My Haunted Library

All things spooky. Your source for paranormal and supernatural book and movie reviews, strangeography, Halloween crafts and a little cozy fall baking.


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Review: The Others

The Others – Jeremy Robinson, 2018. Rating 4/5

Willingly suspend your disbelief and you’re in for a crazy-fun ride along the 37th parallel with PI Dan Delgado and his ragtag team on a quest to find a missing child.

Along with his elderly office assistant, a gun-toting pastor, and a fast-talking young Uber driver, Delgado travels to Colorado City, AZ following the trail of an abducted girl. The question soon becomes…abducted by whom…or what?

And Delgado isn’t the only one searching. Some heavily-armed and very skilled paramilitary teams are now after him.

The Others is a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. A brainwashed polygamous sect, UFOs, cattle mutilations, empaths, nanites, greys, government cover-ups, a secret underground base…The Others has it all.

We’ve got plenty of shoot-outs and alien encounters. A righteous cause. Truly funny bits. Characters with just enough depth to save them from being cartoony: Delgado, for instance, is dogged by a personal tragedy that ultimately strengthens him. By the end, hearts and minds alike are opened.

The Others is good-humored and good-hearted. When you pick it up to read the next chapter, you get a weirdly upbeat, anticipatory feeling, like you’re about to eat a plate of your favorite cookies while watching an old-time, action-packed T.V. show from your childhood. Like, maybe the A Team. And that’s a good thing.

rating system four crows


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A DIY UFO: Make Your Own Roswell Crash

July. Time for barbeques, sparklers, and of course, the anniversary of the 1947 Roswell crash. I knew that was high on your list of celebrations!

What could be more exciting? Government coverups, weather balloons, alien autopsies: awesome! The Smithsonian magazine has a good article commemorating the seven-odd decades since the crash, if you want the “facts.”

On the off chance you wish to create your own UFO crash – for the 4th of July or Halloween, or your school’s Scholastic Book Fair (like I did) – I’m here for you. You need a decent UFO to complete the whole Roswell look. No problem. This UFO is easy to make and comes out looking really sharp, in a retro, Lost-in-Space kind of way.

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Hopefully, you have some amazingly creepy translucent aliens that you already made from a previous post. Did you miss that post? Go back and check it out.

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You Need:

Two child-sized round plastic saucer sleds – I used Paricon Flying Saucer Sleds, the largest (26 inch diameter) and cheapest I could find in the summer. You probably have a few hiding out in your garage!

Shiny/metallic silver spray paint – I used Rust-oleum

Drill and four pop rivets

A plastic salad bowl: opaque if you can find one. I used a clear one from the Dollar Tree and wet sanded to make it opaque (tell you how in a minute).

700 grit wet/dry sandpaper and soapy water – if you need to sand your bowl

White fairy string lights – Like these on Amazon

Blue glowing neon wire – This worked great

Saran wrap

Hot glue

AA batteries (for your neon wire)

Clear tape

Aluminum foil

How to Make It:

Peel any stickers off your sleds.

Go outside and put down a drop cloth where you plan to paint. Put your sleds on the drop cloth and spray with the silver paint. You only need to paint the convex side – the side that curves out. Be careful, however: the paint scratches easily because it is covering that slippery plastic.

When your sleds are dry, you are going to attach two of them together, with the sides curving out. We used a drill and four pop rivets.

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Now, work on your dome. Take any stickers off the bowl. If you have an opaque bowl, great: you don’t need to do anything! If you have a clear plastic bowl, use some wet/dry sandpaper and a little soapy water and gently rub the moistened paper over the inside of the bowl until it has a nice opacity.

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Take some saran wrap and wad it up to fill the inside of the bowl. This will allow some support for your lights to spread out inside, so they do not all fall to the bottom. Wind your white string lights through the plastic wrap, getting them in the middle, top, and sides of the bowl. I ended up using four strings to get a nice glow.

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Carefully put a little hot glue around the edge of the bowl and quickly and carefully flip it over and attach to the center of your UFO, leaving space for the edge of the light wires and battery packs to hang out. (Don’t worry: you will cover these up with aluminum foil later).

Now, take your neon wire and carefully thread it into that indentation between the two discs. Every few inches or so, use a tiny piece of clear packing tape (which I’m sure you have left over from making your aliens) to secure it. Depending on the length of your neon, you may go around the UFO a little more than one time.

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You did it! Turn on your lights and have fun. Set your scene with crumpled aluminum foil to make it look like a crash site. Put a piece of the foil over the controllers for the white fairy lights to hide them.

