Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happiest of Hallowe'ens to all of you loyal patrons 
of the Skull & Pumpkin!

A few pictures of our display, and the magic to be seen here.

 Miss Madeline.

 Mr. Jack, close personal friend of the Great Pumpkin.

 Mr. Jack and his daddy, Brother Chris, a-feared of the Red Death!

 The Pirates and the Raven.

 The tombstones and the Lean Bros. & Ghoul.

 And my absolute favorite vision from this whole All Hallow's Eve-Eve, this woodsmokey, sunny, Fall day...

Our pretty girl Hallowe'en, purring, posing, 'nearly napping', and entirely in her element.
She is aptly named, and much beloved.
She also doubles as our 'Black Cat' prop for the Poe theme.

Oh this wonderful holiday, this remarkable season, this beautiful darkness...


Happy Hallowe'en to you all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

One more moment, please.

It's nearly time.
The sun sets, the grounds darken, and the joy begins.

The joy of watching hard work become 'living, breathing' spookiness; such a remarkable and blessed (and it is blessed, damnit!) part of the wondrous, deep Hallowe'en magic.

We've worked hard enough that tomorrow, October 30th, we will be doing something we've never done before.

We will be running our display on the night before Hallowe'en as well as on Hallowe'en proper.

Every thing's just about ready, so why not? Plus, we have friends and some family who may not be able to attend on Sunday night so they'll have a chance to see it on Saturday.

Add to that the joy of having TWO Hallowe'en nights in a row, and you have a recipe, a brew, for pure heaven.

Loyal S&P'er Mr. Macabre is dead right -- people need Hallowe'en -- and Hallowe'en people need as much of it as they can get.

I cannot tell any of you how much it means to me that we are Autumn People.

And I don't really have to. You all know the magic as deeply as I do.

The next two days are a blur, but there will be pictures posted tomorrow night (and those of you attending Sunday might want to exercise a little self-control and avoid the S&P until you've seen it yourself!).

A happy, happy All Hallow's Eve... um... Eve, to each and every one of you.


Just for a moment.

Hello, friends of the Skull & Pumpkin!

Glad you're still hanging around the place; there's excitement in the air, and I can feel that old tingling magic, the thrill of the approaching spookiness, that old Hallowe'en Feeling which never fails to show up, indescribable but unmistakable for any other holiday emotion the whole year 'round.

In the midst of all of our preparations, I keep finding myself thinking back to my younger Hallowe'ens.

I think we all do, and I think this is one of the main reasons we still love the holiday so much.

We've never quite forgotten what it's like to be a child on Hallowe'en night...

This one especially needs to be clicked and enlarged to really see everything.
It's perfect. Idealized, sure. What nostalgia isn't?

Just take a moment this weekend. Remember why we do what we do, why we love what we love.

Why we need to pass the traditions along.

Why we need to pass the old Hallowe'en Feeling along.

So excited.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Making Hallowe'en, pt. 13.

A lucky number, perhaps.

Every October, during this last week before the Big Night, there's always so much to do that I sometimes forget ideas I had during the previous few weeks... and in the case of my Poefixins™, another head was needed, but I'd forgotten about it until late last night.


I just knew it wouldn't take too long to create if I did it right, made it look just cool enough to be in a dark room with a single dim light on his vulture eye...

Of course, I am referring to the newest resident of the October Country, the Old Man from The Telltale Heart!

It never fails to make me laugh. The sculpted results of my designs always look like a mix of Jack Klugman, Christopher Plummer and somebody who must've scared me when I was a kid.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm happy to be able to whip up something as good as the above fella in the space of about two hours -- but they all kinda look alike.

Maybe that's a good thing.

Hopefully this poor, soon-to-be-victim of a madman's disgust will be creeping out kids come this weekend.

Good gosh, this weekend.

I feel a little old, sure.

And very, very spooooooooky!

DDSPoefixins™ !

4 days?


The clock says 3 days and 13-some hours, but that's 4 days to me.

And I'll take each hour, thanks.

Lots to dig up...
We're on it.

God I love Hallowe'en.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making Hallowe'en, pt. 12.

The clock's ticking.

Getting closer.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hallowe'en On The Air.

 Hi S&Pers!

I'm just taking a second out of my insane 'will I ever get it all done?!?' schedule to let you know about Sirius/XM's cool week long Hallowe'en event channel that just started airing today!

Called Scream, it's on Sirius 113 and XM 227, playing spooky music and stories (and soundbites from movies and TV specials and on and on) all the way through Friday night, then it switches to nonstop scary sound effect atmospheres all through Saturday and Sunday.

Also, they are featuring numerous Hallowe'en-themed shows all week long on their year-round Old Time Radio channel Radio Classics (Sirius 118, XM 164).

Hallowe'en radio...
... so much fun.

I don't want to leave the house now.

Oh wait... I can take it with me!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Making Hallowe'en, pt. 11.

Hi S&P-brains!

I know we've all been busy, and we haunters are really ramped to overdrive right now, getting ready for the Big Night!

I have been programming and planning, getting little sleep, and enjoying every minute of it.

But it keeps me away from the ol' S&P, and I thought I should at least stop in and share a few with you all.

A few pictures, that is.

They're not "Poefixins™ " Making Hallowe'en, but they are definitely making Hallowe'en -- if it's pumpkin carving, it's making Hallowe'en!

Remember that Post-It note I left for you?

Here's a look at what we did that day:
First, of course, one must set the proper mood...
 Kiara really isn't digging the whole 'slimy innards' thing... but she was a champ!

