February 13, 2009

February 3, 2009

State of the Haunt

 
At this time, the haunt is safely ensconced in my garage where it has been since I brought it home.

One of the least enjoyable things about living in Oregon, at least during late Fall/early Winter, is the weather. Lots of rain which is pretty much the norm for the season right through to late Spring. This Winter, however, it's been unusually cold. December saw record snowfalls in our part of Oregon which didn't help matters any, though it was fun for the kids. The cold also makes it exceptionally difficult to do anything in the garage. I'm a California boy and space-heaters only go so far up here. Not to mention the fact that most prop work (i.e. the use of adhesives, paints, etc.) doesn't exactly mix well with closed doors and space heaters. And, as I don't own stock in PGE, I can't exactly leave the doors open. So, suffice it to say, not much has or can be done during the Winter months. At least in the garage.

I'm still debating trying to negotiate for some workspace inside the house. I could probably swing it, but there's not that much room and far too many distractions to work comfortably upstairs. So, I'm relatively OK with waiting until March or April to start working in the garage. At least during the day. Nights still get pretty cold during Spring here.

But enough about what hasn't been done yet or why. Let's move on to the meat of it.

The Story of Miss Rose:

As heard on the Hauntcast episode or, better still, seen in SkullAndBone's haunt video, "The Story of Miss Rose", the theme of the haunt is essentially a ghost story. To paraphase...a lot, Miss Rose is a young school-teacher awaiting the arrival of her beau. She becomes lost and, distraught and forlorn, collapses in a dark forest. The local townspeople come across her body and, believing her dead, entomb her in a crypt with her locket and bell. And, as the story goes...

But just as the latch
Of the stone crypt door fell
No one heard the faint tinkling
Or the weak muffled yell

The sound was too slight
Lost in the mourners cries
Aghast in the darkness
Miss Rose opened her eyes

Her deep forlorn slumber
Alas sealed her doom
Awake now in horror
Interred in a tomb

She rang her bell screaming
Yet no help did 'rive
Her worst nightmare realized
To be buried... ALIVE

On nights just like this one
So the townspeople say
When the fall air is crisp
And the wind blows this way

If you quiet your breathing
And listen a spell
You can still hear the sound
Of Miss Rose and her bell

And so, each Halloween the 'ghost' of Miss Rose, as played by Rob's wife, would haunt the cemetery while a recorded narration played in the background. Rob himself, as well as some friends, would play the ghosts of the 'townspeople/mourners'. All this among the beautiful props, lighting and atmosphere that Rob so wonderfully created.

In my opinion it was a spooky ghost story and, at it's heart, a tragic love story that echoed, though wonderfully twisted, the real-life love story of Rob and his wife. Hence, her playing Miss Rose. It's a beautifully crafted tale and beautifully executed with all the elements that make a really great haunt. A good story and excellent presentation. Which is why it was so highly regarded. This was art. It was tasteful, well thought out and, above all, eerie and atmospheric.

And now it's come to me. (Insert doom music here)

More in the next post.
 

What's Going On

 
A friend reminds me that I've been less than diligent about keeping this blog up-to-date on what I've been doing lately and what, if any, plans I have for the haunt. I thought I'd correct that oversight. I have been busy and I do have plans.

Let me begin by saying that the response to the story of how I acquired Miss Rose has been exceptionally great and has truly warmed the cockles of my black little heart. Lots of folks, including fellow haunters whose work I respect and admire, have had nothing but nice things to say about the story. I am very grateful and I truly appreciate all the kind words. Thank you all.

On the flip side, it's also brought about a fair amount of attention which, as cool as it's been, has taken a little getting used to. This includes a featured story on the very first episode of Hauntcast and mentions in several blogs including one of my very favorites, Pumpkinrot's. It's weird, and thrilling, to see or hear your name in something you and many others read or listen to all the time. It can be a little daunting. Hopefully I'll be able live up to some this attention. Though, mostly, it's been even more inspiring. My thanks again for that.

So after receiving the haunt and the response that followed, I figured I should have some kind of web presence as I know there are some people who are interested in both Rob's work on Miss Rose and what will become of it in my hands. Also, just to be able to share with the many that have inspired me what their inspiration hath wrought.

Having not had a presence on the web in about 7 or 8 years, I felt the easiest and quickest way to get back to it was to create a blog with the intention that it would become a 'part' of a future web domain. Kind of an ass-backwards approach for me as I am more of a visuals person than a writer (obviously). I never really intended for it to be a daily kind of thing as there are far better blogs out there for that. Personally there are several that I follow or check nearly every day. I intended to keep mine pretty much HB/Rose-specific and, hopefully, post once a week or so and keep folks abreast of how the haunt was progressing.

A quick backstory pertaining to my web background. Back in the late 90's I created and operated a short-lived free web-goodies (graphics, wavs, midis, etc) non-domain site called 'Tomb of Fear'. I had been a fan of other sites like Kevin Greggain's 'Night Gallery', Carrie Carolin's 'Dark Side of the Net' and Chad Savage's early work on 'Sinister Visions'. These were the inspiration for me to learn how to do web design and graphics, not that I ever got very good at it. In 2001, right around the time CSS and improved web-coding were being implemented and after several computers went down the tubes, I kind of got tired of playing keep-up-with-joneses and upgrading every six-months and I dropped it all. I switched to laptops and became just a lookie-loo. Fortunately, that seems to be less of a concern these days as hardware and software seem to have a little longer lifespan. So I'm back on a desktop and trying to catch up. But, I digress.

Essentially, I've been brushing up on my web skills and getting a presence out there so people can keep track of the haunt and it's progress. Most notably Blogger and social networking sites like MySpace, HauntSpace and Garage of Evil. I also still post occasionally on HauntForum though I've never been a prolific poster anyway. I've also admittedly gotten a little sidetracked as I've most recently been tweaking another friend's peripheral sites. It's something I enjoy doing and has lit a fire under my butt to maybe get some classes under my belt to learn how to do it better. We'll see how that goes.

In the coming weeks, I plan to get a domain up and running and then maintain a minimal presence on the 'social networking' sites. The blog will remain and I'll be using it as I orginally intended to. I'm debating about keeping it on Blogger or using WordPress. I'm curious to check that out. Again, we'll see how that goes.

So there's what I've been doing. It's been fun and I've met some really cool people since all this happened. As I've said, I can only hope to inspire some as so many have inspired me.

In case you haven't noticed, I procrastinate and get easily distracted. LOL. I will try to do better. =)

More in the next post. Thanks for reading.