Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It was just over a year ago on August 23rd, 2009 that my friend Bruce Evely passed away suddenly.

(Bruce Evely and his wife Sherry)

Bruce was the creater of the Stittsville Haunt" in Ottawa, Ontario.

(Halloween 2008)

(Bruce & Sherry - Halloween 2008)


Bruce was addicted to Halloween as Trick 'R' Treaters are to candy, he started his cemetery theme home haunt back in October 1998.

What started as a few simple lawn decorations, grew into an elaborate zombie wonderland spanning across his entire front yard, a dungeon in his garage that was filled with rattling skeletons, glowing skulls and eerie lights. He added Gothic window treatments, custom tomb stones, lighting, music, sound effects, ghosts, monsters, witches, dragons, demons, and a hearse in his driveway.

Bruce also generously donated money and food every year to the Ottawa Food Bank.

Bruce's wife Sherry and daughter Brianna came to visit me on the weekend and dropped off one of the four tomb stones Bruce was making for his home haunt for Halloween 2009. Sherry was kind enough to give me one of them in memory of Bruce; I've attached photos of how I finish detailing and painting the beautiful tomb stone Bruce never got to finish.

(Tomb Stone Before)

(Tomb Stone After)

I roughed up the edges with a hot Styrofoam knife, added some cracks and put one layer of dark grey paint, then finshed it off by sponging on a lighter grey paint.

Now I'll have a great tomb stone in Bruce's memory that we both worked on and it will be a tribute in his name for future Halloween's.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


A friend of mine came over for dinner on the weekend and brought me a new wine I've never tasted before - 7 Deadly Zins.

When choosing a wine for dinner, most people will have red wine with meat dishes and white wine with chicken or fish. My friend Sherry bought this California Zinfadel for me because she knows how Halloween obsessed I am and said the name of the wine fit me to a tee.

Image Source

The first thing I found striking about this wine even before I opened it, was the label. The top and bottom edges of the label were burnt, there was a hallow over the number seven, the font was in a blood red colour, and lightly faded it the background of the label were the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Lust, Greed, Vanity, and Wrath.

This wine is the creative collaboration of Michael and David Phillips. Working with seven of Lodi California's best growers gave their souls and each of their old vine vineyards to contribute to the layered complexity of this fanciful blend. Soft, supple pepper and licorice-clove, notes merge into a sinful marriage of deep, brambly blackberries and lustful cherries. The finish is clean on the palate with hints of rich vanilla, cocoa and mild tannins.

Bottom line, it tastes great and I'm a new fan.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


For the past three years I've been consistently asked, where do you buy your carved pumpkins from? I always tell everyone, I do them myself. "Oh" are you a graphic designer? No I reply, I'm just creative when it comes to sourcing out the best stencil carved pumpkins for Halloween.

I personally get really annoyed with myself when I purchase a great looking pumpkin and screw it up trying to carve something spooky and it turns out looking like crap!

So I'll let you all in on a secret of mine, here's where I get my pumpkin stencils from.

ZombiePumpkins.com offers its own breed of original pumpkin stencils which anyone can print out and use to create some of the most impressive pumpkin carving masterpieces that you could possibly imagine, in your neighborhood. You can dazzle anybody. You can really get that reaction for your pumpkins, as you're carving them this year.

When you put these carved monstrosities on your porch, you're guaranteed to be the hit of your block. It's hard to not love pumpkin carving when your entire neighborhood is showering your doorstep on Halloween night.

Image Source

Ryan Wickstrand (Owner), runs the Zombie Pumpkin Web site that sells the creepy pumpkin carving stencils of his own designs of typical Hollywood monsters, but also creates characters and designs based on people's requests.

He has created over 218 pattern options, you can download the ones you want for a small fee. You can also grab some pointers for making your carved creations even more creeptacular.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I was excited to find out when I got home from work today that I had received a package in the mail. I knew by the size and shape it was the Halloween children's book I had pre-ordered back in July 2010 "The Halloween Kid" written by Rhode Montijo.

