Picture of the Week

28 Dec 2008


For all those who didn't get a Solstice card from us, we're reproducing it here. Ysengrin and DarkFang hang lights at home.

Location: Somewhere in California

21 Dec 2008

Lance Pope, 2008

Lance's gravesite in Dallas, Texas. It's been six years now, and we all still miss him.

Location: 32° 40' 19.90" N, 96° 48' 43.71" W

14 Dec 2008

Lance Pope, 2002

Lance talking with Stella in the sub lab, upstairs at Haunted Verdun Manor during the 2002 season. That was Lance's last season.

Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W

07 Dec 2008

Golden Paws

This was a pre-Halloween order for golden paws, to be used by the client as dragon feet.

Location: Somewhere in California

30 Nov 2008

Scaled Paw

A new sculpt by DarkFang; this one is for our haunt use, so we can show it before it's finished (unlike client work).

Location: Somewhere in California

23 Nov 2008

Zeppelin at Moffett Field

Moffett Field was the home of the USS Macon back in the 1930's; now an airship (this time a Zeppelin) is once again based there. Operated by Airship Ventures, one hour sightseeing flights around the Bay are offered.

The first commercial flight of this zeppelin (as yet unnamed, pending outcome of an ongoing contest) was taken by Abney Park, rather appropriately.

Location: 37° 24' 54" N, 122° 02' 54" W

16 Nov 2008

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences' new facility opened about six weeks ago; we waited until post-Halloween for the crowds to die back a bit before visiting. This ninety-foot globe is their Rainforests of the World exhibit.

Location: 37° 46' 11"N, 122° 27' 58"W

09 Nov 2008

Halloween (East Coast)

Sinder in Provincetown, Massachusetts, posing with the Pilgrim Monument in the background.

Location: 42° 03' 08"N, 70° 11' 19"W

02 Nov 2008


Ysengrin poses with the Headless Horseman's prop head, out back at Running Wolf Productions.

Location: 37° 08' 06"N, 122° 08' 25"W

26 Oct 2008

Arata's Pumpkin Farm

Up and down Highway 1 along the Pacific coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, there are many pumpkin farms. Some are little more than a roadside produce stand, others set up great displays of hundreds of pumpkins. Half Moon Bay even hosts a Pumpkin Festival each year about this time. But Arata's Pumpkin Farm goes beyond the field of pumpkins and the hayrides of their competition, adding a large straw maze, pony rides and a mild haunted barn. It's not spooky, but it is popular.

Location: 37° 22' 57.6" N, 122° 24' 10.5" W

19 Oct 2008

Critter Feet

For some reason we don't make as many of this style. Here's a pair of furred Critter feet.

Location: Somewhere in California

12 Oct 2008

Our Little Render Farm

We do a certain amount of 3D work -- mostly for haunt set design -- and so we have our own little in-house render farm. The three systems are named Bela, Boris and Vincent as you can see.

Location: 37° 08' 06"N, 122° 08' 25"W

05 Oct 2008

Nefarious, 2000

Nefarious, performing in Voodoo Bayou at Thrillvania back in 2000. The original dinosaur skull and hydraulic rig came from another haunter (Stage Fright Studios); the show controller, flame rig, wings and surrounding scene were all built by Lance Pope and his crew. Nefarious was featured on the Thrillvania T-Shirts that year.

Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W

28 Sep 2008

East Meets Wolf

Sinder and two samurai at King Richard's Faire in Carver, Massachusetts last weekend. Sinder makes (and sells) his own armor; drop us a line if you're interested.

Approx. location: 41° 51' 47" N, 70° 45' 39" W

21 Sep 2008

'Tis the Season

Halloween season, that is. Photo taken at the Scare Factory booth, 2001 Transworld Halloween trade show.

Location: 41° 58' 44" N, 87° 51' 38" W

14 Sep 2008

DarkFang, 1998

DarkFang, making an appearance at a Texas festival, back in late September, 1998.

Location: Somewhere around Dallas, Texas

07 Sep 2008

Memories, 1997

This was the setup in the dining room at Haunted Verdun Manor (Thrillvania) back during the 1997 season, under the show lights. This was the first major scene in the haunt, with Baron Michael Verdun posing behind the corpses of Vincent Carruther's dinner guests.

Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W

31 Aug 2008

Claws and Mold

Here's a big block of silicone molded to allow casting fourteen claws at one time. One row of claws has been pulled; the other row is still in the mold.

Location: Somewhere in California

24 Aug 2008

DarkFang -- Licensed to Glue

DarkFang, playing around with a hot glue gun, during the photo shoot for Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits.

Location: Somewhere in California

17 Aug 2008

The Haunted Tunnel

Halloween is getting closer; here we see the Haunted Tunnel entrance at Casa de Fruita, part of their miniature railroad (Casa de Choo Choo).

Location: 36° 59' 16.02" N, 121° 22' 55.96" W

10 Aug 2008


This large statue of Confucius overlooks a reflecting pond in the Chinese Cultural Garden at Overfelt Gardens Park in San Jose. The statue, thirty feet tall including its marble base, was a gift to San Jose from the people of Tainan, Taiwan and was erected in June, 1974.

