Where did this all start??
Well, let's see.... I remember being about
8 years old. In the back of one of my horror comic magazines, for
$8.50 there was an EIGHT FOOT TALL Frankenstein!! I gathered my
money and sent it off. In actually a rather quick turn around, I got
an 'Envelope'. They neglected to state that it was a sheet of
plastic with an 8 foot tall PICTURE of Franky. I was a bit
disappointed. But not one to lay down and die, I came up with this
GREAT idea.... At Halloween, I taped Franky to the door. When Trick
or Treaters came by and rang the bell, I *dispensed* the candy through the
mail slot with using a kitchen glove with the fingers cut back on the palm
and the glove turned inside out to make it look white instead of yellow.
All down the glove I used magic markers to make it look like a skeleton
arm with blood. I just thought it was neat.
But to my joy and astonishment, I still remember
hearing the other kids SCREAM because they thought a monster had just
given out the candy. In between groups, I would go out the door and
collect the 2/3rds left on the porch by the 'faint of
heart'. I was hooked! I listened and
heard the ramblings "don't go there---it's
HAUNTED" from the neighborhood kids from behind
my closed door. Now, most of the neighborhood didn't know
me... I started working with my Dad when I was 6 1/2 in his
construction/remodeling company, therefore I was always either in school
or working. I all but existed to the rest of the
neighborhood. (snicker...snicker..... mahwahhhh!!)
Since then, monster movies, monster models, ,and a bit of SCI-FI, have joyfully warped me.
As an 'adult', for the past 40+ years, I've done various haunted houses,
from decorating activity centers at a girlfriend's college, to running the
Good Knight Haunted Kingdom (while they were running, the silly people
stopped a couple years ago), did my own home haunt in 2002 [and actually
had the most fun ever at that point], and then in 2003 & 2004, I
did a commercial haunt 'Goatman
Hollow'. Two acres in Hyattsville, MD, a VERY rare find in
such a developed town, right outside of Washington, DC. Not
your 'typical' haunt where people hide behind a curtain and say 'boo', but
a Dark Play, completely scripted. We used almost every
technology available, from Pepper's Ghosts, to remote control lighting, to
orchestrated music. On any night, we had more than a dozen actors. I
even played two different parts myself. (Guess I have a split personality
... who said that?) By the end of the run of 2003, our 'head count' was on
the order of 2.352 souls. (And for those reading this, Goatman
Hollow 2004 was even better!) They are a great crew, and I am
honored to have worked with them. Wherever they move to, if you have the
opportunity, DON'T MISS THE SHOW!
In 2005, I *almost* Halloween'ed myself out. I did two haunts
at the same time. I helped build Kim's
Krypt in Baltimore and was a Security person there, as well as doing
the largest haunt that I had EVER done, Dorsey's
Run. Just the haunt alone was over 3 1//2 Acres, not counting
the 4 acres for parking, or the 6 acres for "milling around." On
this, not only did I write the script (based on the legend of the local
FIEND Jacob Dorsey), but was a primary engineer, sound developer, set
builder, acting coach, web master, and wore a few other hats thrown in for
good measure. And this was all done to benefit the Jessup
Maryland Scout program. You see, virtually all of my haunts
are done to support local charities.
I would seriously appreciate it if you would give 'in the spirit of the
season' to Unicef .
In 2008, I did a little bit different type of haunt ... at the
ancient lands of Merryweather Post, in Columbia, Maryland, The
Fear Grounds (excuse the pun) sprung to life. This had two haunts, plus a
seperate area just for the kids! (And those with too weak of
hearts) Though I lost my shirt, I met some new friends,
and learned a couple of things along the way. (One thing was to not
do anything at M.P. ever again!)
I have attended Haunter's conventions, both local, and
around the country. Built life size props, composed music and developed
entire sound systems for multiple buildings & areas in my
haunts. I'm also respected enough in the industry to have given a
couple of seminars as well. Local branches of Chain stores hire me as a
consultant. But, the sound systems are one of the greatest passions
.... always adding the 'final touch'.
This is the
absolutely GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! Where
else can one run after people with LIVE CHAIN SAWS and get paid for
it? I don't drink, use drugs, or have most of the vices
that other 'grown-ups' have. So I keep my sanity by running
after people with chain saws? What's wrong with that? (Grin)
*ok just so my other friends at Goatman don't have a cow, I'll be
sure to mention that the Hollow is a 'chainsaw free
But I did have fun with my chainsaw cutting down trees at least!!
Here are several of my newest toys:
Caddy: My pride and joy...
Blackie / Barnabus - (it IS a Collins coach, after all)
Well, there's more to come, but it's time to crawl in the coffin.... I
hear the roosters!!
And here's proof that you can't keep a good .... ?man? ... down: