Project: Flaming Pumpkin Rider

All I can say is thank god there’s 31 days in August.  Cutting it close with the quota this month, but all is good.  I knew it would be in reach as long as I got within 1 of the quota.  September is my stress month as it is usually a huge race month and more critical, the last month before our big Halloween event, the Haunted Trail of Tears.  Thanks to Covid, the race season has been decimated so that has been taken out of the equation.  We are still discussing what to do about the party, but for now it is still on assuming we can incorporate appropriate safeguards against the invisible enemy.  That means the prop factory is in full swing to close out the new 2020 editions.  To keep the momentum going, the final post of the month features the last of the new props from the 2019 event.

Headless Horseman Halloween Decoration 2019

Yep, the Grand Poobah of the new props.  I’ve already covered the other new additions, Westworld 2.0 Posey Line (link here), Ned (link here) and Johnny (link here),  The last new prop for the 2019 trail was big.. like really big…like lifesize horse big.  Whoever runs the Halloween decorations at Home Depot may actually like Halloween as much as I and that is saying a LOT.  Their offerings each year are incredible.. problem is.. they kind of know it per the price tags they slap on their items.  They had a life size Zombie Horse prop for the 2018 offerings.  Guess what the price was?  go ahead, pick a number…if you picked $200 you were to low!  Their horse was $300 which is too steep for this haunter.  I can build a lot of my own props for that much money.

Hit the jump to read more about the new addition to last year’s haunt


Westworld 2.0 Posey Line Goes into Production

Hello again folks!  If you recall, last post I did a little bit of house cleaning and finally go to one of my Halloween prop projects from last year’s Haunted Trial of Tears.  I must say, that gave me some extra motivation to get going on this year’s planned new additions.  If I manage to get all my honey-do items taken care of this weekend, I’ll definitely head down into the lab and try to make some progress (also excited as some new electronic parts I’ve been waiting for have finally arrived).  Since the last post was so much fun, thought I’d go ahead and double up on the Halloween prop posts and bring out the latest edition to the Posey line (link here and here and here).

ServoMan Posey Halloween Decoration 2019

As with the previous walk through, hit the jump and see how our new evil looking addition to the trail came to be.


Meet Ned

So I was walking through Menards yesterday, doing a little window shopping as I already had procured the goals of the visit.  Cruised through a few of my favorite aisles – yes, the PVC section for sure and the power tool section because every guy likes the power tool section.  Picked up a few things for some props I’m working on and headed towards the checkout.  Almost made it there before I was completely stopped dead in my tracks.  Before me were shelves filled with Halloween decorations.  My heart skipped a beat – grabbed my phone and checked the date.  Okay, still July – what a relief.  Still a few months to go before the Haunted Trail for 2020.  Clearly the commercial chains are trying to blow right past Halloween so they can put out their damn Christmas decorations even earlier.  Pathetic Menards, truly pathetic.  It did get me thinking about the props I built for last year… then realized I had decorations still in the post queue and then looked back down at the phone and the heart skipped again thanks to realizing I only had a few days left before the end of the month and still had not met the month’s quota.  Needless to say, not a good day for the heart ha!  Anyway, made a point to get those concerns addressed, so here we are.

ArachNed Halloween Decoration 2019

Meet Ned, one of the new props for last year’s Haunted Trail of Tears (link here).  I must say for the record, the trail shot really doesn’t capture how creepy this prop turned out.  We ended up putting in in the adult section as we were not sure what kind of impact it would have on the kids.  Of course, I consider that a complete success hehehehe.  Hit the jump to learn how Ned came to be.


Flame On

I’m a post short against this month’s blog quota.  Luckily, the post material queue is packed to the brim and really more of a matter of “which” to bring versus “what” to bring which quite frankly is a big stress reliever.  I noticed there were still Halloween decoration topic from last year’s epic Haunted Trail event.  Admittedly, I’ve purposely avoided these posts as they tend to bring up some sad memories that occurred at this time. Problem is, if I don’t get to these by the time the new haunt season comes along I’ll be way behind – and as I have learned from the wildlife photography posts, as soon as you get behind there is no telling if you will EVER get caught up.  So, going to try and keep the eyes dry as I relate one of the new decorations for the 2019 Haunted Trail of Tears (link here).

