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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A little matter I forgot to mention.....

The 2011 graveyard set up fit into a storage bin, well almost all of it.   This made it easier to bring all the pieces outside at once.  I always had two reasons to set up on Halloween afternoon,  I did not want it to be vandalized, and my stuff wasn't weatherproof, because I used acrylic paints.

Monday, September 30, 2013

My (failing) relationship with Halloween

Halloween decorations that used to go in the window from 1980 to1986

As a child, I always liked Halloween.  It was a special day when a certain magic in the air made me happy.  My dad would always decorate the second week of October, and put up displays in the window on Halloween night.  What a time to be a kid, when the leaves were falling and neighbors had the die-cut decorations in their windows. I would always wander around and look at these pieces of art.  The relationship continued when my family and I moved to California from Utah in 1988, though I chose a costume on the 29th of October of that year.  1989, and 1990 were OK years, but 1991 and 1992 were so mediocre, especially 1992, where I came up with a costume at the last second.  I had such high expectations for 1992.  1993 was terrible, and 1994 was a little better, that was the first year I took control of the Halloween display.  1995 and 1996 were OK as well, 1997 was so disappointing.   1998 was the year the torch was passed from my father to me, in terms of Halloween setups.  1999 was the year I had many compliments and 2000 through 2005 were my golden years.  I was going through emotional turmoil in 2006 and 2007, and it wasn't fun anymore.   My mother's first bout with cancer in late October 2008 derailed many plans, and Halloween didn't seem to matter that year.  It was the first Halloween I had off, and it rained all night.  I had stayed under the blanket all night hoping the rain would stop.  2009 was sort of a restart, but 2010 was another off year.  2011 was marred with emotional distress about my mother's second bout with cancer and outbursts of anger at my brother.  I was so stressed that year that I was going to quit Halloween forever.  2012 was such a terrible year, that in writing this, I feel like the spirit of Halloween is dead in me.  I don't care that it's coming up and can't seem to get any enthusiasm going.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mental breakdowns

The following rant is the result of a mental breakdown on Saturday.

I’m getting tired of being mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. I don’t care that Halloween is coming, I just want to go hide…why can’t I go back home? I’m tired of hanging on, just barely existing, like a ghost. Why can’t I have my life back?         

    Things seemed to be turning around in 2010, and into mid 2011.  But my mother’s cancer returned and her health deteriorated in December of that year.  It was getting worse in January and in March of 2012, she was put into a rest home.  After frequent visits to the hospital, my mother passed away in April 2012.  After that happened, my brother and I knew our time was running out, and we had to move somewhere else.                         

    This was putting strain on my already fragile sanity.  I was already put through hell because of a roof leak that was getting worse until one night in December 2007.  I was scared of the rain, even after fixing the leak, and I would hide under my blanket until the rain storms would pass.  It was a five year ordeal, and in 2009, I was still convinced there was a
leak, (The roof had been properly sealed with no less than seven coats of reflective white roof sealant).  I would dig through the stucco on my ceiling until I reached the sheet rock under it,  looking for water stains.  My ceiling had at least twenty of these holes, and my mother wasn’t
happy with this.  I would also check the ceiling about every ten minutes.
    After my brother and I left our mother’s house(we were evicted), we had to put what we could into storage with the help of a friend, and he was supposed to help us with payments for storage.  My brother and I moved in with friends and we tried to put our lives back together. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Air Cylinders 101

What is an air cylinder?  It is a metal tube, sealed at both ends, with a rod and plunger inside.  When  air is introduced into an air port, the rod and plunger gets pushed up or down, according to where the air port is located.   The length at which the rod gets pushed out is referred to as stroke length.   Below are some diagrams on how two types of cylinders work.

This a diagram of  a single action air cylinder.
Click on picture to enlarge


This diagram represents a simplified description of a double action air cylinder.
Click on picture to enlarge.

This next diagram represents the double action air cylinder used in a pop up head application.  The weight of the head or prop resets the rod to the bottom of the cylinder.

Click on picture to enlarge. has a page on air cylinders here

Friday, August 2, 2013

What is a Grave jumper/ Pop Up Head?

A pop up head is a head or skull that is mounted on an air cylinder.   If I'm correct, a grave jumper is a head or skull pop up that comes from behind a gravestone.  That may be a simple description, but some grave jumpers are heads , shoulders, and some have arms attached.  In 2011  the wonderful Passport to Dreams & New blog had a post on the history of the pop up heads in the Haunted Mansion.

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Halloween 2004 featuring the Ghost Bride

Here is another picture from 2004 featuring the ghost bride from my Ghost Bride ProjectThis picture was taken before the blinking light failed.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ghost Lighting Set-up Still Pictures

These are still pictures from The Ghost Lighting set-up Video from Halloween 2007.  This lighting consists of two blacklights, and a blue party lightbulb.  Also featured are two of the "Haunted Candleabra" props made by Trendmasters in the mid 1990's.   They have been painted to look old.
(click on pics to enlarge)

This is the bottom of The set-up, with a blue light, a powerstrip, and a blacklight.
Also featured is a replica of the candle held by the Ghost Bride from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.


This is the top blacklight of the set-up, it is  24 inches

This picture features the ghost that is to be lit with her arm held by a rope attached to a crank motor to move the arm up and down.  The motor ran well in tests but did not work on the big night.

This is the same ghost from Halloween 2006, also in the shot is the "Haunted Candleabra" made by Trendmasters in the mid 1990's

Friday, May 10, 2013

This is from the Fenwright Manor(Haunted House Ride) blog

The future of this attraction is in jeopardy, all the concept art and protype props were lost with storage. Not to mention that serious captial is needed to fund and build this ride. It's been off and on since May 1996, and always gets put on the back burner. I don't know if this will ever get built and it's hard for me to ask for investors or look into getting a loan or grant. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Everything is gone

The future of this blog is in serious question.  I am beside myself after learning our storage was sold out from under us.  I mean what storage facility sells the contents of a unit after being late two months?  My brother called every month to explain our situation, and was assured they would work with us on a payment plan.  Everything is gone,  paintings, props, notes, pictures, plans, decorations....  it's all irreplaceable.   I don't know what I'm going to do, maybe I will leave these blogs open or maybe I will delete them 'cause I'm so damn depressed.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Haunted Library Facebook Page

I am pleased to announce that The Haunted Library now has a page on Facebook.  I guess it's my attempt to reach a broader audience.  As of now the page is still under construction, but please check it often.