 She was actually very patient with the process of using one of those patterns.

 Finishing her 'kitty o'lantern', she gives 'her' a kiss. Yeah, she might be five.
 'Pa' and Kiara's pumpkins.
Handmade by Pa, Kiara and our friend Lacey. I love Keek's expression of Hallowe'en joy in the background!

Yes, she'd scraped her knee that morning. Yes, she'd placed her Aquafina water bottle in her pumpkin (and managed to drink out of it!).

Yes, it was a fine, fine late October pumpkin carvin' day with people I love.

And if Hallowe'en isn't about that too, I don't want the rest of it.

So tired, so busy... but there will be more before the Big Night!

I hope you are all enjoying your Hallowe'entime... and thanks for sharing some of your Hallowe'en enjoyment here at the Skull & Pumpkin.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Hallowe'en, pt. 10.

Hello again S&Pers!

Listen, I don't want to take away from the utter coolness of Mr. Jack's yardhaunt in the previous post, please go look if you haven't yet. It rocks like a rock rocking in a rocking chair which is rocking on another rock.

But I wanted to give you a look at the Poefixins™ I worked on yesterday.

 First, I had to weather the stone, then affix the daguerrotype/frame.

My cousin Goob made this fantastically weighted, perfectly suited base for me. He did it in about 15 minutes, couldn't believe it. I then painted it up to look like some kind of stone -- granite, whatever. I painted all the cracks on too!

 Here are the parts, waiting to be assembled.

 And here is the (nearly) finished product. 

I may add QUOTH THE RAVEN over the top arch, and 1809 - 1849 on the riser just above NEVERMORE. The thing is, I like how stark and spare it is right now. We'll see.

By the time it's being displayed, though, I will be adding a half a bottle of cognac, some roses, and a candle. 

Poefixins™, you keep me happy.

Tonight we record audio for a pumpkin, two pirates and a raven. Programming begins tomorrow.

Inspired, tired and


Monday, October 18, 2010

Meet Mr. Jack.

Mr. Jack?

Mr. Jack is my nephew (and therefore cousin to Young Will).

Over his 12 or so years (look, I love him but I'm not good with remembering ages), he's spent so much time with his folks (my brother and his wife) and me that he had no choice but to be a fanatical lover of monsters, magic and Hallowe'en!

He was stomping around doing impressions of all the classic Monsters when he was just learning to walk and talk -- a true son of the family madness. Mr. Jack helped me repair and make much greater that bust of Kong on our deck, most importantly by helping to cut and paint those foam teeth.

As he's gotten older, he's become quite the yard haunter himself. With his folks helping him along with their own great fanatical enthusiasm, he's been putting together displays which, had I done the same when I was his age, would have had me beaming with pride.

I'm mighty proud of him and his ma and pa.

So please be careful with these pics as they get passed around -- they're going into frames and permanently onto the walls of the S&P after this!

Yeah, it's hard to get really good pictures of dark, spooky Hallowe'en displays. But here's a bit of an overview of things as you first approach the yard. Graveyard, kitchen window (lights on!), googly eyeballs, porch, Green Ghost, and Jack's ever-morphing undead rock band (we'll get to them in a second).

Let's go to the graveyard first.
It's much cooler to see it in real-life blacklight but again, cameras... sheesh!
Not just one ghost but another ghost with his skeleton pal hanging from the same tree.

 Mr. Jack's been learning to use foam skulls, clays, paint and other things to make his own denizens of dread... and I love that each of these homemade beauties is adorned with a spi - bespidered!
 This guy (or girl, without high heels I can't tell) looks especially creepy to me. It's the rotted teeth, the mad eye, and yet another spider! -- just very effective. Of course, all graveyards must have graveyard rats:
It's like a zombified Chuck E. Cheese!

Moving to our right, we see my brother's balls googly eyeballs...
 ... plus a very grim Reaper. In real light, it's very moody and I can see a child wanting to stay away from this part of the house -- but they have to pass it in order to get to The Porch!

I had to take a flash shot as well, so you could really see the great pumpkin (ba-dump-bump!) placement on the steps -- steps which lead to some very cool Hallowe'enishness just to our left:
LOVE this Hallowe'en porch!
A mummy, a skeleton pirate, a grandfather clock, spooky family portraits... everything is perfect! Plus, Mr. Jack's piratical guest has a little buddy to hang with him -- literally!:

After perusing the cozy livingroom scene, we turn to our right and find
MORE reapers (the being on the right looking suspiciously like a Dementor)!

So, it's back down the porch we go, and turning to our left at the bottom of the steps shows us
The Green Ghost!
I'm calling him that, even if it's not his real name; it reminds me so much of the little guy from the old Green Ghost Game that I can't help it. Too cool.

And speaking of cool, now that we've passed the verdigris vapor we come to the main act! Boils and ghouls, I present that afterworldly act of awesomeness, LEAN!

They began their coffinous career a few Hallowe'ens back as The Deadles (y'know, John, Paul, etc. and etc.) and were a big hit. But this year, Mr. Jack's musical horizons are broadening and he's decided to outfit them anew as a Queen (under)cover band, Lean.
 Here's lead singer, songsmith and keybone-ist Deady Mercury.

 And just like their real-life inspirations, Lean has only allowed one legendary performer to
collaborate with them -- the very thin white duke, David Boney!

Well, you've outdone yourself yet again, Mr. Jack!
 Thanks for the tour and the incredible decorating, prop-making and cool-idea-thinking!
Happy Hallowe'en, Mr. Jack! See you on the 31st!

Oh, and by the way, this post is