Friday, December 31, 2004

Winter Update


As you can tell, posts here are few and far between "off-season." But I wanted to take a minute and share some news. I have made the decision NOT to do a haunted basement for 2005. We'll still have something very special and fun on Halloween night, but it won't include a walk-through haunted house. This is an experiment for 2005 and we'll see if it sticks or not. Instead we are going to dedicate all our energy into improving the yard haunt and some special surprise props for Halloween night.

Overall, we think this will actually improve the experience. For us and for you. There have been just too many problems with crowd control on Halloween night. So, we're going to eliminate the problem.

The good news is that the yard haunt should be better than ever. We're still considering whether we should do an all-new storyline or simply add props to the existing storyline. Any thoughts or feedback on this would be welcome.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Behind the scenes: Changing it up

Sweeney House Fans:

We're planning on another fun Halloween next year. But we'll be looking for your input while we do it. There's a new poll posted and we'd like you to let us know how you feel.

Under consideration:

The elimination of the haunted basement (we'd still have the haunted display and we'd add some brand new surprises to it on Halloween night, but you'd come to our front door to get your treat instead of winding through the Sweeney maze.

Changing up the whole haunt and doing a whole new back story thus eliminating some props (aka The Gargoyle and the Sweeney grave stones etc.)

We may not change a thing. Or we might change the whole thing. (Hey, it's free for you and a hobby for us!) Weigh in on the poll or, better still, leave some comments here.


The Sweeney House Team

Behind the scenes: The Old Man

In Action
Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
This prop (The Old Man in the Sweeney back story) comes and goes so quickly most guests never get a great look at it. Here it is during a test run. Excuse the mess behind case you're wondering the blue hose runs to the air compressor that powers this "pop-up" prop.

Behind the scenes: Magic Mirror (Back)

Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
And this is how it looked like from "backstage." The effect resided on a laptop computer and we voiced it through a "karaoke machine." Pretty simple, really. But the simplest stuff is usually the most fun.

Behind the scenes: Magic Mirror (Front)

Magic Mirror One
Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.

The Magic Mirror* (aka the Gatekeeper in the Sweeney back story) made its debut to great reviews from Sweeney House fans. This is what Trick or treaters saw (and interacted with) just before they got their candy. We had some great conversations with some of the kids.

*(bright idea of haunter extradonaire NEPHILIM. Thanks!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Behind the scenes: A rainy Halloween

Thanks to all of you who braved the rain to join us on Halloween night! We had a steady crowd from to 6 to 9 p.m. We sincerely hope you had a good time. We did. A special thanks from our family to all our Sweeney House ghouls: Robin, Jenn, Randy, Emily, Ja, Katie, Michelle, Kathy & Jim.

Behind to scenes pics of the haunted basement will be posted later this week, and I will be putting up a new poll to get your input on ideas for next year.

To all: Thanks for sharing Halloween with us. We hope we helped make it special for you and your family.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

GHOST HOST REPORT: The Mystery & Your Help

I have now come to believe that James Sweeney and the Disciples of the Opus Machina were successful in creating a functioning Well of Soul, a strange device capable of generating a stable portal between this world and "the other side."

It all has begun to make sense.

The Well of Souls requires only one fuel: And that is fear.

Somewhere within the dank,dark labryinth under the Sweeney Home, I believe The Well of Souls still resides. As the days approach Halloween, and the collective fear of the city rises, the machine flickers to life once again. This explains why certain people are able to see the events of The Sweeney Family Horror acting itself out all over again. It also explains why James Sweeney didn't remove his family from the Sweeney home when the hauntings began to occur. He needed their fear to fuel the machine.

Ancient texts say the Well of Souls is kept open by a being known as The Gatekeeper. The writings suggest that well can be shut down if enough brave humans are willing to make a direct appeal to The Gatekeeper.

