Whats Happening Lately
The caretakers and servants at Collinwood are preparing for the upcoming Hallows Eve party that is held every year..
Because of the fire two years passed without the great celebration, now that the new house is completed everyone is
looking forward to attending this grand celebration and being able to see the new house. Rsvp's are still coming in and
the guest list looks to be quite impressive.
Although the local people do not attend, this group is mostly made up of "Old World Friends". Most of the guest
fly in from Europe and Asia and have been friends of the Collins Family for centuries.
Everyone has heard the news that Mistress Muffy has moved back to Collinwood and has brought the family
business, "Collins Chocolates" back to its roots where it started here in the states. The art of candy-making has
been in this family for centuries and goes back to early European Royalty.
The party plans are underway and the staff of the house are preparing everything. Silver is being polished and
the good linen is being pressed. Decorations are being unpacked and now all the material has been draped from
the ceilings. A "Spell & Potion" room is the first feat at hand. Ceilings were draped in black material and borders
around the ceiling were covered with a black type paper.
Drapes were covered in black material and cheesecloth that was cut and shredded was laid over the material. An entire
bolt of maroon netting was draped over the black drapes and curtain rods. Strings of fushia lights that
have spiders and webs on them were strung through the netting. Black and orange spiders were attached to the netting.
Behind the old antique radio large branches and cut weathered berry vine that still had berries on it are nestled
behind a huge autumn floral arrangement. The radio also holds 2 large hurricane lamp type candles. Orange lights
were strung across the wall and spiders webs hang down.
The ceiling is covered with metallic strings of spiders and the chandelier has been removed to make way for a eerie light
fixture that has cheesecloth and vines. The china hutch is covered with grapevines and orange pumpkin lights and is filled with
all the best of our orange autumn dishes and serving plates. The Halloween village sits on the china hutch and on the very top
of the hutch is the brother & sister scarecrows with all their straw wreathes and baskets.
The table this year is the main attraction, covered with an old gypsy tablecloth that has pink fringe on it. Candles, oil lamps
and candlelabras are mixed in with the old Collins Family Spell & Potion Book. There is a cauldron and also something
brewing that has the table filled with sultry smoke. There are jars of mysterious and unmentionable things and bowls of ears,
noses,hearts, various types of spiders, jems, crystals, frogs, vampire teeth, eyeballs and jars of various herbs, animal parts,
unusual items for any spell under the moon!!
The menus have been planned for the party and the Mistress will prepare special Gore May treats for her guests. The "Gore
May" buffet will be served in the main kitchen this year so the dining room may be left in-tack as a "Spell & Potion" parlor. So
that means the kitchen has to be decorated as well. Oh the work to be done!!
Well we all spent the evening outside last night getting the Halloween lights and ghouls in their places.
Strings were strung on all the bushes and the large spider that lights up was placed on his window. Spotlights were set up
and on the figures on the lawn and the man that hangs in the tree was finished. The large orange pumpkin that lights up
was set out on the lawn and today we are getting ready to set out the skulls and bones along the walk.
Today the stakes are getting placed in the ground and filled with orange and purple lights that will light
the driveways and walkways here at the house. Yesterday all the ghoul figurines were assembled to be put
outside but we had to stop because the wind was blowing kind of fierce. Today we will also try and assemble the
large scary scarecrow that will sit near the front porch and we will also try and hang orange lights on the front porch.
Today was a great fall day and I got out there myself with the lawn keeper and we built an 11 foot high
scarecrow that will lay up against the side of the houses chimney. We bought him a special coat and shredded
it nicely and covered his head in burlap and added bloodshot eyes and glow in the dark fangs. Other monsters that had
gotten built in the last week also got put up. Flood lights were set up at night for a terrific light show.
Today we took a pattern we had bought for a large witches head and cut her out. She came out great! Its still
raining pretty bad here so we had to wait to paint her. Autumn baskets were made today made up of all types
of gourds that were grown in the houses gardens this last summer. They have been placed on the front porch of
the house. Special field corn stalks were tied together and tied to the columns of the front of the house. All the flickering lights
were added in the front window for a scary Halloween night look.
