Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eat, Drink, and be Scary!!!!!!

FEAST your eyes on this wicKED recipe update!

   I have had numerous requests for me to BITE the bullet and get the recipe page up and running. Today that has happened. There you will find some great recipes and ideas for your next party. Go forth and GORGE yourself on this bountiful BUFFET of an update! If you happen to BITE off more than you can CHEW, feel free to reach out for my assistance with all your evil EDIBLES. I also HUNGER for your FEEDback on this page.You can access the page HERE.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

There comes a time when even the dead must clean and organize...

   Today I am cleaning up some of my pages and adding a few old videos and pics to the Halloweens of the past page. Updated the wicKED Places in Wise County page as well as the 2011 Haunted Attractions near Wise County.
   I'm currently working on wicKED Recipes (hope to post them tonight) and with the help of my Haunted Honey, I hope to start the Halloween Party Planning guide by Wednesday.
   The season is getting ready to gear up so expect lots more to come! Till the next post, have a wicKED day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Let there be fog! (chilled not stirred)

   I have had a very productive weeKEnD and was able to cross of several Halloween "to do's" off my huge list. The most prominent among them was the creation and completion of my GOTFOG inspired fog chiller. You can get the same how to project plan I used HERE. I veered from the plan in a few steps and I made some slight wicKED modifications for the greater good, but in essence it is the same one from their pages.
   I substituted PVC for ABS plastic simply because it was thicker and seemed like it would hold up to wear and tear. When I built this thing, I built it to last until my final Halloween. Other than that, I followed the same part list as shown on the website.  I went ahead and cut and fitted my external PVC parts that would connect the fog machine to the cooler. The cooler I went with was a $15 dollar Igloo 48 quart cooler. It had a big sticker saying it was a 3 day ice cooler and it lived up to that name. There was still ice in it this afternoon after being used this past Friday. I was impressed especially since the two big holes I cut in it. After my pipe was done I went to the biggest part of the project, cutting the cooler.

    Here is my tools and supplies I used to cut and wire up the chest.

 I did not go with the $25 dollar 4"bi-metal hole saw bit. I could use $25 bucks for some other good Haunting gear so I went with a 1 inch drill bit and a cordless reciprocating saw for my hole creation (it was also handy in cutting the PVC). Here is where I deviate from the path slightly.
   Instead of putting the hole and wire cage tube directly in the center of the cooler like instructed, I went down closer to the bottom.  About 3 inches from the bottom to be exact,  leaving about 2 inches of space underneath the wire tube instead of nearly 5 inches. Why? Elementary my dear Watson. You see hot air rises and cold air descends. By putting the tube lower, it allows more ice to go on top of it. As the hot fog enters it will melt in a more upward fashion and there will be more cold to radiate down. In the end I think it will give me roughly 2 more hours of chilled fog. Seeing how I would like to see it run roughly 6 hours for my party and for my yard haunt, those couple of extra hours without adding more ice are crucial.  You may be asking yourself  "Won't the ice melt under the wire tube faster and make it not chill as well?"  The answer to that is false. The hot fog will be hitting the cooler and rising upward. As the super cooled water runs down and collects under the tube, it will chill the fog even better than just ice (anybody who watches Mythbusters will know that water and ice are a better conductor of cold than ice alone).I also slanted the tube holes just slightly so the fog would have a somewhat angled path to travel.
   Using a grease pencil I traced out the plastic hub I would be putting in the side of the cooler. Just remember to cut INSIDE the line for a snug fit.

   I started by drilling a 1 inch hole inside the top of my mark. Be very careful and make sure you go very slowly as the bit my kick out.

Then using the reciprocating saw with the blade teeth facing up (so I could guide the saw and keep it in the line better), I started to carefully cut out the hole.

   Using the box cutter, wire pliers,  and Xacto knife to clean up the hole, I soon had 2 nicely fitted hubs in my cooler. I just followed the website and soon had my cage tube built and attached inside with the clamps. I then sealed it all up with silicone. Except for the lower placement of the hubs and wire tube It looked exactly like the one on GOTFOG.

   I then custom fit my outer PVC "arm" to fit the fog machine. I did not glue any of the outer PVC pipes as you may need to swivel twist or adjust. Besides they fit snugly together and there were no signs of leaking in the tests. Do not paint your chiller until you have tested it for leaks around the hubs, arms, etc.

   I then went to test my creation. I even ordered the fog machine featured on GOTFOG's buying guide to keep the test, and ultimately my review, of this project pure.

   Here is my new fog machine in action for the first time without the chiller. (all test performed using high end premium low lying fog juice).
  I just can't say enough good things about the Eliminator EF1000. It produced so much fog when I was first playing with it that my neighbors came to check on me. This is a work horse! It was a great deal too at $56 bucks (brand new + free shipping) off Ebay.

   Next I attached the fog chiller completely empty of ice for test two!

   Even with no ice, the chiller helped place the fog lower on the ground!

