Oct 21 2017

Video Store Day Is Here!

If you missed our note about Video Store Day from earlier in the Halloween Countdown, the event’s official Facebook page has all the information you need about the event.

Although most remaining video rental stores focus exclusively on DVD and Blu-Ray, you can sometimes find some which still stock VHS. Many who look back fondly on the days of VHS often wonder why movie cover art has become so different. While covers using photographs weren’t unheard of, painted or drawn artwork used to be the most popular way to go. So what happened? To get a full understanding, let’s take a quick look back at the history of video rentals and poster art.

When the video boom first started, the idea was to attract the most attention to your company’s product as possible. So naturally many video companies decided to make their box art look like painted posters. After all, posters had been done this way since the silent era and could be relied on to draw attention (especially to low budget productions which lacked the star power of films from major studios). This in turn led to the “big box” method of packaging VHS cassettes. This gave more room for the artwork and helped certain movies stand out from those packaged in smaller boxes. This was especially important in attracting the lucrative teen renter market, who often rented multiple movies at the same time. Some companies even put rainbows or other distinctive banners at the top of the box to draw more eyes to their boxes. Such concepts weren’t unlike DC Comics’ “Go-Go Checks” and other artistic methods of attracting readers to their comic books. But somewhere along the line, box sizes shrunk and “sleeves” became the new standard. Money was most likely a factor, especially since some store chose to cut out portions of big boxes to fit them into plastic cases and threw away the rest. Why spend money on something nobody is going to use or see?

But the smaller box size wasn’t the only factor at play. Artistic posters were starting to fall by the wayside (although this might not be case for long). The most common explanation you’ll see online for this is due to changes in contracts for performers. A quick look at articles about “equal likeness” clauses and movie posters shows this isn’t just some internet myth. Not only have poster artists weighed in on the matter, but it’s even been alleged the original poster art for The Rocketeer was phased out of theaters since it didn’t bring enough attention to the stars in the cast! The rise of photo manipulation programs and the presumed lower cost of making artwork that way on computers probably also helped all but completely kill off traditional poster art. Which in turn worked over into the world of home video. This issue is apparently discussed in the documentary 24×36: A Movie About Movie Posters. So you might want to keep an eye out for it during your next trip to your local video store!

Happy Video Store Day!

Special thanks to Eyesore Cinema for use of the image!

Oct 20 2017

6’+ Episode 212 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s Six Foot Plus, hosted by…MONSTERMATT PATTERSON? “The Man Of 1,000 Bad Monster Jokes” and author of the Ha-Ha Horror books takes over for Strange Jason, playing some Halloween tracks to tickle your funny bone. Hear from FORBIDDEN DIMENSION, THE VAMPIRES, LOS STRAITJACKETS, THE DIAMONDS and more.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oct 20 2017

Wormtown Pumpkin Ale

You’re probably wondering about the “Wormtown” part of this beer’s name. A Massachusetts disc jockey by the name of L.B. Worm came up with it in the 1970’s while working at WCUW in Worcester. Although it was intended as a reference to the area’s (then) massive underground music scene, it eventually become a nickname for the entire city. The people at Wormtown Brewery adopted it since it sounded cooler than just calling themselves “The Worcester Brewing Company.”

I had my first taste of their pumpkin ale at a birthday party back in 2015. We were at a restaurant specializing in draft beer and I made my order without realizing this fact. No bottle meant nothing I could photograph at home later for an article, hence my posting this now that I’ve found the perfect generic image to use in this sort of situation. It also meant I screwed myself by getting the glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. I had been hoping to sample the beer straight from the bottle first and then try some in the glass, but now I had to improvise. Drinking from the rimmed glass was nice at first, but they soon overpowered the beer’s flavor. A quick cleaning with a wet napkin got me back in business.

Looking back at my old notes, I referred to it as being “nicely neutral.” It has the perfect balance of flavor so that it’s not too sweet. The taste of pumpkin was pleasant while not being overwhelming. Although I’m sure cinnamon, allspice and other such ingredients were included, it was the pumpkin which stood out to me the most. It also tasted great with my burger and fries. It even went well with the spicy stuff I tried later. It’s a perfect middle of the road pumpkin beer to have with a meal. Especially if you’re the type of person who despises sweet pumpkin beers. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale seems like Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale compared to this.

Trying to find more information about this particular ale has been surprisingly difficult. It’s definitely named “Wormtown Pumpkin Ale,” but all I can find is Wormtown’s “Fresh Patch Pumpkin Ale.” I haven’t had a taste of that particular beer yet, so I can’t say for sure if it’s a replacement or a rebranding. Others have similar questions and it’s nice to see I’m not alone in my confusion. For what it’s worth, Fresh Patch appears to be available in both bottles and as draft beer. But based on my experiences with Wormtown Pumpkin Ale, draft is the best way to go if you have the option.

