The Haunted Library is located in Fenwright Manor, just behind those pocket doors in the foyer. Don't you just love the smell of old books? Actually it's just a how- to index

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scrooge & Marley

Here's my drawings of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of Jacob Marley from this video last year.

Ebenezer  Scrooge

Jacob Marley

Thursday, November 24, 2011


So apparently I have been nominated for a Zombie Rabbit award from Maple Grove Cemetery.
But Blogger will not let me post comments by saying my account isn't authorized to leave comments.
I have no way to contact anybody, but enough for that, Creepmas is coming...and I will be posting on my Tumblr some old(creepy) gems.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

Flowerbed Graveyard


Old store bought styrofoam stone on wood base
Inscription reads " Upton O'Goode, a fine upstanding man,
all the way to the gallows"

Store bought skull stone on a wood base

Angel statue on cinderblock plinth  ( I debated wether to post this, but I think it looks ghostly)

Cross stone on cinderblock with plastic fence

Giant spideweb
(for the large spider in a previous post)

Orange lights in the rosebush

There were a few thing I wish I could have done, but I did'nt have the time, I was rushing from last Thursday up until 5:00 P.M. on Halloween.
Things like cotton cobwebs on the big web and sound for the grave jumper, and last minute problems such as, getting the Gemmy Lightshow and timer around 5:00 and the air compressor bleeding air did'nt help. Setup for the Graveyard took about 30 minutes to put up and 20 minutes to take down.
People seemed to like it and took pictures.  Now for a video of the gravejumper  and (sort of) singing pumpkins.  The music was also full of problems, so no audio of it.  I edited these videos and added a laugh for the jumper

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haunted Library projects

Some of these projects were done before the blog existed.  A couple will be surprises from the haunted house blog.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Grave Jumper part 3

When we last left off, we were coming out of an attic window and looking over a graveyard under the moonlight.... No wait..

20" Air Cylinder with hose attached
I finally recieved a double acting, 20" (51cm) universal mount air cylinder from Frightprops in mid-September.   The two ports are 1/8" and I used an airgun adapter in testing.

With 15"(38cm) long arm attached.  The arm sits on a 6''(15cm)
piece of scrap wood.  I might change the design.

With skull attached
And now, a preview video

I added an unused laugh, though I may re-record the laugh to be longer

Monday, September 19, 2011

E-Z Cinderblock Plinth

Have a heavy statue you want to use for your Halloween graveyard?   Have some cinderblocks laying around?  Why not make a plinth base? 
Heavy  Statue
(Resin, filled with cement)

But first, What is a plinth?
A plinth is a small base for a statue, urn, or column.  Bigger than a base, but smaller than a pedestal.

What will I need?
  • 4 to 6 cinderblocks
  • A level
  • A carpenter's square
  • Two cinderblock caps
  • 12" x 12" (30 and 1/2 cm) stepping stone
Before building the plinth, lets look at the basics of building with bricks.  Why are bricks and blocks not stacked in straight lines.  That's simple, gravity.   If the bricks are stacked together in straight lines, there is one continuous seam, which could lead to failure or cracks.   Some walls are built like this, but are reinforced.

The seams carry the weight of the wall and have a better chance of failure

But bricks are layed out in what are called staggered seams, which means, the next course of bricks is off-center on  the course below it, and has a better chance of supporting the weight of the wall.  Then the course on  top of the previous course will be staggered.
The center of the first brick supports the seam of the two bricks above it, and the weight of the wall
is supported.

Now that we know brick laying, lets get to some caution:  cinderblocks are heavy, and could fall, so if you build this plinth, put it away from guests.    Make sure the ground is level or pretty much level.  I have sunken a block cut out of my sidewalk in my flowerbed, and that is the support for the plinth.  But I doubt people will have much time to dig a hole in their yard and pour a level cement base. 

Lets get building.   First set two cinder blocks side by side, and use the level to make sure it's level.  Use the carpenter's square to line the blocks up.

Side by side
(but I switched the position)

Now set the next block course so the seams are perpendicular to the first course and check for level.

facing toward the camera
Next, repeat the previous step and check for level and square.  If you feel inclined, check for plumb by placing the level on the side.   Now you can add a course of two more bricks, but it may be difficult to place the heavy object on the plinth the higher you go.  You can go as high as 4 courses, but I would not recommend stacking the blocks any higher.  When it is level and square, add the two cinderblock caps, and check for square.

with caps added

Now it's time for the stepping stone, just for decorative purposes.   When you place the stepping stone on top, check for level, and use the carpenter's square for centering the stepping stone.

with stepping stone added

Now it's time to add the heavy object or statue,  exercise caution while lifting heavy objects, and if it's too heavy, get a friend to help.  Remember: the higher you build, the higher you will have to lift.

