The Bloodshed Brothers: A Double Dose Of Halloween Passion

I found these guys on YouTube…but how can you miss them? With over 80,000 channel views, almost 500 haunt subcribers, and close to 300 videos…one would think that their Halloween passion cup would be overflowing and creating an awful mess on the computer desk of life. Jeromy and Zachary Ball live and breathe Halloween! They drink from a bottomless cup of passion and keep refilling it everyday! Granted sometimes their topics are not specifically targeted on Special Effects, Halloween, or Home Haunting…however, as a Haunter you can always find something in their videos that you can relate to.

Read my interview, check out their YouTube channel, and get inspired by the energy these guys radiate to the souls and minds of Haunters like you.

What was your very first memory of Halloween?

Our first memory of Halloween was 1992. We were ghosts that year and we went to our first “yard haunt” and got the heck scared out of us- by a light up ghost and a leaf blower. Little did we know this fateful night would plant the Haunting seed within us.

How old are you guys and what keeps you passionate about Haunting?

We are 22 and will be 23 in March. Passion: The thrill of scaring people and the ability to create something from nothing. It’s just that bug. The haunting bug we all have! We can’t really describe it but it’s just a simple love of the holiday. Whether it’s watching our old home movies, learning about the history of Halloween, or collecting old Collegeville costumes; we are completely intrigued with this one day. It’s a fun and extreme hobby.

Have you ever produced a video and gone back to delete it after you put it on youtube because of its content?

Yes and no. Yes because we accidentaly forgot to edit out. It could be something we said that we needed to edit out. Or something we felt in retrospect we didn’t want to share. Or someone saying they didn’t want to be on camera and us forgetting to edit out the 3 seconds they were on camera. Out of all of our videos, less than 5 we had to take down and re-upload.

How did you meet Mat and Wes and how did you get involved in the Zombie Apocalypse?

Jeromy: I work with Matt and him and his friends came to the haunt in 2009. They all pretty much loved it! Coincidently there was this web comic: Matt drew about Zombies (which eventually became episode 1) that the same friends that came to the haunt were looking to turn in to a short film. We were asked if we’d like to do the special effects and makeup solely based off of the work in our haunt, which acted like a portfolio for us.

Tell us more about your Haunt and what your goals are for its growth?

The haunt itself is called “The Hyde Street Massacre.” It includes a full back story that takes place in the 1950’s which can be viewed on our website. We are an actor based haunt using over 20 actors each year. We are very detail oriented. Growing up at Disneyland has pretty much instilled that mentality in our heads. With us living so close to Knotts Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, and Universal we have to keep it cranked up a notch for just being a home haunt.

Ideally a pro haunt, where we could own a warehouse and we have a few haunts that all tie in to the Hyde Street theme. But for now- get our own place with a large backyard. Right now we are at our folks place and have exhausted all the room they will allow us. We have plans on adding a kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. If we are in the same location this year we have to get rid of a room to add a room.

What are your other passions in life?

We are your average nerds. We LOVE movies! We are the biggest “fanboys” for Harry Potter though. Obsessed would put it lightly. Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings- all of the nerd niche movies. Obviously horror is something we will never stop loving as well. Music is another big part of our lives. We grew up on the classic american musicals with the likes of Garland and Kelly. So we have a deep love for theater and show tunes; as well as oldies and The Beatles. Also we are obsessed with country music- having our parents to thank for growing us up on it. All of which has made us both hopeless romantics. We both played instruments growing up: Zach played the Trombone while Jeromy played the Alto Sax.

Name a few things that make the Ball brothers different from each other?

Zach: Jeromy has 2 moles on the upper right of his lip….That’s it! We are exactly the same in every other aspect. Ha Ha. Seriously though, there’s not too much. We always liked the same things, we even share all of our friends. We haven’t shared girlfriends though, so our taste in woman is completely different. Zach has been known to be the more laid back type and Jeromy has been known to be the more anxious in your face type. During the haunt Zach will have an idea and Jeromy will have a completely opposite idea. We always meet in the middle though so our haunt turns out to be an explosion of two separate ideas coming together. When this happens to the outsider it would look like we are fighting but really it’s just an intense debate on how to make it work and keep us both happy.

Who is someone famous you would like to meet?

Tom Savini would be fun to meet, but we live in Southern California. We meet celebrities everyday… we golfed with Snoop Dogg yesterday and had coffee with our good buddy Harry Ford this morning… Seriously though it would be fun to meet anyone. We’ve met a few celebrities in our life so no one in particular.

Give your fans 3 haunting tips they can apply today.

1)      Stay organized.

2)      It’s dark no one will know what you didn’t get done.