Creative Commons License

The image illustrating this article was licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. The rest of the article is copyrighted by Gravedigger’s Local 16.

Oct 19 2017

First Parish Haunted House

Location: 75 Great Road, Bedford, MA 01730 (Directions)
Dates/Times: Oct 20 from 6:00 – 9:30 pm, Oct 21 5:30 – 9:30 pm (10:30 am – 1:30 pm kid friendly) (Dates/Times and prices subject to change as years go by)
Admission: $10 per adult, $10 per child (ages 3-14) and $8 per senior citizen. Parents’ and kids’ tickets 50% off (Saturday kid friendly hours only)
Phone: (781) 275-7994
Website: http://www.HauntedBedford.org/

Bedford’s First Parish Unitarian Universalist has been running a most unique haunted house for many years. Although there were a few early versions of it prior to 2010, the “real” version of haunted house hadn’t been set in stone until that date. The overall theme is that guests are taking a tour through a school run by the Bedford Alchemist Society. Naturally the staff includes mad scientists, witches, wizards and members of the (fictional) Bedford Adventurers Club. But while it changes every year, events from the previous versions are occasionally referenced in a manner which doesn’t make new visitors feel as if they need to catch up. There’s a fair amount of humor mixed in with the horror as well. This is not a gorefest. This family friendly event focuses on atmosphere and scare tactics instead.

The haunt is always open for two days in October, with one day having special “Trick or Treat” time set aside for children. Things are much less scary and the First Parish Haunted House compares the experience to a G rated movie. But children still must be accompanied by an adult at all times no matter what day or time they visit. The rest of the operating hours are scarier, with Day 1 having been compared to a PG movie and Day 2 being even scarier. There’s also the optional “Deadford Dungeon of Doom” portion of the haunt featuring two advance warnings about the experience being given to those who were okay with the rest of the haunt. You’d better believe I opted for the scariest night and didn’t skip the dungeon segment when I visited in 2016. I briefly checked out the area set up for families to enjoy after visiting the haunt. Aside for some posters parodying classic horror films, the decorations are more “Harry Potter” than “Halloween.” This ties in both with the haunted house’s mystical school theme and keeps things enjoyable for young children. Kids get a free ticket for to play one of the various carnival games included with their admission fee. Everyone is free to buy more at the “Three Brooms” game area itself. There’s also food and beverages served by “The Cracked Cauldron” and merchandise (like “magic wands”) available for purchase.

The sight of the building at night is something which has to be seen in order to be truly appreciated. Purple lights are aimed up at the building and the front windows are filled with fake candles and Jack O’ Lanterns. There’s even a glowing ghost! Projections of spinning skulls line the sides of the building are both neat to look at and provide interesting lighting effects for a certain indoor portion of the haunt. The entrance is also on the side of the building, with the hay covered path covered by tents and colored lights. Please keep in mind how the entrance has been moved to the South Road side of the common for 2017 in order to accommodate landscaping on Elm Street. Parking is free at the church, although it can get filled up pretty quickly due to the attraction’s popularity. First Parish also works hard to offset the use of all the lights as part of their efforts to be as “green” as possible. They handle visitors in a very interesting way. You don’t just waltz in after purchasing a ticket. Instead you wait until a certain number of people buy tickets and then the group is admitted. I arrived at 7:00 and had to wait a bit as people trickled in. The costumed ticket sellers mentioned there’s usually a lull around that time (in contrast to being packed at other times). Although the dimly lit waiting room is small, there are plenty of decorations and custom posters to keep one entertained as people file in.

The combination of dim lighting, posters and decorations continues into the haunt itself. A vampire pointed us toward a white faced woman behind a podium. She delivered a wonderfully in character speech about the rules of the haunt, presented in such a way to make it seem perfectly natural to have such precautions in place at a supernatural school. This included reference to a séance gone wrong. Not only did this tie into one of the rooms of the haunt, but I’ve since learned it was also a reference to a scene from the previous year’s version of the haunt! I don’t want to spoil anything by providing the exact details of what I saw but will try to give you a rough idea of what to expect. Some portions were like interactive theater (including one part where you have to sit down, but this doesn’t happen every year), others were a guided tour of sorts and some portions involved getting surprised in dark areas. That’s right a guide doesn’t leads you through the entire attraction. You’ll often lose one guide and have another one pop in to take their place, but there are also parts where your group goes it alone. There’s plenty of lighting effects packed into the three floors of the haunt (including the stairs). There are admittedly times when your group might have to wait on the stairs until the group ahead of you moves to the next section. But to be fair, the guides did try to keep it interesting by conversing with the guests. There was one particularly entertaining touch I dare not spoil in case they repeat it each year. Thankfully the haunt also has alternative means of access for handicapped guests. There’s a mix of store bought, professional and homemade props in addition to the costumed performers. The “Mystic Oracle” prop alone was worth the price of admission and the steampunk version HAL 9000 was a sight to behold. As you might have guessed, its presence led to an amusing parody of the “Daisy” sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Pointing out HAL also gives me an excuse to praise First Parish’s inclusion of references to classic literature along with the scenes inspired by classic horror and science fiction movies.