Another image of the statue (with base) may be found at the Wikimedia Commons.

Location: 37° 21' 51.24" N, 121° 51' 11.52" W

03 Aug 2008

Casa de Carousel

Part of the Casa de Fruita complex, this double decker carousel was handcrafted in Italy in 1987 and previously graced a Florida park.

Casa de Fruita, founded in 1908, stands east of Gilroy and north of Hollister on highway 152, and is also the site of the Northern California Renissance Faire.

Location: 36° 59' 16.83" N, 121° 22' 55.45" W

27 Jul 2008

30th Gilroy Garlic Festival

This year marked the 30th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival (in Gilroy, California, naturally); the Running Wolf crew was there to partake of all the garlicky goodness. These are some of the Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley, preparing huge pans of Festival Style Calamari with a side of showmanship.

Location: 36° 59' 51.6" N, 121° 35' 09.0" W

20 Jul 2008

Verdun Manor, 2001

This is one of the better photos Ysengrin took of Verdun Manor at Thrillvania. It was a slow night, as witnessed by the short line of patrons on the porch.

Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W

13 Jul 2008

Ohlone Grinding Stone

These mortar pits were made by Ohlone grinding acorns into flour. This particular set of pits overlooks a deep ravine and is a few hundred feet from good spings -- which are now at the bottom of a man made lake. The age of these particular grinding pits is unknown, though they certainly date to before the Ohlone population crashed due to epidemics in the last part of the 18th century.

Photos taken at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (OSP), in the hills above Palo Alto. The "Ohlone grinding stone" is locally well known.

Approx. location: 37° 18' 46" N, 122° 11' 19" W

06 Jul 2008

Kumejima's Kumesen

Thanks to two hyenas (Cro and Hyena Girl), Ysengrin now has a bottle of Kumejima's Kumesen Awamori -- with a foo dog on the label. This awamori isn't as potent here in the States as it is in it's native Japan (48 proof vs. up to 86 proof), but Ysengrin is looking forward to opening this bottle later today.

Approx. location: 37° 08' 06" N, 122° 08' 25" W

29 Jun 2008

Aftermath of Fire

There are several hundred wildfires across northern California today; the air is hazy with fine ash and smells of smoke. This photo shows the aftermath of the Martin fire; so far it has been the closest of the fires to us. Eighty percent of the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve looks like this now. You can see the Moon Rocks in the background, where apparently the fire started.

The second photo is the same general area (with the Moon Rocks in the background) and was taken last August.

Location: 37° 03' 04.8" N, 122° 08' 15.0" W

22 Jun 2008

Fursuiting for Fun

Someone (whose name ends in -Fang) wanted a toony-style suit some time ago, and this last weekend he got his wish. Fursuit by Hyena Girl.

15 Jun 2008

Mountain Charlie McKiernan's Silver Skull

The main body of the text on this monument tells the story:

Near here in Mountain Charlie gulch on May 8, 1854, Charles Henry "Mountain Charlie" McKiernan and a friend named Taylor were attacked by a grizzly bear. The bear sprang from a thicket, both men fired, but the bear grabbed Mountain Charlie, biting him on the arms and face. A piece of skull about 4 inches square was bitten from over Mountain Charlie's left eye and nose by the bear.

Dr. T.J. Ingersoll of San Jose prepared a plate of silver and applied it to the area of the missing skull at McKiernan's request. In the ensuing week, the plate was not healing and it was removed against Mountain Charlie's protests. About a year later an operation to remove an abscess under the brain relieved his intolerable pain. Mountain Charlie was much disfigured from his wounds, but he survived another 38 years.

Thus began the legend and folklore about the man with the "silver skull."

Approx. location: 37° 07' 37" N, 121° 59' 20" W

08 Jun 2008

Railroad Trestle in the Redwoods

This wooden trestle just north of Santa Cruz is still in use by the Roaring Camp Railroads (well, technically the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company, but it's owned and operated by Roaring Camp). It's also mentioned in R.A. MacAvoy's Twisting the Rope -- the sequel to Tea With The Black Dragon -- and reading both books recently reminded Ysengrin that he wanted to photograph the location.

The image is digitally stitched together from several photos; Ysengrin was standing about twenty feet off of one end of the trestle and looking through an opening in the trees.

Approx. location: 37° 00' 25" N, 122° 02' 39" W

01 Jun 2008

Ysengrin with Sake

Ysengrin cradles a (then unopened) bottle of Genbei San No Oni Koroshi ("Demon Slayer"). Originally the term was applied to sake so bad it would kill a demon, though in modern times it's used for sake so good it would kill a demon. In either case, werewolves drink it just fine.

25 May 2008

DarkFang Playing

DarkFang is using a fallen redwood as a footbridge. No, he didn't fall in.

Approx. location: 37° 10' 10" N, 122° 13' 35" W

18 May 2008

Flaming Lotus Girls -- Maker Faire

The Flaming Lotus Girls (a San Francisco based group of artists) created a piece for Burning Man 2008 called Mutopia, encompassing thirteen animated metal-and-flame "Seedpods" in various states of growth. One of the Seedpods was transplanted to the San Mateo Fairgrounds for the recent Maker Faire, and is seen surrounded by admirers in this image.

