Monday, October 29, 2007

The Palm Springs Monster Mash Party, Part One

This past Saturday evening was our annual Halloween Party. This is a fairly big event for us, one which requires months of advance planning. For example, in past years, guests receive several "teaser" mailings late summer with hints of the theme. One year we mailed each guest a box of props, with a mysterious poem with clues to the theme. Another year we actually wrote and printed several "magazines" with bogus articles, photos and fake advertisements, all to support that year's Halloween party theme. This year's theme was "The Palm Springs Monster Mash". The image (above left) was used for our "save the date" mailing. We wanted to create a "sense of arrival" and excitement for our guests before they actually entered the house, so we transformed the front gate, courtyard, grounds and inside of the house into a scary crypt. It's difficult to capture the look and feel, because my camera doesn't take good photos at night, so most of these photos were taken in daylight.

Above: These skulls were lined up along the wall in front of the courtyard and glowed dimly at night, providing a scary approach to the front driveway.
Above left: A Zombie stands behind a scary post with directional hanging signs that read: "Go Back", "Last Chance", and "Crypt", which pointed to the courtyard & Above right: The faux stone archway into the courtyard, with a skull at the top of the arch. This set the tone for what way beyond the gates...

Above: The graveyard, just beyond the front gate was filled with scary old tombstones.
These next photos just don't translate in broad daylight, but here goes...
Once guests passed the graveyard, they had to make their way into the crypt, which was a specially built "room" before the front doors to the house. Once inside the crypt, it was completely dark, with strobe lights flashing, thunderbolts, and an eery glow of red lights.

Above left: This stone bench had various faux human bones scattered on it, with a 6' tall candelabra, with several scary candles burning, dripping red blood. Above right: This Zombie was in another corner, with his sickle in hand, as strobe lights flashed in the darkness, giving guests just enough of view to be frightened.
Above: These photos really don't look great in the bright flash, but in the dark, it was pretty scary. Lots of things hanging down that guests had to pass through to enter the house. The only light was from a red light bulb, and the flashing strobe, to provide a sense of lightening.
Above: These two panels we positioned on either side of the front doors, which guests had to pass through. They were 12 feet tall, with faux human bones set in what looked like blood and guts dripping down the walls. It was truly a scary, gory sight. (We made these, along with all of the decorations)

Above left: The front foyer had lots of cobwebs, spiders and skulls greeting guests. Above right: what would a Halloween party be without trick or treat gift bags?
Above: The Great Room provided guests safe passage to the party area. We decorated with less scary things, just lots of cobwebs, spiders, bats, skulls, and pumkins. The ceiling was covered with black balloons, as well as bunches of balloons on all of the "bellybar" tables to provide a festive atmosphere.

Above: Outside by the back pool was this scary Skull Water Fountain, which we built ourselves. It stood over 6 feet high, and rested in the pool. Water cascaded down from the top Skull, and from the six smaller Skulls below. The water flowed out of the mouths of the Skulls and back down into the pool.

Above: Finally, some photos I took at night that actually show the full effect! We used red lights in the pool and hot tub to create an effect that the pool was filled with blood. The other landscape lights were also red, giving the entire back property an eery glow. Just beyond the hot tub we had one of several TVs with a continuos feed of videos we made with clips from horror films.
Stop back again tomorrow for Part 2, when I share more photos of the super scary decorations, props and lots more!
-Rick Rockhill


bunnygirl said...

Fantastic job! I'm impressed!

Anonymous said...

WOW RICK and John!!! Your house looks AWESOME!!!! How Fun! I am looking forward to seeing the rest!

Kim L.


Now that is COOL! I'm hiring you to help plan my sons birthday party!!
Great decorations-all of them!! I love the style!! spooky and cool!

karma lennon said...

Oh wow!!!! I want to come do Halloween with you some time. You know how to do it right! :)

TWISI said...

looks like fun!

Steven said...

Talk about going all out! What a great saet-up. It reminds me of the haunter house a friend and I put together in his garage. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Jenmomof4 said...

WOW! That was some party! Great decorations!

ATwistedThought said...

I like the exterior alot...the graveyard and archway etc...I bet it was awesome at night.

Naomi said...

Everything looks great Rick. You did a fantastic job on the house. The zombies, skeletons and spooky gravestones look like something out of the Thriller video! I like the idea of the red lights in the pool and tub and also the continuous stream of horror clips. Gosh you thought of everything! Happy Halloween!

Ben Wu said...

Amazing. Nice work Rick.

Naomi said...

P.S. Nearly forgot to mention. I've tagged you for a meme Rick. Follow the link below to find out more:-

Cheryl said...

This must be THE party of the year. Fantastic job. What was your costume?


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