So, I write this plea. Join me on Halloween Night. Brave the horrors of the Sweeney house and find The Gatekeeper. The journey will not easy, but the ancient writings suggest that anyone brave enough to come face-to-face the gatekeeper will be rewarded. Together we can, at least for this year, bring an end to The Sweeney Family Horror...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Behind the scenes: Halloween Night


Traffic on this site has been unbelievable in recent days and we wanted to say a quick thank you. We appreciate your comments and your thoughts. We will repost this information again later in the week, but wanted to remind you of the scoop on Halloween night.

Here is the low down:

We open promptly at 6. We close promptly at 9. If you are in line at 9 we will let you come through Sweeney House. But no one will be allowed to join the line after 9 p.m. Sorry!

If you do NOT want to wait in the line or if you don't wish to go through Sweeney House, you can get your treat from any Sweeney House Greeting Ghoul and be on your way! Last year we estimated the average wait to be less than 10 minutes though there was a brief stretch where a few folks had to wait nearly 20. The walk through itself is pretty brief but eventful, and, of course, absolutely free.

All ages welcome but we find that Moms And Dads and kids ages 5-12 like Sweeney House the most. It's a little intense for kids under 5. A little lame for teenagers.

Our rules:

No weapons (plastic or otherwise) allowed.
No smoking.
No running.
No being a grumpy pants
Touch nothing, and nothing will touch you.
Parties of 5 or less at a time. No exceptions.
One piece of candy per kid. (Sorry...we have LOTS of kids)

Happy Halloween! We hope to see you Halloween Night

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Behind the scenes: Safe Halloweening

To All Fans of the Sweeney Family Horror:

We have had an increasing number of folks venturing off the sidewalks and into our yard to see the props. This has resulted in some minor damage to some of the props. More concerning than that, however, are the electrical cords that run through the yard. They are very easy to trip over. Particularly in the dark.

We want to keep you safe and our props intact.

So, once again, we request that, if you choose to exit your car, you kindly stay on the main sidewalk to take in the display. If you are curious about the props, feel free to leave a comment here and we'll glady answer your question. Or, if you happen to be driving or wlaking by while we're working in yard give us a yell. We are more than happy to talk to any guest about the display.

Thanks for you consideration and Happy Halloween.

Behind the scenes: Thanks

This week the Sweeney Famiy Horror was fortunate to host nearly 50 guests who enrolled in our Communiversity class "Hardcore Halloween Decorating."

To all who attended, thanks! We had a great time and hope you did, too.


As you know, I have been studying James Sweeney's diary for insights into what really happened on October 31, 1925. We now know that James Sweeney was an upstanding family man by day and the leader of a secret society known as the Disciples of the Opus Machina (DOOM) by night. Translated this means, "Disciples of the Great Machine." The immediate question is what "great machine?"

At this stage, I cannot tell you exactly what the "great machine" was (is?) although I have one grave suspicion.

Within the dank chambers of the Sweeney home I found a tattered piece of paper that had clearly been torn from a much larger document. The corner contained a scant drawing of what, I believe, could be a fragment of a diagram of something called the Well of Souls.

The Well of Souls is a reputed to be a device capable of generating a stable, localized gateway between our world and "the other side." According to legend, the living keepers of the device would have dominion over the unliving creatures transported through the gateway. This, however, makes little sense. How can the living, bound by the physical rules of this Earthly world, rule creatures who not subject to the same contraints? In other words, how do you keep a ghost in a cage? And what of the powerful and frightful denizens of the underworld who strive to find a way to manifest themselves in the physical world? Would one really think they could be controlled?

Was DOOM attempting to build and activate The Well of Souls? What, beside the Spirit Board, did James Sweeney acquire in New Orleans? Was poor Kate Sweeney and unwitting pawn in her father's dangerous game? Is Sweeney House still home to other mysteries?

Sweeney's diary seems to be raising as many questions as it answers.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Behind the scenes: Ta-Da!

Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
And here is the wraith painted, distressed and placed in the yard haunt. We continue to experiment with lighting to make the figure more discernable at night.

