Friday, October 21, 2016

Haunted Hotel Accomo-death-tions

Drag your bones inside the Haunted Hotel.  The Hellhop will assist you with your effects.

We hope you find the quarters to your dismay.

Sleep Fright!

Last November the fam and I took a short excursion to Cave City, Kentucky. (see herehereherehere, and here)

One of the top things we were able to check out was the Haunted Hotel which was a part of Guntown Funtown Mountain. 

The Haunted Hotel was built in 1972 and was the oldest operational walk-through dark house in the country.  Inside the Haunted Hotel were several original attraction gags produced by Funni-Frite industries, a company that specialized in carnival dark rides and amusement park fun houses.

I love that Haunted Hotel.  I wish I could have had the opportunity to go inside, especially when it was in it's hey days.   

As sort of an homage, I created this Haunted Hotel Pillow.
I drew up the design and constructed it from flannel, felt, and puffy paint.

For more on the Sock Skellie see here.

The property was sold at auction several months back.  I don't have the nerve yet to check on it's status.  I fear it may have been destroyed.  Those are the kind of things that scare me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Welcome to the House of Horror!

Step inside and mind the cobwebs.  It took me hours to get them hung just so!

We call this area the Parlor...the Funeral Parlor, that is!

Complete with an Embalming Certificate from 1933, vintage funeral parlor issued smelling salts, and a vintage metal 'Reserved for Funeral' sign!  Hop up on the slab if you need a rest!  

Next we come upon a secret chamber hidden in a bookcase.  Contained within are several old artifacts in keeping with the spirits.

 Speaking of spirits...a couple are approaching!
Let's duck into this nearby dreary expanse!

 Yikes! Keep an eye on these two, they can be a real pain in the neck!

 Maybe a little artificial sunlight will force them back into their coffins in the dungeons.  

I think they are taking flight!  Could have something to do with the garlic soup I ate for lunch though.

The rustling of bat wings within a lovely morbid cemetery wraps up our little excursion!

These are the highlights of my Halloween 2016 decor.  There are still a few other creepy corners I didn't photograph which contain framed tombstone rubbings, jointed paper skeletons, and lots of cob webs.  Every year I spend a load of time setting up everything, trying to make it a little bit different than the year before and improving the arrangements.  I am the most pleased with the dining room wall (above image) enough so that it's arrangement could become my regular Halloween Saturday Night thing...meaning I will probably set this wall up like this each year.  

For more on my Macabre Mausoleum explore these past posts:

Coffin Nails

I came up with these Coffin Nails pretzel candy coated 'cigarettes' as a fun Halloween treat for my husband to bring to work.  I always like to have some sort of image tie-in to help people 'get it'.  I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for but did come across this vintage image from Wacky Pack cards:

That works too!

Here is my OCD photo of the cigs.

I like this photo better though.  It looks like an used ash tray!

If you want to give these out as individual treats I came up with this alternative.

Place several cigs in a coffin shaped treat container!

To make these non-cancer causing tidbits , simply dip pretzel sticks in white melting candy, then dip end in red sugar.  Place on waxed paper to set.  I found the perfect cigarette shaped pretzels at Target by Snyder's called Dipping Sticks. I guess they didn't want to call them Cigarette Pretzels but they so are!  For the coffin shaped serving tray it is a chalkboard shadow box wall hanging deal I got from Michael's.

 This is not my first rodeo in the realm of edible tobacco products:
Smokes for Fathers Day

and we even had a nicotine themed Christmas Tree:
Light up the Holidays

Hammer down your own set of 'Coffin Nails' treats...all the cool kids are doing it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Wreath of Shrouds

 Gaze into my crystal ball.
I sense you are seeking a super cheap Halloween craft involving trash bags.... No?
Well what kind of fortune do you expect to get from a Bargain Basement Spirit Board that has been exposed to the elements?!
I made this wreath several years ago (2012) and some how overlooked ever writing about it.  That year I made several Halloween crafts involving trash/recyclables: Spookerific Halloween Crafts.
This wreath truly encompasses the meaning of the word trash...being made primarily from black trash bags.

Here is the 'How-To" best I can remember:
Several Black lawn trash bags
Wire wreath frame
Wide Halloween ribbon

Start by cutting the black trash bags into strips.  Stretching and tugging at the edges will give them a gnarly look (this is good).  Tie the strips around the wire wreath frame.  Wrap ribbon around the frame and trash bag strips, leaving some of the strips loose.  Hot glue ribbon to hold it taut. Arrange strips to your liking, possibly trimming some to different lengths. Hang in a windy spot.
It's kinda entrancing watching the strips blow in the wind.  Hang weather resistant items (plastic skeletons, large bats or spiders) in the middle of the wreath if you don't happen to have an 
extra generic spirit board sign laying around.