   Test three involved the ice at long last! I only put in 15 lbs of ice (just enough to cover the tube). The chest will hold almost 40 lbs. Keep in mind two thing when you view this video. #1 Hurricane Irene was causing a very steady but mild breeze in my normally windless backyard. #2 it was 89 degrees  and humid as heck.
    Despite being less than half full of ice, despite it being hot and humid, and despite the constant breeze, it performed like a champ! I can't wait to unleash the full fury of this beast in the much milder and cooler weather of October.
   We performed a few more test. For test four, we just added a cardboard box with a long, thin slit cut out at the very bottom to help direct the fog.
   After test four, our neighbors walked by again to "check" on us.  At this point I am impressed all to heck with this thing. Then a full 10 minutes after I unpluged the fog machine, it was still performing!
   After it had dried out over the weeKEnD, I painted it black to help conceal it. I did not primer the unit as suggested by GOTFOG, but rather used a Krylon flat black spray paint that bonds to plastic. It took one and a half cans of this paint and it worked out perfectly.

Behold the wicKEDly built GOTFOG fog chiller!

 I cannot tell you how pleased I am with this project. It was cheap (well under 100 bucks), easy, and it works great! With most commercial fog chillers of this capacity you would pay $300 to $600 bucks and then I am not for certain it would be as effective. You don't have to go out and buy a big 1000 watt fog machine either. I am positive a simple 400 watt machine would do just as well (maybe even better as I think the fog would cool faster). 

For all this GOTFOG gets wicKEDly ranKED at a full FIVE Grimaces!

   While I was at it, I went ahead and built a couple of test tube racks out of some scrap wood. These will be great to hold shots of glowing go go juice at this years Halloween party (remember my Martha Stewart test tubes I bought over the weeKEnd?).

   So what are you waiting for? Head to GOTFOG.COM and check out the SPECIAL PROJECTS section and get to building your very own creepy fog factory! 

   Hmmm.... I wonder if I remembered to cut my fog chiller off.......

The home was long dead... only the wooden and wire bones of a house remained.

  As I had mentioned earlier, we decided to go in search of some creepy, possibly haunted, places. We found one.

   The house we found was well over 100 years old and buried deep in the hills of an old country road. One would never know it was there had they not been searching for it. Traveling down old trails, long unused, we were suddenly upon it. The day was warm and bright and I am thankful for that. I cannot imagine what  it would be like to pick among the bones of the old home in the dark.
   When we entered, you could almost feel the weight of it's hundred years of existence bare down on you. It seemed the darkness strained to push out the light wherever they crossed paths. With one look back at the door, and the light of salvation, we continued into our adventure.

   Steps leading down into seemingly nothing gave us pause.

The trophies of the long gone and dead were everywhere.

Steps ushering us into darkness were not a welcoming sight at all.

We took them anyway. They lead to a bedroom where no living thing had slept for a very long time.

I stopped to ponder what countless reflections this mirror had seen. Were images from the past still trapped beneath it's glassy surface?

It is always disconcerting to see evidence of the young trapped in time. This old children's desk was no exception.

What was even more unsettling were the shoes and the old wooden cars on the desk. Do small ghostly hands play at this desk when the light of day fades?

Another set of steps. Most stairs welcome you to ascend. These seemed defeated and lifeless.

They lead to the upper reaches of the home. You could tell most of the living had been done here. Now the greatest signs of death shown through. Seemingly the elements tore at it, as if trying to bury the bones left behind. Doors leading to nowhere as their destinations long rotted away. There only function now was to keep the light of the modern world from mixing with the shadows of the past.

Once the grand house had been full of life, but that life is no more. I could just imagine hearing the sound of an organ late in the night.

Do spirits from yesteryear still huddle around the television at night? Perhaps trying to hold on to familiar things as they struggle to understand what has become of the world around them?

As the rooms showed more and more deterioration, so too did they tell the most tales.  As if the rooms themselves were trying desperately to have one final say before oblivion takes them

Here, the glue of the wallpaper has long ago given up it's fight to hold on. Beneath it, old newspapers give a glimpse into the past. At the time, the occupants were using the papers as insulation to hold in the heat of the home. Now they served to only hold in the history.

The date on these papers,January 17th 1941, gives us a peek into the inhabitants of the house. The word NAZIS" in the headlines is testament to a different time on earth.

If mention of Nazi's is not enough to date the rooms age, the 17 and 1/2 cent gasoline should! I wonder what the ghost that may roam these halls would say to gas at $3.50?

When I see strangely placed items like this, I can't help but wonder if some supernatural force is at work. Straining to recall a time forgotten? Still fighting the denial of death?

Beds always seem to be a focal point for things paranormal. During the time this house was in full swing, a bed represented life and death. Conception, birth, sickness, and ultimately death were the function of a bed. I wonder what energies still clings to this one.

The round mirrors again. At the time, I am sure they seemed modern and stylish but now remind me of a portal to a place I would rather not go.

Not even the best haunted houses could produce this web encrusted ash tray. One can imagine ghostly gentleman sitting around this at night , cigars in hand,  as they look through the window at the modern era.

A hole in the wall of the upstairs seemed like a great wound to the house. It  revealed the world of light and life. Beckoning us to return.