The Halloween Kid is about a mysterious masked boy who wrangles Halloween hoodlums to keep the night safe for trick-or-treaters. All is well for years, that is, until a band of greedy goodie goblins gallop onto the scene - then even the Halloween Kid can use a helpin’ hand.

My two boys Ryan (6) and Matthew (3) have had me already read this rootin', tootin' tale of heroism to them several times, they really enjoyed the toilet-paper-tossing mummies and pumpkin-sucking vampires.

If you have kids, nieces, newphews, grandchildren, or just love children and Halloween, I highly recomend this children's Halloween book by Rhode Montijo.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It's hard to believe that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho premiered 50 years ago today.

Arguably the best psychological thriller ever made, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) is a masterwork of suspense and horror. The acting, cinematography, editing and music in this low-budget, studio-bound film are superb. The movie shows two grisly murders and paints a disturbing portrait of a psychopathic killer.

Anthony Perkins gives a brilliant performance as Psycho's main character, Norman Bates. At first Norman seems to be an attractive, vulnerable and likable young man living with his domineering mother. But as Norman says, "We all go a little mad sometimes."

Janet Leigh is unforgettable in a key role, but she does not appear in the film's last hour. Leigh plays a secretary who steals $40,000, goes on the lam and checks into the isolated Bates Motel ("Twelve cabins, 12 vacancies."), which is run by Norman.

As Psycho winds down, there's a scene where a psychiatrist explains the psychology behind the murders. Critics often object to this scene on the grounds that it is heavy-handed exposition, but it is thought-provoking and indicates that the filmmakers want the viewer to recognize that the killer is not so much an evil man as he is a sick man.

After watching Psycho as a teenager for the first time, I was unable to take a shower for a few weeks without being a little freaked out. Even now I make sure that every door is locked securely before I take a motel shower.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Here's the floor plans for the new Mausoleum I'm building for Halloween. I'll be building this on top of the entire driveway, it will be 16' wide, 28' long, 8' tall, and every hallway will be 4' wide.

Every room will have it's own theme, there will be a surround sound systems playing creepy music, spooky lighting, live actors, moving props, and other things that go bump in the night.

I'll be blogging more in the future with additional photo's and updates.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Friday the 13th is considered to be one of the unluckiest days on the calendar.

Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th (known asparaskevidekatriaphobia) isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But the really strange thing is that most of the people who believe the day is unlucky offer no explanation at all, logical or illogical. As with most superstitions, people fear Friday the 13th for its own sake, without any need for background information.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The annual Witches Coven meeting was in progress and Griselda, the Head Witch addressed the crowd.

"Flights to the Northwest sector will be cut by 150 miles."

"Flyovers will be cut by 15 minutes".

Any questions?

Brooms ready?"

"OK, now dust off the potion bottles, put on your hats and give em HELL sisters!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


If you were a kid growing up in the 1970's, I'm sure at some point Count Chocula cereal landed on your breakfast table.

In late 1971 General Mills began production of the Count, along with his pal Franken Berry, combining a very tasty cereal with in-box prizes and a dominating character presence on both TV and in the grocery aisle. The following year Boo Berry was introduced, followed by Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy completing the unholy circle.

My favorite was Count Chocula, I would even have a bowl of it in the evening while I watch the Adams Family or the Munsters on TV.

Monday, August 9, 2010





Disney was such a magical and fun part of my life growing up as a kid, I couldn't wait to watch it on TV on Sunday evenings.

As I got older, I was always intrigued by the Haunted Mansion; I imagined it as one of the most Spookiest Haunted Houses in the world and wondered what it would be like to visit it.

Well in 2004 I finally got to live out a childhood fantasy, I visited the Haunted Mansion in Florida for the first time.

Here's what I saw...

I revisited the Haunted Mansion again in 2008 while visiting California with my family, it was even better the second time because they updated it with The Night Before Christmas characters.

If you ever get a chance to visit either one of them, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.