Chris, Jeff, and all the gang at the Davis GraveyardOne of the best things about dying in Hillsboro, Oregon is that we’re so close to Milwaukie, Oregon; the home of the Davis Graveyard. It’s a short jaunt through Washington Park. You can get great food left behind by humans when they run away after you growl from the bushes. Swim the Willamette River, or use a bridge if you’re wimps. Take a sharp turn to the right until you reach the very seasonal Davis Graveyard. The Davis Graveyard only appears during October. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. The Davis family and their cohorts have created a wonderful graveyard full of delights. Visit the Davis Graveyard Gallery. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to do a bit of idea browsing. They have workshops for people who live close by, and stuff they sell for those who live further away. The Davis Graveyard Facebook page has videos and more fun stuff to look at. You won’t find much instruction on their pages, but you can get some great ideas just wandering around. And, you’ll notice over the years their skills keep improving. Take comfort in that if nothing else. They’ve been at this for over twenty years. To paraphrase Liam Neeson in Taken: What they have are a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them create nightmares for people like us. And if you do or say something worthy of carving into stone; they will not look for you, they will not pursue you, they will simply kill you and make a tombstone of you.That’s the real gift of the Davis Graveyardto haunters everywhere. You get to see what amazing things happen when you mix Halloween loving humans and extruded polystyrene together. They are the cutting edge of cutting up foam into buildings and tombstones. Our humans go visit at least every other year to gain inspiration and gawk at the latest additions. We hang out in the back of their car sometimes when they go. It’s not as intersting to us since we found out their ghosts aren’t real, but we always get milkshakes afterward. If you’re local to Portland, Oregon, it is definitely worth the trip. If you’re not, cruise on over to their website and enjoy from a distance.
These links to sites have more to do with the folks that inspire us. They’re all creative, and love showing off their work. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to teach you how to do it. But if you’ve watched enough kung fu movies, you know you can assimilate great talent just by mimicking the moves of the great ones. Our humans swear by this approach. No… wait… they swear at this approach. There are so many sites out there that make things look so easy. The amount of talent behind these web sites is incredible. But they’ve all paid their dues. They didn’t start out looking that good. So, go easy on yourself if what you see in your mind doesn’t quite translate to what you see in your yard. Just keep at it. One day it will. Or you’ll learn all the cool swear words our humans know. Either way it’s win/win.
PumpkinrotPumpkinrot is a legend in the haunt community. His work is shared by his fans like a primer on Halloween creepiness. Just type his name into any search engine, click on images, and be amazed at how much interest there is in a human that almost no one has ever seen. Bigfoot wishes he had this kind of press. Not convinced this guy has a following? Search for Pumpkin Sentinel and see how many, many people have tried to recreate Pumpkinrot’s most famous pair. There are serious skills in play at his websites. Things are a bit more gruesome than we have at our haunt. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what he does. Even Pumpkinrot seems to know there needs to be a bit of balance between horror and humor. Alongside skeleton witches and rotting skeletons are goofy jack-o-lanterns. It would take a brave soul to walk past all the dead things even with the smiling pumpkins. But we would do it. We’re bears. We will pretty much do anything if we know there’s candy at the end. When you watch videos of his actual haunt, you will see suburbia lurking in the background from time to time. But when night falls; all that fades away. A subtle uneasiness settles in. It also fades away online because he takes his handiwork out into the country, inside abandoned buildings, out into swamps, or wherever he feels his creations are best served. That commitment to creepiness is inspiring. There’s never any gore to speak of, which we think is really nice. Mummified corpses are one thing. Hacked up bloody body parts are another. To each their own, of course, but Pumpkinrot hits all of our yes buttons without hitting any of the no. There is a mystery to his work and it’s intentional. You won’t see tutorials made by him because it goes directly against his feelings about Halloween. In a very rare interview he said of his corn witches, “I fear that there’s some magic that would be lost if folks could click on a link and see the ladies being constructed. As odd as it might sound, I feel like their life comes from the fact that they just mysteriously appear.” Being ghosts, we couldn’t agree more.