Halloween Haunting 101: Home Haunt Cinema-spiration

It’s a rather dreary Sunday here at Vespertine House. As your curator, I can say without a doubt that we are loving this weather here. πŸ™‚

It’s perfect for films and writing… and writing about films!

We’re officially at the 100-days-til-Halloween mark on the calendar and what better way to kick things off than with some Home Haunt themed cinema!

Last weekend I watched several documentaries about Home Haunters. Not only is this my favorite new documentary genre, but it’s also the most informative for those of us looking to break into the Haunting game. πŸ™‚

Maybe not that serious, but still… let’s get to it!

 

The American Scream, 2012

This film follows three deeply devoted Halloween enthused families in Massachusetts. Each family goes the distance by turning their homes into neighborhood haunts for one night a year.

What I loved most about this film was how devoted each haunter was. They work tirelessly all year to see their idea of the perfect haunt come to fruition for just one night. Not to mention you see the best bare-bones DIY prop-building. If you’re a home haunter you’ll completely admire the use of duct tape and PVC here.

Out of all the films I’ve seen so far on the subject this is by far my favorite. The people in this film display the greatest passion for Halloween and truly hope to bring some magic to the people in their community. Not for personal gain, but solely because they want to. I’m instantly reminded of how great Halloween was for me when I was a kid, a large influence in that being my Dad and his DIY attitude towards making it as spooky as possible while on a budget. No matter how much he worked, he’d make the time to make Halloween memorable and magical for me and my sister.

Shoutout to you, Dad. Thanks for keeping it creepy. ❀

Definitely check this one out- I believe she’s still available on Netflix!

 

Haunters, 2014

This film documents a Michigan family who operate their “Phobia” haunt every year. The owners of the haunt being year-round Halloween/Costume Shop owners who are devoted to building up the best for-profit haunt in their area. You see everything from conception to building to the launch. Plenty of melodrama ensues.

I enjoyed this one sheerly because it was great to see someone take the initiative to start their own indie haunt. We see plenty of these pop up in our own towns every year, but actually seeing what goes into that is a lot of fun. It was good to see so many people come together to help create an intricate full-on Halloween production.

Definitely available to watch on Amazon Prime- get at it!

 

Monsters Wanted, 2013

This film documents the creation of a large scale Halloween “Scream Park” in Kentucky. The Haunt is run by Rich Teachout and his small team who take the backlot of a paintball park to the next level with intricate builds and production. Lots of drama ensues.

This one documents a lot of the business side of the up-and-comers industry in haunts. This isn’t necessarily a large-scale, big time attraction, but it’s certainly one that’s well on its way. I can’t say this was at the top of my list as the best, mainly because there was a lot of unnecessary drama that was documented. It overall took away from the end product. I honestly felt that the team in this film spread themselves too thin by trying to create a giant theme park with minimal help and funds. There was a lot of great effort and plenty of amazing concepts but it really fell short overall.

It’s most definitely on Amazon Prime- Give it a shot and tell me what you thought!

 


All in all, i’m hoping to see more of these home haunt docs crop up. I absolutely love seeing what’s happening on the indie circuit. A common thread that these films shared was the passion for haunting and Halloween. Everyone creating these haunts are immensely dedicated to creating something amazing. I can totally appreciate that.

Have you seen these films? If so, which was your favorite??Β 

Until next time!

-Sarah

Get Excited: 100 Days to Halloween Giveaway!

It’s that day again!

One of many best moments of the year where we cross the threshold from a 3-digit countdown to a 2-digit countdown!

Get excited.

So, to mark the occasion, I’m spending the day watching a few Halloween favorites. Right now, I’m 40 minutes into Halloweentown and I’m already panicking over my lack of definitive plans for Halloween.

I’m very much considering seeing a psychic to give me the scoop as I’m terrible at decisions and this is the most important day of the year we’re talking about.

As we begin the official countdown, let’s discuss your favorite Halloween activities!

What are you most looking forward to as we get closer to the haunting holiday? What’s your favorite candy? What’re you dressing up as?? So many questions so little time!Β 

Share your answers in the comments below! I’ll randomly select one person to receive a Halloween themed mystery prize. Could be treats… could be tricks… πŸ™‚ Β Sadly this is this is open to U.S. residents only– I’m so sorry! But don’tΒ letΒ that deter you from sharing your excitement with us. πŸ™‚

Until next time!

