Happy Halloween To All

Almost every Halloween it's practically become tradition that some adult, at some point, will mention that a zombie's face is looking at the ground and not at them or some other detail in the decor is lost from their perspective.

I smile knowing they may be forgetting...this day should be seen through a child's eyes.

2 Days 'Til Halloween - No Trick and Certainly No Treat

Upon the evening of the 31st when all is quiet, listen carefully. Somewhere in the distance you may hear mournful, ghostly howling and wailing. Tormented spirits? Banshees? Werewolves?


That will be my niece Devin and I, quarantined in a forgotten room, far away from everyone.

We've both been diagnosed with swine flu. Yep, just 48 hours before the big day. You've heard of the fury of a woman scorned, haven't you? Well, that's nothing compared to the fury of an uncle and his niece cheated out of tricks or treats.

4 Days 'Til Halloween - Errrrrrrg....

High winds across the San Fernando Valley all day and still going this evening have started to beat up the yard pretty good. The display was holding up well for most of it, but as of an hour ago, one tombstone has blown away into the darkness. Two foam pumpkins were found in a neighbor's yard. Zombie joints have snapped. The spider web is getting tangled. Some lights have spun backwards illuminating the street.

All is nothing to stress over and easily fixed, but if it keeps up, tomorrow morning should really be a scary sight. Moments like this can bring happy accidents. This spider victim had a hand holding a candy bucket.
It fell off during some gust getting caught in the web. Now it looks extra disturbing...
Oh! Did I mention Jason has antlers now?

5 Days 'Til Halloween -Smashed

It came out of nowhere, sending his noggin flying.
Now he keeps vigilant for the guilty pumpkin smasher...

8 Days 'Til Halloween - Creepy Graveyard Details

My niece Devin came over to help decorate yesterday. We decided to add extra details like creepy weeds and moss dangling from the chains in the graveyard. It was turning out pretty good for being on the cheap with what I had in the material stash. I thought it would make a simple tip to share and write a "how to" about later. To my surprise though, while getting some video of the work in progress, Devin explained the project far better than I could ever type it. I think she may be watching too many shows on HGTV and Food Network.

So please welcome niece Devin as my very special "how to" expert guest for the day....

She did most of the work herself, from cutting the raffia and mixing the paint wash, to placing all the details just right with her growing artistic eye. I'm one lucky uncle to have such talented help.

10 Days 'Til Halloween -Peter Pumpkin the Tricker Treater Eater

All children know to look for the spooky, glowing, smiling face of a Jack- O-Lantern outside homes on Halloween. They know this means candy is waiting to be had. They know to say "Trick or treat" when asking for. But do they know to say "Thank you"? They should. It's polite and very rude not to.

All children who don't say "Thank you" beware. Peter Pumpkin the Tricker Treater Eater waits at the end of the walk and he hates rude children...

I would of been remiss in my decorating this year if I didn't make a prop based on my 31 Days of Halloween logo. Peter Pumpkin originated in a Para Abnormal cartoon from 2008.

11 Days 'Til Halloween - Hermetic Spectre Observation Receptacle

This Victorian era, Hermetic Spectre Observation Receptacle is the newest acquisition to my cabinet of curiosities. It was state of the art ghost hunting equipment in the late 1800's. Once a spirit was caught, the handle on the lid was turned, vacuum sealing it inside. They're very rare to find in working condition, let alone, still containing the trapped apparition I'm happy to say mine does.

Unfortunately, by nature of the receptacle's construction and mystical formula to the glass keeping the spirit trapped, any communication with it is impossible. It seems very content though, especially glowing with happiness in darker rooms.

The ghost is painted on clear acetate in Krylon GLOWZ spray using a stencil made from blue painter's tape. It's painted more opaque at the top of the image so it seems to dissipate at the bottom. The acetate was cut from a portfolio sleeve to fit inside a kitchen storage container/jar. It's thick enough to support itself in the center with just it's edges pressed against the sides without glue or tape. There is a slight curve in it, but that helps add a bit of dimension when seen from other angles.

For the lid, I detailed the original one with stuff from my stash. The handle is a brass doorknob with a old sink handspray holder for it's base. I glued on ornate brass tack tops around the edge after snipping off the nails.

12 Days 'Til Halloween - His Long Sleep Is Over

Count Orlock has resurfaced from last Halloween.

His new zombie shades of green have all the graveyard gossiping he's had some work done. Even Mrs. Scaryweather noted he looked 700 years young again.

14 Days 'Til Halloween - The Night They Came Home

Mr. Myers and Mr. Voorhees staked their spots on the lawn today. While Michael stands stoic by a front window waiting for Trick or Treaters...

Jason prefers the shadows, behind a hedge. All the better to hack...cough!... greet them walking down the sidewalk.

15 Days 'Til Halloween - Disneyland Week Ends With A Contest.

My week long Disneyland: Halloweentime theme week concludes with six photos. What I like about these pics is they're not seasonal decorating in the park, just Halloween feeling things that can be found all year, anytime.

I thought it'd be fun to have a contest. For each picture guess...what it is and where is it in Disneyland? The more details the better, no need to go crazy though, the exact paint color code number from some Imagineering design plan not important. The winner or winners will get their name(s) hidden in a PARA ABNORMAL cartoon next Friday, Oct 23.

Leave your answers as a comment. If you post anonymously, add the name you'd like to appear at the end of your comment (nothing vulgar okay, somewhat G rated). Contest closes at 11:59 pm Wednesday Oct 21. Winner's announced next Thursday. Good luck!

16 Days 'til Halloween - Disneyland Window Displays

WARNING: the possible side effect of re-doing some Halloween props and decorating you've already done this year has been reported after viewing these pictures.

People experiencing this symptom more than 4 days should just move on to Christmas decorating because there's nothing I see in the pictures not possible by anyone.

Sure the Disney folk have access to one heck of of prop closet but that's a collection built up in time. Everything below is good staging and dressing. Even the custom props are simply made or inexpensive ones with extra touches. As in the witch's hat. It's just an ordinary costume one found everywhere with some added ribbon and jewelry. Being displayed well in a great setting makes it appear special. Even that fantastic looking spell book seemed to be just an aged up thick dictionary with the two visible pages pasted in.

Getting that inspired rush from a great display, studying the details and learning from is addictive.

17 Days 'Til Halloween - Pirate's Lair

Because of my affinity for buccaneer culture, Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island in Disneyland was far from lacking inspiration for me...