Project Halloween UV Light Bomb Evolution

It’s the middle of August and that means the stress is starting to build fast. We are around 8 weeks before our annual Halloween Party and a big element of that event is the haunted trail (link here). The Haunt Factory lights are on and the machines are already running double shifts. We try to bring you a lot of our Halloween project, although due to the time crunch those usually come after the haunt. As I just finished the latest design for our Halloween Prop UV Light Bombs, l thought it would be a good time to feature them while the details were still fresh in my mind.

These UV lights have gone through several iterations over the years. I’ve never been happy at the price point of these units and each iteration was focused on trying to get the components as cheap as possible and still deliver the effect we wanted. Our first version was actually born out of a need to put some light on areas that required extra caution by our guests, a dip in the ground, a step up, maybe a low hanging branch. The safety of our guests is priority one. Scares are a distant second.

Hit the jump to learn how we have evolved the design our of our haunt lights over the years.

Continue reading Project Halloween UV Light Bomb Evolution

Project: Birds Got Me Cranky

A week into the new month and I am just now getting around to a post – I can see another last minute postapalooza coming toward the end of the month, big sigh. Seems like just when I get ready to sit back in the pool with an umbrella adorned drink someone (or something) drops a cinder block of to-dos in the water deviously tied to my ankle. Written on one side of that block was the words “Your Halloween Party is only 8 weeks away!” and the other side was some bizarre scribbling that looked like “Al yur seeds r belong 2 us” . I am painfully aware of the quickly approaching party date, but the other… no ide…wait, wait – THOSE BASTARDS!!!

Picked up the cinder block, grabbed my umbrella cocktail and leaped out of the pool …okay, maybe not leaped – those blocks can be heavy and awkward .. but I did get out and run to the bird feeder. Sure enough, those devil spawn Raccoons had done it – a frayed wire looking heartbroken having let my precious seed slip from its clutches. Apparently the devil spawn I caught going for my feeders the day before came back with vengeance on its mind.

As if I didn’t have enough to do, now I needed to reconstruct my feeder system. I knew this was going to happen at some point due to a design decision I had made that ended up biting me in the ass – more on that in a bit. The good news is the Feeder 2.0 is done.

Project: Birds Got Me Cranky

To make lemonade out of lemons – or maybe should say soup out of Raccoons, decided it was time to finally document the process and make a post. That is the real reason for the late post this month as I was busy taking pictures during the build and needed to get those collected and uploaded. So, if you are intrigued on how this project went, hope you enjoy the walk-through below. Almost forgot – this design is for a 2 feeder system. If you only want one, then a single wire system with one upper arm is all you would need.

Hit the jump to get to the nitty gritty details of my self-developed feeder stand (rights restricted to non-commercial use only unless permission explicitly granted).

Continue reading Project: Birds Got Me Cranky

Haunting 2021 Part III: Night Terror

I always underestimate the amount of work it takes to get the multiple posts out covering the Haunted Trail of Tears each year. Thinking this is why I subconsciously put it off so long ha. The good news is the hard part is past. The prep/teardown (link here) and day walk (link here) posts have a ton of shots that all have to be processed and then I try to focus more on the details and backstory when presenting them. Today’s night walk post still has a ton of pictures which need even more work due to the limited lighting on the trail, however, I can just focus on the experience writing it up thanks to the those other two lead ins.

So, less words today, but hoping you enjoy a sampling from the big night. The Headless Horseman prop is the prop that gets the most attention throughout the night, both from our guests and us. The flaming pumpkin is quite the entertainer, but a hollowed out pumpkin full of kerosene in the woods takes extra caution.

Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Hit the jump to see the various sights on the Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Continue reading Haunting 2021 Part III: Night Terror

Haunting 2021 Part II: Day Walker

And we are back into this haunted March. In the last post I took you through the Haunted Trail of Tears 2021 prep phase and went ahead and covered the tear down while I was at it. It is time to once again to burn a hole through your browser’s image cache with the fun part of putting on this annual event – taking the run through and hitting some of the highlights and features our guests have come to expect to jump start their Halloween season. Today, the focus is on the “Day Walk” while I try to power through the work needed to get the “Night Walk” post prepped – yeoman’s work for sure.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a shot of the Headless Horseman the first day of the two day event. Corrected this oversight the following morning, but the first pumpkin had already been through the burner ha! You will understand that more when you see the night shots.