   We heeded it's call and left the ancient house behind. As we left, I wondered if we had disturbed any spirits that remained there. Would they be roaming those halls tonight in anger or confusion at our intrusion, or had our visit gave them energy to go about as if in life. 
  As I lay awake in bed last night, I entertained the vision of ghostly children playing with wooden cars as an old TV warns of  impending war. As I drifted off into sleep, I could almost swear I smelled the faint smoke of a cigar....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deep in the back woods of Dryden, there lies an old, haunted slaughter house. What do they slaughter deep in the woods? Why don't you go find out....

   This will be the 4th year in a row that  I have had the pleasure of visiting BackWoods Haunted House. It is, by far, one of the best haunted attraction in the Tri City area. Located, literally, in the back woods of Dryden, this non stop terror fest is well worth the money and the drive. 

   They just announced that this year's theme will be Hillbilly Slaughterhouse! As we get closer to the haunts opening, I will be sure to post directions, times, dates, and prices. I will also  be doing a full review and get them wicKEDly ranKED. 

   I personally can't wait to head back again! It is a must see for any haunt fans. You can keep in touch with them through their Facebook page here BackWoods Haunted House (make sure to tell them wicKED sent ya) or follow my blog for updates on this and all other Haunted Attractions coming to the area in 2011.

Happy Hauntings!

Show caution when seeking out the may find them!

   It is such a nice day today that we are going to take a little trip deep in the country. We are seeking out some creepy (possibly haunted) places and are well armed with cameras and curiosity. If we find anything (or nothing finds us) I will post about it tonight.
   Hope everybody has a great Sunday doing something fun (creepy?)!


wicKED weeKEnD Halloween Hunt roundup

    We headed out for another weekend hunt for new Halloween items. Heading back to Kingsport TN, we were hoping for some new blood. We were not disappointed.

   We started off at Target. Sadly, they only had a handful of the little items at the very front of the store for kids like small Halloween place mats, floor rugs, and books. They STILL had the back to school stuff out. Hopefully they will get the ball rolling soon.
   Heading next door to Michael's, we were surprised to see a few more items out. The Martha Stewart Collection has some really great items like amazing window covers (19.99 each) and bottle covers with clever Halloween stuff on them (9.99). It was a bit over priced, so I figured I would just go home and print out my own clever bottle stickers for a lot less. We did grab these :
  I am going to make a nice stand out of some drilled wood and paint it black. These will make awesome shot glasses or just glowing vials for ambiance. At 7.99 (with a 25% off coupon thanks to the nice guy who checked us out) they were a good deal. They also had their forever pumpkins on sale 30% off.
   Other finds of note were great cooking and baking items. They had a full 3d skull cake pan that Miranda almost grabbed.
   I highly recommend dropping by Michael's soon if your looking for Halloween stuff. Make sure to walk all around the store as they have things on dozens of end caps and isles spread all over.
   We completely bypassed Pier 1 and hit TJ Max. They had some merchandise out, but nothing to really scream about. I hope that as we get closer to October they will get in some more/better items.

   Big Lots had some of their stock out. Mostly just outdoor signs and some lights. They did have the planogram printouts stuck to the isles of back to school stuff showing there was some serious Halloween coming on the horizon. Miranda hit the clearance summer isle and nabbed these tumblers with matching stir sticks for the party at 50% off.

   They glow like crazy in a black light if you are into that kind of thing. I will be keeping an eye on Big Lots for more stuff.

   Expecting the worst, we reluctantly entered Hobby Lobby and was pleasantly surprised.  They had a whole isle, seemingly dedicated to Halloween, but it was sparse at best. I took two shots of the only two sections that appeared "full"

   I was glad to see some movement from Hobby Lobby. I hope the vacant spots are a promise of things to come. The Lobby did have 50% off glass ware and I picked some great things up like this humble candle holder (sorry for the poor quality):

   With 50% off glassware, we sealed the deal on some really cool "potion bottles".

   Ross had a few new things. The most notable were these HUGE orange and purple lanterns (see below)

   The lanterns were great but at 49.99, just a bit pricey. Miranda ended up getting 2 great items. The first was a really nice frame.
   When she adds the $1 lenticular picture she grabbed at Dollar Tree, she will have an amazing Halloween decoration  for less than half of what you would pay for at Michael's (12.99)

   The second item was an offering to appease the small demon who inhabits our home named Lilly. I am not sure she is pleased with it.
    While this outfit brings out her true nature, I think she failed to appreciate it. She mauled Miranda shortly after this picture was taken and then proceeded to create poltergeist like activity throughout the house.

   Kirkland's in the Fort Henry Mall had small section of mediocre items. Not sure they will get more.
   Spencers had nothing but one of the workers did say it was coming in about 2 weeks. Spencers had a great selection of Zombie posters that would look good on the wall of any party!
   We totally forgot to hit Walgreens....and it kills me after I saw a post about life size plastic skeletons for 30 bucks! We will be swinging by there soon!

   Not a bad haul, all things considered. We spent a total of 51 bucks on Halloween gear. Due to coupons, sales, and clearance we saved a whopping 61 bucks for that stuff! Hope we all see more items hit the shelves as we round the corner to September. Until then, Happy Hunting!
Lilly commands you to bow down or she will scratch out your soul!