3)      Get involved in the community! We are all involved in our community which has some amazing people in it. It’s                 fun helping and gets your name out there.

How about some BloodShed Brother words of inspiration?

Just have fun. None of this is worth it if you are not enjoying yourself on Halloween.

Do you have a Haunt Mentor you want me to interview? How about scary information you have but don’t want to write about it? How about a topic you want me to talk about on Rotting Flesh Radio? Feel free to email me at brian@scaryvisions.com and I will put your name on it. Keep It Scary Scarelings….

 

Find the Bloodshed Brothers here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/thebloodshedbrothers

https://twitter.com/zachball

http://mattandweszombie.blogspot.com/

 

Dan Krein: Creator of Souls Of The Forsaken

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When I first saw Dan Krein’s video of Souls of the Forsaken I had to replay it several times just to catch all the detail he had put into his Home Haunt! His haunt ranked among the few who made it to the top of the Home Haunter’s Association for Top Home Haunts of 2010. You can feel his passion for Halloween just by reading this interview. And passion is what really keep us going into the next year anyway, right? I know that is what keeps me typing, podcasting, blogging, and haunting. Passion is contagious and I’m starting to feel a bit like attending a trade show or something. I can relate to Dan and plan on grabbing a beer with him at TransWorld this year. If this interview with Dan doesn’t spark a bit of passion in you then pull the dagger out of your heart, close down your Haunt, and go watch a Justin Bieber video.

Congrats on making the Top 15 at the Home Haunter’s Association!

It was an honor to be listed in the Top 15 Home Haunts for the HHA contest. There are many great home haunts out there and to be considered as a finalist was such an honor. I hope that this will bring more attention to my haunt and get my haunt noticed by the professionals. My plan is to open my own professional haunt in the very near future. I feel that I am ready and can’t wait to go pro. It’s my dream.

How did you get started in Home Haunting?

I started small with a few Halloween props in the front yard. My wife had purchased some gory items on Ebay and we displayed them in the front yard and garage. She found out about Transworld while looking up Halloween related stuff on the internet. She asked the supplier of our first props, Jeremy from Creepy Collections (who was just starting out his business), to help us get into the show . He did and so in 2007 we attended our first Transworld in Chicago. This was “the moment” when all things changed. I entered the show and all hell broke loose. I was reborn as a Home Haunter!!!!!

How many years have you been converting your home into a Halloween playground?

2011 will be my 6th year as a home haunter. Over the past 2 years I consider myself to be an extreme home haunter. The difference I believe is in the addition of my backyard walk through haunted house. So not only do I display and have an attraction in my front yard and garage. But I also have a fully constructed 7 room haunted house with actors consuming my entire backyard.

What are the good/evil sides of Home Haunting?

The Pros: seeing all the visitors that come out each year and enjoying themselves. Having a great community function that all can attend. I love to hear screams and laughs from everyone. I know when that is happening that all the blood sweat and tears I put into the haunt is well worth it.  I love the positive feed back that the visitors tell me. I can hear them talking about the haunt as they are getting back into their cars and you know they enjoyed themselves. Each year there are hundreds of repeaters- this is awesome. Last year I joined “Haunts Against Hunger” and raised over $5,000 worth of food for my local food pantery. The other pro is that I am doing what I really, and I mean really love! This is my passion and I believe that I finally have found my calling.

The cons that arise start with not being able to spend a lot of time with my family while getting the haunt ready each year. Everyone is involved with the haunt when October rolls around but otherwise I don’t see enough of them with the haunt and a full-time job.  I hate having to take it all down. I have no real place to store it. And have not been able to park in my garage in years, eat in my dining room, or finish my basement due to all the props. A lot of things around the house get put on the back burner due to time and funds that are not available.   It takes 2 months to put up the haunt and a month to take it down. I really spend 365 days a year planning, designing, constructing then building the haunt.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgJP6eZpea0&w=480&h=390]

Do you build or buy most of your props?

Most of the props are purchased while attending the Transwold show. I do make my own props now and am learning all the time and expanding my collection. I design the layout , decorate and highly detail the haunt each year. My favorite vendors are Ghost Ride Prod, Unit 70, Creepy Collections, and Distortions. There are so many others but too many to list. I love them all.

What is one Halloween memory that motivated you and led you here?

My vivid memory comes from Brookfield JC’s haunted house. I look back upon it as a terrifying experience for a young boy. But I enjoyed every minute of it. Chainsaws have a particular place in my heart…

Word of encouragement for those aspiring Haunters out there?

Always enjoy doing it.  Always try to surpass your own expectations. Challenge yourself to make it better each year. And always try to help out a fellow Home Haunter..

