Mourning Rose Manor is definitely a favorite of mine! The use of colored lighting is spot on and the imagery is simply haunting. You just don’t know what your eye will be drawn to next! I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s in store for 2010 – though I understand that if you’re in the area (Simi Valley, CA) you can check it out every night through Halloween!
CZ: When did you start “haunting”?
MRM: I've always been into Halloween - pretty much since birth. My grandmother did costumes for the local theaters in whatever town they happened to be in, so it's genetic.
As far as haunting is concerned, I would say I really started (although very cheesy and small scale) about 15 years ago. It really skyrocketed after we built the crypt in 2004.
CZ: Creepiest man behind the mask – Michael Myers or Jason?
MRM: Michael Myers - hands down. I actually didn't see the original Halloween until about 3 years ago (my head hung in shame), but it was still scary. However, Jason still is terrifying....I think it's Michael Myers slow deliberate walk that just gets to you.
CZ: What is your favorite prop/decoration and why?
MRM: My favorite prop of mine is my FCG, Della. I can sit and watch her all night long and be fascinated.
CZ: You must have one absolute favorite memory about your haunt - tell us what it is.
MRM: My favorite memory of my haunt was actually last year and has nothing to do with kids. Two older women came down later in the evening, obviously a mother and daughter. The mother was walking with a cane very, very gingerly. She was telling me how happy it makes her to see our haunt every year and that she never misses it. You understand that kids are fascinated by what we do...they don't always have much to compare it with. Having an older woman be so appreciative and excited about our display just made my year.
CZ: What’s the ultimate Halloween candy?
MRM: Anything with chocolate is the ultimate Halloween candy - but if I have to choose - Baby Ruth.
CZ: How much time goes into your haunt each year?
MRM: Every year varies as far as how much time we put in to it. Last year was terrible because of my husband and I both having surgery. In 2008, we built a lot of newer (but smaller) additions.
I'm really overdue for a complete overhaul, but it's not happening this year - LOL! It generally takes one whole day to set up everything except the crypt and inside the house. The crypt is two days and the house....well it goes slowly over a week or so (after work).
CZ: From whom or what do you draw your inspiration?
MRM: My biggest inspiration is Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Being that we're a haunted yard or yard display, I want it to be accessible to everyone, of all ages. Our scares are very mild, because I want them to stay and look at everything. I'd rather go for eerie and creepy than gross or gory, it's just not my thing. I love the vibe of going through the Haunted Mansion and the anticipation of seeing something I've never seen before. I'd like to ditch my Doom Buggy and walk slowly through to see all the details that whiz by while riding.
CZ: Morticia Addams or Lily Munster?
MRM: Definitely Morticia Addams - she was a hussy and I love that!!
CZ: Is your family supportive of your haunting obsession or do they think you’re insane?
MRM: Ummm, yes my family is supportive of my haunting obsession and yes they think I'm insane!! The love me anyway and go along with my schemes for the most part.
CZ: What does the future hold for your haunt?
MRM: The future of my haunt is going to be about original ideas. I feel that I've tried to use traditional inspirations and give them my own twist, but I'd like to start forging ahead and be more imaginative. I'd also like to try paper mache because the props I see that are made of paper mache are usually the ones that inspire me the most.
CZ: Any links you’d like included?
MRM: My own of course - http://www.mourningrosemanor.com/
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