When my group reached the end of the main portion of the haunted house, we found ourselves in a dimly lit area where we’re told we can either take the stairs to the game room or take the elevator to the dungeon. Apparently this section is known to change names at times, but the presence of an especially scary downstairs area re,ains a constant at the First Parish Haunted House. It was interesting to visit a haunted attraction where the elevator actually worked (right down to the muzak) and wasn’t just a prop. Thankfully there were some skull masks and a creepy bellhop cracking jokes to keep the overall feel of the haunt going. The Deadford Dungeon of Doom was very dark and you could hear plenty of screams. It’s no wonder we got a second warning about its intense nature. Those who don’t want to go and can’t go to the game area can hang out with one of the staff members. Although there were some cool props and camo netting at the beginning, there were no decorations covering the bare white walls of the dungeon itself. Instead the twisting halls were filled with darkness, some lighting effects (including a strobe light) and creepy people. Thankfully this is not a situation where people only jump out at you. Some sit curled up on ground while crying and others sneak up you. Just like the main portion of the haunt, there’s plenty of misdirection in the dungeon. There are also some wonderfully varied methods they use to scare people in groups. I’d love tell you more about their scare tactics, but that would only spoil the fun. Be warned: these performers can SCREAM!

This is not to say there isn’t any room for improvement. There were some technical hiccups with the audio during the first “real” scene in the haunt. Similarly, it was hard to understand some of the dialogue from talking idols due to issues with their internal speakers. It’s actually possible to see into parts of the haunt in advance, both from the outside and from a certain area of the haunt. I caught a performer peeking out of a door they opened too early at one point as well. My enjoyment of what would have been an impressive projection effect was spoiled by some of said projection noticeably going off screen due to alignment issues with the projector (which they made an admirable effort to conceal). Finally, there were some parts of the dungeon used for quick scares that could have been used for more involved scenes or animatronics. Those would have added a little variety and could help make up for the undisguised white walls of the dungeon.

But, to be fair, this is an attraction run by volunteers and not industry professionals. They have a limited budget since the haunted house is intended to raise funds for the church and can’t pour ticket sales into the effects like the major haunted attractions can. This is especially important to factor in when you remember how they change things every year. I’m not even sure they’re allowed to put up black coverings or hang stuff from the ceiling in the areas I noted earlier. Please don’t let my highlighting of certain issues scare you off. Since I’m posting this before the event starts, they’ll likely address these issues and most (if not all) of said issues probably won’t be present at the haunt when you go through it. The haunt has 5 skulls worth of creativity and you would be cheating yourself if you passed on the opportunity. Picking a rating was difficult since I review these from a general scare seeker’s view and I suspect the experience would rate much higher with families. I’ve seen other haunts where they try doing different levels of scariness at the same time and this often results in bored parents trying to make children experience a level they aren’t ready for. The First Parish Haunted House wisely avoids this with different levels on different days, in addition to all of the warnings and opportunities for the unwilling to pass on their most intense segment. Throw in some humor and a family fun area and you have the makings for years’ worth of happy October memories!

Final verdict: 3.5 skulls out of 5 (with a potential for more if you’re visiting as a family)

Special thanks to the First Parish Haunted House for use of the image!

Oct 18 2017

My Mandatory Halloween Music

Be it rocking the best Halloween party this side of the murky swamp in which I reside, or sitting alone in a room with only the soft glow of my stereo to comfort me, these are some top jams that really put me in the Halloween mood.
First, I’ll start off with giving you a couple of tracks that just screams “tis the season to be spooky”.

1. The Misfits- Halloween
Couldn’t be more obvious of a song to put on this list. As Glenn and the boys recant tales of Halloween memories with “little dead out in droves” and “pumpkin faces in the night”, there is surely no more of a fitting song to commemorate what is clearly their, as well as our, favorite day of the year. After all, this day…. anything goes.

