One of the problems that I needed to find a solution to with our graveyard fence was that the 2’x2′ plywood bases caused the lawn underneath to die each year. I petitioned my friends in the Rocky Mountain Haunters group for help in solving this problem. Their answers ranged from fertilizing before setting them up or after I take them down, to moving them around every few days to keep them from damaging the grass underneath. The best solution was to use PVC pipe underneath the columns to keep them an inch or so off the ground, so the only damage would be small lines in the grass instead of a 2 foot by 2 foot square. I removed the plywood bases and screwed 1 inch PVC pipe on the bottoms. It works great!
Strong winds blew down our Halloween graveyard fence on October 20th and caused damage to the fence columns, finials, and busted the second skeleton sentinel for the second year in a row. I knew that I needed to find a solution to keep them upright in the strong winds we get here in Spanish Fork. The bottoms of my columns are solid wood. Again, my friends in the Rocky Mountain Haunters group helped solve this problem. I cut a square out of the solid block of wood on the bottom and drove T-posts into the ground through the center of each column. The fence is now secure from the winds.
2016 was a great year for prop building at The Never Moor.
This year we focused on adding more tombstones to our graveyard since our new home’s yard is three times the size of our old yard. We added about 20 new tombstones and props to our haunt. My kids really helped me A LOT (you’ll see in the video). Our costume theme for this year were characters from the Harry Potter books/movies.
Thank you to Jason Hogan, another member of the Rocky Mountain Haunters, for giving us 14 tombstone blanks. We covered and sealed the foam blanks with Stucco Patch, then painted with gray exterior primer, and then flat black and white exterior paint. My wife cut vinyl epitaphs with her Silhouette that turned out amazing.
I wanted to make some of the details of my tombstones “pop” more under the black lights that I use in my haunt. I opened a yellow highlighter and soaked the fluid-filled cotton stick with water to make a kind of paint to brush onto the tombstones. Once the highlighter fluid/ink was dry I hit those spots with a flat clear spray paint to seal it.
On Sunday, October 24th, there was a terrible storm that came through and damaged several of my tombstones and “power washed” a lot of the paint off of my fence columns. The wind and rain were fierce. I was really frustrated and upset, but was relieved to find that an anonymous neighbor of mine found the missing tombstone pieces and returned them to my house. Thank you to whoever found them. Here are some pictures of the aftermath of the storm.
I’ve been collecting various tombstones over the years and every year I get frustrated when the wind blows them away or the screws or stakes holding them in the ground rip out or break them. The little plastic “T” stakes they come with DO NOT work to keep them from blowing away. This year I dedicated some time and budget to repairing and strengthening all of my tombstones. Here is what I did and it seems to be working so far:
To add to the creepiness factor of the ambience of our haunt I wanted to have a lot of candles sitting around lighting the headstones and walkway. I bought a couple dozen battery-powered tealights that flicker like real flames off of Ebay from Zest Candles. I bought a 10′ piece of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and was able to cut about 22 4″, 6″ and 8″ pieces. I sanded all of the black writing off of the pipe, then filled them with expandable foam. When the foam was thoroughly dry I cut the excess off, then pushed the foam down to allow the tealights to sit inside the pipe with the “flame” exposed. I then used hot glue to make the “wax” drips down the sides. I was going to paint the pipes with UV reactive paint, but I was pleasantly surprised that the hot glue was already reactive and we think it looks cooler to have just the drips glowing and not the “candle” part.
My graveyard fence for this year was easy to make and free. A local classifieds site had a listing for free wood pallets from a company down the street from where I work, so I picked them up after work one day. It is super easy to make. Here’s how I did it.