Friday, July 31, 2009

Haunters begin to pour in

OK, pour could be a bit of an exaggeration. But, our numbers have swelled from 2 (Mark and myself) to ten. By night's end, we will most probably be up to 20.

I'm heading down to the hospitality suite any minute now (after chilling in my room for a few and having a beer) to hang with the cool kids. I'm sure I'll have tons of fun stories (read as drunken behavior) to post later tonight.

Ya'll come back now, hear?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nashua Bound on the Morrow

Water the horses and prepare the carriages! Tomorrow is when we all ascend on Nashua, and it can't happen fast enough.

I'll post pics and updates about what's happening. I've had problems sleeping this week because I'm so excited. Hope I dont' sleep through the weekend.

See some of you this weekend. And, see the rest of you on the blog.

Friday, July 24, 2009

One week from right now. . .

I'll be hanging with my ECHC Haunties!! Yeah baby!! Now, if only I can get all my pre-Gathering chores completed before then. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

In case you need a little info as incentive to attend:

When......: Saturday, August 1st
Where.....: Fright Kingdom, 12 Simon Street, Nashua, NH
Time.......: 10:00 am
Admission: $20.00** Ages 14 and over only please! **

So far on the agenda....
Haunter’s Hangout - Please bring one of your homemade props, decorations or special effects and be a part of the spooky show-n-tell. * This agenda item will depend on the amount of participation.

Ghosthunting 101 – by Laura Guiliano - Laura has been haunting for over 10 years and is also a part of Para-Boston Investigators, She will show off some of her ghost hunting equipment and teach us the basics of this growing phenomena. She will also share some of the findings of the Para-Boston team.

101 uses for PVC… OK, more like 10 - By Victor Bariteau (AKA Halloween Zombie) - Victor receives a lot of “How did you do that?” questions in regards to some of his props and surprisingly many of the answers have been “PVC”. As haunters we have all used, or experimented with, PVC at least once – right? If not, why? It's light, easy to work with and best of all, not expensive. Most of us know PVC can be bent and shaped with heat, but this presentation will take you to the next level. Victor has made rib cages, rusty pipes, wing frames, a fancy-shmancy cemetery fence; he has even made a “water cylinder” for a barrel pop-up. Along with PVC, Victor will also touch on how to work with fiberglass for water-proof corpsing.
Victor is Systems Administrator for State Street Corp. and has been Yard Haunting for 13 years in Fairhaven, MA.

Let there be light! - By Jim Wieloch - Jim will demonstrate how to automate lighting and sound effects using computerized Light Controllers. These systems are designed to control simple or elaborate lighting displays. The presentation focuses on the 'LightORama' hardware platform. He will review the available types of controllers from stand-alone controllers to synchronizing hundreds of controllers, motion detectors, animation servos and other devices using a personal computer or master controller. The information is intended for both home haunt and pro haunt applications and will provide examples.

Action packed build it yourself Hauntfomercial! - by Steve O and friends - In a tribute to the late Billy Mays, Steve O from the Garage of Evil has volunteered (begged) a few great haunters into helping him present a live how-to on building not one, not two, but three (THREE!) props in one seminar. These are "must have" props/tools for any haunter and easy to build for all skill levels. As the haunters build the items, Steve will explain every step and give the technophobic among us the knowledge and confidence to build them. When the presentation is done, the 3 projects will be completed and operational so you can see what they do and how they work.
You'll learn how to build:

* Laser vortex - Maybe the best bang for your buck. You can build this cool special effect for your home (or pro) haunt for around $30 bucks.

* Foam carving tool with variable power supply - This is not one of those cheap craft store special, but a real variable foam cutting power supply on par with those costing upwards of a $100 for around $25 bucks.

* Flicker circuit - The one, the only (the classic) fluorescent starter flicker circuit. For the soldering newbies, this is a great and very simple project to get you started on building your own haunt effects.

Doing all the actual work will be home haunters Jeff Durette, GoE Labs chief mad scientist Pete Flaherty, and the head honcho of Haunt Forum, Zombie-F. Basically we're going to leverage Steve O's strong suit - non stop talking. Steve, Pete, Jeff and Dave will be available later for brain picking, but we suggest you pick Steve's brain before the after Gathering festivities begin.

