Monday, October 29, 2007

Head For The Bridge With All Your Might

The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.
It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind.
His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance.
Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body of the trooper, having been buried in the church-yard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head; and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to get back to the church-yard before daybreak.
~ Washington Irving

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Scarecrow 2004 -2007

The scarecrow over the years starting with the top image taken around Halloween 2004. There was a earlier 2003 version but I do not have a picture of it.

It was crude but it was my first prop that started the whole Sleepy Hollow theme of my yard.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I like to loop the soundtrack using pc speakers hidden in the flower beds. I also own a audio version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, performed by Ed Begley. I loop the 17 minute portion of Ichabod's midnight encouter. I ripped both disks to laptop and play with media player.
It's about a 100 ft. from the curb to our front door so I can play both at opposite ends of the yard and not have them sound like they're on top of one another.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Horseman (Nearly Complete)

Sort of looks like an action figure in this photo.

The chest plate dragon wings wrap over the shoulders.

I was dreading doing the 2 headed dragon image on the chest plate.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Inspiration and Construction

I came across Ray Park's stunt costume on EBay. I had to have it for may humble display. Since I liked the idea of staying married purchasing this costume was not an option. So I started out making my own. I purchased a mannequin on EBay. That's weird I know but I did it anyway! Of course it arrived just as my father in law had come over to borrow some tools. Printed on the side of the box MALE MANNEQUIN.

Great Stuff was used to seal the hollow neck and form the severed look.

I ended up not using the red cape pictured and decided to just paint the inside of the black cape red.

I went with the "rotten" look. Towards the end of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow the Hessian's uniform begins to rot. I thought this was a great look and would help disguise anything I could not replicate. I achieved the look using Great Stuff - the foam filler available at home improvement stores. I just smeared it everywhere with a brush than painted over it when dried.
I discarded the mannequins hands and purchased "gripping" hands from

Materials used: LL Bean jacket, black ski pants, Zorro /Musketeer gloves and crinkly cape from Cowboy boots from EBay, real leather from the Tandy Leather Company which made up the chest plate, belt, cape collar and decorative axes on gloves. The boot tops were made using pleather. Belt buckle also purchased from Tandy.

It can also be a costume. I've never tried it on, parts of things but never the whole thing. I imagine it would be uncomfortable after a period of time but wearable. While making it I wanted that costume option. It won't provide the illusion of being headless obviously but some fake contact lenses, pointed teeth, growing my hair out and up... maybe than I could pass as Christopher Walken. Neighbors would love that......

Monday, August 6, 2007

Original Horseman 2004 - 2006

This Horseman was made of plywood. 2 - 4' x 8's. It was a shadow idea with my take on the classic horseman pose from the movie. I basically took the movie poster, blew it up as big as I thought was a 1 to 1 scale on Photoshop Elements and printed it on a HP plotter at work designed for blueprinting machinery. Nothing like standing around a printer, outside of your department, in a moderate traffic area waiting to pull and cut a life size image of horse, man and axe.

I would rig fog (using PVC pipe) to snort out the nostril area from behind the horse. Neighbors got a kick out of that.

Looking back on this prop which ended up being cut into scrap and tossed it was very popular for some reason. The parents loved it and I would have ToT's pose for pictures next to it. But I just had to move past plywood. Still I get a lot of where's the horse? We miss it.

This prop did provide a memorable moment during setup one year. The whole thing was large and somewhat awkward. It was attached to a long heavy stake that took a good pounding to drive into the lawn. A friend was over watching football and I asked him to help me out with it. He held the stake and was bent on one knee while I used a ladder and hand held sledgehammer to pound the top. The handle broke off the hammer. Thus heavy part of hammer traveling at a good speed met his unsuspecting head and he was none to pleased. The Raiders lost as well.