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.
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.
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.
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.
Click on Link
How Walking Dead Got Started
Festivities Are Underway for 2018
Start of Journal Pages
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 members.
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 work outside.
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 2019
Well today is September 2, 2018 and I been doing a little work on
the website here to catch up. Here we will keep a daily log and
pictures of our progress as we get ready for the Alumni to meet here
at the Collins Mansion.
Special Features 2018
Special Features 2017
A Piece of the Past
Two days ago we finally started the parade of the totes up from the
dungeon. My there is a lot of stuff down there. Seven totes were
brought in to the house for the beginning of unpacking. One at a time
will be worked on and then the next set comes in.
Friday we took Vigo the Carpatian to
the frame master to let him have a look
at framing the old boy. We lucked out
as we were able to wait while they
framed him. He came out great! I guess
I did not realize how heavy he would be
with glass in that frame.
I been dragging him around the house
because I can't lift him at all. Sure don't
think this guy is going on the wall. I have
one place to put him after Halloween so
he can stay up all year but I just don't
think we can get him up there.
We are going to get the Busts Room
done. I had pedestals made to hold each
piece so they will look good.
King Tut will head up the Egyptian Display this year. The Collins Family purchased 2
Mummies from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo and we will be showing those for the
1st time here at the Halloween doings and then they will reside at the Collinwood
A New Candelabra Carved by the Estates Woodman Crafters
Sent from Europe from the Cousins
Our New Entryway Ghoul
This is the area where the journal for 2017 was suppose to be, but between operations on all 3 of us and recovery times it just did not
happen for us. Joe had been down for 24 months with lung cancer and a serious thyroid problem they say was from the agent orange
that kept them from operating on him before the cancer spread. By the time he got his strenght back it was to late to operate. Right
before that I had cancer and had to have a hysterectomy and I was down awhile especially with what it did to my Neuropathy condition.
Last year 2017 Joe seemed to spend more time in the hospital than at home. The thyroid condition caused him to keep losing blood and
fainting. I can't tell you how many trips we made to the emergency room in the middle of the night. We all got hurt from trying to pick him
up. Then right in the middle of putting the pool up is when Jerry got sick. He had necrotising fasciitis, the flesh eating disease. He almost
didn't make it, as a matter of fact the doctors wondered how he made it through. Six all the way under operations in 8 days trying to get
ahead of that hungry bugger. That stuff is wicked and brutal. I stayed in the hospital with him all 8 days and when I had a look at what
they did to him it scared me to death. He had a huge hole that had to stay open and heal. It was at least 7 inches long and God knows
how deep. He came home and Joe, who is a retired surgical nurse took care of changing it 2-3 times a day for over 2 months.
We made it through December but there was more in store for us. I had a colonoscopy that went bad, they found pre-cancer cells and I
spent 3 days in ICU cause it made my diabetes go crazy. What happened was the plug he put inside of me where he cut a polyp out came
out 5 days later and I almost bled to death. By March we were all so weak ya could not get anything done. Jerry and I had a year of
diabetic ulcers and his last one was really bad, Joe had to take him to the hospital in the middle of the night. Right before that he went
home to Nebraska to bury his son who died from cancer. While he was there he had to have a MRI because he started seeing double. A
blood vessel from the back of his head that connects to the back of his eye burst open. Still with this he took the bus back to North
Carolina and saw the eye doctor who told him it has to heal on its own. It will take 2-4 months. He's finally getting better after months and
he had to keep his eye closed so that really affected his balance with his diabetes. He is still healing from that.
This year, 2018, I started January off with that horrible flu - virus that was going around, it took me 3 months to get rid of it, then Jerry
caught from me. Joe was in the hospital. I was worried when he came home with me being sick, and sure enough he caught the virus from
me and spent a week in ICU. It was the first time the VA ever told he might not make it. We overlooked his cancer with me being sick. I
almost lost him. So now we face season 2018 Halloween and thats what I live for. None of us can get on a ladder. Thats a huge problem
for a Halloween decorator or Xmas.
Last 3 years we been able to do nothing because of being sick. So we just handed out candy on Halloween and all this stuff I have just sat
in the boxes. So this year when I got that virus in January, something happened to me in February, not sure what but my illness had a
major relapse and now the pain is worse than ever and I really can't walk at all. It's getting worse each month and has really gotten bad
since February. I finally after 5 years have decided to go back to the Pain Management Clinic and try another round with pain killers. I
have an unusual system that just can't take a lot of meds, for instance, I have diabetes and it is uncontrolled because even though I take
insulin I'm allergic to it and what it does is cripple me. I'm lucky I can still get around the house a little.
Joe is on some new special cancer treatment where he goes for a treatment every 2 weeks and has to have them for one year. They
give it to him like a chemo treatment. He's doing well. It's a miracle. BUT ya know what I think of cancer.........all ya do is wait until it
returns. These checkups every so often are brutal. So there is the story why we did not do Halloween the last few years. There is no
feeling good anymore. We are gonna try and get some stuff up this season....wish us luck and hopefully if we focus and nothing major
happens we can start working on the Walking Dead Tribute after the first of the year. Like I said with Rick Grimes dying its gonna be a
Rick Grimes Tribute!
The week before the 4th of July I met with a lady, her daughter and her
daughters boyfriend at a local cafe in Salisbury. I met these fine folks at
the Zombie Walk in Salisbury right after Halloween 2015. It got
rescheduled after a rain storm swung through just prior to Halloween.
Thats how I was able to go. For sure we don't have any time to attend
anything 2 months prior to Halloween and never make any plans during
that time. All time is devoted to the haunt. As it kept growing it was taking
longer and longer to put up. We usually started the end of September and
still could not seem to get it all up every year in time for Halloween night.
For home haunters such as myself it is always about the race before that
first kid rings the doorbell on our most special night of the year.
I was there, at the Zombie Walk, handing out flyers to people on the street
looking to find zombies that we might be able to interest in coming to
entertain Trick or Treators on Halloween night at our small home haunt.
I was also taking pictures of the Zombies, they looked great! And of
course there is always one that really stands out amongst the rest. She
was exceptional and that is when I was introduced to Lisa, her mom, that
had done this terrific zombie makeup. I gave her a flyer and we talked
about what I was doing there trying to solicit zombies.
July 7, 2016
We had made plans to get together after the holidays to visit. Lisa was
interested in maybe doing some zombie makeup for my zombies. Her
first email came Feb. 25th. I did not respond but I cried when I got it.
She sent 3 more emails and I still did not respond. I became very very
sick during those months. My already existing condition had worsened
but I knew something else was wrong.
I was getting sicker and sicker. April 15th, tax day, I was diagnosed
with cancer. Talk about turning your world upside down. My worse fear
for quite a few years now has been the possibilities of celebrating my
very last Halloween. Now maybe it was going to become a reality.
I just wanted to mention that less than 12 hours out of surgery I was
handing one of my Halloween business cards to a male nurse that was
taking care of me. Even in that state I was worried, thinking about how
I was gonna do Halloween. I just tried to stay positive throughout the
I did not email Lisa right away because I was not sure I was gonna be
able to pull Halloween off in 2016. We were already so far behind
schedule with the building of things. I just could not bring myself to
answer her. But I finally did. And then she stopped by the house one
day and talked to Jerry. That was what got me to the point of setting
up a meeting with her and the kids.
And that is how this all got started. After meeting with them and
feeling their enthusiasum, more and more my hope and faith for
Halloween was returning. I owe my return to Lisa and the kids. I
guess my biggest fear now was could I pull it off in this short a time.
If we were doing the usual haunt, I have everything I need....it just
needs to be put up. But that is not the case with what our plans for
this year were going to be. Everything for this theme has to be built.
Problem is the operation made my neuropathy way worse. I can't
stand long, can't walk and now my hands have become worse and its
moving up my arms.
It was discussed prior to the operation that the neuropathy might
worsen. This level of pain is far worse than anything I have
experienced before and I can hardly stand it. Puts me in bed and I
can't get out, so honestly I am not sure how I'm gonna do this.
What is driving me is the excitement these 3 people have to pull this
off. They are willing to help me with the most difficult of ideas. At this
point getting zombies to be here and getting the Thriller dance pulled
off seems totally impossible. But I think we're gonna shoot for it.
July 10, 2016
Well its another night of no sleep, intensifies the pain terribly. I just
can't sit still when it hurts like this. Wish I could get up on these
sorry feet and get some work done. Ok...promise to my dear journal
pal right now, later today no matter how bad the pain is I'm going to
make my way to my office in the basement and go through the
boxes of Halloween stuff I bought that I been shoving in there.
Mostly the clothes and shoes for the beginning of building the
Walking Dead cast.
Heading out this morning to Thomasville flea market. Always
looking for what I think I can use in the scenes. Keeping an eye for
plastic guns, rifles, knives and air pumps for the fish tanks....always
looking for styrofoam heads. Anything PVC.
Well I had to turn around and come back home, made it 1/2 way down
one row at the flea market....I just cannot walk today and the pain is
through the roof, plus I went to bed at 5 and got up at 8. Gonna sit for
July 11, 2016
Spent quite a bit of time yesterday and last night trying to get a plan
organized to get started. As I move forward you are always
perfecting the plan you have so thats where I am.
The most important thing now is to start building the props......so I
told Joe & Jerry we gotta get that garage cleaned out to be able to
organize, build and store the props for this years theme. There is a
lot of stuff in there so for sure its gonna take some time.
Its kind of hard to think that we will not be using any of the already
existing stuff we have for Halloween and just decorating with the
walking dead props.....thats pretty limited in the way of decorations.
I was trying to visualize how things would look if we added the
decorations I have into the mix. Wondered if it would take away.
