All posts for the month October, 2017

Last weekend we made a pilgrimage to Lambertville, where Dolores Dragan, one of my all-time favorite Halloween artists, lives and haunts.

The first day was beautiful, so we decided to see New Hope, where we were staying, and save Lambertville for Sunday, when we’d have all day to wander. That was a tremendous mistake. The day started a little rainy, which never puts us off. We went into antique shops in the light drizzle. It didn’t take long for the weather to get much, much worse. Bad enough that even an Oregon native decided to travel by car.

Despite the rain, I parked by Dragan’s house and took a bunch of pictures of plastic-draped figures. Wonderful, wonderful figures.

The display has expanded down the little walkway between her house and the neighbor’s, where Dolores has put up tented vignettes. These were also covered in plastic, but I discovered gaps in the draping at the corners, where I could just fit my lens without disturbing anything.


I don’t know what she calls everyone, but I think of this figure as “Mourning.”

There are many great displays along N Union, but because of the weather, we didn’t stop to study much.  I did go around a block and get back to this one with hand-painted decorations. I’m a sucker for the handmade stuff!

Since the weather was likely going to stop folks from lighting their displays, we headed on home. We may stop again next year on my next planned road trip…to be announced later.


It’s a good thing I planned on retiring the graveyard and mausoleum this year. I think The Great Pumpkin must have seduced Sif, because Thor is pissed at Halloween this year. Not only did my Lambertville plans get rained out (more on that later), but everything but a gargoyle and one tape ghost went down in the yard. The mausoleum is toast. And it didn’t even break at joints–pvc pipe snapped.


I’m not terribly upset. The cleanup was annoying. And dammit, could it not wait ONE MORE DAY? But eh, I have plans. Plans for things that are rounded and low to the ground.

Oh wait, I misspoke…something else stayed up.

See? Build round things.

Yep, the pumpkins stayed on their overturned pots.

This…didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, but it still gives you an idea of what The Glow was like.

See, I bought some fancy editing software some time ago. It had a sharp learning curve, so it took me a while to get to it. Turns out, it’s not particularly stable. Just when I would have started polishing, adding comments, etc., it started crashing. So. Back to Movie Maker it is.



Time for the annual pictures of the yard haunt! It’s definitely best viewed after dark, and I’ll get a little tour up soon.

Full yard.

Margot and her bridesmaids.

I had a full-sized mannequin to make tape ghosts on this year. So much better. 30-second tutorial:

  1. Put clear plastic garbage bag over mannequin.
  2. Use packing tape.  Tape the neck, leaving a little room on the head.
  3. Tape face details with small pieces.
  4. Tape down as far as you want, trimming the bag as necessary. Do at least 3 layers everywhere.
  5. Cut up back and over top of head to remove. Tape up seam.
  6. Distress the extra bag at the bottom for a skirt.
  7. Poke a hole in the balance point in back and stick some wire through to hang, and tape it down.

The mausoleum goes up another year.

I’m using the same AtmosFX ghost bride projection in the mausoleum, but there’s no skeleton hanging inside this year.

The signage rather oversells it.

That’s Sally, the mannequin, in the back there. I still need to put a knife in her hand. I needed something to cover the bottom of the screen, thus the signage. Kinda wishing I’d gone with swirls or something. I’m using the Seductive Siren animation for the screen. It looks pretty cool at night.

Spent a day last week in New York with Ms. Misantropia, visiting from Sweden!  She is amazing, and I wish she lived closer.  Our mission for the day was to see and shop as much spookiness as possible.

I had never been to NYC before, and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures. I loved the hell out of it. We never ate the same place twice, and nearly every bite was delicious. After breakfast, our first stop was Gothic Renaissance. It was filled with mind-blowing clothing and accessories, many of them handmade, and very high quality. Which, of course, put them out of our budget. But soooo tempting. We both got a few small trinkets.

Katarina and yours truly with the resident guardian at Gothic Renaissance.

Right next door, and run by the same folks, is Halloween Adventure, a bogglingly large costume shop. I swear it went on forever. Did I mention I didn’t take enough pictures? In my defense, it was raining, so I was busy looking for a hat. A hat with a point.

They didn’t think this name through.

Katarina had never heard of Victorian hair work, so the first stop after lunch was Obscura of Oddities fame. Because of the show, I knew they’d not only have some, but that one of the proprietors, Evan, was an expert. We were able to see several examples, but the most amazing one was around Evan’s neck: less than an inch tall, the two-sided pendant had the tiniest, most lovely palette worked scene. Also, as a reminder to myself–she is working with another collector to organize a large hair work show in PA. Planning on keeping an eye on their facebook page for that.

I actually forgot to take a picture, and walked back for a selfie in front of the store. I’m a crappy fangirl.

At loose ends until dinner, we cabbed over to Chelsea Market, since we heard they do good Halloween.  Indeed, spooky props hung from the ceiling all along the mall. Did I take a picture of any of them? NoooOOOOoooo. But I didn’t leave empty handed.

Li-Lac Chocolates had a lot of good Halloween treats.  


Dinner was at the spooktacular Jekyll & Hyde Club.  Hint: you do not need reservations on a Monday night. I say this because reservations come with a meal package, and can be spendy, so if you want to be thrifty, just head on over on off nights.  The food was fantastic, and interrupted frequently by Dr. Horrible, an axe-wielding guy in a fez, and many interesting characters festooning the walls. A frisky rhinoceros head decided to pick on the Spousal Unit. He was a good sport about being called a sexy hobo.  And yes, they really do make you figure out the hidden door to the bathrooms.

Yep, the bar was the only thing I got a decent pic of.

Just one non-spooky thing to mention: the next morning, we had breakfast at Big Daddy’s, and boy howdy, that was deeelish.

Big Daddy’s. Do have some pancakes.

We had to roll home after breakfast, leaving Katarina to have more adventures.  After only one day, NYC is definitely one of my favorite places in the world, and I’m looking forward to going back.

Metronome, the world’s most confusing clock

View from the roof of The Lex Hotel


Someone likes Halloween!


Got a vampire who needs killing? Zombie? Heading off for a pirate adventure? Phineas J. Legheart has what you need.  Now, this site is almost a Web Wraith, with the facebook page two years out of date, so if you decide to engage the service of Mr. Legheart, be sure you correspond directly, first.

The Bastille, $395

The Professional, $295

The Professor Zombie Killing Kit (sold out)

One of my favorites comes on its own, but also with the Inquisitor kit:

Vampire Skull Trophy Case (pictured here with The Inquisitor set)