With statue added
(The cat watched, but she was not helpful)

Here's where you can paint the plinth, or if you know masonry, add a scratchcoat of mortar, or you can cover the plinth with monster mud.   If you want it permanent, and know masonry, you can add mortar between courses.   But remember, be careful and have fun (well, as much fun as you can have stacking blocks).   Now for a short (goofy)  video demonstrating how to build it.

(The voice I use in this video is me trying to imitate late night infomercials, which means I watch too much late night TV.  If people do not like the audio, please mute it.  The voice I use is not at all serious, but the video is.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big Spider (Introduction)

If people have been wondering where I have been, I was on an expedition to the jungles of South America.  I had heard of a certain arachnid that would be perfect for a Halloween setup.  I knew this would take awhile but I had posts already scheduled for this Summer.  After a long search I found this fellow....

The Deaths-head Spider of  Rio Cuesta Verde.

Creative story huh?  Actually I got this spider in 2005, and after playing "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" I had decided to paint it up like the giant spider, Skulltula , who lurks in caves and dungeons. 

The Skulltula
There was a smaller version but I could not find it anywhere.  Many ask where this post is leading, It's leading to the Spider web project that I hope to complete and get pictures of.   I felt it nessecary to reference inspiration for the spider that inhabits my web and to break the boredom of posting links and trying to get myself on here as much as I can.   Now as for the web, that is simple : The pre 2001 Haunted Mansion Holiday load area of The Haunted Mansion had very large floor to ceiling webs, and the pre 2007 refurbishment Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion had webs and spiders on the stairway to the second floor scenes.  I hope to replicate those webs and find links with pictures.  Now those who are afraid of spiders can look at this blog again.  Long Forgotten has an article featuring pictures of the large spiders.  Here's another great post from Long Forgotten with some better pictures from Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Countdown to Halloween

Come read a Countdown to Halloween post at my museum blog

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tell Your Friends

Just a post to remind readers they can  follow this blog on Facebook through the network blogs app on this blog.

People can become a fan of my haunted house project, Fenwright Manor on Facebook,  I used to have a MySpace page but I deleted it.
You can also become a fan of Fenwright Manor's cartoon mascot, Mr. Ghost on Facebook.

Be sure to tell your friends

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things to do

The following list of projects are projects that I would like to complete and post pictures, a couple of them might be tutorials

  • Giant spider web (maybe spider victim)
  • Cinderblock plinth *
  • Blinking ghost bride heart circut*
  • Six Dave Lowe style candles (being painted)
  • Pine Casket (plans are being drafted)
*possible tutorial

Friday, May 13, 2011

First off I would like to thank the new followers that joined this blog.

First off I would like to thank the new followers that joined this blog.  Secondly, I appreciate your patience between posts.  The reason there have been long stretches between posts is I am secretive while building and painting props.  It's not easy for me to share the creative process, and it makes me feel like I am giving everything away.   I hope readers and followers don't feel alienated during the breaks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grave Jumper Progress 2 (green skull)

The skull that is to be attached is a plastic skull painted flourescent green.  The teeth are painted with glow-in- the-dark paint.

I glued in two yellow rubber balls with caulking.  I had to use a saw to cut open the back and I could barely fit my hand inside.

I then put a threaded nipple from a lamp kit inside, then added two washers for extra weight.  On the top I added ringed finnial so I could use something to hold onto while adjusting the tightness of the nut on the bottom.  On the bottom I put another washer and then a nut.  I'm going to have to get a thread reducer and a coupling nut for the cylinder rod when I get a new cylinder.                                                                     

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grave Jumper Progress

I first encountered (what is known on the internet as) a "Grave Jumper" while riding The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 1995.  What is a grave jumper?  It's basically a head or skull mounted on an air cylinder.  When air goes into the cylinder, the rod inside the cylinder is forced upwards very quickly.  Done right, it is a startling effect.
Some Grave Jumpers are very elaborate, but I'm making this one simple.  I think my only mistake so far is using an air pump as a cylinder.  It only went slow, and was leaking air.  This time I will get a proper cylinder, one that's made for exactly this application. 

This project was planned as early as 2004, and was started in August of 2010 when I finally got an air compressor.   Preliminary planning started in July of 2010 with the construction of a frame made from a 21 inch(53 1/2cm)  "2x"4 attached to a "12 x "12 (30cm x 30cm) plywood base with two screws.

                                                                    (Painted Black)
                                                          (With air pump attached)

A short time after the frame was built, I recieved a 3 way Solenoid valve from in September of 2010.
The solenoid is a 1/4"port 3 way STC brand solenoid.
This model is 110 volt AC and can handle up to 115 PSI