Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Domenic Pisano from e.Blake Photography took this picture from my 2009 home haunt.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm really looking forward to attending the Transworld Haunt & Attractions Show MARCH 25 - 28, 2010 at the America’s Center 701 Convention Plaza St. Louis, Missouri.
Transworld's Haunt Show will showcase over 100 different vendors selling animations, props, special effects, lighting, fog equipment, make up, costumes, theming props, and much more. The show will span more than 100,000 square feet of the most creative stuff ever seen... if you are a serious home haunter you can't miss this show.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I found this great Zombie Santa card on another fellow haunters blog "Frog on the Pumpkin".

Doesn't it just put you into the Christmas spirit!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Black Christmas is one of my favorite horror movies of all time and I’m proud to say it was shot here in my home town “Toronto”. And, no, I'm not talking about the awful remake. I'm talking about the 1974 classic, directed by Bob Clark that was way ahead of it’s time.

It’s one of the greatest slasher movies ever made, and if a movie can still be creepy after 35 years, it's obviously doing something right. If you haven't seen this movie and you're a fan of horror, you owe it to yourself to see it.

Black Christmas is one of the more disturbing films for it's generation. A group of sorority sisters are harassed, hunted down and then one by one murdered by a mysterious killer who contacts them through a series of obscene phone calls over the Christmas break. However, unknown to the girls, the killer isn't calling from the outside. He's in their house!

Black Christmas is a tense film full of grizzly, yet subtle, murders and decent acting performances by a strange collection of mismatched actors that aren't known for appearing in horror films, including Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, John Saxon and Keir Dullea.

Furthermore, the use of Christmas music and decorations, as well as the bleak snowy cityscapes add an eerie juxtaposition to the horror presented to the audience.

This Christmas pass over It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story and pour some egg nog and turn off all the lights and get ready to scare the yuletide joy right out of yourself with this freakishly delightful holiday fare.

Saturday, December 19, 2009



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Just imagine a group of zombies going door-to-door singing undead carols in their best rotting choir costumes.

Imagine the look on the unsuspecting homeowners faces when they realize that the nice singers on the porch are actually the walking dead.

If a thought like that doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Halloween 2009

Our 2009 Halloween was our biggest and spookiest year to date. We had over 3,500 Trick r Treaters visit us on Halloween night, in addition to approximately 600 children from the Carville Mills Public School and Kids Come First Day Care, not to mention the hundreds of families that came during the week leading up to Halloween.

This year we had great media attention; we were featured on Party Mamas Reality TV Show (or in my case Party Papa), Global TV, and to top it all off, we won City TV’s & Rogers Pumpkin Patrol Best Haunted House contest, winning the grand prize of $500.00 which we donated to Sick Kids Foundation.

We were extremely thankful to our sponsors; Cadbury and Old Dutch who generously donated Halloween Candy & Potato Chips. Moreover, we would like to thank everyone who visited and made a donation to Sick Kids Hospital, this year we raised $3,224.00

The money raised in donations will go towards a new special Halloween fund that we have created for children who are in treatment at Sick Kids Hospital during Halloween; our goal is to provide children with costumes and Halloween candy to encourage the holiday spirit.

Lastly a heart felt thank you goes out to our family and friends for all their help and support with the set up and tear down of our display and the York Regional Police for showing up on Halloween night and controlling the flow of traffic after we brought it to a stand still on our street.

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Halloween Video

I excited to finally post a copy of my 2009 Thornhill Woods Haunted House Video.

My Friend Jeff Chatten from Horrors Unlimited shot the video on October 30th, 2009.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


CityTV & Rogers Pumpkin Patrol team up this Halloween to created a contest in the GTA for the Best Decorated Halloween House. The winner would receive a $500.00 cheque for the charity of their choice and would be featured on-air on CityNews @ 6:00 pm on Halloween night.

So my family and I decided to enter my home haunt into the contest. I was the first house to be featured on CityNews at 6:00 PM on Monday October 26th, 2009 with Michael Kuss.

I continued to watch the other entries religiously throughout the week, and was convinced that I lost because I was competing against other creative home haunters. To my surprise I received a call late on Friday night, informing me that I had won the contest.

I was so excited to be able to donate the $500.00 to Sick Kids Hospital along with all the other cash donations we received during the last week of October. But more importantly it's rewarding to receive the recognition for all the hard work that went into creating this home haunt every year for the community to enjoy.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Are you scared? Well, you paraskevidekatriaphobics (you poor saps afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th) should be.

