2014 Halloween Events for Columbus & Southern Ohio

EVENTS

10/11 Midnight Monster Movies with Dr. Bob presents The Day of Doctor Bob, imagesColumbus, OH

10/18 Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl

10/24 HighBall Halloween (Day 1), Columbus, OH

10/25 HighBall Halloween (Day 2), Columbus, OH

10/25 Athens Halloween Block Party, Athens, OH

10/26 Run Like Hell Costume 5K, Athens, OH

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS

Haunted Hoochie / Dead Acres, Pataskala, OHimages

The ScareATorium, Columbus, OH

Wicked Forest, Logan, OH

I’m always on the lookout for more Halloween events or Haunted Attractions.  If you know of any in the Columbus / Southern, Ohio area, please leave a comment below and I will gladly add it to this list.

What exactly is Monster For Rent?

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What exactly is Monster For Rent?

He’s a stilt-walking monster, standing at just under 9’ tall.  In his younger days, he worked at various “haunted houses” and “haunted hayrides”.   Now as a more seasoned monster, he spends the Halloween season, hiring himself out to deliver balloon-a-grams, entertain at birthday parties, Halloween parties, grocery stores, farm markets, and different companies who want to draw some attention to their business during the Halloween season.

Originally from Rochester, NY, the monster spent a number of years residing in West Palm Beach, FL.  Currently, he resides in the quiet town of Athens, OH.

 So what does the monster do?

Really that depends on the specific event.  The overwhelming majority of the time, he’s called into action to shake hands and pose for pictures with party-goers and customers of the various events that he’s hired to perform at.

At company functions, he’s been used to pass out advertising literature, march in parades, draw attention to certain displays within a store, or even stand by the side of the road to help draw in business.

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Can the monster talk?

Sadly, no… The mad scientist who created the monster neglected to give him the ability to speak.  However, he’s become quite adept at communicating with folks through hand gestures and head bobs.

There will be lots of young children at my event.  Will the monster be too scary for them?

While it is true that a 9’ tall monster might seem pretty intimidating, the monster very rarely scares any little ones.  In his experience, children who are afraid of Santa Claus, clowns, or the Easter Bunny may also be afraid of the monster.

The monster has become quite adept at scanning the crowd for signs that any of the little folks are looking a bit uneasy.  When he detects this, he avoids eye contact and focuses on the folks who are close by, shaking his hand and posing for pictures.  Generally, this allows any timid youngsters to move along and not suffer any frights.

The monster is so big.  Will he fit in my home or business?

Aside from being just under 9’ tall, the monster is able to fit just about anywhere that an event might be held.  He’s easily as maneuverable as any “normal” person.  As such, he’s able to duck through regular doorways, climb stairs, and pretty much go anywhere required, doing what needs to be done.

There will likely be big crowds at my event.   Will this be a problem for the monster?

Not at all.  The monster is very sturdy on his feet and has full peripheral vision.  Whether he’s indoors with merchandise displays or outdoors in a throng of people, the monster is very adept at moving about in tight spaces.

Could the monster hold a sign to promote my event/business?

Yes, absolutely.  The monster would be able to hold/carry any sign that any other “normal” person could.

mfr3Any chance we could dress the monster up in one of our uniforms?

Sure.  Aside from being rather large, the monster would be happy to.  Over the years, he’s worn t-shirts, aprons, hats, & buttons from those who have used his services.

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Limited edition Fright-Rags shirt for Breast Cancer research

A short while ago I wrote a post about Fright-Rags, a company from my home-town of Rochester, NY.  They produce some amazing horror t-shirts and this month they’re offering something special.

Available as a t-shirt or hoodie, this striking “We Belong Alive” 2011 Limited Edition Design is available for pre-order until Sunday, October 23.

Not only does it feature my two favorite monsters but it also helps a great cause.  60% of the proceeds from the sale of this shirt will be donated to METAvivor (www.metavivor.org) to help the research of metastatic breast cancer.

Head over to Fright-Rags and pre-order yours today!

Monster joins cast of the Scare-A-Torium!

     Here’s just a quick note to let you all know that my Monster will be joining the cast of the Scare-A-Torium in Dublin, OH this year!

     Every Sunday from now until Halloween, I’ll be taking part in their “lights on” tours.  Running from 4pm-6pm, I will be joining the Ghostbusters.  Younger children and their parents can attend on Sundays for a Lights-On Tour of The Scare-A-Torium.  They will have all of the lights on and there will be no scares or sounds during the tour.  It’s a great opportunity for the young ones to enjoy the haunted attraction with out the fear of the dark or being surprised.  It’s also a wonderful way to see all the detail and work that’s involved in the artwork, design and, creation of a haunted house attraction.  Members of Ghost Busters of Columbus will serve as tour guides.

     The Lights-On Tour admission is only $7 for an adult. Every paid adult ticket will admit one adult along with four children under 12 for $1.00 each. Additional children will be required to purchase an adult ticket. All children must be accompanied by an adult to participate in Lights-On.

     As an added bonus, I’ll then be joining the rest of the spooks for the regular haunted attraction until 10pm.