I use black trash bags for crafts and parties on a fairly regular basis. I made a Halloween apron from a trash bag back in 2005.  I also used shredded trash bags to make a bat hall at PB's school in 2014.   I have used it to cover walls, windows, and other stuff in our house on several occasions to complement PB's Birthday party themes  (ex: The Bat Cave for his Vintage Comic Book Party and the Dead Marshes and Shelob's cave for his Lord Of The Rings Party). Black trash bags rank right up there with hot glue as some of my favorite craft supplies!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Beware Of The Thing

It's always been a dream of mine to live in a big old creepy mansion like The Addams Family.

A homey and pleasant place.
Where you file the fence posts to sharp points to keep people out.

And instead of "Beware of the Dog" signs you have "Beware of the Thing".

Until I can acquire the old mansion I'll just have to make do with making my own sign for my current abode!

How To:
 I printed out an enlargement of the real sign (third picture from the top).  I then traced around the letters with a ball point pen to engrave their outline on a wood sign I picked up at the craft store.  I used my wood engraver to trace around all the letters to help them stand out.  Lastly I painted it with exterior grade craft paint and sealer.  Just hang the sign on the fence paired with one of those severed hands  from dollar tree!

Thing gives it his seal of approval.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hostile Thinkies

So excited to share these because this idea came from my own brain

Inspired by Wacky Pack Hostile Thinkies!

I bought a home version Twinkie Pan over 3 years ago around the time the corporation was going out of business.   I don't know.  Maybe I thought I would take over production with my 8 cake pan.  I really don't like the taste of twinkies but I do like ideas using their fun shape.

For this Halloween season I have been working on coming up with ideas (usually inspired by something vintage of course!) that are not the typical pinterest variety. If anyone else has made Hostile Thinkies inspired homemade brain twinkies I am certainly not aware of it.  

The How To:
Acquire a Twinkies baking pan (or use real twinkies).  Bake red velvet cake mix twinkies in pan.  Let cool.  Puree a can of cherry pie filling.  Inject underside of twinkies with some of cherry pie filling.  Decorate brain ridges on twinkies with strawberry icing.  Drizzle extra cherry pie filling in between ridges.

"Blow your Mind!"

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monster Maker

I know. The box says Mighty Men and Monster Maker, but I'm only here for the monsters!
Hubs got PB this 1979 Mighty Men and Monster Maker by Tomy several years ago for christmas. 

This vintage toy is the boy's answer to Barbie Fashion Plates but so much cooler!  It has several plastic plates with raised images of heads, torsos, and bodies along with some separate textures (fur, scales, ?, ??).  

It's easy to use: requires no batteries, no cords, and certainly no wi-fi.  Mix and match the plates together in the tray.  Place a sheet of paper over the top and rub across the surface with a black crayon.  Then go back and color in your creation with colored pencils.  Love it!  

I do wish it would have had some 'sold separately' plates offered.  The box says you can design hundreds, thousands, even millions of outrageous combinations...but I don't know about that.  There are really too many texture plates and not enough body parts ones.  Need more body parts!

"This could be the start of something weird..."
Ad from 1979 toy catalog.

But wait!  There's more!
Don Post and Tor Johnson

I was doing some digging around for research (the only saving grace of the internet) on this toy and came across some cool (hopefully true) stuff.  The artwork on the plates was done by Dave Stevens, a highly celebrated comic book artist who worked for Hanna-Barbera on The Super Friends in the 1970s but more notably created the comic character of The Rocketeer.  I also discovered that the monster hands shown on the box were made by classic horror mask maker company Don Post Studios.  Don Post Studios created the celebrated Tor Johnson mask which became the company's top selling mask of all time!  I'm a big Ed Wood\Tor Johnson fan so I was super excited to discover the Don Post tie-in with the Monster Maker.

Added bonus! I found the commercial: 

I have been really thinking about ways to have more monster plates for this set and then it hit me!  Pick up some barbie fashion plates at thrift stores and add them to the mix.  Barbie could have four tentacle arms or the Mummy could be sporting a fun two piece halter bikini outfit.   Now that would be truly scary!