2. Mad Sin- No More Trick or Treat
This was my selection for this months Killer Kuts segment on the 6ft Plus Podcast (The Podcast of music and more for those who like it spooky. Click the link to your left) for a reason. This toe tapping psychobilly joint is an earworm that you won’t wanna dig out of your head. Upbeat and catchy, this howler is sure to set your night on fire.

3. The Meteors- My Daddy is a Vampire
A slow brooding song that discusses the ups and downs of having monsters for family members. A zombie brother, a mummy for a mommy and the titular, Vampire for a daddy.

4. The Cramps-Zombie Dance
A tale as old as time. A dance party at a zombie school as told from the originators of ghoulish psycho rock, The Cramps!

5.Blitzkid- Nosferatu
An ode to the original silent film creature of the night, this blinding speed rocker will have you bouncing off the padded walls of your loony bin cell all night long.

Now, I want to discuss 2 albums that are the most Halloween to me.

The first one is a fairly new album.
The Wolfmen of Mars- Warped Suburbium
In September of 2016, Wolfmen of Mars released the warped Suburbium EP digitally through their bandcamp page.
Wolfmen of Mars are an instrumental band with heavy grooves and dark electronic sounds. Think John Carpenter soundtracks mixed with brooding ambiance and you’re kind of on the right track.
Everything about Warped Suburbium says Halloween to me. From the artwork, witch (<— See what I did there?) you can purchase 12×12 prints of directly from the artist (got one framed in my living room as we speak, or write anyways) to the music. This 13 plus minutes EP SOUNDS like Halloween to me. The mood and the spirit of that sacred night are in this music.

The second album is a compilation.
Halloween Hootenanny
In the late 90’s Geffen Records decided to give Rob Zombie a vanity label in which he named Zombie A Go-Go Records. And although very short lived, he DID release a few things. Most, if not all of which were issued on vinyl by Telstar Records. This comp is one of them.
A Halloween themed compilation featuring garage rock and surf bands. Some know for their spooky leanings and others not so much. The album starts with a limerick from the Cool Ghoul tv horror host Zacherle. The album contains more notable bands such as Rocket From the Crypt, Southern Culture on the Skids, Reverend Horton Heat and even Rob Zombie doing a callabo with The Ghastly Ones. But some of the most standout songs to me come from the lesser known groups.
The Swinging Neckbreakers “No Costume,No Candy” (also featured in the Night of the Demons remake a couple years back) is the ultimate warning against going trick or treating ill prepared.
Los Starightjackets’ cover of The Munsters Theme is classic among surf music aficionados. aside from their track “Werewolf”, Southern Culture on the Skids also cover CCR’s Sinister Purpose with Zacherle on vocals. Dead Elvi-Creature Stole My Surfboard and Deadbolt’s-Psychic Voodoo Doll put this over the top for my mandatory Halloween listening and I play the whole album straight through every Halloween. And also various other times throughout the year when I am wistful of October 31st.

Oct 18 2017

The Apprehension Engine

Composer Mark Korven was sick of being limited to the same old sounds when he wanted to do something new and fresh with his horror scores. So he got in touch with Tony Duggan-Smith to create a new kind of musical instrument. This instrument would be used to create just the sort of jarring and unnerving effects needed to keep audiences on their toes. It is known only as the Apprehension Engine.

You can hear it in action thanks to the following video from INDIE FILM MAKER:

According to the comments section of the video, the original name for the Apprehension Engine was going to be “The Insanerator!” There’s plenty of details about its construction to be found there as well.

I’m also fond of the following video on the subject from Great Big Story:

It’s popularity has resulted in plans to build more, a live performance and even Apprehension Engine workshops! But even those who aren’t able to build their own can still use what they’ve learned in the videos to create their own sound effects or horror scores. I’m sure you can think of other ideas for similar effects using materials you have easy access to. Striking metal rulers is very easy and those with the proper guitars can use reverb to create scary sounds. The sky’s the limit!

Oct 17 2017

It Came From Wikipedia X

The Menendez Brothers are the reason there wasn’t a third installment in the original Fright Night series. Seriously.

The painting “The Hands Resist Him” was very famous back in the late 90’s for its allegations of being haunted. But did you know there’s another painting out there with a similar reputation? It’s called “The Crying Boy” and, like “The Hands Resist Him”, there’s a rational explanation behind its reputation.

I just learned about the existence of Nightmare Classics and I’m already furious it had such a short run. It would have been wonderful if the adaptations of classic horror stories had lured in enough people to stick around for the episodes based on more obscure tales.

Harold P. Warren once considered making a novelization of Manos: The Hands of Fate. One gets the feeling that if this project ever came to fruition, it would have wound up at a publisher who would have forced Warren to add in some sex scenes.

