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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to post a thread of my progress pictures this year! I had so much fun last year with my 2018 "Voodoo Island Hulaween" theme, but I did not post pictures as I went along here on HF. I did post some pictures and lots of video on Facebook and here is the link to that public album:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/edit/a.10216949425430518/

But on this HF thread, I do plan to document a lot more of my actual prop building and progress pictures, as this is a completely new theme for me and I'll be adding so many new things!

FIRST UP:


horse.jpg

Here are my plans in a nutshell:

INVITATIONS:
I use Evite. Not sure of exact wording yet, but along these lines:

"Your presence is requested at the House of Usher (insert my actual address) for the VICTORIAN Funeral and Wake of Lucy Westenra, taken from this life too soon. The unexpected circumstances of Ms. Westenra's death (including speculations about mysterious, blood-sucking bats) have left her loved ones baffled and most fearful. Those closest to Ms. Westenra wish to warn guests attending her funeral that the killer may still be on the loose. Rumors continue to circulate about how she died including: Jack the Ripper, Count Dracula, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Sweeney Todd (the barber of Fleet Street)... and even possibly "white ghost ladies" that have been seen in the area...)" You must come prepared to fend off the killer, and of course, dressed for the somber VICTORIAN occasion.


FRONT YARD (Horse, hearse carriage, Headless Horseman, ambient lighting, fog)

That metal horse sculpture (pictured) will set the scene in the front yard. I am building a carriage hearse out of PVC and Styrofoam board - with fabrics and hopefully some architectural elements (cornices, etc) If I can find any at salvage yards/garage sales etc.

FRONT PORCH stoop:
Funeral Home Entrance/ Black fabirc draped over windows, black wreath on front door. Funeral Home vibes

UPSTAIRS WINDOW (visible from front yard/street)
Looping Atmos FX of Victorian ghost couple doing a Waltz dance

LIVING ROOM: First scene inside house....
Haunted Library - Scene setters to create an old library. Lots of boos everywhere. Candles, candelabras. Will be collecting books over next several months. In this library - I want to hang and draw attention to WARNING/ DANGER posters about Jack the Ripper, Dracula, Sweeney Todd, etc ... famous killers of that era. I also want to build an amazing fireplace facade to look really true to the period, with a mantle and candles, and lots of spiderwebs. Maybe a seance table? Maybe I will build a grandfather clock.

KITCHEN - PASSTHROUGH/LAUNDRY ROOM
This area leads from the living room into the den. I want to put a VAMPIRE ON THE LOOSE vibe in this passageway. Will probably use red lighting, lots of black fabric, and have warning signs that Dracula was recently spotted nearby. Warning signs to stay in after dark etc. Then maybe a vampire slayer kit and an actual life size vampire "trapped" behind my glass laundry room door. Like he has been "temporarily" captured.

DEN
All white. I will hang white fabric on ceiling and all four walls, using black lights for ambience. Very white, white white. This is the funeral room. and here is where Lucy Westnera will be in an open casket. Trying to emulate her wake scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula movieL BUt WHITE is the theme here. NOthing of any other color in whole scene.

BSDracula39.jpg

Lucy02.jpg

BATHROOM:
Poe. Tell Tale Heart on Speaker (set to repeat all night) as told by James Earl Jones.
Poe nods and quotes everywhere. Ravens. Poe portraits.
Floorboard with a beating heart under them. Working on details of how to execute this.

BACKYARD:
Big cemetery. Using my PERFECT STORM out here, to have thunder and lightning. I may makj some new tombstones this year. I might try a packing tape ghost or two. Lots of fog, white ghosts, tombstones. Maybe I will monster mud a new creation.

BACKYARD FENCE (see from the funeral scene through a sold wall of windows)
AtmosFX of Victorian gentleman removing his head.

That's as far s I have gotten.

IDEAS WELCOME!!!!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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LOVE it!! :D

I did a funeral party with a will reading where I put all the names of the attendees into a jar, and pulled "heirs" for each bequest. It was wacky because I deliberately had some heirs set up to be long lost twins separated at birth (which was super funny when it turned out to be a married couple), the cousin's hairdresser's sibling's kid brother's girlfriend's massage therapist's personal shopper's niece...and lots of ridiculous items like "rare dueling pistols used in the deceased's family for the last 10 generations (it was a set of bubble guns), and lots of odd/funny stuff. The final heir was the big door prize winner of the night - I always did a major door prize in the theme of the party so it was really cool with things like coffin shaped cookies and a really beautiful milk/white chocolate skull (I have an amazing local candy/chocolate store that goes crazy for all the holidays) and wine and stuff.

The deceased's coffin (a cool homebuilt toepincher containing the deceased's skeleton, clutching the door prize (the winner had to claim their prize from the coffin - and it had a small MP3 player inside with creepy scratching/noises to scare during the reading of the will) was staged on the back porch, the rest of the house was decorated as a funeral parlor/house. I was a black widow (my hat had a big orange/black spider on it with a veil, and I had streaked eyemakeup like I'd been crying so that was easy/fun too.

I also did a moving eyes portrait of the deceased, with eyeballs (built by DaveInTheGrave) that hung on our mantel and looked as if there was someone peering from behind the painting like in the old movies where they had hidden peep holes in behind a painting...

You can see some of the basic setup in my 2009 album, but I suck at taking good party pics so there's not a whole lot of the final setup (also got really sick right before the party!). I also had LOTS of old flower arrangements with silly/creepy cards attached if anyone cared to read them (I made lots of them, but I also asked about old flowers at stores/florists and lucked into some discarded arrangements that were being thrown out and none of that made it into my albums)

https://www.halloweenforum.com/members/frankie-s-girl-albums-halloween-2009-a.html
 

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I'd be curious how you build out the Jack the Ripper piece. I've been wanting to do a Jack the Ripper themed front porch for awhile, so I'm always looking for inspiration on elements to include.