Friday, October 07, 2016

New to the Tomb

Here are a few 'new to the tomb' vintage Halloween stuffs I have picked up over the past year. This is such a rarity for me.  When it comes to vintage Halloween pieces I am fairly limited in my collection...mostly light up blow molds and plastic jack-o-lantern pails, all of which I bought 15 years ago.  My main shopping venue, thrift stores, just don't have much.  Throw in that a bunch of my local stores have ceased selling Halloween items because it's the stuff of the devil.  Then additionally keep in mind that I am a cheap skate and will not pay collector prices.  But even within all of those constraints I have some pretty cool things.  
These 'new' items are mostly from one estate sale and a vintage shop in Brevard, NC called Underground Salvage Co.
Since I got so many neat things this year I decided to hang them up on my main wall in the living room.  In the above picture on the left is a super awesome treat bag, measuring nearly as big as a sheet of typing paper!    On the right is an Beistle accordion tissue paper appendaged scarecrow. Like my DIY Boo it yourself cat!

Beistle Skeleton accordion guy and a much smaller treat bag.  

Dennison die cut JOL with owly.  H.E. Luhrs (Beistle) owl.

Dennison witch and another Luhrs owl.

I am not sure of the maker of these small cardboard pieces but they are quite cute.

All of the things in the above pics (minus the Luhrs owls, those I have had for a while) came from a little paper sack I found in the back of a closet at an estate sale. Cost: 2 bucks for all of it.

I picked up these Dennison seals and Beistle place cards while in NC last Nov. setting up for Atom (Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum).  Because it was after Halloween, the prices on these weren't too bad (I think 6 bucks total).  I can definitely see them being used for some fun crafty stuff at some point.  I really love that witch and there's 12 of her in the pack!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ouija Sugar Planchette Cookies

Last year when I discovered the Mystifying Oracles of Butter Rings, I started contemplating other ways to add more 'Ouija' to Halloween.   I had also bought this Ouija Board tray from Spirit Halloween around the same time and decided to consult it on the matter.

Tell me, oh great plastic ouija tray..what should I do?


Hmmmm...Cookies.  I know!
Planchette Cookies!

I think if it was a full fledged Ouija board it may have instructed me toward something involving demonic possession but luckily it has a culinary interest. 

I am so thrilled with how these turned out!

If your Ouija tray has been directing you to make cookies, here's how:
I started with a prepackaged sugar cookie mix.  I then used a large metal heart shaped cookie cutter that I bent a bit to make it less heart shaped and more planchette looking. For the viewing circle on the cookie, I punched it out with the open end of a plastic casing from a sterile syringe.  I happen to have medical stuff laying around my house but I am sure there is something round and small you have laying around your own home that will work just the same...maybe the lid to a spice shaker?  Next ice the cooled cookies with the recipe below. I got this icing recipe from one of PB's teachers 5 years ago and this was the first time I ever used it.  It dries perfectly smooth and firm. Perfect for drawing on! Next let the icing dry.  I let mine dry for 24 hours before drawing on the cookies, but I bet it can be done sooner. I then dusted the tops with cocoa powder.  I did this to make the cookies look kinda aged.  I think it could work even better by adding some cocoa powder to the icing recipe. Lastly, I used a food marker to write "Mystifying Oracle" and some sketchy lines along the edge.  The lettering is by no means perfect but I don't think it should be.  They are cookies, they are going to be eaten.  Why spend 20 minutes per cookie decorating it when it takes 20 seconds to eat it?

Let the spirits from beyond direct you in this endeavor!

1 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Sift sugar into glass bowl, add milk, and stir. 
 If icing is too stiff add more milk. 
 Spread on cooled cookies. 
 Icing will set when completely dry.

If you need even more Ouija in your life, meander around Museum of Talkingboards for history, facts, and examples of over 100 styles of talking boards and planchettes!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Skellimingos at Ground Zero

I have wanted a set of those skelingos/ skelemingos/ skellimingos/ skel-o-mingos for some time now.
 8 years I have waited...biding my time and money.  I am too much of a cheap skate frugal person to spend 30 bucks on a set.  

This year, the Halloween spirits have bestowed these graceful corpses upon me!
Behold the wonderment of Skull Flamingos!

And only 7 bucks each!

Flock your graveyard!
Available for a limited time HERE!

* Ground Zero is what PB called our backyard after it was invaded by at least 100 fire ant mounds over night earlier in the year.  We have since conquered the ants but have lost the battle of the weeds and thorny vines.