5 Quirky Home Haunt Experiences: Part 1

February 1st, 2010 by John Wolfe

During the last sixteen-years of hosting a variety of haunted houses and yard haunts, I’ve experienced some very quirky/funny encounters with trick-or-treaters and their parents. Overall, the majority of my Halloweens have been uneventful regarding the “candy seekers,” but once in a great while I run into something a little out of the ordinary. Throughout the years, I’ve developed pet names for the people involved in those out of the ordinary encounters. They are as follows: “The Rock Thrower,” “The Grave Robber’s Opponent,” “Sucker Toucher,” “Pillowcase Boxer,” and “Mr. Partial.”

In this entry, I’m giving you guys the lowdown on “The Rock Thrower” and “The Grave Robber’s Opponent.” In Part 2, I’ll be sharing my encounters with “Sucker Toucher,” “Pillowcase Boxer,” and “Mr. Partial.”

1) The Rock Thrower: This little guy couldn’t have been more than seven or eight-years-old, but he had one hell of an arm on him! The Rock Thrower goes back to the days when my “haunt” consisted of me walking through the yard, while wearing a funky mask, and carrying a dull axe over my shoulder (pictured above).

Periodically, during my walk around the perimeter, I’d freeze in the shadows when hearing the approaching trick-or-treaters. After coming within a few feet of me (most thought I was part of the store-bought decor extending off of the porch), I’d lunge at them. The majority would scream and laugh and then head to the door looking for candy; totally forgetting about the axe toting monster in the front yard.

However, this wasn’t the case with The Rock Thrower. Dressed in a ninja costume, he locked eyes with my creepy mask and refused to budge; never saying a word and completely forgetting about his mission to obtain candy. The boy must have stood in place for five minutes, almost getting overtaken several times by other groups of trick-or-treaters making their way past him.

As one batch of little vampires, ghosts and witches melded into another, I eventually lost track of the ninja. Not knowing if he had left on his own accord or was pulled away by the sea of costumed children, I turned my attention to scaring more unsuspecting victims.

After several minutes had passed, I began to feel something pelting my back. Checking to see what was causing the repeated “blows,” lo and behold, there was the ninja standing in the empty lot across the street. Taunting me and spewing a cluster of obscenities, he began throwing any chunks of gravel he could locate with his plastic, jack-o-lantern flashlight.

“Hey a**hole, I’m not afraid of you, you stupid piece of sh*t!” The words effortlessly poured from his mouth like poetry.

After a few growls and mock swings of the axe on my part (still from across the street), and several more attempts at clocking me in the head with stones, followed by cuss words even I wouldn’t say, the ninja eventually stormed off — presumably to teach sailors how to properly swear! :D

2) The Grave Robber’s Opponent: This next kid was probably around the same age as The Rock Thrower, and was blessed with a similar gift for talking smack, albeit a cleaner version. Instead of cursing the day I was born and trying to stone me to death, he stood next to the yard haunt (with my groundbreaker layout) and spontaneously began flapping his arms to draw attention to himself. During his outburst, he told passersby that the groundbreakers were real dead bodies.

Once he found out I was responsible for the corpses, he started screaming at the top of his lungs, saying I was a “grave robber.” His antics continued throughout the neighborhood and I could still hear him several minutes later as his voice trailed off into the darkness, screeching about how I dug up the dead. “That man dug up dead bodies!” “That man dug up dead bodies!”

Talk about a flair for the dramatic! What I’d like to know is where in the heck are these kids’ parents during trick-or-treat?

Hopefully you got a laugh from hearing about “The Rock Thrower” and “The Grave Robber’s Opponent.” On Wednesday, I’ll be adding another progress update on my Angel of Death Prop for the Halloween 2010 Preview Page. So, Part 2 to this entry should be posted on Thursday.

About the picture in this entry: I want to apologize for the extremely poor quality, but that was the only one I could find from many years ago, back when I used to haunt the yard with my axe. In my right hand, I’m holding the controller for my old school fog machine.

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5 Quirky Home Haunt Experiences: Part 2

6 Responses to “5 Quirky Home Haunt Experiences: Part 1”

  1. autumnforest Says:

    Oh my gosh! That’s hilarious! Yeah, I can picture them and I totally get how you have nicknames. We have nicknames for the type of trick or treaters we get. The worst ones are the teens with rollerblades and a hockey jersey. That’s a favorite-they can hit houses fast. I bet the rock thrower grows up to be the kind of parent who steals his kid’s candy and lies and tells him that it was “bad” when he inspected it. The grave robber kid is probably running around stomping on Jack O’Lanterns and pissing on Christmas Luminaries. I have my own favorite Halloween thing. For several years…maybe 6–I’ve had this one that shows up. He comes alone. He’s 6’2″ tall. He wears a Michael Meyers costume, but not just the costume–it’s totally authentic down to the real knife and the aged jumpsuit. He tilts his head slightly and studies me. He won’t speak. He carries a pillowcase. I admit that the last time he showed up, I had to peak inside his pillowcase. It was empty. I know he’s an adult. I know he’s not really trick or treating. I live in the middle of the street, so it’s like he comes to my house first. I wonder who he is. I’ve wondered all these years if he’s a neighbor, but my neighbors aren’t the Halloween types. It’s fascinated me so much. I’m a total nut for guys in costumes and masks. Something about not knowing who they are and they’re just this character and menacing…. He didn’t show up last Halloween. I was bummed. Here’s hoping he comes next Halloween. It sure beats the teens that mostly trick or treat around here.

