Thursday, November 10, 2011

The (not so) secret behind the Mourning Skeleton.

    Everybody has a skeleton in their closet. I have them in the spare bathroom, the work shop, back closet and under the bed. One of my skeletons has generated a lot of email to me. That would be the Mourning Skeleton :

  I received 3 emails, today alone, saying how it was a favorite and asking how it is done. Here is the dirty little secret to my most talked about prop of 2011 :

   It all started out with three Walgreen's skeletons :

   I got a great deal on these thanks to a loyal follower who recognized my name at the Walgreen's in Johnson City Tennessee. The one on the far right went straight out to the front porch as a door greeter and the one on the far left spent the Halloween season trying to escape from a coffin  :

   The skele in the middle hung out in the house with us. I just knew it was destined for greatness (well as great as a skele can get). That skele went on to become the bony witch in one of my posts:

A lurker who follows my website but remains anonymous:

A witch who has her tea party interrupted by Jason :

And finally as a quasi permanent Halloween Party decoration amid the apothecary :

This was consensual I assure you.

   Here, the future Mourning Skeleton sat and entertained party guests and visitors for weeks. 

   Then came Halloween day at 1:30pm. M was on her way home to start applying my zombie makeup. I had been putting props out and adjusting the cemetery since 7:30am. Everything that I had planned to put out and set up was complete. I just happened to notice a bare spot in the cemetery near the coffin. I came in the house to grab a big pumpkin to take up the space when I noticed the skeleton still attached to the lamp. I quickly popped the wire that was holding it down, threw it over my shoulder, and headed for the bare spot. 
   At first, I had planned to lay it on the ground with its arms over it's chest. I set it down in the spot and started to head back in for a wire to hold the hands in place. That is when I saw that a piece of creepy cloth had stuck to the skele's back and that both hands were covering it's face like it was crying. The black string loop that comes out of the top of the skeleton's head (from which you can hang them) had tangled up in the bony  fingers as I carried it. I re positioned the creepy cloth stuck to it's spine, like a shawl, and I liked what I saw:

   There was a spare piece of rebar nearby and I just added it for stability. I moved an LED candle from lid of the nearby coffin and I was done. It took me all of 5 minutes to make (quite by accident) my most talked about prop of 2011. It even made the local newspaper (which I will be posting about Friday).

   Of course the lighting and the fog helped out tremendously, but I have to admit, I am fond of this one as well. I think that this prop (or some form of it ) will be making return visits to the Wicked Woods Cemetery for years to come.


  1. Don't you just love it when something comes together without any effort as if some creative spirit was at work completely apart from yourself,
    you were just there to manipulate the parts. This prop evokes such strong emotion. The sadness of one caught forever in sorrow.

  2. A happy accident! That is just awesome with the lighting & such!

  3. I was wondering where you store all those props! Skeletons under the bed? Yikes. How cool that the mourning skeleton fell into place like this. Good job recognizing your skeleton's potential! By the way, I really like that Halloween countdown picture with the flickering candles.

  4. Okay, now that I've recovered sufficiently from a fit of laughter, I'm very happy to learn that your encounter with that skeleton was consensual. I have to say that he certainly doesn't appear unhappy about it!

    The mourning skeleton is extremely impressive and very poignant!

  5. yeah, I love that idea and the photo you took is fantastic! I'm sure you've started something with this delightful "Mourning Skeleton"--I bet we'll see lots of these guys in cemeteries next Halloween!

  6. art bliss - I do love it when props come about on their own. Can't wait to see what falls into place next year.

    Lisa - thank you. The lighting did it.

    Justine - There is Halloween stored in every nook and cranny of our house. I looked everywhere for a countdown clock but they are all for 2011 so I had to make one at that sight. I think I like it better than my old scarecrow one.

    Little Gothic - The skele was smiling the whole time... or at least I think it was, hard to tell with no lips. Thanks for the comments about the prop!

    Pam - I hope you are right. There will be at least one in mine ;)

  7. LOL! I love how things work out like that! It was a great last minute idea.


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