Happy Halloween! - The Swamp House

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Project by NoLongerHere posted 11-07-2011 05:23 PM 13356 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Halloween 2011 – The Swamp House

Welcome to my world….. };- [

We wanted to do something different so we did a Swamp theme this year …

with 12 Alligators, lots of skeletons, spiders, 100 black birds, and a real Fox (fur) in a cage.

Hey, why not?

Smoke and Lights, Sounds and Illusions. Being scared is so much fun!

.... and I get to build cool stuff.

A friend called and asked if I was interested in some old 6×6 posts and I said, Yes!, of course.

His brother had just finished replacing the cedar deck in the back of the house. I went to pick up the 6×6s and noticed they piled the old decking against the fence and he said they planned on renting a dumpster for 450 bucks and hauling it by hand around to the front driveway.

So, I offered to get rid of it for half the cost and he said, SURE!

It took about two hours for me and my helper to load it in to the trailer and I ended up with 225.00 cash, about 300 bucks worth of 6×6 RS cedar and a ton of prop material.

I wanted to create the look of an old shack so I had to cover the big 1/2 round window somehow.

This illusion of a barn loft seemed to work!

The busted shutters were left over from a jobsite and I got the fake barn siding wallpaper online.

That’s Spidey, our 20 ft. black widow spider on the roof. He’s been a regular for the past 10 years.

We borrowed the canoe from a neighbor who was more than happy to contribute to the theme.

Yee Haw!!

The dock extension over the pond had an alligator head pop up at the end when you stepped on it

It worked pretty good, the kids jumped back when they looked down. Perfect! Too funny!

Can’t have a swamp theme without a swamp out house.

Go ahead…look inside.

We had two sounds going….a haunted forest sound effects CD with frogs, crickets, hoot owls, etc.

Also, made a southern rock CD with Charlie Daniels, Lynnrd Sknnrd, pure prairie league, etc.

This was just right for the little kids…lots to see but not too scary

But, it’s a whole different scene when it’s dark.

so, open it….. ya big chicken.

We had a cage by the front door with a real fox fur that was balled up to look like it was asleep. There was a red light in the cage and a few bones laying around. It was sitting on a barrel which put it at just the right height for curious eyes.

Very realistic.

Made of left over plywood and hardware, a small gate I pulled out of a dumpster, chicken wire and black paint.



The kids were so cautious, they kept an eye on it, waiting for it to jump or move.

No animation needed…just a little imagination…... They loved it!

I found a bunch of “swamp stuff” at a garage sale like bear traps, whiskey jugs, old fishing gear, a rusty frying pan, wrought iron candle holders, a cool lantern, a carved log raccoon and an owl, a fox fur and three hillbilly hats!..... 80 bucks!

Mr. bones is a regular guest around here at Halloween time.

The other day, this dead limb landed on my jeep hood and dented it so it’s paying me back, kind of like community service. I burned it the next day, so justice has been served.

Jack is great with the kids.

This is his 7th Halloween so it’s nothing new to him. He loves all the attention and the occasional missplaced piece of candy or cookie.

This was our talking skeleton greeter

“Nice Halloween mask! Oh sorry, that’s your face!... Blahhhh!”

“Hey, I’d go in there with you, but I don’t have the guts!. Blahhhh!!”

“Eat some candy would ya? Your almost as skinny as me! HeHeHe!!!”

This is the outhouse at night with the red light and fog machine inside.

It was made of the same old 5/4 cedar decking only I reversed it so the gray peeling paint showed.


So,… are you going to look inside or not?




The Obama dummy is animated and activated by sound.

When you open the door, he starts jerking back and forth and growls at you.

This dummy does the same thing! Ha Ha!!!

The Alligator head moved back and forth using an oscillating fan motor.

Animated props can be tricky to make but I love a good challenge.

He had a 3 stooges tie on which the adults thought was pretty funny.

There was a fog machine and a red flood light under the seat too.

It was a huge hit!

We had about 120 kids and over 80 adults. The weather was perfect and Everyone had a great time.


See ya’ll next year! Bwahh hahahahaha!!!

9 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4013 days

#1 posted 11-07-2011 06:06 PM

Thanks for posting, that is really cute… that kind of stuff. I am in La Conner, Washington at our vacation home. It would be fun to do something here, but at home frequently we have snow by now. Leaving tomorrow for Orlando…........I will try to blog some about the trip.

Have a good one…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View rrdesigns's profile


538 posts in 4034 days

#2 posted 11-07-2011 07:35 PM

Wow! I want to come and trick or treat at your house. We “haunted” our backyard forest one year. Scared one kid so much he cried, but the dad insisted we do it again because he loved it!

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3963 days

#3 posted 11-07-2011 10:56 PM

ha … ha …. ha … love it even in the daylighy it looks like a scary old hunted swamphouse

thank´s forsharing …. wish we had those traditions here
looking forwarward to nexxxxxxt years picturebook …. :—))

take care

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3933 days

#4 posted 11-08-2011 02:51 AM

Sounds like you had more fun than the kids, but if we do not enjoy life, what is the sense of living it?
Great ideas and wonderful pictures. I live sort of out in the country and a ways off the main road now,
so I do not get any trick or treaters, otherwise I would borrow some of your ideas. Thank you for

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3529 days

#5 posted 11-08-2011 06:37 AM

Tour-de-force ! I was almost expecting a washington irving type poem at the end as i scrolled down.
Very talented production and great imagination !

View mafe's profile


12609 posts in 3937 days

#6 posted 11-08-2011 03:01 PM

It is the wildest decoration I have ever seen.
What a job, is that Obama on the toilet beeing eaten by a aligator? (Not a political question).
The dog was a release, it was the only picture where I smiled with a warm heart and not of fear.
Really impressed,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4568 days

#7 posted 11-10-2011 10:17 PM


-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View kyleshelton's profile


1 post in 2344 days

#8 posted 04-21-2014 08:33 PM

Great Stuff! Where did you get the wood grain plastic sheeting you used in the background on the building?

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