     So, if you happen to be out in the Columbus area on Sunday, please stop by and say “hello”!

 

2011 High Ball Halloween: Masquerade On High

     One of the most talked about and highly anticipated Halloween events in the Midwest, Columbus’ wildly popular Highball: Masquerade on High celebrates the art of design and masquerade. The signature focal point of HighBall is a dramatic runway/stage built on the street under the iconic glowing Short North arches.

     2011 HighBall Halloween: Masquerade On High takes place Friday, October 28, 2011 starting at 5 p.m. The wild street party takes place in the Short North Arts District on High Street at the intersection of Fifth Ave. This celebration of the fabulous side of Halloween, the art of design and the masquerade will feature a dazzling 60-foot outdoor runway under the iconic lighted Short North arches. With attendance topping 20,000, general admission is just $5 at the gate. VIP packages, including parking, private bar, backstage pass, preferred runway/stage seating are available via advance purchase at http://www.HighBallHalloween.com for $65.

     Highball features over-the-top masquerade competitions that spotlight the creative talents of both professional designers and amateurs alike. Finalists strut their stuff on stage before 20,000 cheering revelers. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded in several categories. This year, HighBall’s themes will add new twists to the design challenge. A real-time Costume Couture Fashion Showdown is a professional designer competition. The HighBall Costume Contest for the general public awards prizes in each of five competition categories:

– Most Radiant – costume features LED, laser, UV reactive or other glow accessories
– Best Transformation – costume transforms from one look to another
– Most Fabulous – an outrageously gorgeous costume
– Best Extreme Face Painting – beyond basic clown makeup!
– Best B-Movie Ensemble – a group category paying homage to the campiest of the campy 

     Other event features include: DJs, dancers, live stage performances, theatrical numbers, giant body puppets, light shows, real-time UV mural painting and the Dogtober Howl-o-Ween Canine Contest.

     Highball event information is available at www.highballhalloween.com. Complete travel information, including details on lodging, dining and attractions in Columbus and is available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or by calling 1-866-397-2657 (1-866-EXP-COLS). The website offers on-line booking at more than 125 hotels.

Are there any monsters in your own backyard?

     Are there any monsters in your own backyard?

     For the past year or so I’ve lived in a rural town in southeastern, Ohio.  On my first full night, I grabbed my camera and headed off to a place which I’d wanted to visit for over 20 years.

     A 30-minute drive took me across the border, into West Virginia.  In the town of Point Pleasant, I parked my truck and set off in search of my quarry.  It happened to be a dark, rainy night but I didn’t mind.  In fact, the weather made the experience that much better.  I walked up and down the quiet streets, craning my neck around every corner, not entirely sure that I would find what I was looking for.  Finally, about a half mile from where I had parked, I saw it.  There before me was the statue of the Mothman!

     45 years ago, two couples from Point Pleasant claimed to have encountered a 7-foot-tall creature with large wings and glowing red eyes.  They reported that the creature chased them for some time before they were finally able to escape it.  In the months to follow, more sightings of the “Mothman” were reported.  Some claimed it to be a supernatural creature, others said that it might be an alien life-form; others yet insisted that it must be a hoax.

     Ultimately, the reports pretty much ground to a halt after the Silver Bridge( connecting Point Pleasant, WV to Gallipolis, OH) collapsed on December 15, 1967.  While this tragedy likely calmed the hysteria that had been prevalent in the area, some claimed that there was more to it.

     Based on the frequent sightings of the Mothman before the bridge collapse, some claim that he was a harbinger of doom.  In the years to follow, there have been reports of Mothman sightings prior to other disasters, in various locales around the United States. 

     While the story garnered enough press coverage to warrant a book and even a Hollywood movie (albeit only loosely based on the story), it’s still a rather obscure legend.  Compared to the Loch Ness Monster & Bigfoot, the Mothman is hardly a household name. 

     Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Halloween and all things spooky.  That said, I don’t actually believe in ghosts, monsters or even aliens, for that matter.  However, I’m drawn to legends like the Mothman specifically because of their obscurity.  They’re out there and just about every community has them.  Hell, I could just as easily be writing about the White Lady who stalks the shores of Lake Ontario in my hometown of Rochester, NY.

     I’ve been blessed in my life to be able to travel quite a bit.  One of my favorite things to do while I’m off adventuring is to ask people about local legends and myths.  I get some odd looks while doing this but every so often, I get some fantastic stories.  

     With Halloween fast approaching, I’ll now put that question to you.  Since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” quite a number of interesting folks, from all over the world.  Please take just a minute and leave a quick comment.  Are there any juicy myths or legends from your area?  You can be as brief or detailed as you like but I would love to hear about the monsters in your own backyard.

Fright-Rags

     Today I want to tell you folks about a small business from my hometown of Rochester, NY.  As a good number of you folks are either Halloween or Zombie enthusiasts, I believe you’ll appreciate hearing about Fright-Rags.