We had some beat-up paper mache rocks left over from a production of The Pirates of Penzance which also added to the scene. I used green strobe lights that matched the rocks and aliens, and found a large old tumbleweed that I broke up to make it look more desert-y.

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Adding to the look: purple fairy lights on black paper with cut-out planets are in the back, along with a shiny silver curtain over the window. The kids loved it.

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Aliens or Infants: Supremely Effective & Creepy Props

On a crisp fall bike ride through a nearby neighborhood just before Halloween, I stopped in my tracks, staring the most unique decorations I had ever seen.  Floating eerily in front of a house were life-sized, translucent, faceless human figures with full tattered skirts. I was mesmerized.

I biked home as fast as I could and did a little research: tape sculptures. I had no idea there was such a thing.  I found the Storker Project online and was instantly inspired to make tape babies.

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The results were as creepy as I’d hoped. My husband was a little nervous about hanging disturbing, full-sized, featureless infants over our rosebushes, especially after I added a slowly pulsating green and orange strobe light. Amazing!

So when it was time for this year’s spring book fair, what could be better than recreating the Roswell crash with life-sized tape aliens? Answer: nothing!

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The process is time-consuming, but remarkably easy. Try it, you’ll be astounded by the results.

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You need:

  • Good-quality clear packing tape – I used Duck Tape
  • Kitchen plastic wrap
  • Craft knife
  • For babies:
    • Use a doll. Try Walmart or your local thrift store. Or if you have children, appropriate a doll. With their permission.
  • For aliens:
    • Pick a person.  Ideally someone who doesn’t have long hair.  Hair and Duck Tape are a bad combination.
    • A Styrofoam head. Check a beauty supply shop. I found them at Sally Beauty Supply for $5.00.
    • Bubble wrap to pad out the head and make it more alien-looking
    • Lights for inside its body. I used LED String lights 33ft, 100 lights bright green

How to make them:

The process is the same for aliens and babies.

First, wrap your subject in plastic wrap.  Of course, if you are wrapping a person, stop at their neck.  Good heavens.  Do not wrap their head.  They will die.  You will be wrapping the Styrofoam head separately and will attach it to the body later.  I’ll show those head pictures after the body shots.  When you are wrapping with plastic wrap, make sure not to leave any holes, or the tape will stick to the subject.

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One of our brave first-grade volunteers, wrapped in plastic.

 

Next, wrap the packing tape all around the subject, covering the plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and cover completely. The more layers, the more solid it will be.

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My friend, Mr. Reming tapes while I take the picture.

 

When the person or object is completely covered with a solid layer of tape, make a cut carefully down its back. If your subject is a person, use small scissors and start at the neck. Push your finger ahead of the scissors so you aren’t cutting any clothing or pinching any skin! Cut down to the lower back. Cut along the backs of the arms and legs. Gently extract the person. Same for tape babies: start at the crown of the head with a craft knife or scissors and cut down the back and backs of arms and legs. Extract the doll.

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Like a snake skin. 

 

Now, gently pull out any excess plastic wrap from inside your sculpture. You may need scissors to cut out some bits.

Finish your sculptures by closing them back up with more tape. Align the seams as closely as possible and tape them shut.  This step is probably the most time-consuming part.

If you are making a baby, you are done at this point!

If you are making a person, you have completed the body. Now, make the head.

I folded up some pieces of bubble wrap and taped them to the temples and top of the head to give the bulbous alien head look.  I also added some to the chin to make it slightly elongated.

When your head is shaped the way you want it, follow the same process: wrap in plastic wrap.  Cover it in packing tape.  Cut and release the head.  Pull out extra plastic wrap.  Tape up the seam.

Tape your head to the body. You may have to free-form a little bit of upper shoulders with tape. No problem.

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You did it!

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If you want to go full-out alien, reopen the seam in the upper back, giving enough space to put your hand in. Get your LED fairy lights and insert them into the body. Feed the lights down into the arms and legs as far as you can reach. Also place some inside the head: You may need to secure the head lights with a little piece of tape. Leave enough space for the cord to come out of the back, and re-tape the back.

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You can modify these sculptures any way you like.  Consider adding flashing eyeballs: Try making a tape sculpture of a plastic Easter egg or small curved object.  Cut it in half and add flashing LED balloon lights (wrapped in a light layer of plastic wrap to disguise the metallic part).  Tape to the faces.

Tape sculptures make highly dramatic and eerie props.  They have an unsettling quality because they are humanoid, yet lack defined facial features.  You will receive many compliments (accompanied by many strange looks).  And, everyone will want to know how to make these.  Now you do!  Have fun!
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