-Sarah

 

 

Nefarious News: Grandin Road’s Halloween Haven 2017 Release

I’m certain everyone here has assumed I’m dead. I’m happy to report I am not… If I am, I’m blissfully unaware and can vouch Β that the afterlife is identical to waking life!

I sure have missed Vespertine House and talking to all of my “House Mates” here! I’m pushing myself to get back to casual writing as I’m hoping to incorporate more creative writing into my schedule as well.

Lots of verbiage on my plate.

And I like it. πŸ™‚

In more important news! Today was a truly amazing day as Grandin Road released their 2017 Halloween Haven collection! I got the email and spent the whole day filling my cart and lurking every single item in their range of new decor.

This year the theme is a cross between “The Faces of Halloween” and “Cirque”. There were a lot of stunning circus/carnival themed items. Many are a lovely little nod to the classic sideshow acts of days of yore. Or you know.. the stuff you see at the super shady carnival that rolls through town on a whim. Either way! Bring on the entertainment, baby!

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Grandin Road is known for beautiful home decor and offers stylish and unique options for decorating your favorite rooms in the house. They’re a little bit on the pricey side but, girl, they have a store card and, and, and that… that… makes it okay… right?

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Moving on! The following are some of my favorite items that are absolute MUST-HAVES for your haunted home this season!

Victorian Busts

So, last year I made my first purchase with Grandin Road and bought the set of masquerade masks complete with pedestals for year-round enjoyment. I wasn’t expecting much really as I figured they would be run-of-the-mill items that would just be a good addition to my ahem, interesting home decor.

Girl.

I was wrong.

These masks were jaw-dropping. They not only sit around two feet high, but the quality is high enough that I feel like I might get in trouble with some parental figure every time I touch them!

I want to say that the Victorian Busts are probably this year’s version of the masks in the sense that they’re best purchased as a pair even though you buy them separately.

This suffices to say that I think these are so adorable and just creepy enough to keep me interested without feeling uncomfortable when making inadvertent eye contact in passing.

Margaret and Willem are made of sculpted resin and feature intricate details including the fanciest of ribbons ever to be fathomed by man and soft woolen hair.

Talk about blueblood…

Each bust is $79 which may pop your wallet a little, but snatching up something like this would be a 365 investment (aka decor you can display all year round)!

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The Skellierina

I have a love for music boxes, add a little goth and you’ve got my new favorite thing.

Admittedly, when I saw this particular item I let out an audible “Ooooh…” and proceeded to gawk before adding it to my cart.

This Skellierina (get it?!) music box is a subtle nod to this year’s Cirque theme that stays true to the classiness of Grandin Road’s finer Halloween Haven decor. Skellierina rotates atop her black pedestal as green lights emanate from beneath her. According to the description, she plays music and is activated with the poke of a button. Which song she plays and how long she plays for is a mystery that only her new owners can solve!

She’ll set you back just a few bucks at $29. Again, this is another item you can keep around the entire year. What better way to commemorate Halloween all 12 months than with a little “tribute to thee” perched upon your mantle?

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“Palm Reader” Neon Sign

As someone who’s into everything obscure and strange, it goes without saying that this particular item would be a staple for my haunt this year.

The “Palm Reader” Neon Sign gives off that mysterious back-alley-psychic vibe.

You know… Like the gypsy shop that our hapless protagonist stumbles into from the rain one dark night only to have his fate change forever!

…Or at least until the second movie comes out.

This little beauty screams “come hither” to all your neighbors and will guarantee you the most mystical house on the block.

Pick this up for $79 and call it a day with your decorating this year. Although… you might want to put a few more decor items out just so you don’t get any desperados knocking on your door after hours asking for advice.

Unless you’re into that sort of thing…

If so, I just helped you found your new Psychic Consulting business and on a budget too!

You’re welcome.

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Animated Haunted Movie Projector

Every year I watch for the game-changing items debuting this season. I have to say that I was so impressed by this little guy…

The Animated Movie Projector is one of the more unique items I’ve seen in recent years. This animated projector’s reels roll as it projects an eerie vintage scene of a skeleton dancing to The Entertainer.

Girl.

I can get behind this.

I have yet to see this one in action which makes me a tiny bit hesitant to purchase on release day. I reached out to Grandin Road on Facebook about seeing a product video of this only to find that they currently don’t have that available. I’m hopeful it’ll be added shortly, but if not, I can’t feel too terrible about this prop as it costs a mild $39.

For a truly unique item that brings in a little vintage, whimsy, and horror, definitely pick this up!

 

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Six Arm Lady Shadow Box

This is the final item on my list and maybe my favorite.

