Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Swamp Zombie Skeleton Prop First Version

This is a great example of why home/yard haunters start early on their Halloween props and projects. We want to have a couple of "Swamp Zombie Skeleton" props posed around the maple tree in our front lawn for this year's haunt. The plan was to adorn them in green creepy cloth and faux vines and moss, but thought "Wouldn't it be cool for them to have an eerie fluorescent glow to them?" based on some Baron Samedi/Voodoo art we found online that inspired the color palette for lighting this year's haunt. So this past weekend a mixture of Mod Podge glue and neutral fluorescent green and aqua pigments (look white under normal light) was applied to one of our 5' tall plastic skeletons. While it definitely has presence, it looked more "Haunted Mansion" ghost than "Swamp Zombie Skeleton". Great concept for a ghost themed haunt, but not sure yet for this year's haunt theme. Next test round will be painting another skeleton with various Rust-Oleum matte camouflage colored paints. Part of the trick from a photography perspective is to have a convincing looking prop in both daylight and at night that fits the theme. One of the nice things about the Mod Podge mixed with the neutral pigments is that you can go over any base color and still maintain the bulk of the base color underneath, so that may be test round three. A matte polyurethane finish coat is required to protect the Mod Podge glue from rain exposure.


  1. I'm always interested in seeing other haunters' troubleshooting processes (even if I hate doing it myself haha).

    I think you bring up an important point about making a prop look good in both daylight and night-time lighting while maintaining thematic continuity. That's something I hope to do better in future displays.

  2. It is totally "Oogie Boogie" Nightmare Before Christmas. I can hear the boogie song in my head.