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All posts for the month September, 2014

My most popular project

My most popular project

As those who follow me on facebook know, I started this year’s Month of Spookdays back in August. I’ve been a little meany, dropping teasers into my Monday art posts here. Tomorrow, you get to start seeing the fruits of my labors. I had some goals this year:

  • No new supplies. I have a studio full of wonderful odds and ends, and I wanted to dig into them for this MoS. If I bought something for a project, I’ll note it; otherwise, you can assume everything is from my stash.
  • Stretch. I am drawing inspiration from others this year, so I can stretch my skills and do new things. Not every project will be a big one, but I hope each one teaches me something new.

Craft projects will be interspersed with haunt visits and such. I’d especially like to do some spooky cooking. Welcome to the Haunting Season, and happy Month of Spookdays!

lanterns

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Sooon

tumblr_n5hwx5HDvE1qhofrso1_500

I tried, but I could not find a source or artist for this wonderful gif. If you know, please pass it along?

Here’s your last teaser before the Month of Spookdays begins!

sb tease

 

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Haunting animations of Flux Machine

Haunting animations of Flux Machine

–Via Church of Halloween

Zolloc's Scary Baby GIFs

Zolloc’s Scary Baby GIFs

Eerie art of Sam Wolfe Connelly

Eerie art of Sam Wolfe Connelly

–Via Fascination with Fear

Cindy's Paper Mache Dragon

Cindy’s Paper Mache Dragon

Dave Lowe's first silhouette template of the season

Dave Lowe’s first silhouette template of the season

Los Angeles Horror Show and Music Fest

Los Angeles Horror Show and Music Fest

Beth Robinson's Art of Horror Show in VT

Beth Robinson’s Art of Horror Show in VT

Clement Briend's projected gargoyles

Clement Briend’s projected gargoyles

Gallery of Ken Strickfaden's original Frankenstein props before they were auctioned

Gallery of Ken Strickfaden’s original Frankenstein props before they were auctioned

–Via Propnomicon

 

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Spook Season is here, and links have multiplied, so I’m putting in an extra link day this week.

31 Spooky Halloween Desktop Wallpapers

31 Spooky Halloween Desktop Wallpapers

–via Darklinks

Skully Egg Mold

Skully Egg Mold

–via Art of Darkness

Wonderful papercuts and posters by Eelus

Wonderful papercuts and posters by Eelus

–via Church of Halloween

13 Alternative Halloween Songs

13 Alternative Halloween Songs

I’ve had soundtracks on the brain lately. I should probably do a post with all the wonderful stuff people are sharing. For now, here are some great Halloween songs from The Spooky Vegan.

Forged brass and iron jewelry by MAGICrebEL

Forged brass and iron jewelry by MAGICrebEL

Props and replicas by Folkenstal

Props and replicas by Folkenstal

The pumpkins of Yayoi Kusama

The pumpkins of Yayoi Kusama

The eerie sculpture of Joaquin Jara

The eerie sculpture of Joaquin Jara

 

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I wanted this to be longer, and may expand on it later. Here is almost 30 minutes of royalty-free spooky music. I prefer atmospheric and instrumental, so this playlist makes a great haunt background.

All music and images are free to share. Most of them ask credit (and I would give it anyway), so here it is:

Music Credits:

Incompetech

  • Return of Lazarus
  • Ice Demon
  • Evening of Chaos

Purple Planet Music

  • House on the hill
  • Intimidation
  • Paranoia
  • Insidious

Free Soundtrack Music

  • Creepy Crawlies
  • Loss

Photo Credits:

 

halloween-72939_1280

 

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Handmade Halloween Purses by Susie's Sewing

Handmade Halloween Purses by Susie’s Sewing

–Via Creepy Creations

Cruelty-free anatomical jewelry by Afterlife Artwork

Cruelty-free anatomical jewelry by Afterlife Artwork

–Via She Walks Softly

The sculpture of Dug Stanat

The sculpture of Dug Stanat

–Via DarK (there’s an interview)

 

Trailer for The Houses October Built.

