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Hellfire Lights

A sinister scarecrow like Bruno must have a smoldering grimace ... like the Grinch.  After eating a whole bunch of Whos.  That were on fire. 

Short of setting some Whos on fire and stuffing them in your scarecrow's mouth (that would get old after a while), I can think of two ways to make your scarecrow's JOL face glow like the pit, and I used both of them.

Colored lights and theatrical gel.

This is where the old lamp that you got from Goodwill comes in.  I splurged and bought a dual-socket kit from a home improvement store that's getting creamed now that the new Lowes finally opened.  I fashioned a homemade L bracket out of some scrap aluminum, bolted one end to a scrap of wood, drilled a hole through the back of Bruno's head (he had too many evil spirits in there anyway...let a few out), and bolted it down.  To this contraption I affixed the lamp assembly, keeping it centered and away from anything that could conceivably melt, warp, catch fire, or explode.  It even has a long pull-cord on/off switch which I hid down the back.  Sort of a secret weapon in case he goes berserk and ignores my commands to stop eating spicy Whos.

I originally used normal bulbs and placed theatrical gel over the eyes and mouth, but the wash of light coming out of the bottom of his head was too bright, so I switched to red bulbs.  The blood red light spilling out over his torso lends an eerie effect, though I suppose some black cloth stuffed up around his collar would quash that.  I almost went that route until Bruno began to look like he was wearing a scarf.  Our graveyard won't tolerate such Incongruous-ness-ity, so we dropped the scarf.

If you're wondering what the heck theatrical gel is, they're colored sheets of plastic.  They're designed to withstand a fair amount of heat, you can trim them to fit in a frame (cheap canned lights ... how-to coming soon), and if you have a friend in a band you might be able to score some for free.  (Thanks, Daiv!)  I don't recommend you use colored plastic wraps because they will melt fairly easily.  I also don't recommend that you use more than 40W bulbs in your sockets to cut down on possible heat issues.  Better yet, you could build a huge SpookyFire Blob and hang it in there.  No AC hookups to run.   (I know, I know...but it takes time, of which I didn't have as much this year)

Finish Out

The SpookyMobile, aka the "Boat Truck" loaded down with corn, mums, and pumpkins.  Good thing we have a shop vac.

We paid some guy with a smarmy grin $5.00 each for our corn shocks.  That's just wrong.  I'm going to have to make friends with a corn farmer's family somewhere.  How do you do that, anyway?

Anyway, corn is a scarecrow's natural element.  Especially when it's dry and rustly and smells like dust.  That just practically screams Halloween.  We used both shocks, and it made the overall effect very impressive.

We roped Bruno's main support beam to the front steps hand rail.  If this kind of arrangement isn't available to you, then you'll probably need to dig a hole 2-3' deep or deeper depending on the weight of your monster.  Nothing is more undignified to a scarecrow than to do a face plant into the turf, so make sure yours doesn't blow over in the wind.

Well, I can't think of anything else really important except to say thank you for coming, now get the hell off my lawn. 

Oh, and this how-to, like most of the projects you'll see here at SpookyBlue, is more of a collection of suggestions than hard and fast rules.  ( Well, except for these rules )  For example, if you don't have any grape vine handy, or if you think that's the dumbest idea you've ever heard of, try tying corn stalks to scraps of wood.  That would be a lot lighter than this beast, which would make it easier to mount.  But what you do with your props in the privacy of your own haunt is none of my business.

Have fun, and let me know how your scarecrow project goes!