Behind the scenes: Unfinished Wraith...

Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
Meant to take a photo of the wire frame but didn't. Sorry. Here is a pic of the unpainted and undistressed wraith.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do you do this?
Well, we didn't plan this exactly. We had a couple of Halloweens where we had only one or two trick or treaters. So we thought, "Let's do something to encourage the kids to come to our house on Halloween." So, we put up a small display of cheap stuff we bought at Target. Well, the kids loved it and we had maybe 20 or 30 trick or treaters. The kids told us they had fun seeing it all and we had fun putting it all out. So, then we thought, "we can make something better than the decorations we see in stores." So, we ditched the Target stuff and built a few items ourselves. That year we had more than 50 TOTs. Then we expanded a bit more. And then a bit more. Last year, we had more than 400 folks come through the haunted basement. Despite the fact that it's become more time consuming and expensive than we could ever have imagined, it's still fun for us. Along the way, we've observed that whole families are creating fun memories and spending a extra little time together while they take in the "haunt." We figure that's a pretty good reason to keep making the effort.

Where do you get all this stuff?
99% of what you see in our yard display and on Halloween night was built by hand. Most of the items we built ourselves. A few items were built by other people who share an interest in this hobby of halloweening. Exceedingly few items in our haunt were "manufactured."

Okay, what's it all made of?
The gargoyle and the wraith sign holder are "monster mud" creations. Their "skeletons" are PVC pipe (bought at Waldo hardware). Their "muscles" are chicken wire bent into shape. Their skin is cheap, lanscaping burlap that is dipped into "monster mud." Monster mud is joint compound mixed with latex paint. You dip the burlap and wrap it around the wireframe. We let it dry for a few days. Then we paint it. Fancy paper mache, really. The tombstones are 2" pink insulating foam carved with a dremel tool. Kate's ghost is NOT a projection as many of you have wondered. She is more like a marionette and is made out of cheese cloth and a wig form.

How did you learn how to make this?
If you read some earlier posts you'll see a few of the places that we went to learn. You can learn, too. Visit the Web sites we talk about here. And visit the link sections of those sites. Before you know it, you'll be "undertaking" a haunt of your own.

Where do you keep it all?
It's becoming an issue. Got any space in your garage or attic?

How do you broadcast the ghost story on the radio?
A very small FM transmitter. This kind of transmitter has a very short range and is often used in applications such as a school radio stations.

Does it bug you when people are outside your house in cars or on the sidewalk?
Of course not! We work hard to make "the haunt" worth your attention so we're happy when you to stop by to take it in. We're always glad to see families getting together and enjoying the spooky season with us. If you drive by, we encourage you to simply pull over to curb, safely park your car and turn off your lights while you listen to the radio show. We don't mind at all and believe this practice to be far safer than sort of creeping along in the middle of the street. Our only request: Our props are durable but not indestructable. If you're curious, we don't mind a gentle touch of the props. However, slapping, knocking, kicking and/or hanging on the props is, for understandable reasons, discouraged. Also, there are electrical cords running through the yeard so, for your safety, we strongly encourage walking visitors to stay on sidewalks.

What age is appropriate for the haunted basement?
All ages are welcome, but parents (or guardians) should be the final judge of whether or not their trick-or-treater will really enjoy the haunted basement. We try very hard to live up to our tagline: "Just scary enough for everyone." But, clearly, what is scary enough for a ten year old is significantly different than what is scary enough for a four year-old. We are prepared to make the tour more or less scary depending on the age of the guest, however, our experience says that kids 5 through 12 probably have the best time on the tour. It's pretty intense and scary for kids under five. And pretty boring and "lame" for teenagers.