Did you ever come back from trick or treating and discovered chocolate candies with weird white stuff on them? If so, it wasn’t due to anyone trying to poison you. It’s called “chocolate bloom” and all it means is that someone tried to recycle old candy.

Hammer’s The Phantom of the Opera, The Kiss of the Vampire and The Evil of Frankenstein, all had new footage created for their American television showings. Similarly, the American theatrical release of Dracula A.D. 1972 had an exclusive “HorroRitual” segment which played prior to the start of the film.

Many of you out there have undoubtedly heard the term “ghost light,” but do you know what it means? It’s an old theatrical term and it really does have a connection to the supernatural.

Let’s read up on the legendary hellish island “Satanazes” and Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels. Despite Barker including Pinhead as a character, his history and the depiction of Hell in the novel are different from what we see in the various Hellraiser films.

Did you know there’s a haunted attraction tradition called a “Danger Run” involving cryptic clues and driving? You do now!

A comment by Steven Spielberg in regard to the origins of the aliens from his version of The War of the Worlds has led some to claim the film takes place in the same universe as Star Wars due to the presence of E.T.’s species in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. However, this fails to explain why the Star Wars franchise is referenced as being fictional in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Let’s close things out with the now traditional list links. There’s a fine list of killer toys in fiction, all the “Universal Monsters” films, the geography of Halloween and the bibliography of Halloween to keep you entertained this evening.

Oct 16 2017

Inexpensive Theremin Substitutes

Ah, the theremin. Its otherworldly electric noises have made their way onto the soundtracks for countless horror and science fiction movies. It even turns its use for anything related to outer space is scientifically accurate! It’s a shame they can be so pricey. Building your own can lessen the expense, but it’s an intimidating task for those who know next to nothing about soldering. Thankfully there are easier and less expensive ways to create your own theremin effects!

You can easily create a theremin of sorts using three AM radios, as demonstrated by Chava Tarin:

You can find more tips on tuning your homemade “theremin” and learn more about the antennae adjustments you have to make in the comments section. Those who wish to avoid that sort of thing can try creating theremin sounds using walkie-talkie feedback using the following video from Gordon Charlton:

So whether you have plans for a custom audio track or just wanted to play around with one, now you have no excuse for not creating theremin music!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed in a video). Attempt at your own discretion. Nobody here is a lawyer and all legal matters discussed above are done so in the simplest, bare bones way. Consult a lawyer whenever possible.

Oct 15 2017

Haunted Attraction Review Websites V

Exactly two years ago today, I thought I had managed to round up links to all online sources of haunted attraction reviews. I was wrong. Although I was right about getting to take a vacation from this article series for a few years, so I guess it all balances out. Here’s the current crop of review websites:

Zioptis Foundation
Haunted Attractions | The Queen of Scream
HorrorBuzz
Haunted Attractions and Experiences | Midsummer Scream
HauntedUpstate.com
Halloween Haunts 365
Hauntoverse
the Haunt Squad
Screamscape
Spirit Light Productions
Minnesota Monster Review
Haunts.com
haunted attraction Archives – Zombies in My Blog
Westcoaster.net
Attraction Chasers
Hauntopsy Reviews & Consulting
All Things Haunted
HauntSearch Magazine
Florida Fright Reviews
Next Up Haunted Adventures
Fright Tour
Haunt News Network
ScareTOUR
New England Haunts
Behind the Thrills ‏
Haunt Finder General
The Frequent Fear Podcast
York Fright Review Squad
Terror-Forming Nottingham
The Gore Guide
Theme Park Review
My Haunt Life
haunted houses – AXS
Jill Kill
The Haunted Enthusiasts
Haunt House Reviews – FrightFind
Haunt Nation Magazine
FindHaunts.com
The Haunted Review
ScareTRACK
All Hallows Haunts | For The Love Of Horror, Halloween & Haunts!
The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights – NEOZAZ
Buffalo Haunted Houses
garbagehorror
Halloween Directory
The Halloween Project
Lowell Haunted Houses – Your Guide to Halloween in Lowell

Those last two are interesting cases. According to the main screen of the Halloween Project, the reviews are currently down and it redirects visitors to the creator’s new website The October Geek. However, one can use the Internet Archive to look at the old reviews if so desired. Lowell Haunted Houses does have a reviews section, but there are no reviews posted as of this writing!