Contact Dan Krein:

Website: http://www.soulsoftheforsaken.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SoulsOfTheForsaken

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/18383019@N04

Email: hauntedsouls@sbcglobal.net


Steve Reeves: The Man Behind Steve’s Haunted Yard

I have never met Steve in person but I feel that I have known him my entire haunting journey. His YouTube channel is one of the first places that I checked out when entering this dark realm of horror and creativity. He has produced over 100 videos and keeps them informative and entertaining! He is the creator of Steve’s Haunted Yard (aka The Forgotten Cemetery) and 3rd place winner at the Home Haunter’s Association for Best Home Haunt in 2010. Whether you want to learn how to build a drop panel or see one of his kids being zapped by an electric chair prop (not real of course), go check out his channel and leave a comment, share it with a fellow haunter, or ask to be his friend. He’s that type of guy! He just got back from a visit with The Bloodshed Brothers but you’ll have to wait until next time to hear about them. That post will be coming soon. So subscribe to my spam-free posts which you’ll receive each time I write something new.

But you’re not here to read about them or me, your here to learn more about Steve Reeves and what makes him tick! So here is my interview with Steve.

What keeps you motivated for doing your Haunt every year?

I’m crazy and geek-ed out for building props. It’s as simple as that. My local haunt group TXFX also keeps me going along with the forums and of course the Garage Of Evil and Hauntcast.

What do you do when you’re not Haunting? Work/hobbies?

I am a full-time Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard. I am the Marketing Manager for the state Recruiting and Retention Command. The job is very demanding but very fun. As for hobbies well Youtube has really taken over as something I really enjoy doing. I have a Youtube channel called Yardhaunter5. I do not do a daily vlog but I would if I had the time. It is really fun and it seems to be growing in the haunt community. There are a few haunters that do a daily vlog. The Bloodshedbrothers and HalloweenHellmouth do a daily and recently Dionicia from Noble Manor has started a vlog. Hauntoween is another haunter that does a vlog at least once a week. If you are looking for prop building ideas Youtube has become a really good source.

How does your family participate in your Halloween obsession?

My wife lets me do it. I’m happy with that much. She could really give me a hard time but she lets me have my fun with my obsession “Thanks honey”. The wife does like to dress up in costume…oh yeah….. My daughters enjoy it and now that my oldest has more friends they helped in the haunt last year. She had about 5 friends as scare actors for 2010. My two little ones ask all the time “Dad, is it Halloween yet?” Just yesterday we went to Michaels to get some sculpting tools and clay and my middle one said “Is this the scary store Dad? Can we go to the scary store?” My kids are awesome!

How much time do you spend preparing/designing/constructing?

I plan all year-long. I put everything in my little haunt book. As I think of ideas I write them down. I don’t build anything until around January but once I get started I can’t stop. Last year was the biggest build year for me so far. This year I will be focused on reworking current props and adding more details. I have pretty much ran out of room for any new big props. Just like most haunters out there I am never done. I am pretty much building something up until opening night.

How many volunteers do you need to run your haunt?

For it to be really good about 10 would be great! But I have never had that many. I had a total of 13 last year but not all on the same night. I need to be more persistent this year on getting volunteers. I had business cards made this year to pass out so I hope that will help.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtrrmFzHsbQ]

What does winning the HHA 3rd place spot mean to you?

You know, I still can’t even believe I won! It is very unbelievable to me. I really owe it to the whole haunt community for sharing all their ideas with me. Everything I make was inspired by another haunter out there. I guess thanks to everyone and it also means there is room to make it better. And I am sure going to have fun trying.

One useful home haunting tip?

Garage sales are the best place to find props. Use your imagination and try to see how you can use something and make it into a prop. And I know you said only one tip but lighting is probably the very most important aspect along with sound.

One detail most people do not know about you?

I love Brussels sprouts with bacon

Words of wisdom for the aspiring home haunter?

Go to make and takes and get involved on the forums and subscribe to Hauntcast LOL! Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Email me YOUR questions to ask Steve and I’ll set up another interview with your questions. brian@scaryvisions.com

Thanks Steve for taking the time to answer a few questions. We’ll set up another interview soon! Congrats on your haunting success!

 

No excuses for not finding Steve:

Website:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/YARDHAUNTER5

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/yardhaunter5

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1227283772

Garage of Evil: http://www.garageofevilnetwork.com/group/deadtexans

Jimmy Talkington: The Mind Behind the Design

 

When you hear the name Thorn Web Designs you think: innovation, creativity, and DNA. Let me explain:  DNA is a long-term storage of information and is often compared to a set of blueprints, like a recipe or a code… Jimmy Talkington’s creations are just that! Original and each web design is its unique code or blueprint where valuable and long-term storage is needed! If you’re a Haunt Owner, Horror Junkie, or you just need a kick ass website- this is it! Each one of his realms of darkness is individual and designed around your particular needs. He is quick, knows exactly what you need, and easy to work with. I’m not sure I can squeeze everything I want to say about  Jimmy without writing a novel, but I’ll try.