We like your haunted house but boy do we hate the line. Anything to be done about it?
Last year we had some folks wait 20 minutes or more. We know that's a long time. Especially when you've got a trick-or-treater eager to increase their candy haul. Remember, though, that the line is for the haunted basement. If you just want some candy, any Sweeney Family Horror ghoul will be happy to give you your treat out front and you can be on your spooky way. If you want to take the tour, you'll need to wait in the line. Although this year, we'll do our best to make your wait a little more entertaining. If you do choose to wait in line (and we hope that you will), we do ask for your patience. Remember, running a haunted attraction is not our day job. We want everyone (us included) to have a good time. You can help us by being good sports (and 99% of you always have been. Thanks!)

Can adults go through the haunted basement without kids?
Sure. And if you are very good, say trick or treat, and are over 21, we're happy to pour you a glass of red "vampire blood" to help take the chill out of the Fall evening if you so desire. Hey, Mom & Dad need a treat, too!

Do you charge for this?
Nope, this is just for fun. At this time, we don't accept donations or tips either. Maybe there will come a day when we find we need to seek donations or sponsorships. But not today.

What do your neighbors think?
We have to thank our neightbors for being the best sports on the planet. Overall, our neighbors have been very supportive, although they have had to increase their candy budgets more than they would like. We actually see more of our neighbors this time of year than any other. In fact, some of them are starting to get into the act. And we think that's pretty cool. In Wichita, Kansas there is a street where every house has a "haunt" that's every bit as good (and in most cases better) than ours. We're not sure our neighbors are up for that quite yet. But we're holding out hope.

So, you plan to keep this up?
We'll continue to do this as long as it remains fun for us, our neighbors and our guests.

Want to know more?
Leave a comment here. We'll do our best to answer!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Behind the scenes: Welcome

We have had a rush of unique users since we put out this year's display. For those of you who are new to a "blog" the most recent posts appear first. If you would like to read the Sweeney back story from the beginning you'll want to start in the August archives and read forward. Welcome! Happy Halloween! And don't forget to sign our guestbook.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

GHOST HOST REPORT: James Sweeney's Diary

It is safe to say that James Sweeney's diary is a disturbing and revealing read. As you know, I discovered James Sweeney's diary in the catacombs beneath the Sweeney home. What it reveals will come as a shock to students of the Sweney Family Horror.

There is no easy way to say this.

James Sweeney lived a double life. On one hand he was an upstanding family man and member of his community. On the other hand he was the leader of a dark secret society bent on harnassing the powers of the spirit world for their own gain.

In my opinion, the elder Sweeney's diary exonerates Kate Sweeney of any real wrong-doing. Kate's dabbling with a Ouija board has, until now, been cited as the genesis of the events that doomed her family. I still believe that the Ouija board was the key that unlocked the barriers between this world and that of the spirits. But James Sweeney's diary leads me to believe that "Kates mistake" was really part of a larger plan put in play by the elder Sweeney. In fact, I feel compelled to point out that Collen, Kate, Quin and Molly Sweeney seemed to have no idea about James' dark side.

In the coming days, I will reveal to you the details I have gleaned from the diary. Details including that of the secret society that Sweeney led known as the Disciples Of the Opus Machina. A group whose acronym is, fittingly, DOOM.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

GHOST HOST REPORT: Unsettling News

I have not, until now, been willing to share with you a theory that has been rattling in the back of my head. The discovery that I told you about earlier, however, is providing evidence that now supports the dark inspirations I have had.

It's important to understand that Sweeney House seems to constantly pulse with a dark energy. An energy that grows with intensity as we count down the days to All Hallows Eve. One could even describe this energy as a "hunger." This hunger is so powerful that it splits the veil between this world and the dimension many call the afterlife. I believe that is why those who are sensitive to this energy see the hauntings here so clearly. You may wonder, as I did, what is manifesting this energy. Why the walls of Sweeney House fairly seem to drip with dread. I believe the answer lies in a dark, stone chamber I have discovered underneath Sweeney House. I call it a chamber. It is more of a maze. I am overcome with dread each time I try to explore its winding paths, and so my progress has been achingly slow. I believe this is the lair of the forces that haunted the Sweeney's to death. I believe a power still resides in this dank underchamber. And I believe James Sweeney, not Kate, is responsible for setting the events that led to the demise of his family. For within the chamber, I have found the missing diary of James Sweeney. Although I have only read the first few pages, it is clear James Sweeney knew much more about the events than he chose to share with his wife and children. I will reveal the secrets of James Sweeney's diary here. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Behind the scenes: Rocking tombstone repaired

Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
The long Labor Day weekend has been just thing to get us jumpstarted on our 2004 haunt. Here you see the "Rocking Tombstone" I referenced earlier (oh, and ignore my little toes there).