     Fright-Rags was created by Ben Scrivens and produces the most kick-ass horror t-shirts you’ve ever seen.  A big fan of the genre, he found that the shirts on the market were either of very poor quality or less than impressive in design.  He started his business back in September, 2003 to fill that void.  With just 3 designs, a web site, and a credit card, he took his shot. 

     Since then, Fright-Rags has grown by leaps and bounds.   He now has a dedicated printer who does all the shirts, professional artists that bring his ideas to life, a programmer that helps with the site, and even someone to help fold shirts.  Fright-Rags shirts have been sent to every state in the US, and to countries all around the world. They’ve even been in Hot Topic stores across the nation as well as many mom n’ pop stores and online shops.

     Ben still fills all the orders, answer all the emails, and coördinates everyone’s efforts so he can keep it a well-oiled machine and get people their shirts.  This guy has a passion for the genre as well as a desire to produce a high quality product.  Take just a minute and check out his designs.

The Sockapocalypse is upon us!!!

         I mentioned this briefly on Twitter the other day but I decided to throw it out there to you folks as well.  While at the Lorain County Food Drive & Zombie Walk on Saturday, I came across something really neat….Sockapocalypse!!!

     We’re all familiar with old-time “sock monkeys”.  Well, Sockapocalypse creates “agorable” (adorably gory) sock zombies!  Whether you have a demented child or it’s just for the demented little child living inside you screaming and trying to claw its way out, these sock monkeys can be custom-made to suit any taste. 

     The creator is a big Halloween lover herself.  Here’s what she had to say:

“I started the sock monkeys in order to get my sister to take her daughter on a zombie walk with me. I had been searching the internet looking for “zombie dolls” and stumbled upon creepy sock monkeys. I ordered some, spent more than I could afford, and when they came in the mail I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the workmanship. My son tore his apart in less than a half hour. So being a crafty person and not wanting to disappoint two 2-year-year olds I set to work at my sewing machine.”

“For me it’s fun to make the monkeys. It’s a challenge to find new ways to make them “agorable” (adorably gory). I want each one to be different and special. To me they each have their own unique personalities. I have even started dreaming about them, and what to make next. For me it’s really important that they can withstand being played with. I make each one capable of withstanding my son, ‘Captain Destructo.’ These monkeys are made to be loved, or abused as you see fit.”

“Halloween has always been huge in my family. My grandmother’s a twin born on Halloween so maybe that played into the love over the years. I really enjoy getting to do it all over again with my son, and better now than it ever was when I was a kid. It’s so much more than candy; it’s planning together, making together, and just being together as a family.” 

     Gotta love a story like that and these little guys are damn cute.  At any rate, I just had to pass along this find.  I’m sure that the Sockapocalypse will spread quickly.

Brains…brains!!!!

     Well, the lovely folks over at the Lorain County Food Drive & Zombie Walk (http://wp.me/p1yyIa-5P) say that 9′ tall monsters are fine by them!  So, I’ll be hitting the road tomorrow to get a jump on this years haunting by joining them for the Zombie Walk.

     I will try to snap up as many photos as I can.  While zombie walks are becoming quite popular, I know that it’s a new concept to many of you.  If possible, I’ll try to get some video as well.

     Keep your eyes posted here for updates and pictures.  Also, I’ll be tweeting updates throughout the day if you’d like to follow the action there.  

     Finally, in honor of the Zombie Walk, I thought I’d share this with you.  What goes better with zombies than brains???  Kraft Foods is offering a killer deal this year.  While supplies last, this Jell-O Brain Mold is FREE (with $2.95 S&H).  It would be perfect for any Halloween party or, if you really want to shake things up, try it for Thanksgiving!!!

     My WordPress links are still a bit wonky, so you can get to the Kraft offer page here:  https://apfco.com/secure/w1381/product_description.cfm?product=W1381-19

Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House

    

     I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that if you’re reading this, you’re a fan of Halloween.  If you also happen to have been born prior to 1980, I’d say that there’s a good chance that you owned this album (for you younger folks, this is one of those black things which we used to spin around to hear music).

     Originally released in 1964, Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House was a collection of sound effects from Sound Effects Department of Walt Disney Studios.  One side featured isolated tracks such as Screams & Groans or A Collection of Creaks.  However, the other side features the same tracks narrated by Laura Olsher in a delightfully creepy manner.

     “You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing…” she begins.

     It’s a Halloween classic, there’s no doubt about it.  Even if you didn’t own the album, you’ve likely heard some of the tracks.  They were a staple at haunted houses and home displays for decades.

     As a youngster in the mid-1970’s, I was afraid of my shadow.  My next-door neighbor Kelly and I used to queue up the record and try to see how long we could listen to it before we’d be scared senseless.  When we’d finally crack, we’d run to my bed, covering ourselves with covers to drown out the noise.

     If you’ve read this far and find yourself reminiscing about the good old days and wishing that you could hear the album again, I have good news.  I spent years tracking down a copy on eBay, only to never be able to listen to it due to the lack of a record player.  However, Disney has released this gem on iTunes and you can find it here! http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/chilling-thrilling-sounds/id272258499

     Thanks for reading.  Do you remember Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House?  I’d love to hear about your memories.