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Discussion Starter #1
Last year, I mixed things up by introducing live clowns on Halloween night. Absolutely loved it, in particular how it managed to creep out the young adults and parents.

So, with that in mind, I upped it to five clowns this time around: One of my older brothers, my younger bro, my son, the son of a good friend, and my youngest daughter's boyfriend.

This is the static display they are working: JD's Halloween 2016.

Some clown pics from the night itself:

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And, of course, the homeowner - my youngest daughter, in her inaugural performance - who doesn't understand why all these strangers are milling about his driveway and ringing the doorbell, is visibly upset on the upper balcony.

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Good times, indeed.
 

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Great clown costumes and make up. I love the spiders crawling around and love the gargoyle on the balcony column. I have that same gargoyle and use it on a half wall column but gee it looks so much better higher up. Gargoyles just belong looking down! Nice job and I loved your daughter's costume. Beautiful glass entry doorway btw.

Oh wow just checking out your linked photos and great setup, way more than just the above post photos! Your house is fabulous. Really love the balcony on it. So great for decorating. So much to comment on really but I was struck by the uplighting of your short flat topped trees (what kind are they?). It really makes them look weird and spooky. Love your reapers and pumpkin scarecrows, very unique and I assume all hand made. The whole cemetery scene look is nicely laid out. Is that a small girl prop in the background? A lot of nice detail throughout (window eyes and FCG photo'd really well). Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Ghost.

The three gargoyles, and a number of the crucifix tombstones, were purchased at HomeSense, years ago. The price was absurdly low, so I stockpiled. I started with two gargoyles, one was stolen - the only prop to walk away in 15 years - so I bought another matching pair. The orphan ended up on the upper balcony. I agree: It really works up there.

My daughter's mask and hands are from Death Studios. I'm a huge fan of the original Nosferatu (1922), so I was on the props the moment I saw them. The look is fairly reminiscent of the vampires in Salem's Lot (1979), themselves largely influenced by F. W. Murnau's Count Orlok.

The short flat-topped trees are blue spruce shrubs. As they grow, they widen fairly meaningfully, so I crown them every summer. The result is what you see; they end up with a very luxurious, almost bonsai look to them. Not to mention their size is manageable. When it comes to managing various types of evergreen shrubs, crowning is the way to go.

Other than the gargoyles, crucific tombstones, and rats and spiders, virtually everything is hand made. I have to admit to really enjoying the reaper sentinels - that term was given to me by my favourite haunter and I've stuck with it - and their creepy, tentacle-like hands.

That is indeed a little girl prop. It took me no time to make and, yet, elicits a disproportionate amount of reactions: What if she were to turn around?

Nice of you to mention the entryway, Ghost. Home Depot and a weekend of blood, sweat, and tears.

Cheers,

JD
 

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Thanks for the info. I was taking a closer look at your photos and zero'd in on some of your tombstones and see that we have similar tastes and had to laugh!!...my tombstones and gargoyles came from TJMaxx/HomeGoods years ago too -- maybe 2007 or before. And yes for the price they were fantastic. Nicest halloween things I had ever seen at the time and still favorite pieces of mine. Like you I bought quite a few over the 2 years I think they carried them (we were just starting to decorate at our new house back then and I wanted solid pieces I could keep over the years). We have a pair of the winged gargoyles and another lone gargoyle piece that has a different look. I love your Nosferatu mask from Death Studios and almost bought it but ended up with this mask below instead which I think might have been a Mario Chiodo mask I saw on either QVC or HSN back then. I really had no idea where to buy halloween props from back then and this was back before joining here.

I used these in our vampire castle lair in 2011 finally. Even designed our courtyard wall pillars to fit the gargoyles LOL. Hubby thought I was crazy but heck it made sense to do.



I had the mask head exposed in the upper coffin portion and never bought hands for him. After seeing your daughter in full costume though I probably should pick up a pair to use him another way down the road.

I think your little girl prop looks so natural I also thought it could be a real kid walking in your yard. I really like that she isn't facing you and it gives her a nice air of mystery. Wish I was more crafty like you. Very beautiful work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thats awesome! I still don't see how people are scared of clowns but it is funny to see people run away scared :)
Coulrophobia - the fear of clowns - is a real thing. According to an article on Smithsonian.com, some 2% of adults are affected. As such, most of us would find the phobia a bit odd. The interesting thing is coulrophobia, in its strictest sense, doesn't require the clown be one of those creepy horror clowns - those probably affect a greater number of adults - but, rather, just any form of clown.

In my own experience, I've seen one instance of a grown individual having a very adverse reaction to a clown. It was a gathering of Montreal Canadiens fans in downtown Montreal. There was a parade for something and a clown came sauntering down the sidewalk. One of our group, a guy with whom I was acquainted from a fan discussion forum, instantly panicked, turned, and went prone against the side of a building. We were all very surprised.

After it passed, he was a bit embarrassed, telling us he "just can't handle clowns".

Our brains are all hardwired a little differently.

Cheers,

JD
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...my tombstones and gargoyles came from TJMaxx/HomeGoods years ago too
Makes sense, Ghost. TJX Companies, which operates T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Sierra Trading Post in the U.S., also owns Winners and HomeSense in Canada.

As you note, the chain used to carry a phenomenal offering of Halloween props in the fall. Incredible really. Just pleased I was able to grab a bunch of it before the product mix changed. What I didn't mention about the theft of one of my gargoyles, all those years ago, is the following fall I went to my local HomeSense looking for a replacement. As I was a bit early, I asked the store manager to alert me when the new product arrived. A couple of weeks later, she called to let me know the props had come in and that she had put a matching set of gargoyles aside.

That's how I ended up with three and was able to put the spare one at the top of the column supporting the upper balcony.

Although the thoughtful, kind woman is now semi-retired, and only works part-time in the store, I still see her from time to time. She always makes a point of letting me know she passes by every year to see the display.

Good times,

JD
 
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