This piece (made from 2" pink insulation foam, a paper mache skull and monster mud texturing) sits in a hollow base. It's hinged at one end..see? Right where you see the little dab of duct tape is where a "crank engine" (like the kind that run those animated reindeer you find at Target) uses a bent shaft (imagine a smile shape) to lift the stone (as the underside of the bent shaft passes) and then gently sit the stone back down. The shaft had worn away the bottom of the stone significantly (as one might expect given the amount of time the stone ran). I had to rebuild the entire area. But how do you rebuild pink insulation foam? I had thought I would press some chicken wire into to base of the stone and then spray in some expanding foam (Great stuff or equivalent). This seemed like overkill once I thought about it more. So, I simply shaved off some pink foam "shims" from a scrap piece of foam I had in the garage and built the bottom back up using the "shims" and gray duct tape. Swear to God the world could not function without duct tape. The result is a smooth and (hopefully) resilliant bottom ready for another season of spookiness. Along with this repair I also had to repair the wooden "base" that holds the crank engine. When we pulled the stone last Halloween night, the entire unit came apart. Nothing that some liquid nails couldn't make better again. But a little repair that had been nagging at me all Summer. This prop is actually one that I purchased from Lothar's Lair. Lothar is a very talented prop builder and with our two very young kids at home sometimes the temptation to purchase an impact prop to augment the ones we've built is too much to resist. Not that I didn't have to do work on this prop. I have had to seriously reinforce Lothair's design to deal with KC's whipping winds and rain but it's really a great piece of work. If you plan to take up home haunting, we encourage you to patronize the craftsmen we introduce you to here (or others you may find) INSTEAD of paying way to much for way too little at a retail Halloween store.

Behind the scenes: Wraith sign

Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
Here is an "in progress" pic of our the wraith sign holder that I referenced in previous posts. It's based on Steve Hickman's "Gatekeeper" design. Here you see the pink 2" insulation foam that we use in so many of our props. The foam is glued to a 2'X51" piece of plywood. You can also see one 2"X4" (under the bricks there) being glued to the surface of the foam (Liquid Nails "Project" glue). This 2X4 and another one that has yet to be screwed into the plywood on the back side, will be the anchor points for a 2'X 2' piece of plywood that will serve as the base for the entire prop enabling it to stand upright. The face of the foam you're looking at will have words carved into it (thanks Dremel tool) cracks burned into it (thanks hot glue gun) and painted with the January Family's Patented Color Pallete (thanks Amy) to make it look just like an aged, mossy stone slab. We'll build a "Monster Mud" wraith who'll hold the sign with his skeletal hands and shine a light onto the words at night. More shots of this prop as we build it. While it's a lot less complex than the Gargoyle that we built a few years back, I still can't imagine that it'll be done until the last minute.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Behind the scenes: Two prop additions

We have locked into to adding two major new prop additions planned for this year.

The first is a wraith-like sign holder to advertise our radio broadcast (based on Steve Hickman design). It will replace the cheesy orange signs we had last year. The second is something called the Magic Mirror. The Magic Mirror will be used on Halloween Night. We hope to to great effect. After Halloween has passed I will provide a link that shows just how the magic of the mirror works. But why spoil the surprise now, eh?

So how are we progressing? As of today, we're nowhere on either. I do hope to get a jumpstart on the wraith this long Labor Day weekend. The Magic Mirror is something we have longer to work on...