Maybe not considering the size of the outdoor scene in the yard.
Its crucial that we start picking up styrofoam heads and getting some
tools to start carving them. Need to get through all the clothes I
bought and see what we actually have for the cast and make a list of
what we need. I can carry it in my wallet so I can pull it out when I
I just feel like you are giving people a more with adding all the other
stuff. Plus gotta figure out a way to do the photos in front of the fish
tanks and have a zombie be in them or the governor and
penny>>>>>how to set that up and a place for me to stand and take
When shopping for clothes this is how I do it:
I pick 5 cast members at a time, go into my pinterest account that
has a section for the guys and a section for the gals. I look at the
different selections of clothes they wore in different seasons of the
show and I pick out the ones I can work with.....by that I mean for me
building props they always have to have sleeves so I don't have to
expose flesh. No shorts except for Eugene.
I started buying the main members costumes first and the highest
priced costumes first so I bought the sheriff outfits off of ebay and
amazon. Got one for Rick & one for Shane, next was Machonne and
her 2 Zombies which will take the longest to build. Painting of the
Zombies torsos will take some time.
As of today I still am looking for the torsos for the male zombies,
everybody at the local flea markets has these torsos but they are all
female, problem is if I buy them off the net I have to pay $25.00 each
for them>>>>>>> way over my budget., but its getting to crunch time.
Right now I have about 12 cast members clothes, I think the hardest
buy was selecting an outfit for Machonne but I managed to get the
whole thing including her cape.
I just keep running in the Goodwill & Salvation Army stores looking for
boots and shoes. Been pretty lucky. I'm gonna have to start looking
into the wigs & moustaches and start buying them otherwise it will be
to many to buy at one time.
For some reason things just fell apart with these folks
Why We Did Not Do Much For Halloween The Last Three Years
Continues on top with the column to the left
The theme for this season of 2018 is
"The Collinwood Haunted Museum"
The Museum will feature the All American Cowboy Collection for 2018
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September 9, 2018
Today we will start the decorating, this
last week major cleaning got done by the
staff at the Mansion. The plan is to
decorate with Halloween decorations
right around all of The Cowboy Expedition
Well I have been shopping even though I
said no more new stuff for the haunt,
when the new items come out every year
it's hard to not buy anything. Still we have
way to much that have not found their way
out of the box yet.
So this year I have decided to work on
adding more to my Werewolf Collection,
prior to this I had a skeleton werewolf and
a dad's and son werewolf costumes to
build my own werewolf family.
We all had spent quite sometime on
discussing on the Halloween Forum how
much the props seemed to have
cheapened this year. Everyone is upset
about the cost and how cheaply they are
In a couple of threads I had mentioned
how I wish 2 yrs. ago I would have
bought that father & son set from
Grandin road, the reviews were very
good on them.
One of the members reading what I wrote
contacted me and told me she had a
father & son set & was looking to sell
them. Guess what she was 15 miles from
We went over to see them & she
had told me they were in the box
brand new, that she never got
around to getting them out so we
brought them 2 guys home.
That got the ball rolling, images were
already forming in my brain. Actually
the werewolf idea stemmed from me
having the Gypsy scene from Lon
Chaney Jr.s...."The Wolf Man".
So that was how it started, but then
comes along Grandin Road with the
father & son werewolves, so more ideas
developed. Two yrs. ago Grandin Road
had a Vampire Family, they were great
so that inspired the Werewolf Family
By this time I had a costume to build the
dad and then last year bought a kids
costume, that would get me started. I
started this season looking at what the
stores had in werewolves and did not
really care for any of them so I went
home and thought, even tho I don't have
time I'll just build my own.
That's when the forum member
contacted me. Later I stopped at Big
Lots and they had the werewolf rug, so
I got one of those. I remember when
Grandin Rd. had them they were pricey
Okay this story is almost to the
end....now I found 2 more werewolves I
need but have not bought them yet.
Next Werewolf spotted at Target, when I
bought that lifesize werewolf skeleton at
K Mart 2 yrs. ago I knew I was gonna
want another one. I try to buy one
lifesize a year.
Let's see, we have dad & son, oh I
forgot I bought one more werewolf
costume at Target, it is the one when
the person is in full wolf form
Have costumes for a wife & daughter,
and a Grandma,and one more, I found a
Have to buy this costume at Spirit
because all the other Grandma's from
the other stores are not smiling like her.
The fact that Jerry is 76 years old does not help either and since his operation he has just no energy at all. He's lucky to get the yard
work done. So today is October 10th and we are gonna drink coffee this morning and discuss if we think we can get this display up. It
won't be what it use to be but we are gonna try and do the best we can The ladder is a thing of our past and we can't get on it to put up
decorations. Its hard because the walls and ceilings are or were a big part of the look. We have tried since the beginning of September to
get some of this work done but the way we get around its just been impossible.
For the last 4 years I have been buying stuff that just has not been displayed and this year I bought a lot. So wish us luck and lets see