This goes back to the whole vintage cirque thing Grandin Road is running with this year. And this displays it in a perfectly macabre way!

The Six Arm Lady Shadow Box displays a beautiful dancing shadow of a Medusaesque figure gently swaying her six arms up and down. This animatronic is downright hypnotic! Grandin Road thankfully added a product video of this item that I love more and more every time I watch it.

If you’re not sold with the projector as a unique Halloween prop, then this one might be the final nail in the coffin for you instead.

This old girl is a bit pricey, and is the most costly item on this list at $149. Fortunately, we can reference the whole store credit card thing again and justify it entirely because… Halloween. πŸ™‚

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Every item here counts as everyday decor… at least for yours truly.

Probably why I have no visitors.

Don’t be fooled- this is not the entirety of Grandin Road’s Halloween collection, there are numerous items that I loved and left out. I wanted to share my must-haves and grab your attention enough for you to at least browse their collection. If anything, you’ll be struck with inspiration to create your own little Halloween haven. πŸ™‚

So, spill your guts- what did you think of these items? Which were your faves and which were the knaves? I want to know. I miss you. πŸ™‚

-Sarah

Sweet Spooks: Happy Valentine’s Day

I sincerely hope everyone is having thee best Valentine’s Day!πŸ’œ

Personally, I just woke up, and with a migraine at that so I’m struggling a little bit. πŸ˜”

On the upside! The Valentine’s Day look I promised is here and ready to be loved by you! 

Love her, dammit.😏πŸ”ͺ

VIDEO: Upclose look

Backstory: This look is inspired by the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland with a little bit of tragic romance at play. She tried to escape the story and chase her heart’s desire only to end up as a victim of her own doing. Deep shit right? 😌 I know.

I really loved working on this as it was my first original in a long time. I am also so proud of how clean the effects in this look came out. I did such a great job of painting and blending that’s it very near seamless here!πŸ˜€ also, one of a few times when I’ve actually been completely in love with a beauty makeup! I feel the red and gold feathered cheeks are messy and perfect all at once. I just love it. β˜ΊοΈπŸ’œπŸ’œ

PHOTO: The process

  

To accomplish this look I used Mehron’s Starblend Cake in White to block out her skin in that porcelain color (btw, I’m in LOVE with the Starblend cake as of late. I really need to order several more in other shades because it just paints so freakin’ well!πŸ˜€πŸ’œπŸ’œ), Devinah Cosmetics Eyeshadows in Blazed, #Fierce, Daybreak (two unlabeled copper Browns that make me so sad that I don’t remember which they are 😫) and the Arcadia highlighter, and the lovely bit of gold feathered on the cheeks and used to gradient her lips is a Limited Edition Highlighter from Bitter Lace Beauty called Sweater Weather. For the  SFX stuff, you’re looking at shredded book pages for the under-skin (don’t worry, it was a terrible book πŸ˜‚ and i loved the effect it gave this look!), tissue paper for the ripped skin, two thin layers of wax to hold and give dimension to the two cut playing cards used. I also used a bit of black silicone based slime to add thick dimension to the theatre blood!☺️

So, no, I haven’t yet graduated from using basic powders for SFX makeup, but! I will say that the Mehron is a good start as it’s used mainly as a wet-to-dry, and I’ve learned how to work the opaqueness of the makeup based on water usage. ☺️ In June, for my birthday I’m hoping I will be able to purchase myself one of the PPI Skin Illustrator Pallettes to start using alcohol activated real-deal SFX makeup! πŸ˜ŒπŸ’œ

I think I’m ready for it! 

  
So! I hope you guys like this look! πŸ˜€πŸ’œ I think it’s lovely and is romantic and gruesome enough to make Valentine’s Day completely tolerable. ☺️πŸ”ͺ

Also! If you’re on Twitter be sure to follow me @Sarahseado if you’d like to keep updated with videos of SFX stuff! My LIVE periscope tutorials broadcast on there as well! If you have periscope don’t be shy! Send me your handle so that I can start doing live Vespertine House SFX parties with giveaways n shit! πŸ˜€πŸ’œβ˜ΊοΈ

So tell me, what’re you doing for Valentine’s Day? What did you think of this makeup? What else do you want to see in the future? Love you dearly, and you’re definitely my Valentine today. πŸ˜ŒπŸ’œπŸ”ͺ

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah 

Happy Halloween! I love you all!

Hey guys!

