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 Halloween Butters and Dragons

Seems like an odd time to be pulling out a Halloween post don’t ya’ think?  Truth be told, we were celebrating my friend in haunt’s (Brad’s) 30 year service anniversary at work and the topic of Halloween came up – which to be honest isn’t that odd as we are often talking about Halloween – a year long holiday for the two of us.  Brad is working on building a CNC machine which I am hoping is ready before too long.  I have big plans for that thing hehehe.  Anyway, all that talk about Halloween reminded me I still had some 2018 Halloween posts I had not gotten to.  So, tonight I bring you the annual Halloween pumpkin carving for 2018.

Halloween Pumpkin 2018

Only 7 month’s late, but what the hell that’s nothing compared to the backlog of wildlife pictures I need to get through.  After the yeoman work of putting on the Annual Halloween Haunted Trail event (link here) at the beginning of October, it always seems a bit of a letdown when the actual Day of Haunt comes around.  Last year we opted to drive around to check out the worthy displays in the surrounding local towns.  When we got back I was truly inspired and went to work on getting the final carving done on the foam pumpkin.

Halloween Pumpkin 2018

Hit the jump to see some progress shots.

Continue reading Project Halloween Butters and Dragons

January, the New October

It may be white and fluffy on the outside, but it’s full on orange inside at Intrigued.  If you have spent any time on this blog you should be keenly aware that Halloween is a special holiday around here.  In fact, it is pretty much a year round activity.  We spend our off months preparing for the Annual Haunted Trail of Tears so we are ready for the big event.  I say that in jest, because we are never really ready for it as every year is a mad scramble to get all the projects wrapped up, the multi-day trail build  and then the extended weeks of effort to get it all packed back away.  All that work for a single night of spook with friends and family.  One of my traditions is to carve the annual pumpkin on Halloween night.  The party is actually at the beginning of the month, so usually I just finishing up the hard work and looking for some relaxing fun to put a bow on another year.  Last year I almost go there, but I opted for a theme that took me a LOT longer than intended.

Pumpkin Carving Halloween 2018

Hit the jump to read some details about the carve!

Continue reading January, the New October

A Nightmare Before Christmas

We are fast approaching the end of the year and starting to panic that I am not going to get to all the posts I need to – well, for clarity, that I need to in order to come out with decent end of year stats.  One of the big image count generators for the season is the annual Halloween Haunted Trail event.  By now it seems like the cookout was way more than 3 months ago, but when you take into account the planning, building and execution of that night takes its course over the entire year it seems a lot longer.  As tradition goes around here at Life Intrigued, I plan on giving you some background on the prep, walk you through the key elements of the trail and then a quick post on the tiring tear down.  Being that we are only a few hours away from the fat guy invading our homes, figured it was fitting to channel Tim Burton and his Nightmare Before Christmas. – Hey, where is all the woke body shaming outrage with this guy over the years?

Haunted Trail of Tears 2018 - The Prep

Thankfully we now have a large out building to stage all the decorations. Granted the basement still has its share of the decoration build spillage, but at least we have a place to temporarily store the assembled decorations before we haul them down to the trail.  As you can tell, there are a lot of elements required to get the decorations in a state where they are ready for the trek down – and yes, alcohol is essential.  At first it doesn’t seem that bad…

Haunted Trail of Tears 2018 - The Prep

Hit the jump to read about all the work that goes into setting up the Haunted Trail of Tears!

Continue reading A Nightmare Before Christmas

They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 3 – Tis the Night

It has been a tough Sunday in the projects category.  First off I made a rookie mistake while winterizing our RV which ended up costing me hours to recover from – basically had to flush the entire system and then start all over again – a mistake I will likely never make again so at least there was a teaching point.  Then spent the afternoon battling the electrical gods trying to get the power phase done in the new garage to get the inspection out of the way.  Big thanks to Rocket who came over and taught me how to wire GFI breakers into the circuit box.  That project ended in an epic struggle to get a conduit successfully through an interior wall.  If I ever get that project finished, I’ll share all the gory details.  This guy needs some rest and relaxation – can’t think of a better way to do that than posting about my favorite night of the year!
Haunted Trail 2016

Yep, it’s finally time for the epic Haunted Trail night post (I could hear the cheering from all the way out here).  As the standard has become, this post is loaded with images – If you are on crappy bandwidth like us, you will definitely see the lights flicker a bit once you hit the jump to see the full walk through.  This will likely not going to be a big text post – better to just let you experience the sights (sorry, haven’t found a way to bring you all the eerie sounds yet) with minimal distraction.

Haunted Trail 2016

Hit the jump to experience the full walk through (might want to lock the doors and turn on all the lights if you get scared easily ha)

Continue reading They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 3 – Tis the Night

They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 1 – The Build

Just sitting here yelling at my TV thanks to an Indian’s let down so far – someone wake up that damn goat!!  To help myself cool down, figured I would pop out another post.  For the record, you are in bonus time this month – life is so much easier when all I have to do is write the post as opposed to having to process all the pictures, get them linked into the post and then start adding witty banter for the enjoyment of my loyal readers.  Thanks to doing all the hard work while on vacation, I can simply jump in and get right too it.  As I have mentioned previously, we held our annual Haunted Trail at the beginning of this month.  Keeping with tradition, thought I would help give you a perspective of what it takes to actually put that together – This is what my basement looked like two weeks before the event.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Basically a total mess thanks to having to deal with finishing up all the trim work while trying to get a head start on the Halloween props.  This year I was able to start a little earlier than usual thanks to an accelerated running schedule  (my two half marathon races were earlier in September and my third one was a couple of weeks after the party date). This allowed me to get the crap load of boxes and tubs out of storage way early.  I was also able to get my partner in haunt to come over and my brother Ron was even able to come down and help build out all the new sensor triggers we deployed this year.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of Ron from that day, but he did send me a bunch of pictures he took to help chronicle the work (big thanks).