My first encounter with Jimmy was on FaceBook. I saw his name on Chat and decided to shoot him a message. He responded and we exchanged a few words. Before I knew it, he was sending me a new logo for my website! I didn’t really tell him much about what I wanted and what he sent me was amazing! All in less than 60 minutes!

This is exactly what I had pictured in my head. I tried to make something like this myself a few months ago but failed. I believe he has a sort of sixth sense when it comes to the universal force of imagination. If there is such a force he knows how to tap into it! Just check out some of his other masterpieces.

http://www.wellstownshiphauntedhouse.com

http://www.jerryvayne.com

http://www.forestoffright.org

http://www.nightmarezone.com

http://www.daleacherie.com

Here are some true testimonials from customers:

Probably one of the easiest companies I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Professional, timely and most importantly… DELIVERS! I Definitely will recommend THORN WEB DESIGNS to others!

Jerry Vayne
The Haunt Rocker

Thorn Web Design did a great job with our site! Jimmy was professional, easy to get along with, and took the time to get to know what we were really looking for. He designed our logo and site from several simple ideas we had and it was completed in a few short weeks. It looks awesome and works the way it should, and has received many compliments. Jimmy is very knowledgeable and familiar with the genre and will make your haunted house themed web site come alive. I highly recommend working with Thorn Web Designs!

Jeremy Warner
Nightmare Zone Haunted House

And he creates more than just websites. Flyers, business cards, tickets, or just about anything you want for your business. He was born a natural when it comes to Halloween and Horror related stuff, as he explained in our interview. “As a young child I have always had a spot for horror movies. When I got a little older I started getting into haunted attractions and volunteering in them. I have always been a fan of Halloween and have continued to have a passion for it. Once I realized that the haunt industry was such a huge family and business I knew I had to go further into this to help keep this industry alive. I wanted to help them out by making haunted attractions look good online and in print and by helping them succeed year to year by good marketing. I figured if the haunted attractions are doing good and looking good, then the overall industry would do the same.” This passion for the industry explains what sets him apart from other website developers. I also found out that he is just a normal guy who loves to spend time with his family. He also likes to hunt, fish, play his guitar, and work at his day job at Ball Corporation. He lives in Ohio and admires everyone in the Haunt industry, especially those who are into design and dark art. His main principle as a designer is to keep his customers happy by providing the best product and being there beside them afterwards…every step of the way. This trusted method has earned him recognition with top Haunt vendors, sponsorship on Rotting Flesh Radio, and as a top well-known website developer in the horror industry. 

I believe Jimmy is a man of honesty and dedicated to nuturing the skills he was born with. He has received many compliments from top dogs in the industry and he has definitely earned my respect. And we all know respect in this community goes along way. And I’m not just putting him up on a tombstone because he is a sponsor of Rotting Flesh Radio. I’m usually a good judge of character and all of the voices in my head have told me to trust him…and I always listen to what they have to say.

And if you don’t want to listen to me then take Jimmy’s advice: “If you have a dream of doing something, DO IT, and don’t let anything stop you from getting it.”

 

Simple ways to contact Jimmy and Thorn Web Designs:

contact@thornwebdesigns.com

www.thornwebdesigns.com

twitter.com/ThornWebDesigns

www.facebook.com/thornwebdesigns

thornwebdesigns.blogspot.com

Dr. Phobia’s Madness

In 1991, when Dr.Phobia began to conduct extensive research and unorthodox experiments in his lab, he was known for his intelligence and dedication to the human body. As the years passed by he slowly dissappeared from the social scene and withdrew from typical medical research. Collegues and other medical professionals labeled him an outcast because of his non-typical experiments and techniques.  Every October he reopens his laboratory to the general public to find new volunteers for his latest inventions. Many people have entered his lab, those who have managed to escape have told stories of horror and insanities. These stories have affected many people and they feel compelled to go see his lab and experience the madness for themselves.

Who really is Dr. Phobia? What does he want with so many people? When will his madness end?

 Travel to 7 Fairsite Dr, Mexico,MO to find out for yourself, between the doctor’s research time of 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm on Halloween night only. This is the only time when the doctor’s shock security system is disabled. I believe he might have kidnapped my wife and I need to find her. If you see Mary, tell her to stay there because I’m on my way to save her.

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