Here are some alternate URLs for some of the sites I’ve noted before:

horrorlust
Haunt Rater
NCHaunts FrightSeekers
Spooky Review/Haunted Illinois
HauntFreaks
HauntSearch Magazine
Motor City Horror Club
Haunted Attraction Review
Haunted USA Tour

And as a special bonus, here are the previous installments in this series:

Haunted Attraction Review Websites
Haunted Attraction Review Websites II
Haunted Attraction Review Websites III
Haunted Attraction Review Websites IV

Oct 14 2017

Royalty Free Music For Haunted Attractions III

To further rehash what I said the last time I covered this topic, royalty free music is music which can be used in a haunted attraction without requiring you to pay every time it gets used. In ALL of the following cases, a haunt owner only has to pay for the initial purchase of the music and its royalty free nature does NOT apply to use on in radio broadcasts, films, YouTube videos and the like (unless noted otherwise). But even if they allow use of their work on YouTube, doing so could still result in copyright bots getting your account’s monetization getting turned off. Also, be sure to ask before modifying the audio. Many of the artists I’ve spoken with asked me note how people shouldn’t sell, distribute, etc. any tracks. I have divided the artists into three categories based on their policies for royalty free use. The order of my listing them is based solely on the order I learned about their policies for each category. To paraphrase Audio Zombie Sound, it’s always a good idea to get permission in writing from the artist! That’s advice so good I’m going to edit it into the previous installments! Please do not hesitate to contact the artist if you have any other questions about using their work:

Registration and Public (and Web) Display Required:

Alec Sullivan’s “Night of Spooks” – All tracks from his Night of Spooks albums (and only those albums) can be played in your haunted attraction without having to pay royalties. But you must give public credit at your attraction, credit him (and link to the Night of Spooks Bandcamp page) on your haunt’s website and contact him with details on how you’ll be using the music.

Registration Required:

Icky Ichabod – You must contact Icky Ichabod to get a release from PRO collection. Providing credit is required if you use his music on your attraction’s website, but is optional if you only use it at the attraction. These terms apply to all Icky Ichabod albums.

Other:

Pepperhead Studios – Currently offers a 91 minute collection of sounds performed in an actual church featuring the mangled moaning/screaming voices of Americana duo Fricknadorable. Home/family haunts may purchase the tracks online via Bandcamp and use royalty free. All other businesses should contact Pepperhead Studios to discuss reasonable licensing rates. Crediting them is optional.

Michael Oster – Noncommercial home haunts can play Zombies in the Basement! and any of his thunder albums on a royalty free basis upon purchase. Those seeking use in commercial haunted attractions (and any broadcast or YouTube-related use) should contact him to discuss his reasonable licensing rates. Providing credit is not required, but is always appreciated.

Sinful Audio – Providing credit is optional, but please don’t take credit for creating it. Also, all speakers and amps sold by Sinful Audio come with a royalty free sound library of the buyer’s choice at no extra cost.

Audio Zombie Sound – Purchasing album(s) or track(s) is all you need to do to get royalty free use for your haunt, as providing credit is optional. However, you would own all the rights if you commission a custom track. They are willing to promote your haunted attraction on social media if you ask.

Mark Harvey – Using his work in your haunt on a royalty free basis is as easy as purchasing album(s) or track(s). Although providing credit is optional, it is also greatly appreciated.

Matt Dibrindisi – The soundscapes from Scarescapes (and only that album) can used royalty free in your haunt upon purchase. Public credit is optional.

In A World Music/Goes To Eleven Media – All of their haunted albums (or individual tracks from said albums) can be used royalty free if purchased. These albums currently include: Hallows’ Eve, Hallow’s Eve Vol 2: The Horror, Hallow’s Eve Vol 3: Dead of Night, Worldwide Horror, Halloween Horror: Exhumed, Haunted Nursery Rhymes and Halloween and Horror Sound Effects: Creatures. Giving credit is optional, but welcome.

Even if the artist whose work you are using does not require you to provide any credit, I suggest you do so anyway. A seated dummy holding a sign or a specially carved Jack O’Lantern are two visually appealing ways to promote your use of their work. Some haunted attractions avoid situations where they would have to provide credit because they feel it would take patrons out of the experience. But you can actually use that to your advantage to scare people. Set it up so that when people enter your haunt, they have to go through a dimly lit hallway with a small spotlight shining on the corner wall where another hallway begins. They will be drawn to the spotlight and see a sign crediting your source of music. This will make them let their guards down and get scared when the sign turns out to be a disguised drop panel! On top of that, they’ll flee directly into the hallway leading further into your haunt and create enough screams to build anticipation among the people waiting outside! The Monster Page of Halloween Project Links has numerous tutorials on making drop panels (and other useful props).

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion. Nobody here is a lawyer and all legal matters discussed above are done so in the simplest, bare bones way. Consult a lawyer whenever possible. This is merely a collection of policy details from artists and not an endorsement.