Here Paul and I are putting together all the Posey frames and getting them costumed up.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Hit the jump to get a feel for all the work that goes in for one night of haunting fun.

Continue reading They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 1 – The Build

Posies Be a Bulking – Pt 2

Today we are back with the second part of the 2016 Posey upgrade project.  If you will recall, in the last post we went over the major upgrades to the appearance of the body and the new classy shoes.  There were a few more enhancements that I wanted to highlight and thus part two.  These additional enhancements were primarily a result of trying to put everything together.  Due to the early timing of the Halloween party this year, I wasn’t able to put the full product out although the second mold (the one that didn’t cure right) ended up being used for a great prop.  After the party, I was able to spend some more time and try to put the finishing touches on this year’s model.

2016 Posey Upgrade

It didn’t take long for the first problem to come to light.  When I went to attach the appendages it turned out that my initial idea to put the couplers at the ends of the molds .. well, let’s just say I didn’t think that one through enough.  I had planned to use the same coupler structure from my previous Poser version – to do that with the arms meant it would either stick out another 4+ inches or cause me to cut all the way back to the center post and then dig into the foam chest to give room to turn the couplers. This had to be fixed.

Since I had purchased other molds, I decided to work with the male adult mold this time.   Like last time, I still wanted a 1″ PVC frame (that size works best with the fence post ends).  In an effort to address the appendage problem, I went with an idea that I tried on a previous Posey version – basically took a coupler and chop sawed a kerf cut half way through the end.  Those cut couplers were put on the spine couplers for both the arms and the legs – since the neck can spin in the coupler on its own, I didn’t cut the neck coupler.  Note, in the first attempt, these couplers were attached end to end to the spine couplers and then the PVC pipes were extend out through the mold to keep it in place.  The other change was putting the leg posts horizontal rather than vertical.  I do not have close ups of that version, however, I do have ones from the next iteration.  Rather than take the extra space for the couplers, I decided to put the cuts in the actual spine couplers instead.  You can see that in the shot below.

2016 Posey Upgrade

Hit the jump to see the new features in detail

Continue reading Posies Be a Bulking – Pt 2

Project Hot Knife 2015

It is time to officially close out the 2015 Halloween season.  As a last tribute to my favorite holiday I bring you this year’s pumpkin carving.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2015

Unlike most years, this one didn’t utilize half cuts due to two key reasons.  The first reason is basically time.  I’ve been revving on high for a while now to get through the party and now back to finishing up Project Auurrrnnoooollld.  I am so close now I can taste it – only two real tasks to go and I can finally bring you the fruits of that multi-year labor.  The other limitation was a poor crop of images to select from.  If you’ve seen my other pumpkin posts you know that I mine every source  I can find looking for a high contrast images to use as a basis for my carvings.  My favorite web resources are Tattoo sites and, of course, Google Images – this year … not much turned up.  Luckily this popped up while looking at a Pinterest board for Halloween props.

Finally something to work with – before I go any further, the rights for this image remain with the owner (unfortunately not sure who that actually is).  Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.  This image has the perfect combination of creepiness and … CONTRAST which is essential for a good transfer to a pumpkin.  For a quick test you can simply bring it up in your favorite graphics program and reduce the color count to 3 or 4.

Hit the jump to see how this turned out in pumpkin form!

Continue reading Project Hot Knife 2015

The Trail Haunts Awaken Again – Part 2 of 2

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 ( 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.

Haunted Trail 2015

These are Pauls’ air Frankenstein’s. Think this is the first time he has put them together – a family that scares together stays together.

Haunted Trail 2015

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.

Haunted Trail 2015

Hit the jump to see the rest of the trail pictures .. including the walk in the dark!

Continue reading The Trail Haunts Awaken Again – Part 2 of 2

The 2015 Haunted Trail – Part 1 of 2 – The Build

It is a sad day in the LifeIntrigued household today – Some consider it the start of the Black Friday month, but around here it signals the end of my favorite month.  Why is that our favorite month … because it has Halloween of course!  To be more specific, it is the month we get to transform our house and woods into a celebration of the darker side.  The Haunted Trail was built once again for the enjoyment of our Annual Halloween Cookout.  Like previous years, the trail will be featured in an upcoming post.  Unlike the past, there’s a special treat this year.  Thanks to my brother we have pictures of the build process for the first time ever!

Haunted Trail 2015

Every year we strive to make the trail a little better – a little more scarier, a little more to experience.  Those new items are generally purchased during the  previous year’s Halloween markdowns (pretty sure I’ve not paid full price for most of my items – hit Menards, Spirit, Halloween City the week after Halloween and you can find some nice deals – just have to wait a year to enjoy them).  This year we rolled out all the new Posey’s that were constructed during the Winter months (link here).  – by rolled, I literally mean rolled hehehe. Ron thought the pile of dead guys in the cart looked spooky on their own – luckily we didn’t have to explain ourselves to any strangers.

The entire process of building the trail takes about 6 days.  The first day involves cleaning up the trails themselves.  Wandering branches are pruned, obstacles like hedge apples removed for the safety of our guests and probably most appreciative is the thorn bushes are cut back to prevent any unwanted bleeding.  The second day is trimming all the weeds on the trail themselves (the trails is too steep in some locations to get a mower in so that is all done by hand with a gas powered weed trimmer – this takes 6 to 7 hours to complete.

Haunted Trail 2015

Hit the jump to see how the rest of the days fall out.

Continue reading The 2015 Haunted Trail – Part 1 of 2 – The Build