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For Halloween, I build huge props (steam train, pirate ship, etc) in my yard.  In 2010 it's a steampunk drilling machine from the center of the earth.
For Halloween, I build huge props (steam train, pirate ship, etc) in my yard. In 2010 it's a steampunk drilling machine from the center of the earth.
87 backers pledged $2,530 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Peter Montgomery Creator on

      Extremely exciting! Jake, a tip of the hat to you for pushing my project to the 100% funded stage. I have made a post (which should be going out as an email as well) to everyone, expressing my appreciation at all the generosity. I am now officially out of the planning stage and commencing construction. The timetable is short, but do-able. Here we go.......

    2. MLCinc's : The House at Haunted Hill on

      Congratulations on reaching your goal!!

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      Paul on

      WoooHooo! You made it! Pete, I'm so happy for you. You make the displays that I only dream of. Now go out there and do yourself proud! Congrats!

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      Jake on

      Goal reached! Congratulations to you Peter!

    5. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      10 years of making a 6 room haunt shows a lot of dedication. I understand the desire to take it easy and just give out candy like normal people. I took last year off for similar reasons. However, I started thinking more and more about doing it again, which is why I started this Kickstarter project. You never know if your "retirement" will be permanent or temporary.

      I hope you get excited again and restart your haunt in the future. In the meantime, I really appreciate the donation and hope I can provide some Halloween excitement with my display.

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      Deb Geambazi on

      I have created a haunted yard and 6 room haunted house for 10 years. I am retiring the haunted house this year...just can not do the hundreds upon hundreds of hours in getting it all together. YOU are a Halloween Hero to me. I am so inspired by your creativity and skills. Wish I could learn a 10th of the gift you have. Have a great Halloween season! Can not wait to see the product of your imagination!

    7. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks so much for both the kind words and the donation. You know, there is a ton of information out there on the web on how to make props. The really cool thing about a lot of Halloween props is that they are supposed to look "bad." In other words, Halloween props should be old and weathered, chipped and broken. If you're not confident in your skills, this gives you the freedom to plunge in anyway because it's hard to say that something is "wrong" when it's supposed to look decrepit!

      If you're interested, start with something small, like some tombstones. The shapes are simple, the techniques for carving the lettering is well documented, and it gives you a chance to practice basic paint techniques for aging, texturing, and weathering.

      Here are 2 very good links with "how to" info on making tombstones:

      Go for it!

    8. Kathy Clarkson on

      Hi Peter,

      Great stuff! Happy to contribute to a fellow Halloween lover with greater skills and motivation than I possess! I love to decorate and I think I do a pretty good job, but it's all store bought stuff. Haven't taken that next step into construction yet. Maybe now that I've discovered this site it will help light a fire under my behind. Good luck from the East Coast!

    9. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      I created my entire animatronic system (both software and hardware) from scratch. I have been through a few generations of the system to get to what I am running today. When I started, there really was nothing you could buy off the shelf, except for systems aimed at (and priced for) professionals. I wanted to do professional level work, but needed to build the system myself to do it.

      Check out this page...

      ...on my site for more details, including a 12 page section on the building of the Talking Raven.

    10. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks for the donation!

      If you read click the "My Halloween Maina" link on my SoCalHalloween site... can read story that will sound very familiar to you. I have been along the same path of starting small, building bigger, and ultimately getting into "themed" shows. It seems like a lot of kids grow up wanting Halloween to be as cool as they hoped for as a kid. As you know, it just takes a lot of drive (and begging friends) to make it happen.

      I checked out the Wompedy site, and it looks like you did some really cool Halloween displays. Hopefully you'll decide to do it again some day.

    11. Stephen on

      This looks incredibly cool. What kind of control software do you use to control the animation, lighting, audio?

    12. Daniel S Dunnam on

      Your set pieces look super great. I'm reminded of stuff my friends and I used to do in Dallas. Much like you, I did it for years on a smaller scale dreaming of something bigger and inching my way there until finally in the late 90's "Extreme Halloween" was born. For several years the confluence of factors came together and my longterm vision was realized. Each year a theme, Alien Landing/Hillbilly Death Swamp/1940s Mental Hospital for the Criminal Insane/etc., then an elaborate front yard setup. There's a write up about it, and some videos on this site. Sadly not as many as I'd have liked. Digital cameras and stuff weren't what they are now back in 1997 or whatever. Anyway, good luck! and

    13. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks for the help. It all counts toward getting this drilling machine made.

      Regarding reference materials, there aren't specific things I have to recommend. So much of what I have learned has either come from just trying things, or from working with people who do. However, why don't you contact me by sending me an email using the "Questions or Comments" section of my website...

      ...and let me know in more detail what you're trying to accomplish. I might be able to provide some more helpful information that way.

    14. Michael Manchester on

      Hi Peter, I wanted to show my support with a modest donation. I'm interested in these kinds of displays. No doubt you've picked up a lot of skills over the years. Any reference materials you can recommend for someone who wants to learn more about these techniques. There's a diorama that I want to build and I have a few books but they're pretty dated. Thanks again and best of luck. Michael Manchester

    15. Peter Montgomery Creator on

      James and CB,

      I really appreciate the help! CB, Here's hoping your blog post will drive some donors.

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      CB** on

      I created a post on my blog about your project. Hopefully more donation will follow.

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      James M on

      I have been a fan ever since I came across your talking raven. I am glad I can help your efforts to bring my favorite holiday alive. Keep up the great work. I hope to see the display in person some year.