Oct 13 2017

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 211 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Happy Halloween! Happy Friday The 13th! Don’t forget your mask. We celebrate all thing Jason Voorhees with THE JASONS, THE MOANS, TONGUE, THE MEPHISTOS, GENKI GENKI PANIC and more. Monstermatt Patterson heads to Manhattan but ends up in Hell in another MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oct 13 2017

TGIF13: Jason’s Unofficial Theme

Everyone knows the “ki ki ki, ma ma ma” theme means Jason Voorhees is up to no good. But what you might not realize is how there’s another musical composition associated with Mr. Voorhees called “Evening of Chaos.” There is no evidence to suggest Kevin MacLeod had the Friday the 13th franchise in mind when he composed the track in 2013. Its download page makes no mention of Jason or anything else related with the series. But given how it is a horror composition available for use under a Creative Commons license, it quickly spread across the internet. The earliest association with a certain hockey mask wearing slasher I could find is a 2014 makeup tutorial by Sarah Logan Kim:

In 2015, the track was used on the Return to Camp Blood fan podcast. In what’s either a coincidence or a direct reference to the use of the track on that podcast, Dread Central used “Evening of Chaos” in two 2016 videos about the Friday the 13th series:

Later that year, the track was used in a machinima fan film by James Hinchliffe:

A quick search will reveal other examples “Evening of Chaos” being used in videos involving Jason. I don’t know if it’s all a big coincidence or if the more recent uses were inspired by Dread Central and Return to Camp Blood, but it looks like the internet has decided on this as an alternate theme for Crystal Lake’s most famous resident. Will it eventually turn up in an official Friday the 13th movie? Will haunters use it for scenes involving Jason? Only time will tell…

Oct 12 2017

Mandatory Halloween Watch

Well,Boils and Ghouls, it’s that time of the year. October. Time to get geared up for spooks and candy and all things horrific and gruesome. Who am I kidding? Here at Gravediggers Local 16, it’s that time of the year all year around. But October holds a special place in our cold blackened hearts as how it is synonymous with our favorite holiday. Halloween!
I have decided to share with you a list, in no particular order, of my mandatory watches for October. These are what get me in the Halloween mood as I watch them throughout the month, getting geared up for the 31st. I highly recommend all of these to the Nth Degree. Hopefully, you’ll agree.

(WARNING: Before you bombard me with hate emails,nasty comments or spring-loaded axes sent via UPS to my humble shack here in the swamplands for not including your favorite films or whatnot, please understand that this is MY personal viewing list. Also, John Carpenter’s Halloween films are a given, So they are not on this list.)

Night of the Demons

This 1988 horror classic is unique in it’s plot and takes place on Halloween. Extremely quotable and memorable for seens such as the infamous “lipstick” scene, this film stars Legendary Scream Queen Linnea Quigley in her prime and a host of other familiar faces. This cult classic is a can’t miss. And while it spawned a few sequels and a remake a few years back, you can stick with this and oh so satisfied.

Trick or Treat

Another unique 1980’s horror classic. A heavy metal icon returns from the dead through a possessed record to help a hapless outcast get revenge on his bullies. But when things go too far, can Eddie stop the murderous spirit of rock? With a killer (pun intended) soundtrack by Fastway and cameos by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene “Hey Look At Me” Simmons, this film rips.

Trick R Treat

Anyone who has seen this anthology film can agree that this film kind of embodies everything most people love about Halloween. From frights and gore to a couple of laughs, this film has risen in it’s short existence (2007) to be claimed by many as the ultimate Halloween film.

The Halloween Tree

This 1993 adaptation of the 1972 Ray Bradbury book takes you through the history of Halloween through the eyes of 4 kids trying to save the soul of their sick friend. This film is so well done and I can’t think of any film, the ones mentioned above included, that could be more appropriate to sit,relax and watch on Halloween evening just before drifting off to sleep on the most magical night of the year.

Oct 12 2017

Quick Makeup Tips and Costume Ideas III

I found this image of a costumed woman while looking through Amazon’s preview images for the 1922 edition of Dennison’s Bogie Book. Crêpe paper costumes like this were popular in those days. Although saying the costume is “crêpe paper” is somewhat misleading, as the image clearly shows a woman wearing the paper portion over regular clothing. I couldn’t find this particular book online, but Dennison’s Christmas Book has directions on making a somewhat similar costume and advice on working with crêpe paper. I also found a list of what all the codes given in the instructions mean, complete with a color coding guide! The October 1922 issue of Everygirl’s Magazine also has tips on making such costumes like these. Given all the hanging parts, it might be better to take the time to adapt this into a cloth costume. Not only will this help prevent tearing and costume damage, but it’s also less of a potential fire hazard this way. When you factor in what a spilled drink can do to a paper costume, it suddenly becomes clear why this style fell out of fashion.