Centuries ago, the witches of the north observed the sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the shadows of the moon. On one gathering, the Norse goddess, Freya (the origin of "Friday"), came down from her sanctuary in Valhalla and appeared before the group, who numbered 12. Freya gave them one of her cats, completing what came to be known as a witches' coven. Ever since then, a perfectly-numbered coven has comprised exactly 13.

BTW, I'll be posting information and pictures shortly of my 2009 Halloween!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I'm happy to have another project completed for my cemetery, I spent the weekend upgrading my old store bought tombstones.

I've never really been happy with my old tombstones because I've always had a hard time keeping them standing up straight when they are placed in the ground.

In the past I've used either wooden or rebar stakes, but they look like crap from behind or snap if there's a big gust of wind.

This year I purchased 2"x 6" wood lumber, I cut the wood to match each tombstone to size, drilled holes into both the wood and tombstone, placed 8" spiked nails filled with construction adhesive foam board into the tombstones. I then drilled two additional holes on each side of the wood to pound nails threw into the ground and painted the wood grey to match the tombstones.

Next year I plan on making many of my own custom tombstones.


I just found out that my niece Megan is a Vampire and I think it's great.

This would explain why I've never see her around during the day, I just thought she was like most teenagers that like to sleep all day.

Megan will be handing out candy on Halloween night to all the kiddies, I hope she doesn't get thirsty!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm very excited about the new addition to the Thornhill Woods Haunted House family for Halloween 2009.
My friend Brian Lashchuk from Beyond the Grave Productions created a new custom prop for me from the soon to be released horror movie "Trick r' Treat" (Out on DVD October 6th, 2009).

One of the characters in the movie is a little kid named "Sam"who is a mischievous trick-or-treating demon that will haunt you if you don't follow Halloween traditions.

So for any of you out there that don't follow Halloween rituals, best beware of "Sam" the enforcer of Halloween.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last year we had approximately 2,300 kids visit the Thornhill Woods Haunted House on Halloween night and another 400 kids from the local public school Carville Mills a few day before Halloween.

We know this because we counted the candy that was donated and what we had purchased. Believe it or not, we ran out candy around 9:00 pm and still had many kids coming to our door.

This year I'm happy to say that we were able to get two major sponsors to help us out with the overwhelming amount of trick 'r treaters, which will also help us increase the donations that we give to Sick Kids Hospital every year.

Old Dutch Foods for the second year in a row has graciously donated potato chips.

Cadbury is a confectionery company that manufactures chocolate, gum and candy. This year they have also agreed to help us out by donating various products from their Maynards line.

Most off all, thank you to all of you for your generous donations to Sick Kids Hospital.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I can't believe it's only 40 days until Halloween!

What ever free time I have in the evenings and weekends, I spend on getting all my props and decor ready for another spooky Halloween season.

I attended the Transworld Haunt show earlier this year in St. Louis and picked up some new props for my haunt. One of them is a custom banner from Illusionator who specializes in full-color, photo quality, custom banners and signs for haunted attractions.

I wanted to in close my porch area and create a haunted hallway for the kids to walk through to get to the garage area where my laboratory is. So, I had a custom banner made up 21' x 10' and had it match the brick and stone work on the outside of my house. I also had two of my windows copied onto the banner, one window will have a five foot terrifying skull face coming out of it with moving eyes. The other window will be plain, but will have projected movies played continuously throughout the night with creepy ambient music.

Once I hang the banner up later in October I'll take some photos, in the mean time I've been busy creating a tombstone to hide the projector and DVD player that will be playing my movies on the banner. Most tombstones are made out of Styrofoam, but I wanted mine to be extra sturdy because of what it's holding, so I made it out of 3/4 plywood. I purchased a Styrofoam tombstone from from a local Halloween store and glued it onto the wood, picked up some crows, foam letters, and a leaf vine from Michael's and painted everything with three different colours of paint.

Be sure to check back more frequently now that Halloween is getting closer because I have more exciting news to share about the Thornhill Woods Haunted House this year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scooby Doo

Another childhood series that inspired my love for Halloween.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


One of the most disappointing things as a home haunter is not being able to get out to visit other home haunts as Halloween approaches.
I've always been intrigued by other home haunts and try to make it a point to visit as many as I can before Halloween night and meet up with the creators , but most home haunts are only open on Halloween night.
This makes it impossible for most home haunters to visit each others displays because were too busy working on our own events, so we have to resort to seeing photos and videos on the Internet of each others creative displays.