Also, it's fair to note I have some concern about getting the moving tombstone repaired. It suffered significant wear and tear (it ran 8 hours a night for 3 weeks) I have to rebuild the bottom of it entirely. Hopefully, though, it'll be rockin by October 9th which is the officially planned day for the display installation.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


I apologize for the lack of posts in recent days....I have discovered some exciting new evidence and have been hard at work trying to understand its significance. Oddly, though, as the days of September start, I begin to feel something beginning to stir in the house. I feel as if I am being watched. But I won't allow the spirits of this place to hamper my work....

Monday, August 16, 2004


The Old Man
Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
One of the most fearsome spectres associated with The Sweeney Family Horror is the phantom known as The Old Man. This malevolent manifestation is noted by several of the Sweeney's diaries, the most detailed of which comes from Colleen Sweeney's October 28th entry:

"...but the past few days have been even worse. The children are terrified. I have begged James to let us leave this place but he steadfastly refuses. Last night I saw the old man. Or at least I saw something. I believe it is the same creature who torments the children. He was a ghastly vapor. It seems to me he was wearing a funeral suit. I saw him (it?) in the hall. Hiding in the shadows. I wanted to scream, but no sound would utter forth from my mouth. It was like a horrile nightmare. But I am sure I was not asleep. I swear he was laughing at me. Not that one could actually hear him laughing. It was as if he was projecting the laughter into my mind. I shut my eyes hoping that when I opened them again he would be gone...and he was. Why is this happening to us? I pray James will allow us to leave. I have begun to genuinely fear for our safety. I have told the children that there are no such things as ghosts and goblins and creatures of the night. I didn't know I was lying..."

The entry is disturbing not only for what it details but also for what it leaves out. Why would James Sweeney continue to subject his family to the psychological torment associated with a paranormal event of this magnitude?

I cannot yet say. However,
here are some facts that are without dispute:

Sweeney kept a locked cabinet somewhere within the family home. Kate Sweeney's diary called this item "Daddy's Cabinet of Curiosities."

Sweeney was known to frequent stores that did trade in, for lack of a better term, occult items.

James Sweeney returned from a business trip in New Orleans with a spirit board (a.k.a. ouija board) as a gift for his children.

The New Orlean's establishment, "The Raven's Claw," a purveyor of "dark merchandise" has a listing in its register for a "J. Sweeney" on October 10th, 1925.

Popular legend blames Kate's dabbling with this spirit board for summoning the forces that put the event we call The Sweeney Family Horror into play.

Of course, it is the particular details of the overall event that we are here to investigate. I fear that there is much more to the story than the legends surrounding it immediately reveal.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Behind the scenes: Fox Haunt

Click here to see an outstanding home haunt in California. What's better Mike Fox is a great guy: Fox Haunt

Consider me green with envy. Although I am pretty sure my neighbors are glad I don't have "The Terrible Trio" in the front yard for two weeks every year. Enjoy...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Behind the scenes: Haunting 101

We'll probably repost this later on when activity on this BLOG picks up but we wanted to announce that UMKC's COMMUNIVERSITY has asked us to teach an outreach class on, you guessed it, home haunting. We'll be accepting a class of about 25 on October 19th for a personal walk-through of the display and a behind the scenes look at how we do it. We'll also hand out a resource page with lots of links to good home haunting resources. If you're interested, keep an eye out for the COMMUNIVERSITY catalog. Or leave a comment here and as the details are confirmed we'll let you know. Do join us. Who knows. Maybe you'll be haunting your neighborhood before long.