Tour Fright Kingdom - by Tim Dunne and Fright Kingdom staff
Not only has Tim Dunne (the owner of the Fright Kingdom) asked to host this year's Gathering. He has also offered to give us a full tour of Bloodmere Manor and a sneak peek of the front room of the Psycho Circus.

Dinner & Magic Show - It has always been our intention to keep the party going after the Gathering day. For those of you that have been with us a while know that finding a place for all of us to get together, to eat, drink (yes Steve, I said drink) and/or just hang out, is not an easy task. So this year we put together a dinner and a show… a Magic show to be exact.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Countdown to New England Haunter's Gathering

OH My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!!! Less than a month until the Gathering!!! The Gathering is the reason I began this website, for all of you not in the know.

I have spent the day working on a presentation for one of the speakers (won't tell you which one but I've been privy to some cool stuff). And, later today, I'm working on the kick-ass name badges. Truthfully, they are pretty much done, and, yes, they kick ass!!!

I hope everyone has RSVP'd, for both the day long seminar on the 1st in Nashua and the dinner/magic show that night. If not, run on over to the website and do so post haste!

See you there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Team Halloween Information



Team Halloween is a charity near and dear to the East Coast Haunt Club's heart. For the last several years, we've been doing our part to raise money for it. What is it, you ask? Well, it's a charitable project, started by Mike Krausert of Bad Boys Scenic Design, that raises money for organizations that help people effected by breast cancer.

Once again, we will be holding an auction at this year's Gathering with all the proceeds going to Team Halloween. If you can't make it, you can still donate. Click on the logo and you will be swept away, lickity split, to the website where you can donate on-line.

New Pictures of Graceland Cemetery

Graceland is so huge that I only get to see a small chunk of it each visit. Here's some photos I took during Chris' trip.
Daniel Burnham was the mastermind behind the Columbian Exposition here in Chicago. Anyone who's read The Devil and the White City should be familiar with him. Above is a close up of his grave marker. Below are shots from further away and the view from his marker. They have their own island within the cemetery. It's an amazingly beautiful setting.
Wack her? I don't even KNOW her!!!
I think this crying lady might be my current favorite.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Next Up - New England Haunter's Gathering

Here's a link to their site. . .

I'll be getting in at about 10:30 AM on Friday, July 31st. I think we'll all be meeting up through-out the day in Nashua. I hope, hope, hope to see you there. Normally, by the time it's over, I'm in pain from laughing so much all weekend.

Sorry for the silence

Sometimes, life gets a little nutty and you have to let the things you like doing most fall by the wayside. That's what has been going on here lately. But, things have calmed down a bit, so I'm back on the horse.

Chris and I had a fabulous time during his visit. We saw all kinds of Chicago touristy things, most of which you guys probably don't care about. But, what do you care about? Well, the Pirate exhibit at the Field Museum, our stroll through Graceland Cemetery and our trip to The Museum of Science and Industry to check out the Harry Potter Exhibit.

Let's start with Pirates. It kicked off with a history of slave ships which threw us for a loop. Two or three rooms full of of information about the slave trade. Very disturbing stuff. Eventually, in or about the third room, you find out that the slave ship they've been talking about, The Whydah was taken by Pirates and became a Pirate Ship. YAAAARGH! There were tons of artifacts, which was way cool. And a replica or two that made us happy. Including the bow of the ship. There are 5 screens in front of you showing a boat floating out on the horizon. Even though you're perfectly stationary, it really feels like your bobbing up and down. A most excellent effect.

The next day we went to Graceland Cemetery. I've posted pictures from there before, but have some new ones I'll be putting up tomorrow. Chris got some ideas there for the tombstone he's making for The Gathering raffle. Each and every one of you should buy a ticket.

Sunday, we headed over to the Museum of Science and Industry for the Harry Potter exhibit. I'm glad we saved it for last because it was, without a doubt, the highlight of his visit (well, except for magic mic at Kate's). I can't even begin to count the amount of movie props, costumes, etc they had there. They also built a replica of Hagrid's hut and the Great Hall. If you can get to Chicago the exhibit is a must! We got so many great ideas of things to make for our Halloween stuff this year. And, all the guides (read guards) have wonderfully fake English accents.

We were not allowed to take pictures in either of the exhibits (sad Debbie), but here's a link to their websites. There's sure to be some pictures on there: