Friday, November 18, 2011

Well Here's the Pre-Halloween walk-through video. I never got a chance to take one on the 31st or on Nov 5th. It was Such Mahem the whole week.  I certainly hope that next year ( and for Many years to come) are a little more normal. I'll post more content as I find it, but this just might be the extent of my records for this unusual week.

There was quite a bit that wasn't set up yet.  I was planning on setting the remainder up on the 31st, but then I learned that things were postponed.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Wierdest Halloween EVER

It's November 14th, Halloween was Snowed on, Blown over, Crushed,  Rescheduled, and Had an extra week of Chaos. I'm so sore and tired that I think I'm actually happy that it's Over....... (For now).

I still don't have all of the props down but I'm REALLY Close.  I think I can have everything down AND more or less Put away in One more full day. This year is the year of organization. I CAN NOT expand unless I discover new and better ways of storing things, as well as comming to the realization that if I can move part of my haunt into the back yard I'll actually save a TON Of setup time.  So I'm going to focus on organizing things a little bit beter as I Put things away.

As far as my observations this year, It's gradually come to mind that I have to spread everything out a little bit. Big scares and Cool Props were all devalued by trying to cram them in in small spaces while on the steep slope of my driveway.  What I've discovered over the years is that the steepness of my property keeps people Moving, which is good and bad.  People would BLOW by some cool static props only to notive them at the lkat minute as the big scare prop was launching right in front of them. They ended up missing  the full effect of both scenes more times than not in this particular instance. 

So in 2012, Come Hell or High water, I AM COMMITTED to Move part of my haunt into the back yard. At least there are  3 different  mostly level areas where I can have a "Normal" Graveyard, a Maze, and or normal Scares with some space in between for suspense. The Problem??? I NEED HELP!!! I can't have a haunt go around my  house without having at least 3-4 living people (preferabley 4-5) to monitor and guide TOT's and other patrons around.  Also, Moving the Haunt mostly to my back yard will really aid in the "Blocking the driveway" problem which has totally Plagued me over the last several years.  make no mistake that I will still have a substantial front display, But I won't rely so heavily on Driveway Blocking Props. Another benifit is that my back yard is CLOSE to my storage area.  SWEET.   I also have a LAGE Carport I can incorporate into a covered set of scenes limited only by the amount of live actors I can get involved.

So this is the Official SHOUT OUT for HELP. 

We'll be resuming our MnT schedule once everything is better organized.  I'm Looking forward starting the build season again and trying to build up the membership in our small, but dedicated group.

I didn't get any decent videos of  Halloween evening this year, but I did get a nice video on the day before halloween.  I'll post it as soon as I can get it Uploaded to Youtube.

THis has to be the wierdest halloween ever. Which was also compounded by the fact that I was working one state over (PA) on one of the most challenging jobs I've ever taken on as a Landscaper. The entire month of October just feels like a blur in my memory. Hopefully next year won't be so Hectic.

So Here's to a Good start to the new "Haunting" year.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011, Better late than never

Well Halloween 2011 was one of the wildest rides we've ever experianced.. A Colossal Snowstorm 2 days prior to the big day brought trees down all over the East coast, Putting a record amount of people in the dark with no Power. I was outside desparately trying to save some structures from collapse as the wet heavy snow began to pile up. Tree limbs were snapping off and crushing everyting in sight for about 7 hours during the peak of nthe storm.,  It was Scary just to be outside. We ended up loosing a few props but all in all we were lucky.  We never lost power although we lost cable and telephone for several days.  Obviously our Party that was supposed to be Saturday prior to halloween was cancelled.

Despite the storm we were determined to be ready for the big day and were making great progress towards that end when I heard that the town decided to reschedule Trick Or Treating to the following Saturday. It was probably a good decision So we didn't have any qualms about that. 

On Halloween night,  several neighbors asked if they could bring thier kids by and I said "yes" of course. Given that everything was set up alreay, it wasn't a big deal. So we turned on the fog machines and ended up having 75 TOTers that night.  Not to bad given that Halloween had officially been moved till the Following weekend.