At first, I thought this was going to be a documentary about extreme haunts, of which I am no fan. But it isn’t. It is, in fact an original idea. This doesn’t happen often enough in horror, and I am thrilled. I know it won’t be released here, but I’m excited to see it later.

–Via Dread Central

 

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Today, I am looking around for local haunts and displays, and planning my excursions. I get excited throughout Spook Season, but planning my haunt schedule gets me especially giddy.

Last year I visited The Haunted Ranch and Cemeterror (which is taking a break for 2014). On slate for this year:

Skipped Frightmares last year because their website says they’re “extreme.” This year I watched the news footage, and they look like a very good, but normal, haunt. I admit I have absolutely no interest in attending an extreme haunt. I go more for the art than to be scared, though I don’t object to a good jump. If you can get one out of me, congratulations. But touching and crap? No way. Don’t gimme no lines, and keep yo hands to yo self. Just to be sure, I posted a question on their facebook page.

Aside: speaking of facebook pages, Spooky Moon now has one. It’s where I post all the stuff I see every day that doesn’t fit here, for one reason or another. So, yes, it’s different content, not just repeating what I put on the site. Go, my minions, and like!

So is Frightmares number one on my list? Nope.

I really wanted to get out to Hellview Cemetery in St. Petersburg last year, but didn’t make it, so they are first on my list this year. Home haunts always have priority with me. I love the ingenuity and devotion. Home haunters are driven to build wonderful things and share them with their community. It’s an obsession of which I whole-heartedly approve.

punta gorda

I have a favorite restaurant in Punta Gorda, so if we get the chance, it would be fun to drive down for a meal and a Haunting on the Harbor.

Other possibilities:

NoRemorse cemetery doesn’t have a website, but here are some pics from 2011 on Photobucket. No word if they are active this year, but I may have a look-see while I’m in St. Pete.

I love a haunted trail, and Oscar Scherer park is hosting two, plus other activities this year.

The Boofest at Lakewood Ranch looks too fun, and it’s close by.

Sarasota Pumpkin Festival might be worth a peek.

Most years, I plan to hit four or five events, and end up hitting two.  Will my average be better this year? Stay tuned!

photo by Shane Gorski

photo by Shane Gorski

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Shot in the director’s house on a budget of $500, An American Ghost Story is fun for those who know the genre and like to play along. It contains clear nods to the three movies the director, Derek Cole, notes as influences: The Haunting, The Changeling, and Poltergeist. The film plays into some tropes while obviously turning its back on others.
Cole has learned to direct by working in film. He is good with details–so good that something more is expected. For example, Sue (Wendy Haines) making tea is directed so intricately that it serves to build tension, yet it is merely another nod to her religiosity, and something to do while she talks with Paul (Stephen Twardokus). He spends a great deal of time filming hands; fine when needed, but not when leaned on extensively.
There is some fantastic shadow work in the film–at times the actors’ shadows are almost another character. Another nod to Robert Wise.
Where Cole fails is with people and story line. Performers are either under or over-acting throughout the film. If it were one actor, I would blame them, but when it is every actor, the blame lies with the director. Dialogue is awkwardly written and stilted, as if the actors have been told to slow down unnecessarily. Slow delivery is a device appropriate for stage, but not always for film.
There isn’t a lot of story. We are given a setup: a man wants to write a book about a haunted house, so he moves in to one. His girlfriend, Stella (Liesel Kopp), moves in with him, but doesn’t last long. Oddly, we are not told they break up, but she is completely out of the film after a phone call the next day, never to be mentioned again. There is a friend in the periphery, and he stays there. We get background on the house, but it’s infodumped at the beginning, so there’s no mystery. The film moves from one jump-scare to the next, without giving the viewer much to hold their interest. There is very little character development, and no one in particular to care for.
All that said, I’m not sorry I watched it. There were bits of brilliance considering the budget and experience involved.
Would I recommend this movie? If you’re bored, sure. The ending is fun, though the climactic scene is pretty silly. It did get me to watch The Haunting again, which was fun. I went down a short rabbit hole afterwards, looking up the real Hill House, which is, in fact, supposed to be haunted.
An American Ghost Story gets 3 out of 5 ghosties.
american ghost story

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