  2. Devils Chariot Says:

    HA Ha! I had a few rock throwers when I lived in Queens. My girlfriend were doing the same trick (pretend we are props) and some kids were afraid to come up and stood across the street throwing rocks. We were seated on the porch right by the windows to our living room and rocks were bouncing of the walls and some off the glass. Before they could break a window I lept over the ledge into the driveway, a good 7 foot jump and then chased them down three or four blocks (100 yards or so). They screamed so loud. Then they came back 10 minutes later with other kids and watched as they came up to the door right into our trap.

  3. John Wolfe Says:

    autumnforest,

    Good ole Rock Thrower has to be at least seventeen or eighteen by now, so it probably won’t be long until he is educating his own kids in the art of Halloween rock toss/four letter words! Did you ever see the Robert Redford movie, “The Milagro Bean Field War?” Rock Thrower reminds me of the little old lady who hid behind the town’s wall, throwing rocks at all the citizens! And you may be right about The Grave Robber’s Opponent. I know one thing, he was definitely on a sugar high that night.

    Very cool — so, you have your own personal Michael Myers with the mannerisms and everything! It definitely sounds as if he enjoys your house, considering it’s his first and maybe only stop. :D I’ll be pulling for him to show up again this year for you! Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with the trick-or-treaters.

    Devils Chariot,

    Great to hear from you! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who’s been pelted with rocks on Halloween. At least you probably scared some of that out of them with the chase!

    I love doing the whole pretend you’re a prop thing. It works almost every time. I used to let the first few in a group walk by, lulling them into a false sense of security, and then I’d jump at the last one or two in the group.

    Thanks for your message.

  4. Goldie Says:

    Oh man, was this GREAT!! I DOooooooo relish the moment in time when you have the chance to type more of a blog rather than a vlog. Please don’t misunderstand me for I always enjoy your vloging but you KNOW how much I admire your writing and story telling so this was an extra treat.

    LoL, the photo….I actually thought it was your uncle at first. Not sure why but there is some resemblance to that photo and your uncle decked out as Freddy Kruger (sp?) In addition I thought you blurred the photo out with photo shop to give it more of a creepy look. It looks like a photo from 100 years back; the color of it, the fuzzy-ness to it and so on. It looks like a vintage photo ;-) Thank you for sharing it with us and please do this again if you have more.

    I do recall the rock thrower story and he was one brave soul for doing what he did to such an immense scary guy but the grave robber’s opponent…LoL…not sure if I heard that one before. I was laughing so hard just now, I scared the baby ;-) Ahhh the youth of the boy causing trouble in calling you a “grave robber”…..lol, that’s just so cute and darn precious! Seeeeeee John, how often have I said to you how real your props looks??? So real you freaked out some poor kid to thinking they WERE real bodies. What an awesome compliment!! Plus you know you’ve made a lasting impression when that child is so scared that as he walks away and down the path he’s screaming to warn everyone of the “grave robber.” LoL, I think that’s so awesome. I soooooooooooo wish you had some video footage to share with us SOS fans. Clearly you make quite the impression on Halloween night.

    Oh, “G” was over at my place the other day and I wanted to show him something on your website so I went to your home page and when he saw the photo you have on there…..he got kind of creeped out and asked me if that was store bought. LoL!!! I explained to him how you crafted it by hand and then proceeded to show him your many photos and your how to videos. He was stunned and oddly enough, he’s seen the site before but for some reason it struck him different this time around. He originally thought the ground breaker was REAL, a real dead body and you got the photo from some death website. LoL, I told him thank you for the huge compliment on your behalf. In fact, before he saw the other photos and video, he was just staring at it similar to how your “grave robber” kid was analyzing you from across the street. I wish I had it on video for you ’cause you would have loved to see his expression….truly priceless, just like this wonderful blog entry ;-)

    Oh and can’t wait to see the update video. Thank you again hun for making those videos and posting them as I still seem to go through webcam withdraw from time to time. Any idea when you might start up the webcam again? AWESOME stories John, thank you for sharing them honey and keep ‘em coming!

  5. Goldie Says:

    BTW – what kind of darn mask is that your wearing John? Are those bunny ears? Is it a bunny mask, granted a sick creepy looking bunny mask but are those ears over your shoulders?

  6. John Wolfe Says:

    The reason it may have reminded you of my uncle is because of the flannel jacket. My grandpa, uncle, cousin and I all loved to wear flannel jackets during cold weather. I think my uncle was wearing one in the Halloween group picture where he was dressed as Freddy.

    Unfortunately, the photo of me was blurred on Halloween night when the above picture was taken. I tried sharpening it up to bring out the details, and while that helped, it also makes the image look extremely “scuffed.” So, to cover the scuffed look, I just turned it into a black and white image.

    That would make for a freaky mask if the bunny’s face looked like a zombie! What looks like ears is actually a gray or white wig I glued onto the mask, so it looked like it had stringy hair trailing off the scalp and down over my shoulders.

    Granted, Rock Thrower was brave, but I actually found him to be more comical than heroic. :D I still crack up from the trash talkin’ he was doing, even after all of these years. When it came to The Grave Robber’s Opponent, I’m not so sure he was being serious. I think he may have been just messing around and being sarcastic about the props being real bodies. Whatever he was doing, it drew a lot of attention to the haunt!

    Tell “G” I said thanks for the compliment! You’re right, I would have loved to see his face. Did he feel better about looking at the photos, once he realized everything is built from scratch and it isn’t “real?” :)

    Thanks for your awesome comment back! I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about my encounters with this cast of characters. I’m not sure when I’ll have the webcam up and running again; hopefully once I am ready to start working on mache for The Angel.