RavensBlight has printable masquerade gear in addition to papercraft monster masks and various costume accessories. Don’t let the name fool you, Shelby’s recipe box offers up plenty of costume and makeup ideas in addition to recipes. I found the post discussing how to make a simple dress out of an old pillow case to be particularly creative.

Like its name says, Coolest 1000+ Homemade Costumes You Can Make! has a ton of costume ideas. Mom vs the Boys shows how to make a shirt into a ninja mask, while Celebrating Halloween has ideas for both Halloween costumes and makeup.

I Love Halloween has some skull and skeleton-themed nail art and LittleThings has festive ways to accent your eyes (along with countless other Halloween makeup tips). Martha Stewart has tutorials on “Mummy,” “Black Widow” and “Motha” makeup. But don’t think for a second that those are the only things she has available!

Clown makeup is surprisingly complicated. Bruce Fife’s The Birthday Party Business goes through all the steps of designing and applying face makeup for clowns. Thankfully making your own is much easier. Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom by Judy Herr favors using colored cold cream while Randy Horn’s You Gotta Be Kidding and Cindy Fuller’s Haunt Your House for Halloween: Decorating Tricks & Party Treats favor using ingredients found in most kitchens. It can also be used to create makeup for other Halloween characters! Come to think of it, Brian Wolfe’s Extreme Face Painting has some notes about face painting with sponges that might come in handy. Just be sure to test a small amount of any makeup you plan on using on your arm the day before you do the full application in order to test for allergic reactions. It’s better to have a little rash on your arm rather than a huge one which covers your face.

There’s plenty of recipes for fake blood out there, but why not try the special method used by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi? Popular Mechanics has plenty of makeup tips for you to peruse including…making a fake nose out of Silly Putty? A little investigation shows this idea is more widespread than one might think.

Al J. Vermette’s Boo Biz: Guide To Home Haunting recalls the time he used Silly Putty to create a crude mask and the March 1970 issue of Boys’ Life suggests using it in a guide on monster (and clown) makeup. Personally, I prefer the monster costume and makeup guide from their October 1966 issue (even though it lacks Silly Putty). Speaking of scouts, the October 1990 issue of Scouting has instructions on making various costumes and masks. My personal favorites are the “Space Robot” and “The Thing from Outer Space” costumes. It’s a shame they don’t tell how you’re supposed to see out of them without making blatant eye holes, though.

Simple Pleasures for the Holidays by Susannah Seton has ideas for costumes like “Bumble Bee,” “Vampire Victim,” “El Niño” and the classic “Mummy.” Those who enjoyed the cute costumes from that selection might appreciate the inexpensive elephant mask from the October 2003 issue of Working Mother or the candy costume from Beth L. Blair’s and Jennifer A. Ericsson’s Everything Kids’ Halloween Puzzle And Activity Book.

If you already have a costume idea but aren’t sure how to actually make basic costume components, Nifty, Thrifty, No-Sew Costumes and Props by Carol Ann Bloom has the patterns you need for making tunics, collars and more! Creating Halloween Crafts by Dana Meachen Rau shows how to make easy costumes from sweat clothes, along with some headband ideas and makeup advice.

Not only does Joey Green’s Clean It! Fix It! Eat It! show how to make easy fake burn makeup, but it also discusses using Miracle Whip to remove makeup! Terry Rowan’s Halloween: A Scary Film Guide also combines makeup application and removal tips and Linda Cobb’s The Queen of Clean’s Complete Cleaning Guide focuses on removing makeup and cleaning costumes.

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 11 2017

How To Make Fake Crows

I first learned about crow hunting while looking up information about creating crow caws for an upcoming article about making spooky sound effects. More specifically, I learned about it from the suggested videos in the sidebar. Any surprise one may have about people hunting crows for food vanishes upon learning the phrase “eating crow” has nothing to do with how crow meat tastes. But that’s not what’s important here. My discovery of homemade crow decoys is what’s important.

Here’s the easiest and least expensive method, as shared by Joshua Cottam:

It’s worth noting how Jason Wright is presenting the demonstration while Mr. Cottam is holding the camera (and randomly making crow sounds). Although these fake crows might not look like much up close, they do look much better from a distance. This is especially true when you see them at night in dim lighting. This makes them perfect for outdoor displays and haunted attractions. You want to be able to control the situation where visitors can’t get close to the decoys and most indoor setups won’t allow the distance you need.

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed in a video). Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 11 2017

Video Store Day Is Coming!

The seventh annual International Independent Video Store Day is a mere 10 days away! So mark your calendars, clear your schedules and spread the word! You can learn more about the event (and see if any stores in your area are participating) at the official Video Store Day website.

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