Archive for the ‘Making Halloween’ Category

The Final Year of ScabTree Hollow!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Returning for 2016!


The Haunt at Hellizondo will be back for 2016 featuring the FINAL YEAR of the Witches of ScabTree Hollow!

If you haven’t seen our current theme, this will be the last year to check it out.

In the late 17th century, in the small Massachusetts town of ScabTree Hollow, Judge Hearthorne has made a deal with the devil to to sentence innocent townspeople to death for so-called “witchcraft.” For every soul he sends to the devil, the devil pays him a silver piece in turn. But in the depths of the forest lurks a coven of real witches, and they are on the side of the innocents. If you’ve accused and judged your innocent brothers and sisters wrongly, the Witches of ScabTree Hollow will ensnare you in their underground lair and entangle you in the thorny vines of their sinister pumpkin patch, where you will rot away until October 31. On Old Hallows Eve, the witches will release their army of rotting pumpkin souls to exact revenge in the name of those falsely accused. You have one chance to escape: Reveal your guilt inside the Confession House, and they might show you mercy….








The Haunt at Hellizondo will return in 2017 with an ALL-NEW THEME! Be sure to check this site throughout the year as we bring you the theme reveal and construction pictures.

Thanks to our Fans

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

I just wanted to quickly say thanks to the fans of Hellizondo who came out on Thursday and Friday this year. Many of you said you saw this or that on out blog which surprised me because it usually feels like I am writing into thin air. I means a lot to us and to me that you guys drove out to see us when you could be doing anyone of all the fun fun Halloween things there are  to do out there.

We are still breaking down the the haunt but I wanted to put up a few pictures. We didn’t get a lot because of a sudden torrential downpour.

blue house front


Kendra’s calling me. Time to go finishing taking down the haunt.


I’ll be back.

All that Remains

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

One of the challenges we have had every year setting up is what to do with the fountain in Patty’s yard. In 2009 we threw black fabric over it and no one really saw it. But its a big waste of space in the haunt so in 2011 we removed most of it and build Dee Dee Dimples around it. Pretty good cover up, but moving the concrete sections of the fountain was tough work and it never really went back together the same way again.

Dee Dee Dimples


Last year we kinda tried to maybe make it look like a bonfire that had died down or some kind of ..i don’t know. It looked halloweenish and that was OK but it bothered Patty. Let’s say I don’t have a picture of it so that what a success it was. However, this year Patty built a cover that slides over the fountain that requires no disassembly.



It’s quite a nice paper mache tree stump. Made from ground cover fabric, blue shop towels, and latex house paint mache it’s very tough and flexible. It will be festooned with scary drippy candles and look like its is still smoldering after being struck by lighting (as out tree that you enter is supposed to look).


Patty also got a good deal on cheap foam rubber balls sold as kid’s toys. She cut those in half and using PVC pipe and more mache made some very nice mushrooms to be growing out of the tree. We’ll reserve some for the black light area as well.



Patty’s paint job is amazing.


Also being made by Patty is the classic scared to death gravedigger. Just getting underway he is a Chattering teeth halloween toy you’ll see in store this season with a foam and paper clay head being built around it. Throw in some taxidermy Human eyes for extra creep factor and you can get a feel for how this guy will turn out.



I finished up the abomination skull I was working on. This was going to be the creature hung from the cross and burnt to death, But I think I might have made him too cool. I’ll make a another abomination and see if it works out better.



This weekend was way more comfortable than last weeks 107f. At a light breezy 85F we got a lot done. I finished making the facades for the driveway set and Kendra, Bill, and I painted all the facades as well. We invented or adapted a art school technique to make woodgrain on a smooth surface. We painted it a darker base coat color then went over it with a lighter color and immediately scraped away the wet paint. It was photo realistic, but when you look at it it looks like old wood.






Above is a scraper I made from a plexi scrap at work. It was designed for texturing pink foam but once the points were sanded down it made a good wood texture. Something I’ll have to try improve upon as it made texturing very fast and easy.


7 days left, a prop short, and one resurrected

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

We are in the final stretch to Halloween. While most other haunters have had their displays up for days or weeks already we will be building, painting, and setting up until the last minute. I blame this on ambition creep, the urge to make it a little bit bigger, a little bit better each year. We have been doing this for 6 years now. We should have it figured out, finish on time or early, and not be rushed or panicked.

This is the prop I am not going to try and put out this year. I had to finish building all of the sets, make all of the other props, and handle the electrical work this year. I didn’t have enough time to make him to the level of detail that I wanted. If I had done that then all other other props would have to be lacking in detail for the time taken away from them. So I abandoned this prop for this year to add detail to all the other props and sets. He’ll be in the haunt next year for sure.

However I will be resurrecting this guy, our 3 axis skull. I made a trade for him in 2009 and he was featured in the final year of our Haunted Tiki Island theme.

This weekend we rented a U-Haul and brought all the sets that were built at my house and took them over to Simi Valley. We started painting the sets and leveling large set pieces to compensate for the incline of the driveway.

Patty and Kendra started painting the gallows.


Joe started painting coffins. Lots of coffins.


I started painting all the props that were built but not painted. Here are some of the signs with their final paint jobs.




Ten Days to Setup

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

There are only ten more days to finish making props before we have to set everything up.

This week Bill (my Dad in Law) and I finished the Gallows (redesigned after we finished so no pics), some coffins, and the tree to which witches would be tied to when burnt alive.


These trees are concrete form tubes that have been mached with cheap ground covering cloth ($7 a roll at biglots) and latex exterior paint. We added some limb stumps with pink foam. These will get a Great stuff rub down to give them some bumpiness then spay paint them flat black and a touch of grey dry brush for ashiness.

This is one of the coffins that will be half unearthed in the grave yard. One of 14 coffins in our haunt. Coffinriffic!

Today I built the Scabtree facade where you would enter the covered section of our haunt. This is the sketch and then the plywood facade.



I have been working on a lot of other props but I gotta keep something secret until Halloween so stayed tuned!