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 made my wife’s Ford Flex look like a hearse with cardboard cut-out landau bars wrapped in HVAC tape. I made a cardboard casket out of a neighbor’s baby crib box to put in the back of the “hearse.” I used an inexpensive MP3 player and speakers with a voice yelling, “I’m not dead yet. Let me out!” The ghoul driver was an animated prop I made at a previous Rocky Mountain Haunters Gathering with two deer motors moving the head up and down and side to side.
This year’s Halloween was very trying and frustrating. After last week’s storm that damaged the fence and tombstones and having to repair them, then a hail and wind storm hit shortly before the ToTs were to start that broke one more tombstone and removed paint from the fence columns again, I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits for the year. Luckily, the wind settled down enough to allow me to set the tombstones back up and put out most of the props. Gourdon Rotsworth made his debut appearance and the two ghosts were set up inside the house to greet the trick-or-treaters. It ended up being fun and I was relieved that it was finally done at the end of the night. 🙂 I have big plans for next year already. 🙂 Enjoy this years haunt pictures.
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:
This year’s haunt was a real success. I focused a lot of my time and budget into the lighting and ambiance of the haunt this year. Black lights, fog and chiller, lightning, thunder, candles flickering all added to the creepy, haunted vibe. My “Scaretaker” was a real hit with the kids and adults alike. We had a steady stream of ToTs all evening and at one point there was a huge crowd of parents and kids standing in front of my house admiring all our hard work. I wish I had taken a picture of that, it was quite a sight to behold. 🙂 Here are some miscellaneous pictures from Halloween night.
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.