Well, now that you know how much work goes into building our haunted trail, let’s focus on the fruits of that labor for today’s topic. The full trail experience is too much for a post, so I am only going to feature a few of the shots here. If you want t0 experience the entire trail both from a day and a night walkthrough, please check out or web gallery on Smugmug (Eddiesoft.Smugmug.com). Even with the condensed version, this post is full to the brim with pictures. Rather than type a lot, I’ll just try to point out a few things along the way starting with the daylight shots
As mentioned previously, we try to start the trail off with more family friendly decorations.
These are Pauls’ air Frankenstein’s. Think this is the first time he has put them together – a family that scares together stays together.
More blowups further down the path. Paul had another nice touch putting the thin ghost in between the other ghost themed items. That thing never wants to say up so he fixed that problem by tying it to the larger blowups on the sides.
Hit the jump to see the rest of the trail pictures .. including the walk in the dark!
A long shot showing the ghost, skeletons and a witch from the friendly portion of the trail.
I really like this witch, but it is difficult to get stood up thanks to some really crappy engineering on the three legs that form the support. I am pretty sure it lights up in some manner based on looking at its LED like eyes – I didn’t have time to figure it out so it had to go as is.
Paul’s giant cat – perfectly captures my opinion of all cats.
One of my two Jason PVC ghosts. The other one welcomes our guests at the driveway entrance – forgot to get a picture of that one this year.
The spider display gets creepier every year. The crash test dummy head cracks me up. I was able stop by Spirit and Halloween City tonight and picked up a few more large spiders to add to it next year – nothing better for the trail than half price decorations.
Another long shot down the trail.
A new decoration this year – somehow I bought two last year after Halloween – good thing since this one started acting weird by the end of the night. When it detects motion it drops down 3′. Linda got quite the surprise out of it the first time she encountered it in the dark that night.
The spider food store got an upgrade this year. Finally got around to making the spider egg sacks I saw on Pinterest (hanging down on the sides).
My new skull path lights from Menards. I was pretty excited about these since they were battery operated and supposedly motion sensored – they had problems tripping, deterring from the effect – will have to fix that for next year.
Our friend John’s ground breaker. It is made of resin and downright creepy even during the day.
Paul’s ground breaker complete with the tombstones he made.
The following was a night before creation – basically took my Posey design and made mini groundbreakers. Think I will shorten the body for next year, but worked out quite well.
Paul’s creative juices were in high gear this year – he found this disco ball someone was throwing out and hung it above the ground breaker section. He then took beam lights and pointed them at the ball from the ground lighting up the entire area with spooky dots that moved in the wind – way cool.
My favorite addition from last year was definitely coming back this year – was really happy how the final skeleton poses came out.
Another addition from last year, the Grim Reaper. I had troubles figuring out how I dressed it last year, but eventually Ron and I figured it out.
Posey 1 all dressed up – this was one of the early models.
Posey 2 – also an early model all dressed up.
The clown below is often considered the best decoration on the trail – wait until you see it in the dark. Note the motion trigger in the bottom left. They were making their debut this year as well.
Paul was thinking ahead when he put this decoration up – there was definitely some dangerous stuff going on in this part of the trail.
Paul added that huge Frankenstein this year – he bought a poseable cardboard cutout and then mounted it on 3 inch foam.
Okay, that was the day view of a few of the items on the trail – now time to turn off the sun and get down to business. Even the tame blowups get a little spookier in the moonlight.
Remember these guys?
Paul also has like a 12′ pumpkin head – that thing is huge.
Hmmm, this turned out a little scarier than expected – might have to move this down the trial a bit for next year – too early in the walk to start creating nightmares.
Here’s that witch mentioned above.
Holy crap that cat’s pissed
A troll to watch over the gully bridge.
For a simple prop, this decoration creeps the hell out of me glowing in the dark.
Jason got an upgrade this year – color changing hands
So cool – amazing how much better a prop looks with strategic lighting.
The Chucky mask is scary as hell alone, but nothing compared to when Amy was wearing it on trail. I skipped a heartbeat thanks to this prop the next day during tear down. I was standing by it and it started MOVING. Once I saw a mouse pop out of it a few seconds later my heart decided to come back to earth.
Ron put a trail light among the spider skulls this year adding a nice touch to the effect.
That cocooned body starts vibrating and the eyes glow red when you get close to it.
Sung had his blue light with him this year – I had no idea how much creepier everything looks under blue light at night. Next year I’m going to add some dramatic blue lighting to recreate the effect.
A ground breaker basked in the spooky light.
