Thursday, November 8, 2012

Formaldehyde Fred


The year was 1992, after seven years of living in apartments I had finally moved to a house with a nice front yard that could be decorated for Halloween. 

The decision to haunt our house was made in September which gave us about a month to build the display.

When October 31st rolled around we had completed five papier mache creatures and about a dozen crude tombstones and a misspelled “cemetary” arch, which makes me wonder how many other people have misspelled the word cemetery in their displays. 

We also managed to misspell the word formaldehyde, I guess a dictionaries weren't invented in 1992, but hey the drippy white letters are cool.

Notice the spelling of "Cemetery"


One of the characters for our 1992 display was called Formaldehyde Fred.

Fred was just your run-of-the-mill papier mache skeleton, but was designed so that he could fit inside a small wood barrel and pop up to scare the children that ventured onto our porch in search of candy.




A circular piece of plywood served as the barrel lid and Fred’s hands were attached to the plywood.

A wire attached to the lid and running through a pulley on the porch ceiling allowed Fred to pop up from the barrel.

Fred did his job well in 1992 and went on to pull the same trick in our 1993 commercial haunt.




The barrel skeleton known as Fred continued to haunt our yard for several additional years until he was replaced with new creatures made in 1995.

Formaldehyde Fred continues to be one of my top five favorite props I have ever created.

3 comments:

Countess VonRauber (Heidi) said...

*Sheepishly raises hand regarding "cemetery" mispelling" Just take a look at my blogger address... yeah, now I know better :) lol
It's great to see old pictures of haunts and compare them to current ones. It really shows a haunts growth :)

STOLLOWEEN said...

@Countess...that's funny...sadly it took me several years after I made the cemetery sign to realize the mistake...and I just noticed the formaldehyde typo when I posted this today...btw...I think cemetery looks better with an "a".

GoneferalinID said...

I Love this post. I work with the dead and spell check has to keep reminding me that I spell cemetery wrong each time.

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