Haunted Trail of Tears 2021 Day Walk

The Headless Horseman (link here), has definitely been a guest favorite since making its debut a few years ago. He is placed up near the house instead of on the trail so we can keep an eye on the flames pouring out of the pumpkin. Last thing I need is to set the woods on fire – although that might actually be the only way to flush the rabid clowns out of there.

Hit the jump to see more from the trail!

Continue reading Haunting 2021 Part II: Day Walker

Haunting 2021 Phase 1 and IV: Prep and Teardown

Those that have been following the March Haunt here at Intrigued are already aware that I discovered a huge gap in last year’s post cycle. I completely forgot to put the traditional recap of our annual Haunted Trail of Tears event. Not sure how that happened and I can’t even us the work crutch now that I’ve crossed my 1 year retirement anniversary. Admittedly, there was a giant sigh when this came to light as it is daunting work to get the images ready for such a post. The good news is the background tasks for the prep and tear down phases is now complete. Time to get that checked off my to-do list!

Each year the first item on the project plan is to open up all the trails in our woods. Since we have a large number of guests that attend, we want to make sure the trails are easy to walk, free of downed obstacles and even more important, falling hazards addressed. Adding to the importance is the fact the event happens mostly in the dark with little to no ambient light. The month leading up to the date requires a lot of time on Big Orange.

Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Mow all the grass/weeds down, haul off dead trees, smooth out the mole highways and cut back the god-awful invasive Multiflora Rose – a constant pain in my ass. At least our Locust Trees drop their thorns within the perimeter of the tree where the Rose sneaks under cover of night and plants itself where it can inflict the most pain. After a month of hard work and buckets of blood loss, the trails are in good enough shape and ready for a final mowing a couple of days prior to the big date.

During this same timeframe, night activities turn to prop prep. All the tubs have to be brought down from their storage racks in the outbuilding and those requiring assembly and/or batteries are brought down to the basement. That also brings on one of the bigger reoccurring expenses for the event – BATTERIES. Took this picture of a small portion of the required DC power. I stopped counting when I got to 100 9Vs, 35 AAAs and then 245 AAs.

Hit the jump to go behind the scenes at the Haunted Trail of Tears! (don’t be scared, we turned the lights on)

Continue reading Haunting 2021 Phase 1 and IV: Prep and Teardown

Project Injection Freddy

Hopefully with this latest barrage of non-wildlife posts, I am putting to rest all those false accusations Intrigued has completely gone to the birds. A quick count puts this at the 5th consecutive post featuring non-living topics. Some would say this is getting out of “hand”! Speaking of which…

Project Freddy Injection Prop for Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Yep, we are bringing another Halloween prop project that was first introduced in last year’s Haunted Trail of Tears. Halloween may only be a day in most people’s standard year, but around Intrigued it is 363 days a year (we have to take two days off from prop building in order to hold the actual two day event ha). Today’s feature was in the works for probably 3 years and the pieces were just not coming together very well. Made the head first, wasn’t really happy with it as there were issues during the foam filling process. Fixed that issue the next year, got the iconic Freddy hat and then ran out of time to build the Posey frame (link here and earlier versions here). It wasn’t until Covid (more accurately the Covid “response”) that it finally provided the spark …err needle to get me going.

Project Freddy Injection Prop for Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Hit the jump to read about how the key element of this prop came to fruition.

Continue reading Project Injection Freddy

Project Mini-Me Fire Breather

March at Intrigued is slowly turning into October junior. This isn’t by any divine strategy (although a spring Halloween would be awesome!). Nope, this is entirely due to looking at my post queue and realizing I need to get my ass in gear and get at least LAST year’s Halloween related posts out. If not, it pretty much snowballs from there as the prop building is already in progress for this year’s event and before you know it I’ll be in full stress mode trying to get everything planned for the big event. How the hell did I get all this done when I was still working!?!

Whining about it, isn’t going to solve the problem, so let’s get to work. Today’s featured Halloween prop is another “upgrade” project.