Today and this evening was spent in the kitchen. The house really does have
quite a few trick or treators each year even with its horrid past. This
year the little ones will be invited into the house for the first time since the new
house has been built. The kitchen will house a commercial popcorn
machine for the kids to get a bag of fresh popcorn and they will also get a small bag of goodies too.
The kitchen has Halloween tinsel around the ceiling followed by a ghost and pumpkin border and then there
are novelty Halloween hangups on each cupboard. The light fixture has shredded cheesecloth on it and is covered
by a large black spider and her babies.
Boufonts of netting have been added to the ceiling for added atmosphere and a floral arrangement
is in place with a large talking tombstone and a casket and ghost.
The "Monster Tribute" gallery was also added yesterday to the "Spell & Potion" parlor. It is a wall in
honor of the oldies from yesteryear. The great monsters and the people who brought those stories to life.
"Happy Halloween" borders were added to the front foyer and the dining room.
More things are getting added to "The Bat Room", which is really the bath room.
I am trying to decide if we want to put up more, I think its customary for haunters
to just keep putting stuff up until October 31st actually gets here.
boxes left. Bit I think I will tackle them tonight.
The gas man came today to run all the lines and get the gas ready to go for the Candy Kitchen,
there are just a few more things to do and we will be ready to start. We hope to have everything done by
the day of the party so all the guests can tour the new kitchens and celebrate the opening of "Collins Chocolates"!
The rest of the week will be spent by the staff still tiding up the house and getting ready for the party.
I must also have the staff start preparing the foods today, I think today they are making Vulture Egg Rolls and Pumpkin Bread.
Preparations will be made daily this week in getting ready for the buffet on Hallow's Eve. Baking starts on Thursday of this week to make
cheesecakes, cookies, cake and candies. It will be a festive week here in the Collins Mansion.
News of the Hallow's Eve Party 2015
It is the Merry Month of May here at Collinwood Manor and Mistress Muffy is hard at work building the
families Chocolate business into something to be proud of again. She is absolutely delighted that she has
heard from her cousins son David that he is planning to finally make a trip to the states for a visit to see what
the Mistress has done with the new house and the candy business. He has told her he will be accompanied by
a very special guest and will also be bringing great news of a surprise. He will be coming from the families
house in Europe.
Much has been taking place at the mansion as there is still extensive work in the house and also on the grounds . The
cemetery is still being worked on as fence panels are being replaced and broken pillars rebuilt. All the tombstones are
being They should be arriving some time near the end of June so the Mistress has many things to get done before their
arrival. refurbished from neglect & vandalism. Right now they are building a new arch to hold the Collinwood Cemetery
Sign that has been coming apart.
The Month of May at the Mansion
Halloween Quickly Approaches as
August 2014 Arrives
Coffin Contest - 2008
David Arrives Home with a Surprise
You think you have all the time in the world & before you know it Hallows Eve just creeps up on you! There still is so
much to do. Everyone is hard at work right now trying to complete their assignments on the grounds. The cemetery that
has to be completed by the Hallows Eve Ball still needs a bit of attention. Several projects have been started but still we
have much to do.
Today the wedding dress & bridesmaid dresses have arrived. The bride, Sarah, is making her own veil. Most of the floral
arrangements will be made by the Collinwood master gardener with fresh cut flowers out of the estates gardens. Due to
the nature of this wedding being close to Halloween, favors for the guests are being made by Sarah & her bridesmaids,
they are small coffins that will contains 5 of very specially selected "Collins Chocolates".
June has snuck up on so fast and with it brought the arrival of Master David & his special guest. We were so happy
to see him as he has almost remained estranged from the family for some time. Each family member has their own way of
dealing with the horrific past of this family but it seems as the younger generations are now trying to get past the history of
Indeed David did bring wonderful news to Collinwood Manor. He & his gracious lady friend came to the states to make the
announcement of their wedding. A wedding that is going to take place right here at Collinwood Manor. It has been years since
there has been a wedding on these grounds. Mistress Muffy is over joyed at the news and the planning is already begun. The
wedding will take place the weekend before the Hallows Eve party, this way guests will be here for the party & now will be
surprised with a wedding.
