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Some of you may remember from last year, but a lot of you are new since then as well.

The Laboratory project of mine has a very special place in my heart.

The concept was the first one I ever tried to re-create on my front porch...when I was 9.

I had a cardboard cutout of a skeleton, a friend to play frankenstein, a little lighting ball thing, and one of those "blacklight" bulbs you can sometimes buy in the stores.

The "blacklight" amounted to a purple lightbulb, my friend ditched me, and in all senses of the word, the thing SUCKED. Such was my first experience with haunting. And, I had never really gone back to doing a lab setup.

Last year, I was approached by my mother-in-law to help with their school's Halloween Carnival. To set up a "little spook alley". This is a rather important fund raiser for this particular school, and I was happy to help. Each teacher gets to keep the cash their room makes, and I was sure we would do well.

I got out my book of concepts (I still am using), and showed her the lab, and a witch concept. Both would be relatively simple for me to make in the 20 days I had that year.

She liked the lab.
(original sketches of the idea)


I was excited to get back to that first haunt. But, with 20 days to build something, it was fun, and unlike some 25 years ago, it WORKED this time, if it was a bit underwhelming.

So, I set out to make it RIGHT this year.

Then...things started to unravel.

The school moved away from a Halloween Carnival to a "FALL Carnival" and moved it up from October to last night.

That's ok, I thought, most of it was done, I'll just have to skip a couple things.

This carnival was SUPPOSED to be outside. So, we had arranged to have a classroom near the activities, no biggie.

Then, the weather kicked in. The Carnival was going to be rained out. Knowing this in advance, we asked the plan, and were told to set up in room A. Now, room A was seperate from the main school, and, Monday morning, BEFORE the rain, I set everything up in there, ready to go, all tested.

At 3:15 PM, we were told to move it to Room B. :eek: Now raining, I had to clean out room B, haul all this stuff across the parking lot, and set up.

In the process, we lost the jacob's ladder and a flicker circuit to the rain. (I'm hoping the ladder will work again when it's all dried out) Rushing to set up, we also tipped over one of my lamps and busted it. Will be easy to fix, and I had a spare bulb, so minimal loss other than cleaning up the glass.

Then, we lost a light bulb in the move I did not have a replacement for.

And, to make it all the worse, now soaking wet, you could forget about getting me in makeup in time for the 5PM start. We TRIED the bald cap, but it come off an hour in, hair too wet, and we just mashed makeup into my hair and kept going.

Just about everything went wrong...

THAT SAID. A lot of fun. Last year's lab set a record at the school for a single room, raising just over $80. (at $0.25 a person, that's not bad for 3 hours)

We shattered that record this year with well over $100.
So, without further ado.

The '09 laboratory. Just before we gave up on the bald cap. Big mean man makes girl cry....
(That's my daughter in the back calling out for daddy and yelling hi Bob at Bob on the table.)


Another angle just after the removal of the bald cap. Big mean man makes adult with camera scream...

 

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I love the videos! Is that your mother-in-law as the scientist? She's great. How unfortunate that you had to go through all that adversity, but the outcome was wonderful. And that's your son as the assistant, isn't it? And the big, scary man made people scream and squeal...that's what its all about! Its really nice that your family members are involved. And, you made the big bucks for the classroom so there's a lot of winners there. Will you be doing the lab at your home for Halloween also?
 

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yes, that's my M.I.L as the doctor, and my son as the assistant. (and my other son with the balloon gun and red shirt that FLEES OUT THE DOOR in the first video)

But, no, no lab at home...it's far too NORMAL. Home will be more or less like last year, as it's the final year of this particular theme.


The Lab is meant for travelling. I've been invited to do it at a car show, and another school so far. Don't know what all I'll have time for.
 

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Your doing your Project Nightfall tribal for another year. You gave me some really great ideas back in March when I began my tribal preparations. I'm making shrunken heads with your technique (but mine are not really shrunken too much). They are pretty cool.

The traveling lab is great. Hope you get to fit in some of the invitations for it.
 

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That was so fun to watch. The kids were great and your MIL was terrific with the kids. Is she a teacher? Very patient in her explanations and dealings with the kids I thought. And everytime you jumped up and rattled your chains I jumped on this side of the computer screen. Even during the second video when I already knew what was going to happen. Kudo to the whole crew. Nice set up and nicely video taped. A keeper through the years.

I enjoyed the home video too. Nice atmosphere. The drums built a sense of something far off, exotic and about to happen. Your son's face makeup was great. Your costume and your stature would certainly make a few small and big kids apprehensive. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Oh wow, you have lots of bad luck, but still... looks like it all came through big in the end!

(Your little girl is so funny! She's so used to the Halloween stuff, it isn't even phasing her...that's just daddy and brother and grandma up there! :D )

Congrats on knocking another one out of the park - hope they do a HALLOWEEN festival next year, and you have to wonder why the other folks don't do more of a spooky fun thing too considering your setup always does so well! :)
 

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That was so fun to watch. The kids were great and your MIL was terrific with the kids. Is she a teacher? Very patient in her explanations and dealings with the kids I thought. And everytime you jumped up and rattled your chains I jumped on this side of the computer screen. Even during the second video when I already knew what was going to happen. Kudo to the whole crew. Nice set up and nicely video taped. A keeper through the years.

I enjoyed the home video too. Nice atmosphere. The drums built a sense of something far off, exotic and about to happen. Your son's face makeup was great. Your costume and your stature would certainly make a few small and big kids apprehensive. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, Mary is a 5th grade teacher nearing retirement. She handles the rambunctions, and hecklers absolutely MARVELOUSLY. Experience with the kids is just an amazing addition.

Kyle's only been at this a year, he's still learning...

Oh wow, you have lots of bad luck, but still... looks like it all came through big in the end!

(Your little girl is so funny! She's so used to the Halloween stuff, it isn't even phasing her...that's just daddy and brother and grandma up there! :D )
She absolutely BAWLED when we put Bob in the back of grandma's truck and he drove away, though. BOB!!!!!:eek:

She's going to be a GREAT addition to our haunt when she grows up. Already our little thespian.


Congrats on knocking another one out of the park - hope they do a HALLOWEEN festival next year, and you have to wonder why the other folks don't do more of a spooky fun thing too considering your setup always does so well! :)

You would think they'ld get the picture, but after last year, they voted to move it away from halloween and into the fall festival instead...Halloween still sales. Who knows, I might be doing the lab at Christmas next year.
 
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