Halloween Approaches: In Which I Maul the HOA’s Rulebook

After a bit of thought, I’ve decided that while I cannot (yet!) afford to decorate my entire yard, there is no good reason not to do the front porch. I already have many of the components.

However, I am now at an impasse. I need about a ½ hour to an hour’s worth of creepy sound effects to pull this off.  Keeping in mind that the theme is “Haunted Nursery/Daycare” – what are some sound effects/ideas that I can pull together?

Sounds I already plan on using:

  • The Diddy Laugh
  • An approaching thunderstorm
  • Echoing crying sounds (adult)
  • The ‘Blair Witch’ creepy-thumpy music/sound effect
  • Loud knocking (as if on a door by a very large fist)
  • Menacing whisper effects
  • The ‘Tick Tock’ song from Doctor Who
  • A little girl singing ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’
  • Another girl asking if you want to have a tea party with her

All in all, its about six minutes worth of sound effects.
I know, right? Seems like it should be more. *SIGHS*   At any rate – more ideas would be lovely.

I am going to have to come up with a rocking chair and talk the Girl into letting me maul some of her older baby-dolls.
I might also need one of those cauldrons that look – but actually *aren’t* – on fire. You know… to put the dismembered Barbies into.

Like you do.


I will post images and/or a video of everything once I get it all done.




Halloween is the Best Time of the Year

This is my favorite time of the year.  Cooler weather, themed candy, spooky decorations, horror movies.

I love that spine-chilling feeling.

What I don’t like are over the top, gross-out gorefests. That isn’t scary. That’s just hurl-inducing. A crazy person who hunts, maims and kills anyone who dares to have consensual sex at a lakeside resort is NOT a frightening boogeyman. He is someone that should be tranqued and taken off to the nearest plush-walled hotel for a long stay. Possibly with a plethora of calming medications. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be gore in a scary movie. What I am saying is that there has to be something else. Otherwise, it’s just colored Karo syrup for no reason.

Now, I get that some folks are of the opinion that there is nothing more frightening than a movie about a mad-dog killer who can’t be reasoned with or put off. The blood drenched walls and bits of carnage make their hearts go pitter-pat. And when the Jason Michael clone killer leaps out from yet another hiding place, they will happily shriek and flail.

I get that. I do. They’re wrong, though

Because they’re confusing the startle with a true terrification*. I think that the most effective frights are those that utilize atmosphere. Not-quite right images, everyday things in an improper setting, just out of good aural range sounds, and there-then-gone apparitions. What I am talking about, of course, is dread. Dread of what is going to happen next, dread of the unknown. Building that feeling in film takes time and skill. There are directors who can accomplish this. What leaps immediately to my mind are the Japanese horror masters.

Why is it LOOKING at me?

They take normal situations and then add elements that just fuck you up.






One of the scariest moments I ever experienced in a movie was when the ghost appeared in the bed under the fucking covers of the fleeing character.

Boo. I am in your trope, changing the rules.








But there are American directors and writers who can do the same thing. The Freddy** movies started out that way. Sure, they were full of random arterial spray and bed blenders. But they also utilized a new kind of monster. One that could hunt you in your freaking dreams. All the protagonists of the movie were jittery, caffeinated and sleep deprived. Even cat naps could get them muderlated. Plus, Freddy liked to mess with his victims. Maybe their souls were tastier when dipped in a broth of frenzied fear?

I can haz noms on yr soul?

Eventually, the movies devolved into a gore-fest and got stupid. But those first couple were damn scary.





Now, I wrote about all of this as a way of explaining my Theory of Halloween decorations. Y’see, there are several schools of thought on Halloween decoration. There is the cutesy, let’s make sure the kids aren’t frightened, Charlie Brown in a crappy ghost costume bunch.

This is terrifying. Esp. that yellow-horned demoness.









Then, there is the just-phoning-it-in crowd:

I am a scary ghost. Put me in your yard.***






And then there are the folks that I aspire to be, someday.  They build entire freaking haunted houses in their yards. They have themes. They rock my horror-writer’s black heart in so many ways. This year, I will be attempting to decorate my house/yard to reflect that shriveled organ.

Aw, its adorable!




My theme this year is: Haunted Nursery. There will be floating Barbie heads. There will be barely audible children’s giggles interspersed with haunting music. Piles of dirty,discarded toys. Things gazing from the shrubbery.

It will be creepy. It will be disturbing. It will probably get me in trouble with the HOA.



I can’t wait. 😀

A good start.












* – shut up, Spell Check. I say its a word, therefore it is a word.
** – Nightmare on Elm Street
*** – what the hell is that in his hand? A hat? The bleeding heart of his creator? WHAT?