The journeymen carpenters of Collinwood Manor wanted new coffins being built to be made of wonderful & creative
craftsmanship so the head carpenter suggested a contest among them to see who would be the mastermind behind an
unusually designed coffin. The contest lasted through the month of July with everyone building away.
Some beautiful entries were completed but only one stuck out as built in the old ways of the old country. It was the one
selected to sit in the mansion in the funeral parlor. Everyone else is hard at work for now not only tasks were getting
completed to be ready for the upcoming Hallows Eve Ball.
We're Getting Ready!
Following is a journal of getting ready for Hallows Eve
Okay!! We are officially starting the inside decorating of the house today. Carpets are getting shampooed & while the
organ and stuff is moved we will start draping the materials on the walls & from the ceiling for the funeral parlor.
September - 2014
Well we have spent most of the month of August & 1/2 of September trying to get the website caught up. It has been
terribly behind due to the Mistress' ongoing poor health. This year she just simply sat down & decided to update the site &
I must say its coming along nicely. She is working on existing pages, adding new pages and also adding special feature
stories. It is also a visual adventure of all things that she finds interesting.
Well the Mistress had some new furniture pieces commissioned & they have been arriving at the mansion on a daily
basis. Everyone is scurring to get their jobs done so everything is intake for the Hallows eve Ball.
New Commissioned Furniture Pieces
We are working away, the workers are tending the Cemetery & fixing some of the broken down spots. The
new cemetery will debut in the 2016 season. It will be much larger than the way it is now and Mistress Muffy is
replacing all the old wooden tombstones with brand new marble ones. They are going to try & get a
mausoleum made to house the elders of the Collins family. News has gotten out that the Mistress is trying to
get the old Collins Family hearse shipped over here from the families estate in Europe.
Oh we have drank a lot of coffee this morning. Everyone had a hearty
breakfast including the Collins hounds, so we are ready to start the
work load for today.
It is one month before Xmas 2014 and I am proud to announce that the "Projects & Planning Schedule" for the 2015
Halloween season is now completed & organized. All areas of the haunt are listed w/ notes on what has to be built. It
looks like we will be starting with the construction of the new cemetery. The old cemetery will be moved to one side of the
property & will house a new scene. The reproduction of the Pet Semetery. All the tombstones will be re-painted with new
names on them & we will make some new things to add to the cemetery to make it more look like the cemetery in the
Going to start collecting trees & branches for adding to the cemetery, we never seem to get that done when we are
setting up, we always run out of time.
Nov. 2014 notes started for 2015 season
We always start with the same things! First is shampooing of the carpets. That is in progress. Everything that has to be removed from the house
gets packed away....working on that now. Very exciting today he got the first set of totes out of the basement and they are in the garage. Things
are gonna go slower this year because of my health issues & Jerry will be on vacation all of September. So we are started today is 8/22/2015.
Been picking up things all year. Still have things to unpack from last year. All the new items I ordered are here for this year but still in the boxes.
We have a lot to do this year cause we have a lot of new things that have not found their way into the scenes yet. So I gotta work my way through
it. Put it up as I go along.
August 22, 2015
Well, its November & we're getting ready for the 2016 Halloween Season
already! The festivities for 2016 are going to be the largest display we have ever
done. The Tribute to the Walking Dead Show is being planned. TOT's that came
through in 2015 were so very excited to hear the news of the 2016 theme.
I would imagine as the news spreads we will likely see a good group visit the haunt. This is a huge
undertaking on our part. We are planning 40 static props featuring about 30 some cast members
and the rest in zombies. First undertaking is the purchasing of the clothes for each cast member.
Right now we have about 10 outfits. Along with dressing everyone, hands have to be made, heads
purchased and designed, wigs purchased and styled. Lots of PVC pipe to make the frames.
November 30th, 2015
There are a lot of things that figure into this affair, music, video's and lighting. All stuff I have
already started working on. The musical selections are great, all Walking Dead music. We would
like to have some outdoor big screen TV's playing trailers from the show. This stuff has to be
The lighting for this show will have to be really dramatic. So I did some research on the Halloween
Forum and decided what spotlights I'm going to buy. They are a 50 watt that changes into 16 different
colors, along with a dimmer switch, all by remote control. That should give it some real pizzazz.