Sooo halloween stuff was Up and ready all week long which presented a unique opportunity for us to take a look at our setup.  It usually is only up for a day or two since it totally blocks my entire driveway. We ended up having guests several nights during the week.  It was fun but we could have used a little rest after that disasterous storm.

So, last night was the rescheduled Trick or Treating.  It went VERY well.  No Major failures.  In fact Most everything went FLawlessly.  I have to tweak a few things (as usual) for next year. but overall It was a great evening.  My brother actually had the opportunity to bring his family by due the to schedule change, so that was really nice.  We figure we had about 600- 700 people here this year.  That's down a little bit from the year before but given the unusual circumstances that wasn't too bad.  We all had fun and are now in the process of putting everything away. Hopefully these freaky early storms aren't a regular occurance. This is the second time in 3 years that we were affected in some way by an early snowstorm.

Looking foward already to next year.

Greg and Doreen

Sunday, October 16, 2011

4th Annual Halloween Party and open house Saturday Oct 29th

Ok, Now that I'm almost sorta Kinda getting the Hang of this blogging thing, here's a separate post about our annual halloween Party. We have this party because it takes at least 2000 hours of work every year to build new props, design, and set up the haunt. It's ashame to do all of this work for just 3 hours of Trick or Treating. So we started to invite friends, family, and neighbors  over to see what we've done.

The party and open house is Saturday Oct 29th. Comfortable Costumes are encouraged, but in no way required.  It starts at Dark (7pm), and goes untill whenever. It is Primarily an outdoor affair so dress accordingly.  We have a few campfires going in differrent locations for some warmth. At this point there isn't a Rain date, but we do have some shelter (Tents and a carport) if it's raining lightly. BYOB, and if you Plan on staying for a while, we ask that you bring some food.  Just contact us to see what we might need. We can be reached here or

Here is a teaser video of a walkthrough from last year on the night before halloween. Haunt at Mine Hill 2010 Walkthrough

If your interested in seeing our display but can't make it to the party. The haunt will be fully set up from Fri Oct 28th to Monday Oct 31st. We always reccomend a vist after dark.  Hope to see  some old friends here this year.  I miss ya all.


NJ Hookerman MnT Group

For those that would like to Build your own props, I started a Meet and Take (MnT) group. It just a small group of people that prefer to Make thier props instead of buying them.  We usually meet on the second saturday of the month.

You can learn how to make Tombstones, Animated props and many other things that are cheaper AND better than what you can buy in a store. There's no cost  or obligation to join except, you'll have to supply your own building materials. Please contact us through the blog if you have any interest.  The name of our group is the "NJ Hookerman MnT Group".  I might start a different blog for the group, but for now this is the place to make contact and exchange information.


Welcome to the haunt at mine hill

Welcome to our Halloween Blog. We've  been wanting to start a halloween related site for at least 5 years and Just never got around to it because we were always to busy building new props, creating new scenes and setting up our haunt. 

In this blog We'll be posting Updates about our haunt.  We're also looking for old pictures or videos from years past.  I have absolutely no pictures or videos of halloween prior to 2010. So if anyone has something to contribute, I would be thrilled, and happy to post them, or link to them. 

This season has already been crazy busy, with a whole slew of new props and scenes. Our haunt has expanded once again and is getting to the point where We'll  be needing help if it is to get any bigger. So if anyone wants to help, Please feel free to chime in.  We could use an actor or two in various sections as well as help setting up and tearing down.

Every year we always have a party/open house around halloween. It's always the Saturday that is closest to Halloween, unless Halloween falls on a Saturday.  This years party is Saturday Oct 29th. It's open to anyone, but is mostly for adults and parents with kids that can't come on Halloween itself. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory. If your Comming,  feel free to bring some food (Contact us to see what we might need). Otherwise we always provide at least one main dish and others always contribute for a really Yummy spread. Ov course, it's BYOB.

So, this is my first post on my first blog.  Please  visit Doreen and I in the virtual world, Fantasy world and/or real world. We hope to see a lot of old friends as well as some new ones this year at our ever growing "Haunt a Mine Hill".

Greg and Doreen