maze.

We use 100's of dried corn stalks from the local farmers to form a scary pathway that takes Trick or Treaters from one haunt zone to the next, which in turn becomes it's own haunting area. From the road it appears as though it's a corn field guarded by a freaky Upsidedown Scarecrow while from within it's a narrow path that has hidden areas for Scare Actors to leap out from. There's just something terrifying about walking through the rustling corn at night, in the dark...Boo!

Supplies needed... 

- corn stalks (100's of them) depends on what you're going to do and how large your area is. If the stalks are spindly you will need to bunch them for full effect.
- long wooden dowels used as anchor stakes for tying up the corn (they won't stand on their own).
- string & scissors, heavy hammer

Begin by tying your corn stalks tightly together, in groups of two or three, securing at the bottom, middle and top. Pound the stakes into the ground about 12-16" apart in your desired pattern. Then slip the tied corn stalks down over the stake right down to the ground and tie at the bottom and top of of each stake. Wind and squirrels tugging at the corn cobs will be your biggest worries so be sure to secure the string by tying extra tight. Use pumpkins, straw bails and scarecrows to accompany the 'theme' along with directional arrows and proper lighting to ensure Trick or Treaters find their way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prop - Graveyard Entrance - Posts

Haunted houses, castles, graveyards and cemeteries are generally fenced with gated entries and have pillars or posts on either side. Is it to keep things in or to keep things out? They are sometimes grand, ornate and large in scale while other times they are busted up, rickety old things.

Why do I need to create an entry? Creating an entryway gives your Trick or Treaters an initial destination point, a place to start your home haunt. Kids are running around the street like they're on sugar so finding the start is important. Therefore, show them where it is and how to get there. Our home haunt has signs, directional arrows and a gate with fencing and taped areas, kids still ask how to get in.

I had my hubby make both of these requesting two tall, rectangular posts then I painted them. Measurements, sorry I have no clue but it's over 5' tall. There is a boxed frame made of 2x2's inside which is what he nailed the outside plywood too. Just wing it with whatever you have on hand.

Supplies needed...

- Approximately 1 1/2 sheets of 1/2" plywood, there is no good side on the stuff we used.
- (2) 2"x4"
- circular saw, 2" nails, 60 grit sandpaper, black and white paint and a paintbrush.

Build it or get your hubby or partner to build it (no kids allowed at this stage!!). For the outside walls of post you need 8 pieces cut the same size and for the trim at the top, 8 more pieces cut the same with mitered corners. Build that inside frame first, for sturdiness or it may not last. Go over the finished product with sandpaper then wipe the surface clean. Paint your pillars to resemble either brick, stone, wood, skulls, bones whatever you think will achieve the desired effect. Add a rat to the top, pumpkins, lanterns or a live Scare Actor being a Gargoyle and your entrance is ready!

Spooky Halloween Styrofoam Cemetery Gate

9 Ft. - Gemmy Halloween Airblown Inflatable - Cemetery Archway Gate

Graveyard Gates

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haunted Attraction - Screemers - Toronto, Ontario Canada

Screemers, located in the city of Toronto, Ontario draws in thousands of devilish Halloween fans every year with their terrifying imaginations. Get your scare on and be thrilled by an amazingly terrifying display of Halloween spirit that includes live and not so live Ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins who yearn to send chills down your spine. Blood curdling screams ooze out from behind those closed doors you are about to enter. Fog thickens and lights darken, do you Dare to Enter Screemers?!

In 2009 they featured 7 different Haunted Attractions. The Haunted House, Skull Castle, The Black Hole, The Asylum, The Maniac Maze, Terror in 3D and Curtain Chaos each more frightful than the last. Try them all if you're not too scared!!

Located at Exhibition Place
By phone: 416-979-FEAR
By email:

Runs from Mid - October thru October 31st
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from October 12th - October 21st
Everyday from October 25th - October 31st!

Price: $27.95 ($22.95 with discount coupon)

The hosts of Screemers require both Scare Actors to perform in the attractions and Halloween props (as any Haunter, new and used). Interested, give them a Boo!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Prop - Graveyard Tombstones

Cemeteries are one of the most popular Halloween scenes that home haunters create. It might even be safe to say that many home haunters began their own prop collection with just a few simple tombstones and a skull or two. One of the ideal bonuses with graveyard scenarios is that they are easy to add to year after year and never get old in the eyes of Trick or Treaters. Cemeteries and tombstones, as Halloween props, represent something most people fear terribly and that is death. And as we all know and love, that's what a fun and scary Halloween is all about! So, recreating a similar look and feel is the objective. One that leaves an eerie feeling in your scary bone!

Imagine taking a short cut thru this cemetery at night, in the dark, alone. You hear noises, shadows move suddenly past the headstones and you're quite sure you are being followed!!, just recreate that same vision in your own version of the neighbourhood's scariest house cemetery. Think quality not quantity, little bits of this and that begin to look much like clutter and have less impact.

Graveyards are perfect for the home haunt because they are effective, cover alot of ground (or not), are easy to make and also affordable. To enhance the creepiness of your cemetery build an entrance with a gate and fencing then randomly place your tombstones. Rake leaves into long piles in front of each tombstone to appear like a fresh grave. Add lighting, fog, a live scare'actor' playing the Gravekeeper and of course, dead people (fake ones only!!).

How to Make Tombstone Props

Supplies reguired to build Tombstone Props

Scrap pieces of 3/4" plywood, scrap pieces of 2x2 for stakes (cut on angle), saw, nails 1 1/2",  pencil, black and white outdoor paint, paint brush.

Steps Required

Use the pencil to draw the outline of your desired tombstone. Use saw to cut it out. Nail the stake securely onto the back of the tombstone. Paint a base coat of black and let dry. Using both the black and the white paint (which also makes grey) and put the details onto your headstones. Write quips on the tombstones that mark either the 'death' or current resting place of Jack the Ripper, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Carrie. Or get inventive such as You're Next, R.I.P., Former Neighbour, C U Soon!, Rise Again Doughboy, Wanted Dead or Alive, Died Yesterday!, Better Off Dead etc.


There are many different products you could use to create your tombstones so try to think about what you may have around the house. I have made them out of wood, styrofoam and cardboard the first one being the most durable and long lasting. Thick styrofoam will work but is very light and blew away all the time. So then I tried to glue a stick to it and then I'd poke it in the ground but the styrofoam melted away (wrong type of glue, not good!). Cardboard, well that barely lasted half the season once it rained and I've learnt, it always rains.

3' RIP Dome Tombstone Halloween Prop

3ft Cross Tombstone Halloween Prop (B520)

Reaper Tombstone Halloween Prop
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