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Friday, December 31, 2010

As promised

here is the picture that my wonderful kids got me for Christmas...
They got it from a guy in Estonia. This is the first & only one I have. the seller said it was a woman in her wedding dress. I think he may have been mistaken though. I did some research and it seems that in that part of the world they often will bury someone in white (much like the "dresses" that people wear for baptism, first communion, confirmation, etc.) So it would be reasonable to think that this was such a case. Of course that is nowhere near as interesting to a buyer as saying it's a dead bride.
I am actually trying to find post-mortem pictures from around 1865 - 1915. The ones that they posed the deceased and then took pictures with them as if they were still alive. I know, one might say that is a bit weird, but that's only because we feel death is a taboo. Anyhow, I promised I would share the pic....
Happy Haunting!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My family is

the best family ever!!! How else can you describe a wife that gets her husband this book ...
for Christmas??? She so enables my obsession at times. See she knows that for next years haunt I am not only doing the outside of the house but I am also planning on doing the front room as well. And part of what I am doing involves Post-mortem photography or Momento Mori. (Click the link for info on this topic). This book is chock full of the things... I'll post a review of it as soon as I can...Also she helped the kids pick out and purchase an original Death portrait for me. (Yes, even my kids enable my obbsession.) Is it wrong that my two 13 year olds and soon to be 10 year old see nothing wrong with buying me a picture of a dead person??? So yeah, I believe I have the best family ever. Those that truely know me also know I honestly HATE the Christmas season, but I do have to say that this Christmas is in my top 10 days of my life (so far). The kids this year made it awesome:)
I did get some other cool stuff...a wood burner with 4 tips (which will also be used on next years haunt), an awesome cast iron skull bottle opener, and maybe my favorite gift of all a ukelele... I know odd. Anyway, I'll think about scanning and posting the pic that the kids got me sometime this week....
I hope your "other holiday" was as fruitful as mine:)
Happy Haunting!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I lied....

when I said I was not going to build any more props until after the New Year. Last night I finished yet another tombstone. This time I did something different. I saw this picture :

I was like wow...I love this. So I tried to copy it. Here is what I got:

Now that I am looking at it I think I have just a few more touches to add then I'll be finished. I was trying for that "sandstone" look. Not sure if I achieved it or not. Jen likes it, the kids approve of it, so I suppose I'll add it to the cemetery next year.
Until next time....
Happy Haunting!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yesterday I was kidnapped...

on the way home from Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Jen decided that whether I wanted to or not she was going to take me through the North Hill district of Pensacola. She's been trying to show me the houses there for months, but I have been giving tons of excuses like they don't have big front yards... or I'm too tired... While we were riding around through one of the neighborhoods, out of no where appeared a huge overgrown cemetery. It was like they just built the road right through the middle. Unfortunately at the time it was really cold and we didn't have the camera, so we went home. After the sun came up a bit more and all the kids were up, we returned to the cemetery to "explore" and take pictures... here are a few that Jen took....

This looked like it was the cemetery for a poor church congregation. There were a lot of graves that were just unmarked or simply the names were "drawn" into cement as it was drying. I think though I'll be able to use this as some "direction" for aging some of my tombstone projects.
Until next time...Happy Haunting!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Rott Family Plot

I figured since I already had Fester N. Rott & Diane Rott, I might as well go one step further. The dates I have on both of those two lent themselves to a sad truth that I decided to use. When we go visit the older cemeteries, we always see graves for youngsters all over the place with the dates in the 1800's. So I decided to give the Rott's an infant son....Willy
So today I made Willy's gravestone:

Here's another pic of the stone:

The stone says : Willy Rott... Born 1842... 18 mos. ... Sleep, my little one, Sleep
 I have the stone in betwen his mom & dad:

Maybe next year I will fence off a section so they have their own lil family plot. Jen says this is really creepy, but for me it just fits into the whole vision I have towards realism...hehehe
Tomorrow is the big day!!!! My anniversary and Halloween!!!! Woohoo!!!!
Happy Haunting!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pictures of the yard

One of my many challenges is night photography. I suck at it. Normally that would not be an issue; however, since my yard looks the coolest at night with the lights and the smoke, it does tend to cause me issues with sharing what my yard looks like. But here are a few that I think are ok....

I wish they were better but they give you an idea of the yard at night...
Happy Haunting!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Tombstone: Fester (Diane's Husband)

So since I completed Diane Rott's gravemarker I thought I should also do her husband's...Fester N. Rott....
I carved the Angel of Death and the hourglass the same way that I did the cat on annie's stone.

The epitaph reads " It does my heart a world of good...To see you in a box of wood"

Only 9 more days left... I'm so excited!!!!
Happy Haunting!!!
~ Bill

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tombstone: Diane Rott Finished

As promised here is the final picture of the tombstone:
I think I am finished with it. We're getting closer to the BIG day.
Happy Haunting!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Tombstone: Diane Rott

So yesterday I made a new tombstone: Diane Rott ( play on the words Die n Rot). Here is the pics... I still think I am gonna weather it a bit more, not sure yet though....
And another....

and the inscription/epitaph...

And here's a night shot...
Only 13 more days and so much left to do. We put the ground fog machines out tonight and did a test run. I think they will work well. Fog acts different here in Florida than it did in Utah.
Anyway, off to work on another Tombstone.
Happy Haunting!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Completed: Gavin's Crypt

Yesterday, being Saturday, was finish Gavin's crypt day. In all honesty, it is 70% his, 30% mine. (Especially, since he ditched me yesterday to play with a So here it is:
I think we did a good job on it. I am pleased with it so far. He ditched me after we got the top built, so I had to paint it. I did the opposite of what we did to the sides... I sprayed the entire top with a base coat of white and I let it dry. Then instead of using a roller I sprayed the entire top with a coat of black and used the hose on mist to "wash away" the paint. Here I am washing it away:
Here is what it looked like after I washed the black away:

I think I like this effect better than when I base coated black and washed the white away. And yes, the name on the crypt is one of my wife's great grand-mother:

And here is the finished top:

I added some moss to it (hoping it made it look "spookier and older"). The next few shots are of me putting it in the yard. I modified the "plan" for the crypt by putting pvc tubes on the inside to hold the rebar so the crypt is more secure.

Inside the crypt I added a green spot light facing inward and a fog machine (also facing inward). At night the green light shines through the cracks and "holes" that are in the crypt. It looks really creepy. Our camera takes really crappy night pictures so I am working on getting a good shot to post.
So the inspiration for this is from the Mitchell's new book "How to Haunt your House Book 2" page 20. I suggest you guys go and grab you a copy ASAP (so you can make cool stuff too!!!!)
More to come......Happy Haunting!!!!!