News:

Some photos of New England Cemeteries are up. These were taken in my town (Bristol, Maine) in the village of Round Pond. These are both roadside graveyards, one located on State Route 32, and the other along Lower Round Pond Road. One is fairly well maintained, the other is rather unkempt. But both had flags on their veteran's graves.

Be sure to check out the latest part of this site, the Halloween Projects and Posts, the blog for this site. Post your comments to the stories, projects, props, recipes, and more.

I've redesigned this site, since I really really like this template. If you're interested in doing your website in valid XHTL with CSS, please let me know. I'll direct you to the very best Halloween style templates on the web and help you get started.

Added a site about the haunted lighthouses that are nearby. I seem to live in the center of the Maine coast haunts. Check it out.

Check out the writeup from the Portland Press Herald Maine Sunday Telegram which came out October 29. Note the Sue Clark quoted in the article. That's me.

Visit with the best haunters on the 'net at Halloween Forum. I'm known as Michigal on there.

Be sure to check the links at the bottom of the page for more of my sites.

For all you IE users, if you get a notice that there's active content on this page, it's strictly a javascript running a countdown to Halloween. It's okay to run it, but if you don't you're not really missing anything, other than how few days are left.

Autumn means Halloween

When the days grow shorter, the sunlight slants on the water at an increased angle, and there's a crisp chill in the air, thoughts of lazy summer days turn to the best season of all...Autumn. The aroma of cold apple cider and hot cinnamon donuts fill the senses as the leaves of the trees turn colors one by one; first the scarlet of the maples, then the yellows of the birches, finishing off with the russets of the oaks. Ah, autumn, as the year winds down and an old woman's thoughts turn to Halloween.

Time is running out! Must get the props made. That darn witch, I'll get her stirring that cauldron if it takes me all of September! What about the Pumpkinrot scarecrow ripoff I was going to put in front of the spooky tree? I'd better get some branches for his arms while they're still supple. Oh, no, it's mid September already and that display has to be up on the last weekend. Does the cemetery fence need touch up paint? Off to the local lumber yard to scarf up their gallons of mis-mixed latex paint for a buck. Buzz into Augusta to stock up on PVC pipe and Great Stuff. Into the basement to look for the jigsaw and cordless screwdriver. Arghh, what about the new tombstones I was going to carve? Where did I put that hot wire foam cutter? I know it was buried under the pile of Halloween lights. Supper? You want supper? Well the number to the pizza parlor is programmed into the phone.

Yes, that's what it's like every September around here. I disappear into my Laboratory aka the basement for some serious monster creating and don't come up until it's time for bed. Why do I do this? Because I love Halloween. I think about it virtually every day of the year. I plan and plot and design during the colder months, and in the warmer months start getting everything together. And I'm not alone in this. There is an entire community of us "Home Haunters" that do exactly the same thing as I do. And with more talent, resources and skill than I have.

Having started back in 2003 with a couple of gravestones placed along the roadside, things snowballed each year until in 2006 I had a full cemetery, posed Bluckies, an FCG, spinning spider victim and a new lighting plan.Halloween 2006 altered photo For 2007 I plan on doing a witch stirring a cauldron, which didn't work last year, and more posed Bluckies, maybe having two dancing to the Disco is Dead group. The photo you see to the left is one from last year, accidentally taken with a flash, then automatically corrected. It came out a little different. so I saved it as is.

I have put up a few how-tos, including the Flying Crank Ghost. If there's one prop that every haunter must have, it's that one. The effect is so haunting, especially at night. I did it a little differently from the traditional directions, encountered a few problems along the way, but it all eventually worked out and on Halloween night 2006, Lily flew all night without a hitch. And for those of you who may think it's too hard, if I can do it, so you can you. It's well worth the time. And maybe my experiences will help others.

Another how-to I've put up is how to make windproof figures. Because I put up my display facing west, and the road it's on runs north and south, I'm battered by winds at times. In fact, last year the crypt I put together to hold Lily was smashed apart the week before Halloween thanks to 50 mph winds. But most of my monsters stayed upright, or just a little bent over. It's worked for several years now, through major flooding, high winds, and more. It may not be for everyone, though, since it does kill off the grass. But that's not an issue with me.

There are only a few sites dedicated to home Halloween lighting, and I think that's one of the most overlooked areas. As my display is on the road, 200 feet from my house, and I have no electricity,Halloween 2005 group shot beyond what I can bring down to the road, I have to get creative yet still remain safe. I haven't blown any circuits yet, so please check out the tips and tricks section, which will have a section on lighting. I went very different from my usual this past year, and I think it worked out fairly well. To the right is a photo from 2005, kind of a group shot. I don't reuse the same monsters every year, just the frames, unless I have one I particularly like. In fact, the crashed witch didn't even go up in 2006.

New Daylight Savings Time dates go into effect this year (2007), from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. With Halloween being on a Wednesday, this year looks to be bad for TOTs due to the extended daylight hours and middle of the week school night. But on the bright side, the year 2008 is a leap year, and bumps Halloween to a Friday. With any luck, the TOTs will be able to wait until dark. If not, just remember, at least you will have an extra hour to get ready. It's not so bad here in Maine, but those areas right next to an earlier time zone are the ones that will really take the hit.

If you're in Maine in the month of October, be sure to drive by and see us. We're located on Maine Route 130 in Bristol, just one mile south of the Damariscotta town line. Damariscotta is right on US Route 1, about halfway between Bath and Rockland.

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