Packing Tape Ghost Halloween Decoration 2019

Hit the jump to see how Johnny here was put together!


Haunted Trail of Tears 2019 – The Big Event!

Well, I’ve brought you 2/3rds of the Haunted Trail of Tears 2019 over the last couple of posts.  That included the prep, staging and day tour for the 2019 version of Halloween here at Intrigued.  As our guests continually mention, it is hard to really put the trail in perspective unless you are there to experience it.  There’s a natural spookiness brought on by being deep in a woods with little ambient light making for a pitch black backdrop.  Not to mention the sounds of a night out in the country that can make a city dweller shiver and bite their nails.  Now add to that hundreds of decorations and you have yourself a night of fun and scares that rightfully honor our favorite holiday.  One thing for sure, by the time the sun goes down and the trail fires up, my friends in haunt and I are pretty exhausted.  All that is left to do is grab a beer, stoke the bonfire and sit back and enjoy everyone have a fun night out.  Your image cache would catch fire if we showed everything on the trail, so instead, just going to hit on the highlights and provide a few comments where needed to close out the trail posts.  Hit the lights… its show time


You can finally see the latest addition to the trail in its full glory.  Super happy about getting that life-size horse on closeout from Home Depot the following year.  Linda had to put up with it put together in our basement for a whole year – totally worth it.  The Headless Posey also looked awesome illuminated by the flaming pumpkin.


Hit the jump if you are prepared for a few scares.


Haunted Trail of Tears 2019 – Day Tour

It is time for part two of the Halloween Trail of Tears 2019 posts.  Last post I took you through the multi day..err..weeks…err months process just to get ready for the one night event.  That doesn’t even cover the work that goes on non-stop throughout the year to bring new additions to the trail.  That pretty much just gets us to the starting line.  Once everything is put together (to a point it can still be transported into the woods), it is time to start creating the experience.  Up to a few years ago we did this all in about a day starting after work on Friday and then through until ~5-6pm the next  day literally adding new and fixing stuff that wasn’t working right up to the point guests start arriving.  With the size this has grown into since then, I have to take at least two days off of work to even have a chance of getting done – still a battle against time. The way the trail works is it gets scarier and more adult the further you go.  The guests are responsible for how far they want to take it and more importantly how much to expose their kids to.  We spend a lot of time making sure the kids and squeamish adults can have a good time if they only get a portion of the trail.  Go the whole way and the nightmares are on you ha!

Keeping with tradition, bringing you the daylight tour.  There is one caveat this year.  We were too busy to get the shots done before the event started – as I said, a battle against time and Mr. Murphy.  These shots were actually taken the next morning before tear down and thus some of the props had already been through a night’s worth of wear and tear as in the shot below.

Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears October 2019

New for this year was the life size zombie horse and companion homemade headless horseman.  There was a lot of concern about a) fire deep in the woods, b) stability of the flaming pumpkin, c) how flammable the decoration might be and d) how hard it was going to be to get this monstrous prop down the big hills to the haunted trail.  As a result, I added a solid stand to hold the flaming pumpkin and opted to keep the decoration up by the house.  This way everyone could experience it and I could still keep an eye on it.  You will see in the after dark post the stand merged into the darkness quite nicely.  We received a lot of compliments for this new prop addition and can’t wait to take you through the build (upcoming post).

Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears October 2019

Hit the jump to see some scenes from the Haunted Trail day tour.


Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears – The Prep

Well, it is time to get this set of posts out.  I have been avoiding it due to some emotional memories that come along with this year’s Halloween extravaganza.  Waiting any longer isn’t going to change the situation so I need to get the Haunted Trail of Tears 2019 taken care of while I can still remember all the work it takes to make this thing happen.  Original intent was to slam this into just two posts, but there are way too many images to force on you all at once.  As a result, went ahead and extracted the prep series out separately – this way you can ease into the barrage of photos that’s coming your way!

With Linda’s surgery, in August, we opted to push the date a week to give her extra time to recover and more importantly me time to make up for the lost weeks being up at Mayo.  I had spent a large part of the summer building the new all-weather prop sensors.  Think by the end I had produced over 60 of those devices building on our previous design with an added feature of being able to put the batteries in ahead of time so we could simply switch them on come event start – I cannot even begin to explain how great that was both in savings during the activation step and then more importantly being able to turn them off at the end and not have to worry about getting them out of the woods if bad weather hit us (like last year.. and year before that …).  Unfortunately, that meant rewiring all the props to use the new sensor.  Thankfully, Ron came to my aid and helped get everything converted over!

Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears October 2019

I also had to finish up a number of new props that where being worked on since a month after last year’s effort (yep, there is no Halloween downtime here at Intrigued ha).  Here’s Ron with a major addition for this year’s trail.  Something tells me you can guess what that is.  Linda was excited about finally getting that life size horse out of the basement after 10 months.  Ron actually came down a week ahead of the planned date which was greatly appreciated.  It is hard enough to get all of last year’s props out and each year it grows bigger and bigger.  The zombie horse was just one of the new items making its debut this year.

Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears October 2019

Hit the jump to learn what happens behind the scenes of the Halloween Haunted Trail of Tears extravaganza.


Hang Fire

Christmas is officially over and the New Year festivities have calmed down.  That can only mean one thing around here at Intrigued – yep stress time as we only have about 9 months to get prepped for this year’s Haunted Halloween Trail.  Already looking tight and worried we will once again be scrambling to get all the new decorations built and the haunt layout planned in time.  To help get me in the mood figured it was finally time to get a post out on a decoration I built for the 2018 trail.

Haunted Halloween Trail 2019

I already walked you through the witch construction (link here) – those made their appearance back on the 2017 trail.  The initial scene just had a cauldron sitting on the ground in the middle of the circle.  Had an idea to kick it up a bit for the 2018 version.  A cauldron isn’t going to get too hot if it is just sitting on the ground… what to do … what to do… oh yeah, let’s add some fire (append your own Tim the Tool Man grunts).  Getting the cauldron off the ground was pretty easy – thankfully because I left that design to the very end.  Ron and I were busy finishing up the final decoration prep the night before the main event.  After a quick build of the Nightwing stand – if I remember correctly that was around midnight (link here) – looked down at the to-do list and remembered the cauldron stand.  Happened to look over and noticed a bunch of 3/8″ grey PVC conduit laying against the garage wall.  Problem solved.  Grabbed three pieces and some twine and went about connecting them at one end.  Finished if off with three more lines to hold the cauldron.  Patted myself on the back when I remembered I had adjustable eyehook connectors laying around from a previous build.  Hooked those on the end of the support strings and then connected to the cauldron in the three newly drilled holes.  In case it didn’t click, the adjustable hooks allowed me to get the cauldron leveled without playing games trying to get the strings tied evenly.

Hit the jump to see how the fire prop was constructed.


Happy Hauntings!

It’s that time of the year…

Halloween 2019

Yep, my favorite time of the year.  What evils shall lurk in the darkest hours? Witches and warlocks, black cats and things that are left unnamed.  Perhaps, even the Galloping Hessian of the Hollow in search of Ichabob Crane!

sHalloween 2019

Whatever scares come your way, may your heart be strong and your feet be fast for nightmares await the one unfortunate to be last.

Hit the jump to see a few more pictures in celebration of the Day of the Dead – if you dare {evil laugh}


Halloween Project 2018: Nightwings

Thought I would finally get around to showing off a Halloween project that was built for the 2018 Haunted Halloween Trail of Tears (link here).  Those that checked out the trail walkthrough probably noticed a couple of interesting adds that I didn’t really talk much about.   Was looking at my post queue and noticed I STILL had not posted on that project over a year later.  This must be remedied immediately (as in before this year’s Halloween hits the history books).  So without further delay I bring you Project Nightwings.

NightWings Halloween Decoration 2018

The night shots of the Nightwings didn’t come out the best because.. well, it was dark.  Last year there was close to zero ambient light on the trail making it a bit difficult on the final camera round.  Now, on the other hand, definitely upped the spook factor on the trail!  If you look closely you will see a giant pair of wings adorning the back of the gargoyle.  Now, making one pair of wings is fun enough, however, TWO wings pretty much puts this guy on cloud nine. The second pair is even harder to make out as the black wings blended into the darkness – unlike the zombie silhouette that looked awesome after an upgrade was made to the backing board that reflected the light better)

Nightwings Halloween Decoration 2018

Hit jump to see how these new props for 2018 came to be!