Paul & Kim from The Boneyard Bargains have found a way to recreate this excitement during the warm summer months. Every June for the past five years they have hosted an event called SCAREFEST that brings all home haunters together.

Scarefest allows you to:

  • Meet other home haunters (Ontario Haunter's Club).
  • Learn new ideas & trade secrets from the haunt industry.
  • Purchase Halloween props or swap.
  • Participate in a contest for best homemade prop-static and best homemade prop animated.
  • Walk through haunt with props for sale.
  • Purchase raffle tickets for amazing Halloween prizes.
  • Enjoy a great BBQ and refreshments
  • See attached photos.

I was so happy to be around people who are as obsessed about Halloween & home haunting as I am.

Thanks again to Paul & Kim for "The Perfect Summer Day".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trick 'r Treat

It is said that Halloween is the night when the dead rise to walk among us and other unspeakable things roam free. The rituals of All Hallows Eve were devised to protect us from their evil mischief, and one small town is about to be taught a terrifying lesson that some traditions are best not forgotten.

Nothing is what it seems when a suburban couple learns the dangers of blowing out a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight; four women cross paths with a costumed stalker at a local festival; a group of pranksters goes too far and discovers the horrifying truth buried in a local legend; and a cantankerous old hermit is visited by a strange trick-or-treater with a few bones to pick.

Costumes and candy, ghouls and goblins, monsters and mayhem... the tricks and treats of Halloween turn deadly as strange creatures of every variety human and otherwise try to survive the scariest night of the year.

Trick 'r Treat is an upcoming horror film. It was written and directed by Michael Dougherty and based on his short film Season's Greetings.

Originally slated for an October 5, 2007 release, it was announced in September 2007 that the movie has been pushed back by Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.

The movie is scheduled to be released in October 2009 on DVD/Blu Ray. It look's like it will be a classic cult Halloween movie.

Halloween Season's Greetings

Here's a morbidly funny short story about a trick-or-treater stalked by a stranger on Halloween night.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009


I often get asked what inspires me every year to set up such an elaborate Halloween display around my house. I sometimes wonder myself when I think about all the work that is involved, but then I think of what Halloween means to me.

I have very fond memories as a kid dressing up for Halloween and Trick-or-Treating every year with my brother and collecting as much candy as we possibly could.

As I grew into my early teens it was no longer cool to go out Trick-or-Treating. So I decided then, to decorate my parents house and have the scariest house on the block.

I always remembered there being one or two houses in our neighborhood where the home owners put out more then just a pumpkin for decoration. I was always intrigued by tombstones, skeletons, scary music, lighting, etc...

It was then that I realized I needed to turned my attention to my favorite scary shows from my childhood for inspiration. I knew if I watch and studied The Adams Family, The Munsters, and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein that I would come up with some creative ideas.

Sure enough I did and to this day I will always remember these shows as a creative inspiration for my early years in home haunting.

Halloween is still an enjoyable part of my life, for the following reasons:

  • I still feel like a kid whenever I'm involved in anything that is related to Halloween.
  • I now take my kids out Trick-or-Treating.
  • I've become that scary house in the neighborhood that every kid can't wait to see.
  • I get to swap ideas with other fellow home haunters.
  • Contribute donations to Sick Kids Hospital.
  • Meet new friends in the Haunted House Industry.
  • Attend Haunted Conventions.

Halloween has become a way of Life!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


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The 2009 Transworld Haunt & Attraction Show in St. Louis, MO was truly an experience. It definitely lives up to it's name as the "King of Haunt & Attraction Shows" with all the newest products and services in the Haunt and Attractions industries. This show brings together the best buyers and exhibitors from U.S.A and Canada.

I was totally blown away by all the amazing Hollywood style animatronic props, costumes, masks, make-up, set designs, and life size zombie characters that were exhibited by the vendors at the show. Most of the products were tailored towards the professional Haunted House industry, but if you were a serious Home Haunters like myself, this was the place to be to get new ideas and to get inspired for Halloween 2009.

The best part of the show for me was being able to speak with the owners and creative artists who design and manufacture what nightmares are made of, I was able to pick their brains to see what inspires them to come up with their nightmarish creations and learn some tricks of the trade.

Another highlight of the weekend for me was spending quality time with some fellow Canadian Haunters and other new friends that I've made from within the Haunted House industry. I had a great time spending the weekend with Brian & Trisha (my new brother & sister-in-law) who have created most of all my new zombie props in my graveyard display. Chris my Web Site Designer who is not only a creative genius, but also an amazing person. Bruce who has inspired me with his amazing yard haunt since my early beginnings and become a good friend, Victoria who runs the Ontario Haunters Club and her own business. Paul & Clay who are truly the most creative haunters I know in the haunt industry.

While I was in St. Louis attending the Transworld Haunt & Attraction Show, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the top three Professional Haunted Houses in the United States.

"The Darkness" is considered on of the best Haunted Houses in the industry. If you like to be scared, this is the place for you! The combination of technological special effects and amazing design will scare the most jaded of Halloween connoisseurs.

The two-story building was filled with room after room of ghouls and gore. My friends and I entered rooms where the floor moved under our feet and we were constantly being surprised by live actors.

If you're ever in the St. Louis area and looking to have a good scare, treat yourself to "The Darkness"!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009


If your in the Haunted House industry as a professional haunter or a home haunter, this is without a doubt the best haunted trade show for the year to attend. The National Haunt & Attractions Show offers a complete show experience. Featuring hands-on demos, numerous networking opportunities to help you meet fellow industry colleagues and specialized seminars designed to help you add value to your haunt and learn more about the industries, the benefits of the National Haunt & Attractions Show extend well beyond the show floor.
I'm really looking forward to attending this show because it's also a great place for me to get together with some other fellow Canadian Haunters Stittsville Haunt, Boneyard Bargains, and Creepout.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I can't wait to see this movie on Friday February 13th, 2009.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Don't forget to get your Flu Shot this year!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Over the past two years I've received many compliments on how great my web site looks, I was very fortunate to find a talented graphic designer, artist, and web developer.
Christopher Brielmaier - Founder / President of Rogues Hollow Productions specializes in web design & development, branding, graphic design, and Flash design.
Rogues Hollow is one of the biggest names in the Haunted Attraction Industry for creating the best professional haunted house web sites.
Chris took what I envisioned and made everything come to life in my home haunt web site, his work has been a major factor in my web site's success.
If your a home haunter who really wants your website to make an impact...I would highly recommend Rogues Hollow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Like most home haunters, right after Halloween I'm already planning and preparing for the following year.

To better prepare myself, I'm continuously surfing the Internet for new ideas from other home haunters, professional haunted houses, and distributors who sell Halloween props.

Two years ago, I came across this very unique web site
Beyond the Grave Productions Brian Lashchuk (Owner) specializes in creating realistic life size zombie and vampire professional-quality prop characters.

Each character is highly detailed with latex pieces and real clothing costuming. Each prop comes with it's own base, but because the support structure is hidden within the prop, it gives the illusion that the body is freestanding. You can drive rebar into the desired location outside and slide the legs over the rebar, the prop will look as if it is actually standing on the ground by itself.

The other really cool thing with these props are the custom-fabricated joints, which allow the arms to be posed in various positions at both the shoulders and elbows. By tightening these joints, they can be locked in any desired position. The upper body separates from the legs for easier handling, shipping, and storage or even half size bodies climbing out of the ground. Furthermore, the torso can pivot from side-to-side at the waist, which also allows for different poses.

Everyone who visited my home haunt this year were totally freaked out how realistic my zombie props looked standing under their Zombie Crossing Sign on my street. The detail in the masks, hands and clothing were next to none.
I would highly recommend Brian Lashchuk's ghoulish creations to any home haunter; futhermore, he even does custom orders.

Beyond The Grave Production will be at Transworld Haunted Convention from March 27-29, 2009 St. Louis, MO in booth 604 HauntShow go check out Brian's work, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 26, 2009



The Thornhill Woods Haunted House would like to thank everyone who stopped by to visit our home haunt during the last two weeks of October 2008 and contribute to the Sick Kids Foundation Sick Kids

We raised $3,200.00 in cash donations and had more then 2,300 trick-o-treaters on Halloween Night, it was our best year ever.

We can't thank our family and friends enough for all their help and support with the set up and tear down of our display.

Also, a big thank you to all our sponsors who helped support our yearly event and all those who stopped by to make a donation.

In 2009, don't fear the darkness, but what lies with in it at the Thornhill Woods Haunted House.