I know I’ve been absent and it’s because I’ve just been so busy and things have been kinda crazy! β˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒ

Today’s the day and I’m somewhat sad because tomorrow it’ll all be over.πŸ˜” so let’s take the time to appreciate the fun that is Halloween! Enjoy yourself, because that’s what Halloween is all about!

VIDEO: A Halloween message from meπŸ’œ

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah

Halloween Haunting 101: ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ Bingo (Download Available!)Β 

Well, I mentioned in one of my last posts that I was considering revisiting my Scavenger Hunt stuff as I just wasn’t sure if I’d have time to do the elaborate version I originally thought up. 

So! ☺️

I came up with something different. 

I felt that if I couldn’t do the Scavenger Hunt I wanted I wasn’t going to do one at all. I also really kinda wanted to do a game of Bingo but never picked up a set this year, so I came up with my own.☺️ One that somewhat combines the scavenging of a Scavenger Hunt and the game aspect of bingo! 

Behold: “Trick ‘r Treat” Bingo!πŸ˜†πŸŽƒ

  

Last night I worked on putting this game together (the above is a mockup for display purposes as I didn’t want my guests to see the squares yet 😏). It works like bingo where players need to get a row, corners, or clear the card entirely to win. The players must watch the movie and mark their squares as scenes that match their squares come up. β˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒ 

My game set has 4 different cards available and three ways to win! πŸŽ‰πŸ‘»πŸŽ‰πŸŽƒ if there’s a tie in the end for the big prize, I’ll do some movie trivia as Trick ‘r Treat is one of my favorites ever! 

Now, because I’m a nice person and I like you all, πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ I’m making this game available for free download! πŸ˜€πŸŽ‰πŸŽƒ You can get a PDF of all the cards, ready to print, at my Dropbox link below. β˜ΊοΈπŸ’œ

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w867nkm5zcbxyrq/trick%20r%20treat%20bingo.pdf?dl=0 

Are you going to play this for Halloween or before Halloween? What do you think of the idea? What other movies would you like to see this bingo game created for? πŸ‘»

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah

Halloween Haunting 101: The Devil’s in the Details

I have been so busy this past week! I finally finished decorating our back porch for the party on the 30th! Huzzah! β˜ΊοΈπŸŽ‰
VIDEO: The Final Product!

I worked on it through the weekend but stopped everything when I dropped my iPad face first on the tile out there, completely shattering it. πŸ˜” I had to rush it over to Ubreakifix to have them replace the screen.

It was one of many bad luck things that have been happening lately. 😦

Fortunately! I feel better, iPad is safe here in my arms, and I’ve finished all the major tasks of this haunting season! πŸ˜€πŸŽ‰πŸ’œ

Today I went ahead and made up the party favor bags for the party and Halloween! β˜ΊοΈπŸ’œ it’s honestly my favorite part of all this because it’s usually the last major thing I do, and it’s somewhat leisurely for me. πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

  
I also filled the candy bags for our little trick or treaters who will be arriving soon enough! πŸ˜†πŸŽƒπŸ’œπŸ‘»

I started with a ton of candy…

  
And filled these adorable vintage looking bags my dad bought for $.50 at Goodwill earlier this month! I swiped a few for myselfβ˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒ

  
Eventually, I finished filling 37 of those and another 80 cute ziplock treat bags! πŸŽƒπŸŽ‰πŸ‘» it was a lot but it was fun! πŸ’œπŸ’œ we’re expecting lots of visitors this year as Halloween falls on a Saturday. So much excite for that. πŸŽƒπŸ’œ

My final order of business is buying food and setting up the scavenger hunt. I had discussed doing a really elaborate hunt, but I really don’t know if I’ll have the time to do too much. πŸ˜” I might still make it big but not nearly as elaborate to save myself the stress. 

I will definitely let you all know as those details develop. β˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

In other news, I may have some left over party favors and of course, I want to give them away! πŸ˜†

Send me your best Halloween photo! It can be of you in your costume or doing some Sweet Spooks of your own, your decorations, weather, etc. anything that defines Halloween for you. πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ I’ll pick two winners to get one of my surprise party favor bags! Also, I’ll feature everyone’s photos in a special blog post here at Vespertine House! β˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒ This contest will end on November 2nd, giving you all enough time to pick your best photo as we bid farewell to the greatest month of the year. πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ Email your entry along with a few words about your photo, your name, and blog link to Sarah at rocksmanagement dot com! 

So, tell me how are you enjoying October so far?! Done anything special like pumpkin picking or parties as of late? Tell me your plans. I love hearing from you guys! πŸ’œ

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah