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....