HomeProduct SearchSite MapCheckoutTrack Your Order
News Center 2010

Home Haunting, Owning Haunted House Not Morally Wrong

By Scott Faubion, Halloween Hill Owner

Published 9/14/2010

Home haunting, owning a haunted house or simply enjoying the Halloween season is not against Christianity or morally wrong.

I have encountered people in life who feel that if you enjoy Halloween, haunt your home, own a haunted house or watch horror movies, you are evil. I remember one man who lived a few doors down from my family in the early 2000s. One evening, he started yelling across the quaint suburban yards that I need to "find God." (Ironically, I am a member of a Methodist church but he didn't bother to ask.) I am sure he got on this soapbox because 1) he had been drinking and 2) my wife and I run an online Halloween prop store and also decorate our home for Halloween. Enjoying the Halloween season is morally right, not wrong.

Owning a haunted house (or Halloween store) is a way to make money and enjoy the Halloween season. Many people also "home haunt." This is where Halloween lovers decorate their homes and yards, turning them into suburban haunted houses. This is done because dressing up in creepy costumes and jumping out at neighbors and children tripping through your garage or professional haunt is fun. It is fun for the actors and for the patrons. Haunted houses and home haunts are not built for the devil and love of death. They are created because the owners and actors love life.

Furthermore, simply decorating your home with spider-webs, creepy skulls and scary bats for Halloween parties is okay, too. I can honestly say I have never thought how pleased dark spirits will be when I decorate my living room for a party. I have never wondered if the devil will be happy I picked out the vilest horror movies for a get-together. I often think, "am I doing enough to entertain party guests? Will this decor please family and friends?" Yes, dark spirits can sit on the curb. They are not invited to my Halloween parties and, I am sure, to none of the parties home haunters and haunted house owners I know prepare.

What about trick-or-treating? Is it wrong? Will it taint the minds of children? I say no. I know many other Christians who agree. Some of my best memories of childhood are trick-or-treating with my parents throughout our neighborhood and even traveling to the homes of other relatives to beg for that sweet candy. I remember approaching my paternal grandparents' home multiple Halloweens. Grandpa could be found sitting on their front steps passing candy out to the roaming trick-or-treaters. I remember him smiling, enjoying the happiness the candy brought the bright-eyed kids. I remember how much fun it was to approach him, and other relatives, hold out my plastic pumpkin and say "trick or treat!?"

No, there is no evil in loving Halloween, home haunting or owning a haunted house. Halloween is fun and a way to bond with friends and family. It is way to enjoy life (and nab some good candy)!

Top 10 Best Movie Monsters

By Scott Faubion, Halloween Hill Owner

Published 6/23/2010

Let us cut right to the chase...or right to the screaming as many of the folks on this list would prefer! Not only am I married to a top home haunter, I have been a big fan of horror movies (also called monster movies) for years. In my experience, as a fan of the genre, here are my top ten monsters of all time!

10. Kraken (1981)

From the 1981 Clash of the Titans, this is a creature that stirs the imagination. Although the Kraken is a creature of myth, it is the film version that everyone remembers. Who could forget the end scene of the original Clash of the Titans where the Kraken comes for Andromeda? (What he wanted her for is not clear to me. Did he plan to eat her? Invite her to go for a swim?) At any rate, the Kraken was brought to life by the stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, a legend in horror and fantasy movies. The image of Perseus turning the Kraken to stone is classic and so is this multi-armed monster in this writer's opinion.

9. Creature From the Black Lagoon (all versions)

There have been many movies about terrifying sea creatures, but Creature From the Black Lagoon is still the best. (Sorry, Jaws!) Released in 1954, it features a monster-like gill-man discovered on an expedition in the Amazon. Like many famous monsters of the silver screen, the Creature spawned sequels. The original Creature of the Black Lagoon movie is being remade for a 2011 release, according to the IMDB Web site.

8. Mummy (Boris Karloff)

Boris Karloff makes his first appearance on our list! The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund, is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios. It starred Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest called Imhotep. While the movie is not a drop-dead scare fest, it is a classic that is in the collective memory of our society. When people think of mummies, they invariably think of Karloff shuffling out of his sarcophagus in bandages. The Mummy was semi-remade in The Mummy's Hand (1940) but it was Karloff's version that began the Mummy movies.

7. Michael Myers (all versions)

Michael Myers is the one who started the slasher genre. He first showed up in 1978's Halloween as a young boy who murders his older sister, and then returns home years later to kill again. His fights with Jamie Lee Curtis in the first two Halloween movies are perfect examples of how scary movie chases should work. Although, I think Michael's fights with Donald Pleasence (who played Dr. Loomis) are the best parts of the Halloween films. The only negative aspects to the Halloween movies to me are the continuity issues. For instance, Halloween III, although not a bad movie, has nothing to do with the other installments. Also, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later almost ignores established continuity from earlier movies with no explanation.

6. Dracula (Bela Lugosi)

Bela Lugosi was a Hungarian actor, best known for playing Count Dracula in the Broadway play and classic Universal Studios Dracula films, too. The now classic Dracula that made Lugosi a star came out in 1931. Although the movie is a little slow and not as exciting as other Universal classics, such as the Frankenstein films, Lugosi made the film work. No matter how many vampire movies are made, too, this is the most memorable. Ask anyone who is Dracula and they immediately think of Bela's Dracula. His Dracula is an icon.

5. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund)

Robert Englund is best known for playing serial killer Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. According to Wikipedia, he received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in 1987 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988. I am not surprised. He was excellent as Freddy. The new Freddy cannot hold a candle, or dingy red sweater, to Englund. He approached playing Freddy with a mixture of horror and comedy. His witty banter with his victims is the stuff of legend.

4. Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.)

"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."

When you talk about werewolves, there is none better than Lon Chaney's Wolfman in the 1941 Universal Studios movie. From the iconic makeup to the gypsy curse, it is Chaney's Wolfman that society knows best, and with good reason - it is a darn good movie that stands the test of time.

3. Frankenstein's Monster (Boris Karloff)

Do I really have to write that Boris Karloff's portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster is a classic creature of the cinema? The crash of thunder, the sizzling laboratory machines, the monster's hand moving-these are the images we all have embedded in our minds. No version of the Frankenstein Monster gets better than Karloff's version from the classic 1931 horror film.

2. Leatherface (all versions)

Leatherface is the main killer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror-film series. He wears masks made of his victims' skin (which is where the name Leatherface comes from) and is the character from the movie who normally carries a chainsaw. Not only is Leatherface one of the first slasher-type villains but he is drop-dead scary! While I think all versions of Leatherface are scary as heck, the best Leatherface actors were Gunnar Hansen (from the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Bill Johnson (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). I still think the scene in Massacre 2 when Leatherface runs, chainsaw roaring, out of the darkened radio station toward the lead female actor is horrifying.

1. Jason Voorhees (all versions)

Sure, Kane Hodder has played Jason more than any other actor, but I can't pick one Jason that is better than another. Each actor who played the undead slasher Jason Voorhees brought something new to the role. Jason Voorhees is the killer from the Friday the 13th series. He first appeared in Friday the 13th (1980); although, he was not the main villain in the first movie. Jason is a great character because of the iconic hockey mask, the creepy camp setting, and because you feel some sympathy for him. He was a deformed child who was mocked by peers and ignored by camp counselors. He also loves his mommy. (Watch the movies and you will see what I mean.) Because he evokes sympathy in the audience, he is a little like Frankenstein's Monster but definitely more evil.

Agree with my choices? Disagree with me? Post a comment. And remember to watch over your shoulder when walking in the woods at night. The guys above may be stalking.

Alien Fear Good for Haunted Houses

By Scott Faubion, Halloween Hill Owner

Published 5/12/2010

Stephen Hawking, world-famous theoretical physicist, said in a recent interview that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist - but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should avoid contact. No doubt many people agree with him. Aliens scare the heck out of people, something haunted house owners can use to their advantage. But, why do aliens scare us?

A major reason people fear aliens is the fact they are a mystery. People are afraid of the unknown: death, sickness, a new boss, etc. Hawking even points out that aliens are an unknown factor. Hawking said that there are billions of galaxies and millions of stars. It is unlikely Earth is the only place life exists. But, he said, "The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like."

Of course, we do not really know what aliens look like. (Although many people who claim to have seen aliens report them being about four feet tall with large eyes and long fingers.) We do not know if they are friendly or hostile. We do not know if aliens are abducting people-if you believe in abduction-for scientific, benevolent or evil reasons. It all comes back to the fear of the unknown.

Writer Stuart Wilde writes in his book Simply Wilde that, "Naturally we are scared to move into the unknown because our personality relies a lot on the symbols, psychological structures, and associations we develop. We become comfortable in a society, and with a group of people -- work mates, family, and friends."

Indeed, we like our society to stay the same and to see little alien grays landing on the White House lawn would certainly shake up society.

All this fear of aliens, the unknown, and change is just perfect for haunted house owners. We haunted house and home haunters can seize this fear in our neighbors and customers and bring it to the front of their minds. If you own a haunted house or set up a home haunt, you need to work in aliens. I'm not talking about cute E.T. From the early 1980s movie, I am talking about the aliens from horror and dark science fiction movies. I am talking about the aliens from the nightmares of abduction victims.

Again, to most of society, aliens equal fear. I encourage you to try creating an alien autopsy room. You will love the screams you get! And if aliens ever do land and we find out they are more like cute little Muppets and not brain-sucking monsters, well, we can apologize and buy them a cup of coffee.

Halloween is a Nostalgic Time

By Scott Faubion, Halloween Hill Owner

Originally published 9/30/2009

What is it that makes Halloween such a special time? Is it the candy corn, old horror movies on television, or the latex masks hanging from store shelves? No, I put forth the idea that it is the nostalgic factor that makes Halloween special.

As I sit here and watch a Friday the 13th installment and look at Halloween props on the Internet, I think about Halloween and, in turn, youth. I remember being a child and getting excited each fall when my parents would take me to a local department store to pick out my Halloween costume. When I was very young, the costumes came in square boxes with plastic masks you could view through a thin layer of some see-through material that escapes me. Later, latex masks became the big thing (and to an extent, still are).

I remember going to all my grandparents' homes trick-or-treating for candy and also to homes in my neighborhood. Halloween was a magical time. It was a time when seeing vampires and werewolves on the sidewalk was perfectly natural. It was a time when leaves were changing, the Great Pumpkin was on television, and kids could play "monster" and be kids. It was the best of times. It still is the best of times!

The great thing is that even as adults, we can still tap into that sense of nostalgia. Each fall, we can play "monster" and watch horror movies. We can decorate our homes and yards. We can remember what it was like to be young and not feel guilty about having fun. So, go out this October and allow yourself to feel young again. It's Halloween.

To protect your privacy, all payments for Halloween props, Halloween decorations, Halloween animatronics, and alien props are processed through PayPal’s secure system for our parent company, Blackwood Studios. PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. You will be redirected to Halloween Hill after payment is complete. Be sure to complete the checkout process.

PayPal Acceptance Mark
Copyright © Blackwood Studios. Kansas City, Mo.