I told you John’s breaker is ghastly at night.
Remember that ground break I made out of the Posey design the night before – here it is with the glowing mask costume.
One of my favorite shots from the night.
Digging up bones!
Here is another one of my Posey breakers – this one had glowing eyes.
I love how this creation turned out – had a vision for how it would look while creating it and pretty much nailed it on the execution.
A new prop from my parents this year – on of many I’ve received from them over the years.
Hard to tell with this particular shot, but the Posey’s pumpkin mask actually pulsed with light.
One of the newer Posey models giving me greater flexibility on the pose. Next year it gets shoes – pressed for time this year. If you look close you will see one of the motion triggers in the bottom left. Those worked really nice to light up the prop just as people got near it. Add some animation planned for next year and the guests might consider bringing extra underwear.
I had no idea this head glowed like it did until Sung hit it with his blue beam. Looks like Linda missed the other severed heads hanging on the other side of the trail from it.
Another Posey with a glowing eye mask.
An now for the best part…an assured nightmare generator.
More blue light effects
Kudos to Ron for putting tea lights in strategic areas like this hanging skeleton.
Another hanging ghoul to haunt your dreams.
Remember when I mentioned how strategic the Beware decoration was.. well it was warning people about this…
If you want to learn more about that flaming pumpkin be sure and check out its featured post (link here). Lastly I bring you Paul’s amazing Frankie.
That’s it for the post pictures. Again, this was just a sampling. Be sure and check out the gallery to get the full effect of the party. Don’t forget this all goes up in a day and down the next!
A big thank you again to Paul, Ron, Jeff, John and, of course, Linda for contributing to another fantastic night. Spooky dreams everyone – scare you again next year.
5 thoughts on “The Trail Haunts Awaken Again – Part 2 of 2”
Ooops, I forgot to give Linda credit for all the night pictures – those turned out really nice
Yes, very, very cool!! What you don’t experience reading this post is that the long, dark trail forks and surrounding woods were continually full of haunting moans and shrieks emanating from the various figures, and the trail is absolutely dark (no moon) other than the lighted creatures and tea light pumpkins marking the way here and there so you don’t fall into a creek and die. It’s an extremely spooky place to be, hard to describe but nightmarish.
The disco light effect was fabulous–on par with the flaming pumpkin for new items this year. Based on your experience, I wonder if a blue light on the disco ball would look even better. I also wonder if a small specter cutout mounted on the front of an intermittent flashlight hanging from a tree by a string might seem to be a ghost flitting through the woods as the flashlight swings in the wind. See, now Brian has me thinking up these scary things.
That hanging figure that suddenly and drops down 3 feet and and makes scary noises when you get close was ultra-spooky–too bad it started acting up later in the night. Shocked me when it was still daylight out. And a GIF movie of the ghoul that had all the twinkling lights in her would be cool–that was one classy dame.
We talked about animating a few of the Posey’s next year. That should be fun. I was thinking later that there are linkages that when one point is rotated by a motor there is a slow motion of another end for a while followed by a sudden return to the initial state, which would allow a Posey’s arm, for example, to rise slowly and then slam down, frightening children and adults alike. Bwa-ha-haa!!
Again, an amazing spooky trail, which explains all the people who came to the party! Inside there was tons of food brought by everyone who came, plus there were Halloween decorations all around the house. I can’t believe I never made it to this party before.
Linda took great night pictures–congrats, those are hard to do right!
Thank you – again it is a team effort to put this – our guests are amazed it literally goes up in a day and comes down the next. I like to think our friends get extra value for their long trip out in the country to our woods. Especially those like yourself that come all the way from Chicago! We can definitely try the blue light next year – I wonder if a black light might work as well. This was the first year for the beam flashlights hanging from the trees. Those were a nice touch from Paul but we need to find a way to make them last longer – they ended up burning out before the night was over. I do have small strobes that would work for the cutout – another idea for next year – keep ’em coming.
I’ll take that dropping decoration apart and get that working again. I am also going to tear out all the motion sensors and put in better ones as well as swapping out the sound activated ones for motion detectors. They tend to start going wonky after a couple of years and there really isn’t much to them – just open up the controller, find the leads to the build in detector and rewire them to an external device – easy peasy.
I’ve been watching youtube video after youtube video lately learning about all the linkage options – I’ll be working these out over winter so we are ready to go next year!
Glad you could make it – see ya’ next year!
For the record, I did not come from Chicago because I don’t live in Chicago–way, way west of the city, mind you, not even close, no matter what people in Peoria might think. No way.
North of 80 East of 39 – seems pretty clear to me