I love your Poe bathroom, and started searching recordings of the Telltale Heart last night. Vincent Price always does a fantastic version which is on YouTube. I can't wait to see how you bring your ideas to life, as they sound amazing thus far.

Oh I tried to click on your FB link from Halloween of years past but it wouldn't work. I'd love to see what you've done previously.
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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Discussion Starter #11
Kristin- I just finished reading your thread for the Ripper themed design you plan to do. Looks like that will be amazing! Agreed- I love Vincent Price's versions of Poe- Soooo good. I think I will do some WANTED or REWARD posters with Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jeckyl, The Demon Barber and Leather Apron. I may put them outside the house as people approach the front door, kind of like they are "coming in from the streets" into the funeral home. Still playing with where to best feature them to set the stage for what is to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I’ve been busy collecting props and decor for our Victorian Funeral Home!

The tall candelabras I found today at Beverly's and just could not pass them up. They were originally over $80 each. marked down to $53.99 then today on FINAL CLEARANCE for $20 each! These ladies are TALL. At least 30 inches I am guessing. No time to measure but wanted to share! YOu can see the little sunscreen bottle for size reference.

I'll be putting these on each end of the main buffet table, over a lacy tablecloth. Mr & Mrs Rot will be greeting the party guests behind the food table https://www.orientaltrading.com/buy-both-and-save-mr-and-mrs-rot-a2-13726180.fltr?categoryId=550048+1237

..... Got this pair today as well on Oriental Trading Company with free shipping and and extra $15 off (I used HONEY APP to apply coupons at check out). I think they were a steal!

The PORTRAIT of the Creepy lady came form a local thrift store for $8. A friend of mine picked her up for me. She's quite large too, at about 18 by 24 inches. I am trying to decide of I want to remove the painting and alter it, or just leave her as she is/ If anyone has suggestions on what to do with her, I am all ears!

The three gravestones are very heavy concrete type stones... the really nice ones. I plan to use these on top of the bar. YARD SALE. $1 each! They are between 10 inches tall to about 18 inches tall. So - they are great additions!

The metal gates are from a friend of mine in the wedding biz that was closing her local office and had stuff to get rid of. I think I gave her $10 or something (I bought other stuff for my regular non-Halloween life, so I don't know exactly ow much these fit into he group pricing. These are about 5 feet tall. They are free-standing with metal bases that she had added to they could be set on any surface and not tip over. I am thinking they'd be nice at the front entry of the funeral home, so somewhere int he front yard. I may paint them black or creep them up a bit with crusty rusty gooey paint and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
More things and ideas I’m gathering for this funeral home theme!

The cute white frames are for 5 by 7 pictures. They are PLASTIC! Which is fab. The FUNERAL SCENE is going to be in my garage, facing the guests as they approach the ouse. I'll be using black lights there, and this is where Lucy Westenra will be in her coffin. I thought these would be nice there with photos of Lucy at different phases of her life.

The wall sconce thing was a Goodwill fine. Might have been $5 or so. It holds several candles - 9 I think? It'll adorn one of our walls with flickering candles going.

OVAL FRAMES: A fab yard ale find at $1 each. I think I have 9 of them. They hold an 8 x 10 pictures... I plan on turning the hallway into a portrait gallery. Since we are supposed to be a funeral home, I am thinking memento mori / Victorian death pictures are appropriate. Not sure yet if I will paint them or leave them gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
A few more fun finds!

The "ENTER IF YOU DARE" sign with the raven on a skull will be hanging on the outside of the bathroom door. Remember, the bathroom is our Edgar Allen Poe room!

The cornices (I think that is what they are called..?) are neat. Made of plaster I think. No clue yet how I will incorporate them, but I am thinking they' d be nice in the funeral scene/all white room with black lights.

Bird cage (white one) was a cool find at a yard sale. It feels very Victorian to me. Again, I do not know where it's going yet, but it definitely fits the theme. I am painting it black though.

Six candle fireplace sconce, Good will. Cheap- maybe $4 or $5. There will be candles EVERYWHERE at this year's party- so I am also on the hunt for battery operated pillar candles!

The styro head was a cheap yard sale find.

The red clay lady was in my friend's yard. She was moving and getting rid of some stuff. I grabbed this. I am thinking it will be cool int he cemetery maybe near one of the stones. I will probably paint it to look like stone. Maybe do something creepy with her eyes?

Lace doilies. Collecting these like mad too. Victorians loved lace right?

The wooden Almaden Vineyards sign I bought for the quality of the wood and the picture hanging wire already attached to the back. I will most likely put some sort of funeral home signage over t. Hang it out front of the house. Or maybe put it near the horse and carriage hearse with something about grave diggers will be shot on sight ? lol I dunno....

And of course- there is Mr and mrs Rot, I am most excited about these two! Oriental Trading Co on sale and free shipping plus an extra $15 off through my Honey App!
 

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WOW!!! I'm simply blown away by all the thought you've put into this. Your guests are truly in for a treat :) and your stuffages are spot on. I cant wait to see more :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd be curious how you build out the Jack the Ripper piece. I've been wanting to do a Jack the Ripper themed front porch for awhile, so I'm always looking for inspiration on elements to include.


I love your Poe bathroom, and started searching recordings of the Telltale Heart last night. Vincent Price always does a fantastic version which is on YouTube. I can't wait to see how you bring your ideas to life, as they sound amazing thus far.

Oh I tried to click on your FB link from Halloween of years past but it wouldn't work. I'd love to see what you've done previously.
 
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