One of the biggest hurdles to get over is having some help. This last Halloween we set
out posters asking for volunteer help as the season approaches. Nineteen people signed
up so I'm keeping my fingers crossed they keep their word. Second hurdle is trying to
assemble the Thriller Dance and Zombies. I handed out flyers at the local Zombie Walk
looking for people to come join our herd.
This year, 2016, we will be spending a lot of time shopping the Goodwill, the Salvation Army,
the flea markets and yard sales. I still have a lot of clothes to buy for all the props. I've had
pretty good luck so far getting boots, ya know how most of the cast members wear boots.
We will set up a new page that will house Walking Dead prop building, so you can follow
along with these projects. The framework will be made & dressed, hands have to made,
zombie faces designed and the heads w/ hair will be made separtely, stored in the
basement and put out the morning of Halloween to avoid whatever Mother Nature has
planned for Halloween 2016, she can be fickle.
There are other projects planned for 2016 season but I'm not sure, with the amount of
work on the Walking Dead, that there will be time to complete everything. We wanted to
build a new cemetery but that also is a time consuming project.
We started the 2016 journal on another page and since there is only a few
entries I'm gonna leave them over there so I don't have to retype them but that
page will house the project plans of 2016 and the rest of the journal pages will be
Journal of 2018 starts here:
Click on Link
News of the Walking Dead 2018 Tribute
Festivities Are Underway for 2018
Continuation of journal pages from link above.
July 11, 2016
Gonna try and get some work done on the website. I got quite a few pages done started
adding some Halloween news, worked on the Walking Dead Tribute page, and then some
odds & ends here & there. Worked on it all day adding pictures & text.
July 12, 2016
Working on the site this morning till the guys get done with trying to get the swimming pool
up, half of the summer is gone already but they said they are gonna get it up. I woke up
this morning here at the manor & no one is around, not even the servants! As soon as they
come in and & have a break, or rather a rest period, thats what senior breaks are called,
then they said they will help me......only goal for today is to get the living room back in
order.......had to move furniture from the bedroom when I got home from having my
operation so we need to get everything back where it goes. That will be the start of things
moving along in the house.
Last years journal at the bottom of this page scroll down if you care to read.
July 15, 2016
Still in trouble with being able to stand up but I think Sunday we can start working on the
house again. They finally got the pool up but it has to be power washed and then filled.
The new filter arrived today should make us have crystal clear waters. Tomorrow is the
candy meeting so I'll be gone most of the day. Monday we are gonna start building props,
the cast. I'll take pictures!
August 10, 2016
I took down the notes I had on the main page in reference to looking for volunteer
help, thriller dancers help, zombies for Halloween night and getting props built.
Gonna just try and do what we can handle. I spent a lot of money buying things we
needed to put this Walking Dead thing together but I just cannot build the stuff.
Last night I went in the garage to go through some of the clothes for the cast
I still need a lot. I am sure there is still more clothes in the basement office. The
torso's for Machonne's zombies are on their way. That is the 1st prop we will
build. Just need to buy the paint for the zombie guys and expanding foam and I
can get started on those. The heat here is absolutely ridiculous, you just can't
Need to get the tombstones down from in the shed and get them painted with the Walking
Dead cast members that have passed away. Need to paint Terminus signs and Alexandria
signs. Need grey paint for the cafeteria doors and need to start working on Rick's bed. Also
have to go buy the other steel shelf from Walmart to hold the fish tanks and then I can start
working on the dining room.
Still not sure on how to design to pull off Carol's Kitchen. Think I'm gonna decorate the
kitchen the way we always do and then just add as many things as I can for Carol's Kitchen.
tried to come up with scenes from the show. I'll just keep going in the same direction and just
see what I can get done. I really wanted to just have the Walking Dead stuff in the house with a
little outside and not use any of the other decorations we have.....but I feel like that is letting
people down because we have so much regular Halloween decorations.....so then I thought
well I'll just put up the Walking Dead stuff and add in the regular things in the scenes but that
really ruins it.