Project Mini-Me Fire Breather prop for Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Our Mini-Me dragon started out as a base prop that one of my nephews or nieces gave me for Christmas. Note to others, if there is ever a need for a gift idea, you can never go wrong in the haunt department. I picked up the daddy dragon the year before at Big Lots (will show that later). It was a more featured offering with lights in the eyes, moving mouth and various dragon related sounds. The Mini-Me version looked similar, but was lacking these additional features.

Project Mini-Me Fire Breather prop for Haunted Trail of Tears 2021

Hit the jump to see how this store-bought prop underwent a dramatic improvement before heading out to the haunted trail.

Continue reading Project Mini-Me Fire Breather

Project Toxic Spidey Upgrade

Hitting the non-wildlife side of Intrigued hard this month. I have way too many projects waiting in the queue and need to keep pressing if I ever want to see above the waterline this year. Priority one is to at least get through the Halloween related posts before we get deep into setting up this year’s Haunted Trail of Tears. There are always at least two haunt projects in the works here which always draws one or two strange looks from the service people that come into the house for one reason or another. The regulars are used to it by now and some have even started giving me feedback on the finished props positioned around the basement. The new ones have a very worried look and waste no time getting their tasks done ha! Today I thought I would bring you the latest addition to the collection.

Toxic Spidey Halloween Prop 2022

I call him Toxic Spidey and is an elaboration on a store bought skeleton spider my nephew and niece gave me for Christmas this year. They know my sickness, I mean affinity for all things scary. I am really fond of this new wave of props that have been coming out that focus on skeletal structures of smaller animals and insects. Note, they do give us quite the chuckle when they keep the cartilage features like ears – this spider is slightly truer to reality although thankfully larger than the ones we see out in our woods.

Toxic Spidey Halloween Prop 2022

Hit the jump to see how this lifeless prop gets a brighter life.

Continue reading Project Toxic Spidey Upgrade

Project Cemetery Sentry

Getting to crunch time.  We are now officially under 8 months to Halloween and we still have LOTS to do to get ready for the 2022 Haunted Trail of Tears event (link here).  Just realized I didn’t post the detail shots for that event – will get on that stat.  Right now I wanted to focus on one of the props I built for last year’s haunt.  Technically it is an “upgraded” of a prop that was several years old. 

Cemetery Fogging Gargoyle prop for 2021 Haunted Trail of Tears

I had designed two Nightwings (link here) and was looking for a clever way to incorporate them into the haunt.  Ron found this really cool Gargoyle at Home Depot and bought it for me to use with one of the wings.  That heavy resin prop already came with wings so we just tried to cover them up.  I also whipped up a stand the night before that year’s event to hold the Gargoyle and the mechanical wings.  Trust me, it did look better at night.

Cemetery Fogging Gargoyle prop for 2021 Haunted Trail of Tears

After looking at for a couple of years, decided it was time to give it the presentation it deserved – the black plastic tablecloth covering didn’t fit the high standards we set for the trail. Bring on Project Cemetery Sentry.

Cemetery Fogging Gargoyle prop for 2021 Haunted Trail of Tears

Doesn’t that look a lot better!?! Thought I would walk you through the effort involved with the transformation.

Hit the jump for more details on the ’21 addition to the prop collection.

Continue reading Project Cemetery Sentry

Project More Halloweeny

A little late on this post as my favorite holiday has technically come and gone.  Actually, it was more like pushed out thanks to the merchants clearing their shelves of anything orange and black weeks before Halloween in order to start putting out their Christmas inventory.  Quite sickening and really makes me crazy!

Halloween 2021

Yeah, like that crazy not to mention when I am crazy I get hungry and I start looking for food…

Halloween 2021

Whoa, whoa, whoa – you didn’t actually think I would eat these cute puppies did you!?! If I came anywhere close to these furballs with the fangs out Linda would drive a stake through my heart before I could say Let’s Go Brandon. Luckily there’s a way I can get the crazies under control and that’s by turning my attention to gutting this year’s pumpkin. Something about hacking away at a fake orange vegetable with a hot knife and a Dremel that soothes the soul. Figured I’d give you a quick walkthrough of the process that goes into producing my annual pumpkin.

Hit the jump to see the 2021 pumpkin carving

Continue reading Project More Halloweeny