Location: 37° 32' 48.90" N, 122° 18' 12.76" W

11 May 2008

Maker Faire

Here's two of the large metal sculptures set up at the San Mateo Fairgrounds for the recent Maker Faire. They are the creations of Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann (and their substantial crew) and were originally part of Crude Awakening, shown at Burning Man 2007.

Location: 37° 32' 48.30" N, 122° 18' 07.84" W

04 May 2008

Miss Monster's Werewolf

Ysengrin ran into the talented Miss Monster at the San Mateo Maker Faire yesterday and grabbed the chance to pose with her (the full size, linked image has both of us). Many details of how Miss Monster created her werewolf can be found on her costuming blog and her how-to on Instructables.

Location: 37° 32' 51.91" N, 122° 18' 07.38" W

27 Apr 2008

Wolf Paw bottoms

Here's a detail of the bottoms of the previous week's sculpture. It was roughed in before the top half of the mold was done, then the whole assembly flipped over and the sculpture was finished and textured.

20 Apr 2008

Wolf Paw version two

Here's a re-sculpt of our wolf paws, just finished.

13 Apr 2008

New Sculpture

Here's a new sculpture from DarkFang. The nose is cast in a different material and incorporated into the Roma.

06 Apr 2008

Pedal Power

DarkFang demonstrates how to ride a borrowed tandem bicycle while Ysengrin watches (sort-of). That's the Golden Gate bridge again in the background. Photo by Crocuta.

Location: 37° 48' 27.99" N, 122° 28' 28.18" W

30 Mar 2008

Paw Pads

Foam-filled paw pads to go on the bottom of fursuit feet. Think of them as new soles for mascots.

23 Mar 2008

Ferengi and Werewolf

Ysengrin poses with a random Ferengi at the Viva Haunt Vegas tour during the 13th Transworld Haunt & Attraction trade show -- Ysengrin is the pale one with more hair (but tiny lobes). I will not say who came out better in the dealing, but as the 284th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition says, "Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi."

A hearty thank you goes out to Haunted Enterprises for setting up three of their seasonal haunts for the tour.

Location: 36° 00' 59.29" N, 115° 14' 01.65" W

16 Mar 2008

What About Our Little Cousins?

DarkFang and Ysengrin pose by an anti-Coyote roadside propaganda poster (actually, people feeding coyotes results in bolder, more aggressive coyotes). Photo by Crocuta, taken near Rodeo Beach, Marin County, California.

Location: 37° 49' 54.48" N, 122° 31' 54.75" W

09 Mar 2008

Meanwhile, DarkFang Stalks Tourists

What was DarkFang doing while Ysengrin was posing with the bridge? Stalking a busload of tourists that had pulled up, naturally. Photo by Crocuta.

Location: 37° 49' 43.63" N, 122° 29' 09.00" W

02 Mar 2008

The Golden Gate Bridge, take two

The Golden Gate Bridge again, stilll from the Marin county end, but this time on the Pacific side, looking back at San Francisco. Ysengrin poses, photo by Crocuta.

Location: 37° 49' 43.63" N, 122° 29' 09.00" W

24 Feb 2008

The Golden Gate Bridge

DarkFang sitting on the railing with a strong sea breeze in his fur, deep in thought while gazing on the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin county (North) end. Photo by Crocuta.

Location: 37° 49' 52.59" N, 122° 28' 37.45" W

17 Feb 2008

Ysengrin and Shishi

Ysengrin poses with the female Shishi at the San Francisco Chinatown gate. Ysengrin is the tall one.

Location: 37° 47' 26.17" N, 122° 24' 20.18" W

10 Feb 2008

Life is Good

DarkFang and friend, out around Boulder Creek in California.

Location: 37° 08' 06.26" N, 122° 08' 24.59" W

03 Feb 2008

DarkFang at FC2008

DarkFang poses with D.C. Simpson (in the linked photo), author/artist of the Ozy and Millie webcomic, at Further Confusion 2008.

Location: 37°22'18.5" N, 121°55'23.8" W

27 Jan 2008

Werewolf and Dog

Ysengrin talks to an assistance dog in training, one of several that were around at Further Confusion 2008.

Location: 37°22'18.5" N, 121°55'23.8" W

20 Jan 2008

Parade Werewolf

This week's photo goes back a few years - this is Ysengrin (in Lugaru) walking as part of the Haunted Verdun Manor crew in the 1992 Forney Homecoming Parade. The image is a frame capture from video of the parade, and the full size adds a zombie.

Approximate location: 32°44'41.2" N, 96°28'29.5" W

13 Jan 2008

Rushing Floodwaters

We had some serious winter storms come off the Pacific the first week of this year; while we didn't have any significant damage a lot of folks around us did. The photo shows Boulder Creek's namesake about eight feet above it's normal level.

Location: 37°07'35.1" N, 122°07'21.6" W

06 Jan 2008

Out of the Woods

Ysengrin, resting after coming out of the woods. A good way to start off the year.

Approximate location: 41°10' N, 79°25' W