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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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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Review: First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right  Darynda Jones, 2011.

Charley Davidson lives up to her tough, sound-alike name.  She’s an ADD, smart-ass private investigator with a tender heart.  And the ability to see dead people.  And help them cross over.  Yep.  She’s a good-looking grim reaper minus the cowl and scythe.  Dead people flock to her shininess and pass through her to the other side.

Charley has helped skyrocket her Uncle Bob’s police career with her inside intel from dead folks, but the rest of the force is a little skeptical – or creeped out – by her abilities. But Charley doesn’t mind: she’s used to keeping a barrier up between herself and…normal people.

When three attorneys are killed in the same night, they come to Charley to help solve their murders and draw Charley into a human trafficking investigation.  If that isn’t enough, a seriously hot entity has been steaming up her dreams – and soon moves into her reality.  This sexy visitor seems to be someone – or something – from Charley’s past.

First Grave on the Right is a fun read.  While the murder-mystery is not super-mysterious, and Charley’s savvy quips can wear a little thin, Jones’ characterization carries the story with good humor, enjoyable supporting characters, and some exciting action.  (Both kinds: police and romantic.)

A funny, spicy, light mystery with an interesting take on the paranormal PI motif.


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Review: Little Heaven

Little Heaven.  Nick Cutter.  2017.

Three guns for hire.  Loners haunted by rough pasts.

Minerva:  No man can kill her, although she wishes one would.

Ebenezer:  The Gardener.  A cultured man of color who screams himself awake every night.

Micah:  One-eyed.  Solid and steadfast.  An enigmatic ex-soldier.

In 1965, they fail to kill each other and end up forming a strange and deadly team. They sign on to help Ellen infiltrate a religious compound and check on her nephew’s welfare.  What they find in Little Heaven is anything but.

Led by a charismatic, disturbed preacher, Little Heaven is slowly descending into hell.  In the remote New Mexico desert, in the shadow of a toxic black monolith, the compound’s land is dying.  Reverend Flesher’s followers are weirdly drained. Their kids are developing a penchant for cruelty.  In the surrounding woods, revolting abominations creep closer and closer.

The unspeakable events that take place in Little Heaven in ’65 set into motion a showdown with an obscene evil fifteen years later.  Flashing forward to 1980: Micah’s daughter is stolen away by the same nightmarish monstrosity that ended up taking the children from Little Heaven.  Payback.

Cutter tells a great story.  Bold, black-and-white illustrations help create an almost a Tarantino-esque, new-old-west vibe to the tale: with modern outlaws driving Oldsmobiles through small, tired desert towns.  But these outlaws are fighting each other, themselves, and a malignant supernatural force. The two story threads years apart pace each other tightly and come to horrific peaks at almost the same time.

Be warned, however: The eeew factor of Little Heaven is high.  Cutter pulls no punches.  The number of things you can’t mentally unsee – and I was heartily wishing I could unsee some of them – is huge.  Every bodily fluid, body part (human and animal), gross insect, and disgusting combination of these that you can think of, Cutter has thought of already and shares in profound and revolting detail.  This is a “wet” book: graphic, grisly and gory.   Cutter bombards all the virtual five senses, not even excepting taste, with over-the-top, cringe-worthy descriptions.

Scrape away the gore, however, and you find the bones of a solid story.  Cutter’s writing is immediate and compelling.  The main characters are unique with nicely fleshed-out backstories.  You come to care about them, these bad-guys-turned-kinda-good.  They have heart.  Tarnished, but true.

On an even deeper level, Little Heaven explores the nature of evil.  Is there a finite amount of evil in the world?  Does evil draw evil to itself?  Is its nature changeable?  Is there such a thing as karmic payback?  Little Heaven raises all of these questions while wading hip-deep through the raw wages of sin and retribution.

A gripping story: not for the squeamish.