The Walking Dead stuff should be by itself and the regular Halloween decorations
should be separate from these scenes, and the regular stuff really needs to be put out
too. So if we can get the guard tower made it needs to be put on top of the shed and
then we could use the decks for other Halloween stuff..
We had a horrible day yesterday, the night before something happened with
our computer. It got hacked and a serious virus got into the system and we
could not do anything on it. It took all of yesterday to get it repaired and took a
big chunk of money to do it. Usually around this time of the year no money gets
spent on other things, everything goes toward Halloween stuff. Then last night
when I got on it finally guess what......my website building program was gone
off the desktop. Panic set in quickly, the web site has all my notes and lists.
Worked on stuff till 2am & finally got it all back but the bookmarks are gone
Okay back to the planning stage, decisions have to be made about the additional
Halloween decorations so we know whats going where. Gotta sort through stuff....there
is the spell & potion room which usually houses in the dining room, need a spot for
that....a person has to be present with that room of stuff because of the lit candles and
all the small items.
the cafeteria with the wires hanging.
Living room which is usually the funeral parlor will move to the garage for Walking
Dead scene. Living room will house the farm scene from episode one where the
people kill themselves.
That leaves all the Cadaver Cafe stuff from the garage and the egyptian display.
And the witches Liar and the Gypsy Tent. Where is it all going????? This is what i
do when I lay in bed at night, try to figure out the plans.
Cadaver Cafe -
Egyptian Display - ????
Witch's Lair - Back Deck
Just gonna mention and try to give an example of showing that as we age it is
much harder to get things done. Ok they filled the pool 1/2 way only to have it
collapse on one side with the base they built underneath it. So it had to be
drained completely and pulled out of where its going to sit so they could level it
more. Two weeks went by before we got around to our neighbor bringing his
front loader and fetching buckets of dirt from up on the hill on the other neighbors
land. Then it sat another week because it rained every day. Now Jerry is sick and
its still raining. The new filter came only to find out that 2 pieces were missing
out of the box. They still are not here. I'm gonna win this bet we all have...It was
that we are not gonna swim in that pool at all this year! lol
I just want to say that after much consideration and deep thought it was good
decision to not intermingle yearly Halloween decorations with the Walking Dead
scenes. I feel it would just take away from the experience.
September 10, 2016
Well today is exactly 1 month since Jerry got sick....we took him the emergency
room August 11th and his nightmare started. Between the 2 of us this is what
halted this years plans. So from here out we are just gonna put stuff up everyday
and see what we can get done.
Major Change of Plans
September 24, 2016
Ok so last night I made up my mind if I don't start getting stuff up its not gonna
happen so heres the plan and this is the plan...one hour of work a day and
unloading of one tote, everything in the tote has to go to its destination and be
put out or up. I've already started.
My feet are killing me but its ok I'll just keep going.
Besides sitting at the computer everyday waiting and hoping the pain would
subside I have been online shopping and also some shopping in the stores. In
August I bought a bunch of lights from Big Lots to use for Halloween. I ordered a
40 inch skeleton that sings "I'm a Soul Man". He is in a group with the
Harmonica playing skeleton I ordered from Grandin Road, next year I'll buy the
banjo playing one.
I ordered a Tarot Card reading gypsy and a sign that goes behind her.....the sign
won't be here till just before Halloween. Also got the Peeper, and the magic
book with the dancing feather, they sent one w/o the feather and said to keep it
and they sent another one. I got an electrical line thing from Spirit to use next
year for Walking Dead, along with that I bought 3 small electrical lines from Big
Lots for the hospital scene.
Ordered 2 projectors from Home Depot, gonna try my hand at that this year. Got
3 sets of zombie heads for the walk for next year. Got a skull head that lights up.
From K Mart I bought a werewolf skeleton, really cool. An alligator skull came
from Target and a line of eyeball lights.
So for right now I emptied 1 very large tote and 1 small one. Sorted through all
the stuff and have started taking it to rooms to be hung. Thats how easy it is to
So will be putting up as much of the regular haunt as I can. Walking Dead
materials will be put away till next year.
Post-poned till 2018
This will now be the journal of 2018
Well today is June 1st, 2018 and I been doing a little work on
the website here to catch up.
Special Features 2018
Special Features 2017
A Piece of the Past