Although it appears this ghostly site has not been updated in quite some time I thought I would share with you some information on other paranormal activity in Kansas City. I will leave them to their investigations because my team has our hands full trying to unravel the mysteries of the old Sweeney home.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
On the nights leading up to Halloween, passersby the old Sweeney home report strange sights and sounds. Many say the graves of the Sweeney Family appear once again in the small plot in front of the home, though due to city regulation, the graves were moved years ago. More haunting is the claim made by some that the Sweeney's oldest daughter, Kate, rises from the grave to warn off all visitors. Particularly on All Hallows Eve when, it is said, the supernatural activity reaches its peak. This photo, of unknown origin, seems to show the gravestone of the Sweeney family's patriarch, James. In the background, one may argue that a spectre is visible. This phantasm may be Kate. Or it may be a trick of light. Since there are no identifying features of the old Sweeny home that can be seen in this photograph I cannot say that this is an authentic photo of a manifestation at the Sweeney home. But I also have to wonder what someone would have to gain by faking it. I am currently looking for anyone who is gifted with "the sight" to assist me in my investigation of this recurring Halloween haunting.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Behind the scenes: The Terror Syndicate... the perfect place for any of you who may be interested in doing a home haunt of your own to start looking around. Just click on this post's title to go there now.

First, it will give you a look at a home haunt that puts ours to utter and complete shame (What?You thought we were the only people who go a little crazy in late October?). The site (and haunt) is run by the one and only Steve Hickman. He's a far better builder than I'll ever be. I'm a pretty good planner but alas, Norm Abrams I am not. Steve builds props that will blow you away. And he is not the only professional grade home haunter out there. Google Devious Concoctions and Wicked Stone Halloween why don't ya'.

On Steve's site, you'll see props that may look more than a bit familiar. That's because I've purchased a number of Steve's construction books and used many of his patterns.* Our gargoyle for instance, is modeled after Steve's, although I put more detail in the hands and wings and completely changed the design of the wings.

Steve would love for you to check out the books and products he has for sale. You'll also find links to other home haunting resources on Steve's site. Once you start looking around you'll find a whole host of folks who like to "haunt." Join us, won't you? If you have a haunt, let us know!

*Steve's books include how-to's for building all his props. Numerous haunts utilize them. However, something you won't find everywhere is the original and immersive backstory that binds all our Sweeney Family Horror props together. This approach is still pretty unique among home haunters. Some will certainly "theme" their props but we haven't met many who have gone as far as we have to weave a tale around all the props and tie the whole display together. We hope it makes a visit to the Sweeney Family Horror spookier and more fun.

Behind the scenes: Hi From The January Family

While the GHOST HOST and his team will be giving you all the information on the ghostly "back story" that goes along with our Halloween display, our posts will cover off the more practical items that many of you have been asking us for years.

First things first:

The target installation date this year is Saturday, October 9th. We'll start in the morning and, if all goes well, the display should be up and running by that evening.

Work to be done for the display this year:

1. The Sign Keeper: Last year's sign that told people to tune into our radio broadcast (89.7 FM) left a lot to be desired. We have a design in mind for a life-sized, sign-holding reaper to put out this year. This should look much better than the cheesy sign we had last year. It's already August and with a new addition to our family, it is not a guarantee we'll get it done.

2. Extensive repairs: The Rocking Tombstone and Gargoyle both came down with significant wear and tear last year. These are the first on our list to get done for this year.

3. A new Kate: We have acquired a new "Kate" ghost. Our old Kate was getting so dirty that she barely glowed at night so we wanted to remedy that.

Feel free to make comments here if you have questions you'd like to see us address. Remember, this is a family activity, so please keep your comments G-rated.


Originally uploaded by Ghost Host.
This is the only known photo of what some claim to see on the roof of the old Sweeney home during the weeks that lead up to Halloween. This photo is dark, and I can't claim to know its origin. It seems to show a "Gargoyle" demon. A manifestation of this kind is often seen as a harbinger of other supernatural activity. If this gargoyle does appear then it is highly likely more strange events will follow.


This blog will note our attempt to reseach the hauntings at the old Sweeney home. As many of you know, each year at Halloween, a series of strange events take place at the aformentioned address. My team and I plan to set up the most advanced survelliance techniques in an attempt to understand more about what actually happened to The Sweeney Family and why the Halloween season seems to draw out the restless spirits of the old home.