Halloween Haunt at Night w/Pics

Here are some pictures of the haunt at night with webbing and under lighting. Still a work in progress, but you can get a better sense of what the totality will look like.

Keep checking back for updates. I’ll have more soon. 🙂

We started putting up webbing today. This is the top canopy of webbing. There will be LOTS more in the room after the table is finished.

This gives you an idea what the room will look like at night under red light. Poor little TOTs!

Got a spotlight now on the hanged man in the secondary graveyard. I love those bloodstains on his garments. This is probably my favorite piece. He is genuinely scary at night.

The tombstone you saw earlier in the day at night under spotlight. I am going to have a lot of candles around this set piece. It is going to be beautiful.

Orange red porch light. Soon the entire entrance way to the house will be wreathed in webbing and the light from the lamps will play off that. I can’t wait!


Halloween Haunt Update w/Pics!

This year we have a double theme. Outside it will be “Spider Graveyard” and inside “Skeleton Wedding Feast”. These pictures will give you some idea of what we are currently working on. I hope to have everything running by Saturday night and will try and get some night pics for you. I don’t plan to put up all the spiderwebbing outside because I don’t want it torn to complete shreds by the wind.

There will also be some surprises in the haunt which I will not tell you about yet, but keep watching this blog and I’ll have the pictures for you later. But this will give you some idea of the progress we’ve made so far.

This is the wedding feast. You can see we are still working on the table. Sorry for the blur. This whole scene will be illuminated in red light and everything will be draped in spiderweb. The trick or treaters have to come inside this room to get their candy!

A close up of the beautiful bride. Still working on her, too. You can see her necklace. She also has a bouquet. Once we get everything done I’ll take specific pictures of her. She’s pretty cool, I’m happy with how she is coming along.

The groom. Ideally he should have a bowtie, but we are probably going to go with the tie. I must really apologize for the blur!

Death welcomes the TOTs as they come inside the house. He will be bathed in black light. We will also have some other surprises for them.

There will be jack o’lanterns here, too and everything will be webbed. The TOTs will simply have to fight their way through the webbing to get to the door. That’s their problem!

The main entrance door. Somewhat spare, but imagine it completely wreathed in webbing. The spareness gives a special spookiness. The doormat will be taken away. I want nothing familiar in the entrance way. Only the most brave of TOTs can get candy here!

The Long Red Light of the West

One of the things you learn when you research the Old West is how utterly violent it was. It is this long red light, the murderous plain of humanity if you will, that I want to talk about today.

From genocide to rape to murder to shotgun blasts from an alleyway into someone’s back to carving a drunk with a bowie knife until his guts spilled out over your hand in a hot steaming mass — the Old West was one big killing ground. And it never stopped. It was a violent arena of grinding bone, quick death and irrevocable loss. Torture and greed were the raw sinews holding it together.

Of course, you don’t see that often in movies and books or on television. Oh, you see violence. Hollywood is great for splashing buckets of violence across the silver screen. But all too often the violence in novels or film have an underlying meaning or symbolic reference behind it. But the reality of the Old West is the violence didn’t have a poetic framework. It wasn’t a vehicle to portray the warring forces in a man out to wreak vengeance nor was it an exercise in splatterpunk devoid of emotion. History proves this out.  Violence in the Old West existed because Man himself existed. Nor do I mean to rag on the Old West and single it out as a special case.

This is but the history of our species.

We do one thing really well. We kill stuff. Amidst the architecture and mathematics, violence exists because Man exists. The Old West was but one more boiling crucible in the history of our species that showcased dark desires and bright greed.

I don’t mean to say there were not people who wanted to bring law and order to the west. There were voices who wanted equality and fairness for everyone. But how could they be heard above the winds of genocide and destruction?

The longer I work in the western genre the more convinced I am the only way this genre is going to grow and evolve is if we treat its fundamental truths with more respect. Personally, I want to see more voices in this genre. I want to see  voices from people who didn’t historically have their stories told. The west was more than one thing. It was made up of millions of people from different backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. That’s what I want to read, don’t you? We have seen the sanitized picture reflected through American culture in a thousand shards, and they are all the same. I want to look beyond the glittering icons and down into the abyss. I want what some might consider dangerous stories to be elevated into the American consciousness. If that is possible.

I work in this genre. I want to see other voices in this genre. I want to hear their stories. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are many good writers who are doing better work than I could ever hope to do in this area. I am starting to see elements of this in more and more stories. But no matter how good they are their voices are nearly drowned out by American myth perpetuated.The west was many things. I would like to see those differing stories from new voices.

I don’t know. Maybe someday it will happen and we will be able to see the west as something other than simplified romance. There is such great potential in this genre. It lends itself to so  many interpretations. The ground is rich for writers. But the headwinds are great, hurricane strength. And while humans are good at killing they are also good at self-delusion.

It’s safer, and far simpler, to believe in romantic fairy tales than to face the long red light of murder that was the Old West. I’m just saying that needs to be changed. The Old West needs to become dangerous. That’s where the best stories are, I think.

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